EDEE JOPPICH, '53
To say that Edee Joppich is into the arts is quite an understatement. An unusually gifted watercolorist and collage artist, she also juries art exhibits, presents effective workshops, conducts two very popular Campedee residential arts programs at a Lake Leelenau lodge each June and September, plans and directs a travel program for artists and has operated Joppich's Bay Street Gallery for 25 years in Northport, Michigan. She feels each aspect of her career as an artist enriches all the other aspects, as well as gives her the freedom to do her own work without compromising her integrity.
Her reach as an artist is extensive and includes 40 one-person shows and participation in more than l60 juried shows resulting in numerous awards. Her paintings have been purchased for many corporate collections including Ford Motor Company, Pennzoil, Masco, MichCon, Campbell Ewald and a number of major hospitals as well as private collections across the United States. In the 1970s, Joppich was co-partner in a corporate art consulting firm, providing original works of art for corporate facilities and five Michigan hospitals. In 1980, she opened Joppich's Bay Street Gallery, selecting works by 50 outstanding Michigan artists for display and sale each summer. In 2000, she began showing her own work in the gallery along with a few invited guest artists.
Joppich says, "At Marygrove, along with positive ideas and ideals, I acquired a 'can do' attitude that has sustained me through the inevitable disappointments and rejections that are part of an artist's life."
Speaking of her work, "While feeling grateful for a rewarding career, I am most proud of the artistic and personal growth of the many women to whom I have been an instructor and mentor the person who gave them permission to make a commitment to their special talents." Friend and colleague Evy K. Sussman says, "For many years, I have hosted a Leelanau Painting Day during her Campedee sessions and listened as she encouraged and critiqued, taught and nurtured painters at various levels of achievement seeming always to find the right words to acknowledge their efforts, to challenge their visions and to lead them on by her own examples of artistic exploration and competence."
Edee Joppich advises students to "pursue the work you are passionate about." That advice captures her life as an artist painter, instructor, mentor, juror and seller of art.
Joppich earned her bachelor of fine arts and a teaching certificate at Marygrove in l953 and taught grade school art while pursuing graduate studies in art at Wayne State University at night. She married architect Ed Joppich and began a family, which grew to five children and now includes 13 grandchildren. During her parenting years, she also taught drawing at the University of Detroit and evening classes in painting at Marygrove.
This talented and multi-faceted artist spends summers in Northern Michigan creating new works, operating her Northport gallery and conducting classes and the Campedee weeklong workshops. The balance of the year she paints in her suburban Detroit home studio, juries exhibitions, teaches, conducts workshops and lectures. Her travel programs for artists have taken her to the Dutch West Indies, Mexico, Italy, Belize, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Turkey for an infusion of exciting ideas and backgrounds for her work and that of her students.
In 2001, Joppich became a signature member in the International Society of Experimental Artists, having had paintings accepted with one award given in three International exhibitions.
Describing the artistic process, "I don't search for painting ideas. An idea finds me and I have no peace until I paint it. The flow of compelling ideas, the constant agitation to paint and the fullness of joy when I do is not unique to me. Artists, past and present, share this glorious affliction. This is why artists have always come together. Through us, the work of creativity is perpetuated. My contribution, whether important or insignificant, must be made, regardless of commercial success and recognition. This is my motivation and inspiration," says Joppich with animation and conviction. "Furthermore, I believe that God singles out certain people to continue His creative work here on earth and he implants a great need in each person chosen to do the work. This implies awesome responsibility. Making art makes you humble. I rely on the Holy Spirit for help."
Though steeped in art, Joppich enjoys books, theatre, museums and travel as well as "the joyful company of my husband, family and friends."