Art in Public Places

Artists of the Month - October
Valarie Root

Valarie Root

Saginaw Township Art in Public Places is pleased to present Valarie Root of Freeland, Michigan, as the Artist of the Month for October. 

Artist Biography
Valarie Root was born in Michigan.  She was raised in Saginaw and is now a resident of Freeland, Michigan.  Growing up with her mother and her grandfather both accomplished artists, her artistic expression began at an early age.  Her strong sense for different subject compositions combined with a touch of the dramatic help her to create paintings infused with color and detail.  Her artistic versatility has led to painting florals, landscapes, animals, murals and many commissioned works. 

Valarie is a 1987 graduate of Delta College where she majored in art.  Her custom paintings and murals can be seen in corporate and private collections statewide.  A professional artist for more than 20 years, Valarie works on location and in her studio at home in Freeland where she lives with her family.

Artist Statement
My intention is to create canvasses that are fresh and unique, by using layers of brilliant color to capture the spirit of my subject.  Much of my inspiration comes from the ever changing landscapes and the beautiful seasonal colors of Michigan.  I consider myself to be an impressionistic and a realistic painter, bringing the two styles together helps me to capture the brilliant effects of light and color, using thick brushstrokes of paint.  As my work evolves and changes I am newly inspired by the world as I see it!

Valarie's exhibit will be on display at Saginaw Township Hall, located at 4980 Shattuck Road, Saginaw, Michigan, Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm, thru October 31, 2023.   Township Offices will be close at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2023.

2023 State of the Arts Exhibition Award Winners
2023 Award Winners
2023 Award Winners

Brief History of Saginaw Township Art in Public Places
On September 12, 1986, by joint resolution of the Township Board an Art in Public Places Committee was established. The Committee functions primarily to: Advise the Township Board on art and culture-related issues, promotes the display of art in public buildings, organizes the Annual State of the Arts Exhibition and selects works of art to be permanently or temporarily displayed in facilities owned by Saginaw Township.

Former Saginaw Township Manager Robert C. Homan first investigated ways in which to promote art appreciation in Saginaw Township. The Township Board appointed a committee of seven individuals with various art backgrounds to organize activities and schedule displays. The original members; Bonnie Bellinger, Patricia Shaheen, Patricia Koucky, Luther Hale, Walter Nagel Jr., Rev. David Bracklein and Marian Tincknell held their first meeting on November 13, 1986. At that first meeting they discussed the possibility of showcasing a monthly art display at the Saginaw Township Hall. During the remainder of the year and the year following, the Committee organized an art show featuring Michigan artists and their works. This annual show is now referred to as the "Annual State of the Arts Exhibition".

The Committee appointed Bonnie Bellinger as Chairperson and through her and the Committee's hard work a successful arts appreciation program was established for Saginaw Township residents. Bonnie Bellinger retired as Chairperson in 1990, but her projects live on. In 2004 the Annual State of the Arts Exhibition dedicated the exhibition to Patricia Koucky who unexpectedly passed away earlier that year.

The Committee is now Chaired by Saginaw Township Manager Brian Rombalski.

Committee members include:

  • Karen Gerhardt
  • Bob Lewis
  • Marion Tincknell
  • Barbara Walworth
  • Jim Kelly --Board of Trustees