Arts, Beats & Eats Spotlight: Artist Tim Gralewski


It’s almost time for the celebration of the season. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats returns to the bustling streets of downtown Royal Oak over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-4, to celebrate its 20th year.

The juried fine art show is one of the nation’s premier art events with top artists from across the continent vying for cash awards totaling $7,500.

Festival goers will have the ability, to peruse and purchase original works at more than 135 artist booth spaces.

Tim Gralewski, will be one of the exciting exhibitors at this year’s event. He combines contemporary graphic design with the classic genre of screen printing. Gralewski, who teaches at Oakland University and U of M Flint, started his career as a commercial artist.

“I started my career in graphic design and worked many years in commercial art before teaching. My primary medium is screen-printing. I enjoy the bold colors and offset look that I am able to achieve which draws me to the screen-printing process.

“I design most of my work on the computer and hand print it myself using the screen and squeegee,” he mentions.

Gralewski’s art straddles the “grey” area between graphic design and fine art. Computer programs like Photoshop and Illustrator allow literal work to become more abstract. The artist allows himself the choice of moving between the literal and the fine arts options, depending on the subject matter.

“I see my art as a reflection of contemporary life, focused on the positive and emotional impact of the viewer,” he states.

“The subject matter for my work comes from memories, thoughts and ideas that have affected and influenced my life. I hope to convey this in a universal way that is relatable to the viewers own experiences.”

The artist notes that his work follows in the trend set by artists like Andy Warhol, who was a commercial artist before his work became recognized as fine art.

“Graphic design is kind of a 21st century medium,’ he mentions. “In my work I try to create a unique sense of color form and composition. I find interest in the artistic representation and emotion of everyday life, occurrences and actions.” He says he tends to “teach his students what he creates.”

Gralewski received a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Printmaking from Eastern Michigan University and also earned a BFA at Eastern Michigan University. He has works in the permanent collections of Alma College, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Kellogg Community College and six large scale pieces in Michigan State University’s Collection.

In addition to Arts, Beats & Eats, his work has been displayed at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, the Ferndale Fine Art Festival and galleries in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Ferndale.

His colorful posters and screen prints are available for sale on Etsy, starting at $20.

But, see his work up close and personal at Art, Beats & Eats and you will be impressed by the quality.

The 20th Annual Arts, Beats & Eats, presented by Ford Motor Company and Soaring Eagle Casino will take place September 1-4 in downtown Royal Oak, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $3 till 3 p.m. $5 after 3 p.m. and $7 after 5 p.m. Sat., Sun., & Mon. FREE on Fri. until 5 p.m. and $7 on Fri., after 5 p.m.