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
Amy Cole
Hank Lorant
Maria Smith Bohannon
Mary Goode-Brooks
Paul Zelenak

Orion Art Center Staff

Karin Starick, IEWP – Executive Director

Orion Art Center Teachers

Brenda Pescia
Beau Bacevicius
Geri Boyle
Rachelle Campbell
Sidney Savage