Sharon Smithem’s genius has combined a world of business and art in this extraordinary mosaic over the Book Nook fireplace.
The interior of the new and vastly expanded Book Nook & Java Shop on Ferry Street in Montague is an interior ambiance delight of construction detail and Mary Payne’s decorating skills. Functioning like jewels that highlight its multi-themes are two intricate, spectacularly brilliant colored mosaics by local White Lake artist, Sharon Smithem.
Smithem, a graduate of the Kendall College of Design in Grand Rapids, is a well-known area artist, where her wide range of artistic abilities can be seen in area homes with oil portraits, wall floral designs and household mosaics.
Smithem’s public and business art work can be seen in murals in schools, and in businesses, one of her most imaginative is the Donor Tree at the Fremont Tamarac Health & Wellness Center. An elaborate and massive 12 by 15 feet wall painting/mosaic combination, “the trunk and branches are glass mosaic with branch extensions painted as part of the wall,” Smithem says, adding, “The copper leaves are engraved with donors’ names.”
Keeping in Smithem’s large mosaic/painting designs are her two mixed/media entries in the Grand Rapids Art Prize, one each in 2010 and 2011. One was a 8 by 12 foot triptych of several women with only the faces painted, with the remainder of the art work, clothes, etc., of found objects.
Smithem continued the mosaic and other media theme in a life-size plaster sculpture adorned with shimmering mosaic glass on a long gown that makes the sculpting come alive.
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