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Wyandotte Art Party Highlights Artistic Family

A local family will exhibit art, jewelry and custom furniture pieces at Biddle Gallery this weekend.

Dianne Arendsen has a creative family and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

And now, those who visit will get to see just how creative this family can get.

“When the kids were growing up, we encouraged them to find their own artistic expression,” Arendsen said.

Arendsen has an established background in fine arts and always encouraged her son and daughter who have become artists in their own right. This weekend, many of their sought-after pieces will be available to the public.

Biddle Gallery is hosting an “Art Party” from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The show will feature jewelry, art and furniture pieces by locally renowned artist Shawn Stachel; his mother, Dianne Arendsen; sister, Vanessa Morse; and dad, Peter Stachel.

“I am humbled that the Biddle Gallery has asked me to be part of this event,” Arendsen said. "My son has had many of his pieces featured there and to be asked to participate at the Biddle Gallery is a real honor for me.”

Arendsen completed her fine arts degree at Wayne State University with a major in oil painting. She also spent time studying in Italy. She said she was drawn to fiber art for many years and is now inspired by colorful beads and the unlimited possibilities they can provide.

Her beadwork also can be considered therapy.

"It provides a great escape," she said.

Arendsen works at  seeing patients each day. She loves her work, but enjoys going home too.

“It allows me a creative environment in which to relax,” she said. “I don’t smoke or gamble, so you could say beadwork is my way of unwinding.”

Other family members join in when they come to visit, Arendsen said.

“We have a lot of fun with the beads at my house,” she said. “From my daughter to my nieces, everyone gets in on the act.”

Arnendsen’s son, Shawn Stachel, was born in Wyandotte and grew up on Grosse Ile. He draws inspiration from his love of animals and nature.

His style is folk art painting, carvings and sculpture. Fish, bears, birds and totems are among his main inspirations. According to his mom, Shawn loves color and has a dynamic style of intense contrasts. He also designs tables, chairs and benches.

“He has a wonderful sense of color,” Arendsen said. “He is a self-taught artist and all of his pieces are unique.”

Stachel’s penchant for extreme sports led him to such places as Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Lake Tahoe, CA. He now resides in Wyandotte and has shown at Biddle Gallery for five years.

Gallery owner Karen Thomas said Satchel’s work was the impetus for this weekend's event featuring him and other members of his family.

“They are so talented,” Thomas said. “I think everyone is going to enjoy seeing their work.”

Shawn's sister, Vanessa Morse, also shares in the family's talents.

“She uses the finest elements to create unique jewelry,” Thomas said. “Her motto is ‘find your light.’"

Morse said she believes the world is a better place when people find their light or hobby. She is noted for creating unique, handmade pieces inspired by her travels, friends and nature. She also teaches in the Melvindale School District.

Morse’s company, Glow Fish Studios, creates fused, lamp work and precious metal clay original designs. Each summer, Glow Fish participates in the , Arts and Orchard, and the Arts and Apple Festival.

Shawn and Vanessa’s dad, Peter Stachel, also is a featured artist in this weekend's show. He is an established studio designer and landscaper. He studied engineering, business and art at Wayne State University and worked as an arborist for the City of Detroit before starting his own business, a custom furniture and design shop. His furniture is on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook, and for the past two years, Biddle Gallery.

Stachel lives on Grosse Ile where he is the owner of Stachel Designs specializing in decks, patios, landscaping, kitchens, baths, and custom furniture.

Even though Stachel and Arendsen are no longer married, they have a very amicable relationship. Both live on Grosse Ile and encourage their children in the arts.

“The second weekend of every November, we hold an art show on our property on Grosse Ile,” Arendsen said. “It really has become a tradition for our family.”

The family enjoys putting together a display of furniture, folk art and jewelry for the local crowd.

Visitors to the Biddle Gallery this weekend won’t have to wait. They will be able to see firsthand the unique artwork, jewelry and furniture pieces handcrafted by this family of artists.

“Art is a natural expression of our family,” Arendsen said. “There is always something cooking over here.”

Natalie Rankine May 21, 2011 at 02:59 AM
I bought two pairs of Glowfish earrings tonight! Love them!

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