‘The quality, the craftsmanship, and the glow’: Reception planned for Farmington art exhibition

On Thursday, March 25, the family of Jim Fetter will gather at KickstART Gallery & Shop for a reception, welcoming the public and any questions they may have about the art and the artist.

Fetter’s oil and acrylic paintings have been featured in an exhibition at the gallery since March 3. The artist passed away in 2019.

“When you come in the gallery, the paintings literally — well, maybe figuratively — jump off the wall. The quality, the craftsmanship, and the glow of his paintings give the gallery an unprecedented amount of just really amazing work,” says Molly McNeece, gallery curator at KickstART.

“When you stand in front of them, you want to reach out and touch them because they’re so representational. He really was a master of his craft.”

Fetter, a Pennsylvania native who spent his adult life in Michigan, made his living in the commercial art world. His oil and acrylic paintings saw him accepted into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society and was awarded their Signature status, among many other awards and distinctions over the course of his life.

Fetter’s exhibition closes on Saturday, March 27. Following that, KickstART will prepare At Home on Earth, an art show from local Michigan artists Gail Borowski and Nancy Kozlowski that opens Wednesday, March 31.

The art gallery has been creative about staying open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; they opened just six months before the coronavirus struck.

McNeece credits a partnership with their downtown Farmington neighbors Sunflour Bakehaus, helping the gallery stay in business while the pandemic forced a hiatus. McNeece and volunteers handmade more than 200 cloth masks at the beginning of the shutdowns, which the bakery then sold for them. Money raised from those sales, along with donations from the community and online sales, helped keep the gallery open.

“Our artists are local and so are we,” McNeece says.

Retrospective of Works by Jim Fetter runs through Saturday, March 27, at KickstART Gallery & Shop, which is located at 33304 Grand River Ave. in downtown Farmington.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.