Week of 7.24.17

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Detroit Music Weekend Gala

The inaugural Detroit Music Weekend began Friday night at the Detroit Opera House where 200 music lovers gathered for the Gala ($750 & $1,000 tickets). They savored cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, pausing for brief welcoming remarks delivered from the top of the grand staircase by founding director, Music Hall’s Vince Paul. A soaring operatic selection sung by soprano Nicole James signaled it was time for dinner, which was served at dramatically decorated tables set on the stage. There were interruptions to thank sponsors, board members and event coordinator Laura Raisch, and to salute Michigan Opera Theatre founder David DiChiera. His pancreatic cancer diagnosis has dictated his retirement but has not affected his good humor nor his bearing.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

August 2017

HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
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Photo: Laurie Tennent
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02/02/2017 - Renowned painter and actor Victor Pytko has acted alongside A-list celebrities like Hillary Swank and Sigourney Weaver, and as an artist, today his paintings can be viewed at the Birmingham Museum.

"(The exhibit) started in December 2016 and will be there for a year. There are about 26 pieces."

The award-winning artist became interested in painting as a boy. His fascination for art was solidified after meeting the acclaimed artist Grandma Moses.

"I grew up in upstate New York in a small town where Grandma Moses grew up. Her great-great-granddaughter was a classmate of mine. In the fifth grade, she brought Grandma Moses in to school and she entertained us."

Pytko admired Moses's pursuit of her passion late in life.

"She was discovered around age 76, and she became a celebrity really quickly," he said. "She was a role model, especially in my adult life."

Before honing in on his aptitude for art, Pytko was a news writer and worked in public relations. He moved to Birmingham 19 years ago and took courses at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.

"After five years of classes there, I thought it was time to graduate and I got a studio in downtown Detroit."

Best known for landscapes, Pytko took courses in abstract art and began to incorporate that into his paintings. "There are a lot of misconceptions of what art is supposed to be. Just about anything can be used to create an image. One of my favorite art stores is the hardware store. To me, an artist has no responsibility except creation."

Pytko's work has been exhibited in galleries, pop-ups, charity events, wine shops and coffee houses.

In addition to his career as a revered artist, Pytko successfully cultivated a career in acting without any formal training.

"I've been in about 65 movie projects one way or another," he said. "I've worked as an extra and had the opportunity to be on a movie set."

His first role was in the 2006 film Offshore, which was filmed in Michigan and India. He also acted in the 2011 comedy Cedar Rapids starring Ed Helms and Anne Heche.

In July 2017, he will be seen alongside A-list celebrities. Due to a confidentiality agreement, he is unable to elaborate on the project. "It's a significant minor role," he said. "I get one-on-one time with the star."

Between acting and painting, Pytko is able to share his artistry through different mediums and he enjoys painting outdoors around Birmingham.

"My favorite place (to paint) is anywhere I can set up an easel," he said. "I'm always willing to engage (the public). I'll hand a stranger a brush and they are free to make marks and let the creativity flow."

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