CELEBRATING THE ARTIST IN ALL OF US  since 1960

online art gallery


Janet Wharry grew up in the Metro Detroit area and continues to call Southeast Michigan her home. As a small child, she picked up a pencil and began her lifetime love of art.
Although she earned a degree in mathematics and entered the computer field, she continued to pursue art. Over the years, she regularly attended art classes through community colleges and adult enrichment, continuously incorporating new techniques into her painting.
After experimenting with oils, acrylics and clay sculpture, she settled into watercolor as her medium of choice in the 1990’s. Then in the early 2000’s, she rediscovered her first love – drawing people and animals – as well as the richness and control of colored pencils.
In 2003, she began teaching adult education classes and accepting commissions. Now retired from the computer field, she continues to teach adult art classes, accept commissions and to paint in colored pencil, watercolor and acrylics. She typically paints from photo references – striving to capture not just the image, but also the spirit of her subjects.
Janet won 2007 Best of Show Award at the Brush of Color Art Show in Southfield, MI as well as 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 Artist of the Year for the South Oakland Art Association (SOAA). She was president of SOAA from 2010 through 2013.



Katherine Rae Bell is an award-winning fine artist, specializing in custom portraits of pets, family and favorite places. Using archival-quality Belgian linen and professional-grade acrylics, she creates beautiful, heirloom pieces that will be cherished for generations.
From the time she could hold a pencil, Katherine has drawn and painted her beloved horses, animals, and natural scenes.  As a high school student at Cranbrook Schools, she earned the prestigious Excellence in Art award for her work in advanced sculpture.
Her art took a back seat, however, to earning a BA from the University of Michigan, and a corporate career. Then, in 2001, Katherine found herself at a crossroad, and began her journey back to Spirit and her authentic self.  She enrolled in a painting class, where her artistic talent re-emerged and was quickly recognized.  In a short time, she was being commissioned by friends and clients.  She found her passion, and a way to bring joy to others through rendering their memories as fine art.
Largely self-taught, her detailed, realistic portraits have delighted customers in several U.S. states and as far away as Panama.
She is a two-time recipient of the Artist of the Year Award, for both 2012 and 2013, from Michigan’s South Oakland Art Association.
Katherine lives in Troy, Michigan with her husband, two busy children, an aquarium of fish, and their guinea pig Luna.  She finds that painting helps to balance the demands of family life and to bring serenity to her heart.
She is currently taking private commissions. Her signed giclées and note cards also make wonderful, unique gifts.
Contact her today at 248-515-2092, or at kathibell@sbcglobal.net to schedule an appointment.

Member Art 


Suzanne Joy 

Winnie Chrzanowski  is an award winning photographer. She won Best in Show at the South Oakland Art Association 2016 Art at the Museum event, first place in the 2nd Annual Juried Show at the Studio West Gallery in Brighton, and several honorable mentions at various galleries around Michigan and on line.  Winnie says she "looks at photography as a way to see the world with new eyes. I enjoy taking photos and then seeing how to make a mundane subject look not so ordinary and tries to find different perspectives and vantage points while making an image.  What I truly love to do is shoot an image with a painting in mind even though I'm not a painter. How do the colors move through the landscape?  Should I have a more intimate and close up view?  What type of painting should it be - watercolor, acrylic, pencil?  Will the image look better in color or black and white?  How can it tell the story of the moment in the most precise manner?  Those are my questions to myself as I set out to shoot.  I'm thinking about how it will look in the camera and then how it will look when I put it into post processing.  While I try to make the best composition I can possibly make in camera, I usually feel I can make that image speak more distinctly and maybe even a bit louder.   I hope you'll find something in my images that will be significant for you, and will allow you to enjoy the ride even more.  Possibly one of my images will make you smile and recall a fond memory. Whatever it is, enjoy looking at the world through my viewfinder."  Her work is on display at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale.


Beverly Stief has been a resident of Royal Oak for 50 years. She has two daughters, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Beverly has been painting since 1984.Teachers: Delores Demers Kurily, Jo Chiapelli, Karen Halpern, Kathy Boltz Phillips and Edy Joppich.Workshops: Roland Roycraft, Sharon Tarr, Bob Fagen and Terry Madden.Shows: American Center, Southfield, MI, annually, Michigan State Fair, Royal Oak Library, Royal Oak Outdoor Art Fair annually, Royal Oak Artists MarketAwards: Michigan State Fair, 2001, American Center, Southfield, MIMember of SOAA and the Royal Oak Arts Council



John Shen and his wife joined the SOAA since 2013. He participated in ArtPrize 2013 in Grand Rapids, MI.


Kathy Pare Royal Oak has been my home for the past 18 years. As a new member of the South Oakland Art Association SOAA, I enjoy the camaraderie of the paint-togethers.
Some of my fondest memories are of drawing for hours at the picnic table with the neighborhood kids. As a young girl I was inspired by my Grandmother who painted in oils.
I always had an interest in art. In 1974, I obtained an Associates Degree in Advertising Design and had a career in Graphic Arts. I took many painting classes for personal enjoyment.
Much of my work is in watercolors and acrylics and is inspired by flowers, nature and bright colors.



Lee MacKay is a longtime resident of Royal Oak, Michigan but has also lived in California and New Zealand. Since retiring from the Royal Oak School District, she has devoted more time to painting landscapes, seascapes and animal/pets along with personal residents upon requests.
Originally a self-taught artist, she was painting with oils, but switched to acrylics. Studying under well-known artists Mike Byrne, Carl Angevine, and Karen Halpern. A member of South Oakland Art Association since 2010,  Lee was published in the SOAA 2012 Image Book. She has been awarded First Place, Second Place and Honorable Mentions at the SOAA Artist of the Month competitions, and Artist of the Year (Representational) for 2013-14 and again for 2014/2015. Her work has been displayed at the Royal Oak Historical Museum/Art at the Museum Shows and in 2016 was awarded Honorable Mention Achievement Award.  At the Royal Oak Celebration of Arts (Royal Oak Middle School) Shows 2015 and 2016, and at the American Center Art Show in Southfield in April 2011.




Mike Byrne considers himself primarily a marine artist, painting mainly in Acrylic. However, he is versatile and has explored other subjects and other medium such as watercolor, pastel and pen & ink stipple. Over the years photography has become another strong interest. He continues to try new things has recently began creating abstract works on both canvas and tile.In 2009, Mike was commissioned by the Royal Oak Historical Society to illustrate the organization’s calendar with stipple art drawings of Royal Oak historic treasures. Also in 2009, he was awarded South Oakland Artist Association’s “Artist of the Year” award.Born September 29, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan, Mike Byrne has lived in Royal Oak most of his life. His first real introduction to art was at Shrine High School, where he won awards in woodcarving.In 1959, he attended Meinzinger Art School, then went to Society of Arts and Crafts (which is now The College of Creative Studies), and finished at James Cotton Commercial Art School.While in the U.S. Navy, he met and married his wife, Michele, in 1964. In 1966, Mike started a 40-plus year career in the advertising field with companies such as Burroughs Corporation, Rose Jewelers, and Highland Superstores, before opening his own advertising agency.In 1990, Mike found renewed interest in the fine arts with marine watercolor paintings, which he has exhibited throughout Michigan.Soon he developed a desire to apply his graphics knowledge of printing, and ventured into stipple art, using a very fine Rapidiograph to produce pen and ink drawings, primarily in marine art.Mike is a member of the Royal Oak Arts Council, the South Oakland Art Association, the Detroit Marine Historic Society, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, the National Maritime Historic Society, and the American Society of Marine Artists.