Janice Charach Gallery

The Janice Charach Gallery hosts exhibitions featuring Jewish and non-Jewish, established and emerging artists. Exhibitions include glass, ceramics, multi-media, painting, fiber arts and photography. The gallery also presents educational programs and is home to a shop with works by local artists. The Gallery is endowed by Natalie & Manny Charach, in their daughter’s memory.

Current Exhibition

FUNction | Sunday, March 25 – Thursday, May 10

Opening reception: Sunday, March 25, 1-4 p.m.

Curated by Maxwell Davis and Tom Phardel, FUNction will be composed of two areas of concentration, furniture and ceramics. The exhibition includes over 50 artists and covers the various approaches of each field from the utilitarian to functional based sculpture.


“Reduction Cup 29,” by Alex Thullen

ABOUT: Maxwell Davis

For over 40 years, Maxwell Davis has been known for his innovative furniture designs and sculptures. Davis was a professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, instructing primarily in the Foundations, Industrial Design, and Crafts departments. He moved from ceramics to glass to art furniture, and implemented classes such as “Radical Concepts in Functionality,” “Advanced Glass Blowing,” and “Radical Methods of Furniture Design,” amongst many others.                                                                                              The emphasis of Davis’s work has always been on the idea that we should look for the beauty and function of things that at first glance might appear to be broken or imperfect. To Davis, this is the ultimate metaphor for being human. Davis has exhibited in over 130 national and international shows and competitions and has been privately collected by dozens of furniture and fine art collectors including the High Museum in Atlanta, GA and the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Maxwell Davis lives and works out of his studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


 “Shelf #9,” by Maxwell Davis                                                  

ABOUT: Tom Phardel

Whether working in ceramic, metal, or mixed media, Tom Phardel has been creating contemplative non-functional objects since the late 70’s. He is equally known for his large scale mixed-media assembled sculptures, which incorporate ceramic, fabricated steel and glass. His interest in these works lie in the actual processes of making sculpture and the transformation that takes place when disparate materials come together both visually as well as psychologically.

Tom Phardel’s works have been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and have earned several awards: most notable the Michigan Creative Arts Award: Exhibitions at both at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum (DIA) and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. He has been awarded more than a dozen times by the MCCA (Michigan Ceramic Arts Association). His work is in the permanent collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Dennos Museum in Traverse City, and Crocker Museum, in Sacramento, California, as well as numerous private collections around the world. Phardel has acted as the Chairperson of Ceramics at the College for Creative Studies, and has actively mentored several students at CCS who have since become nationally recognized artists in the ceramic field. He has curated numerous shows and actively works with many arts organizations throughout metro Detroit.       


Side Gallery: Ryan Thompson

Glass artist Ryan Thompson explores vessels in many forms, both functional and nonfunctional. Ryan’s current body of work is an investigation of form and color relationships in contemporary vessel design. Inspired by ancient Japanese and traditional Western vessels, these exaggerated nonfunctional forms allow the viewer to disregard any assumed usefulness and appreciate the conversation and identity each color and form possesses.


Invited Artists 

Alan Kaniarz, Alex Porbe, Alex Thullen, Alexis Bratto, Anastasia Leto, Annie Dennis, Blake Zucker, Bob Marsh, Bobby Veresan, Brett Gray, Brian Caponi, Brian L. Nelson, Christopher Mayse, Chrys Bonnay-Lewis, Colin Tury, Connor Browning, Dan Cholette, Darcy Bowden, Dennison Dorsey, Emily LoPresto, Erika Williams, Henry James Haver Crissman, Isabella Comai, James Griffin, James Viste, Jamie Bamberger, Jaminely Emmanuelli, Jason Schneider, John DeHoog, John Leyland, John Rizzo, Julian Carpenter, Kate Tremel, Kay Yourist, Ken Shenstone, Kevin Kwiatkowski, Laura Earle, Leslie Sorenson, Marco Terenzl, Marko Pavlovski, Martin Soave, Maxwell Davis, Michael Neville, Monica Wilson, Nancy Bulkley, Nathan Tonning, Peter Caparaotta, Raymond Wetzel, Ryan Haas, Stephen B Proctor, Stephen Kerr, Stephen M. Padilla, Steven Charles Johnson, Steven Kin

Don’t Miss This!

Paper Mache Sculpture Workshop with Alice V. Schneider

Sunday, April 8th, 12 - 3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: Thursday, April 5th

Learn to create a paper mache sculpture! This workshop will be easy enough for beginners but experienced artists are welcome. All materials will be provided. Note that sculptures must dry for 24 hours before being painted.

Adult - $45

Adult with Child (10 and up) - $55

Each additional child - $10


A Special thanks to our Exhibition Sponsors:

Sachiko & Masayuki Matsushita

Ayako & Mark Urakawa

Star Lincoln


Coming soon!


The Janice Charach Gallery provides a forum for the creation, exhibition and interpretation of visually oriented media. We promote works of fine art created by Jewish and non-Jewish artists providing unique opportunities for emerging and acknowledged artists.

Janice Charach

The Janice Charach Gallery at the JCC in West Bloomfield was established and named in the memory of the daughter of Natalie and Manny Charach. A talented and recognized artist, Janice passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in June of 1989. She was 38 years old.

janice charach jcc of metro detroit


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