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Art of Detroit will benefit Center for Creative Studies

August 6, 2014

Experience the sights, sounds, tastes and style of the D when Saks Fifth Avenue Troy presents the Art of Detroit, where the store will become a virtual Detroit with displays of iconic locations, fashion, live music, food and drink designed to highlight all that shines in Detroit.

Highlights of Art of Detroit include Detroit-themed food stations and drinks from local establishments including: Slows Bar BQ, Coach Insignia, Signature Grill, The Rattlesnake Club, Valentine Distilling, Atwater Brewery, Two James Spirits, Decanter Imports, Cabresto Tequila, Taste Love Cupcakes and Cadillac Coffee.

There also will be vignette displays of favorite Detroit destinations, such as Downtown, Corktown, Midtown and Greektown. Ben Sharkey, singer and Center for Creative Studies graduate, will entertain. Also, there will be designer trunk shows featuring jewelry, clothing and accessories, and a glassblower on site.

Sharkey and his band, the Ben Sharkey Quintet, perform “jazz pop” at eight to 12 gigs a month at various venues around metro Detroit. Sharkey said that organizers approached him to perform at the event and didn’t know he was a graduate of CCS. 

He earned a bachelor of science and arts from the college specializing in visual animation and multimedia. He works at 3-D Xcite in Royal Oak doing print, TV and commercial work, and he also paints. His oil-on-canvas paintings will be displayed at Saks through Aug. 22.

“The College for Creative Studies provides a good education well-rounded in the visual arts,” Sharkey said. “You can take those skills and apply them to a lot of different mediums.”

The quintet performs jazz versions of pop tunes, plays jazz tunes to sound like pop tunes, and plays its own material, Sharkey said. 

The ticket price of $75 per person includes four raffle tickets for a chance to win a number of giveaways including a pair of Vhernier earrings valued at $7,000; $100 gift cards to various restaurants; Shinola his and hers watches; a Prada hand bag; a Gucci evening scarf and clutch purse; and a stay at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. All of the ticket proceeds will benefit the College of Creative Studies, and 10 percent of the store sales during the event — up to $10,000 — also will benefit the college.

Food is free.

The event will have a scavenger hunt theme. Guests will be handed a map with each Detroit destination — Greektown, Corktown, Downtown and Midtown — and what to expect with regards to restaurants and things happening throughout the store.

Ina Levinson, vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue Troy, described the event as “dynamic and interactive” and said that it would offer attendees a “fresh take on Detroit and its gems, restaurants, attractions and landmarks.” 

“CCS is such an asset to our community,” Levinson said. She said the aim of the event was to make it “uniquely Detroit. We’re trying to put ourselves out there, meet people, and give back to the city and be connected to the community,” she said.

The store will be closed to the general public during the event. There will be a Chrysler 300 John Varvatos Luxury Edition parked in the valet area available for test-drives during the event. 

The Art of Detroit will be held from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 22 at Saks Fifth Avenue Troy, 2901 W. Big Beaver. Purchase tickets online at or call (313) 664-6664.

About the author

Staff Writer Terry Oparka covers Troy and the Troy School District for the Troy Times. Oparka has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2000 and attended Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Oparka has won an award from the Michigan Press Association and three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter.

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