Robert Dempster to jury annual art spectacular.
By Susan Kehoe, Ph.D.
Robert Dempster is a juror for the “Our Town Art” show and sale in The Community House (TCH) in Birmingham on Oct. 15-17. He and Barbara Heller, co-juror, judge the show that awards $10,000 in prize money to several artists, but they also hang the art, which is something of an art in itself. Dempster says they start at 9 in the morning and spend the entire day placing the 345 pieces of art around TCH.
Dempster of Bloomfield Hills won the Pillar of the Community Award in Arts & Culture in 2015 in the category of “Vibrancy.” He has worked with TCH since the 1970s, when he first started doing business in Birmingham, and has had successful businesses in the area ranging from creating and selling T-shirts to signs and logos ever since.
He designed the logo that will be used this year for the 2015 Our Town Art show, the Hand and Heart. This piece is also displayed in the Henry Ford Hospital Cardiology Center. The familiar WJZZ-FM logo he designed in 1978 is still recognized as iconic by jazz lovers around Detroit.
The past president of the Bloomfield Optimist Club, Dempster is currently involved with Detroit Rocks!, which he founded in 2001, and Studio D, founded in 2010. Detroit Rocks! encourages the local culture of music, art and fashion to promote Detroit. A possible Comcast television show involving positive people and positive experiences in Detroit is in the works.
Studio D, a former industrial warehouse in the Rail District of Birmingham, hosts many musical performances where Dempster can sometimes be heard joining in on guitar.
A Cass Tech graduate, Dempster started playing guitar at 21 with no professional music education. Currently, he is working with producer Michael Powel, creating the new single, “Blue Skies, Yellow Sun.” Studio D has been used as an eclectic art, music and film gallery venue as well as for fundraising events for nonprofit and charity organizations.
The opening night party for Our Town Art, “Art in Vogue,” will kick off at the TCH on Oct. 14 from 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $75 or $200 for benefactors, along with early admission to the show at 5:30 p.m. Most of the artwork may be purchased. NS
Our Town Art Show & Sale
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 15-17
The Community House
380 S. Bates St., Birmingham.
The show is open to the public at no charge.