Our History

The vision for an arts and cultural center in north Oakland County began in 1979 when a group of artists including Maxine “Packy” Eckola, a former Michigan artist who studied at Oakland University under nationally-known colorist Rene Radell, Joan Brace, another former Michigan artist, and others joined forces and involved the community in the process.  The Village of Lake Orion donated a parcel along the Paint Creek, a 17-mile long stream in northern Oakland County, and the Lake Orion United Methodist church sold their parsonage to the group, which was ultimately placed on this parcel.  The group raised funds, garnered members, and worked tirelessly with community partners and leaders and in 1981, the Orion Art Center (OAC) opened its doors to the public.  The OAC’s mission statement has always been “to make fine art experiences available to Southeast Michigan residents and artists by nurturing the artistic expression and creativity of individuals of all ages and artistic levels through art classes, outreach programs, exhibitions and community events.”  The OAC founders would be proud of the organization they envisioned as over the last thirty-seven years the OAC has hosted hundreds of juried art shows and exhibits, workshops, concerts, and classes for children and adults as well as annual social events that bring thousands of people into the community from all over the country.

Orion Art Center Board

Alana Hart

Alana, though new to the board of directors, has been involved with the OAC as the Chair of Social Committee and volunteer for years. She has worked at Home Depot since January 1999 as Expeditor & District Community Captain. Alana attended Baker College and Specs Howard School of Media Arts. Her goal is to make…

Amy Cole

Amy has been on the Board of Directors since 2013. She has lived in Lake Orion for over 15 years and has children at Stadium Drive Elementary and Oakview Middle School. Amy is a Financial Advisor and Vice President with Morgan Stanley, where she has helped both individuals and institutions for the last 21 years.…

Hank Lorant

Hank is a resident of Lake Orion, Michigan. He grew up in St. Clair Shores and graduated from South Lake high school. He received his BBA from Western Michigan University and began a career at Hudson’s Department Store as a trainee in buying in 1975, eventually moving up the ladder to become the District Vice…

Maria Smith Bohannon

Maria Smith Bohannon is a graphic designer and educator with two decades of experience encompassing brand identity, design and communication. In addition to client driven work, she also has several personal design interests including expressive use of typography and language, digital pattern design and an ongoing collage series titled Discarded. Her work has received numerous industry awards including…

Mary Goode-Brooks

Mary aspires to be a life long artist! She is the mother of three amazing children, all graduates of Lake Orion High School. She is currently employed with Lake Orion Community Schools and has been a resident of Lake Orion since 1993, but briefly moved out of state for 8 years. She has chaired and…

Paul Zelenak

Paul has been on the Board since 2016.  He is currently the City Manager for the City of Linden, and the former Village Manager for the Village of Lake Orion.  He holds a Bachelors Degree from Walsh College and a Masters Degree from Central Michigan University.  He has two grown daughters.  One who graduated from…

Orion Art Center Staff

Karin Starick, IEWP – Executive Director

Karin has lived in Lake Orion for 3 years.  She has been involved with the Orion Art Center’s Dragon on the Lake Festival for 8 years,

Orion Art Center Teachers

Brenda Pescia
Beau Bacevicius
Geri Boyle