About Canvas Pontiac

About the Canvas Pontiac Program

Artwork By: Michelle Sider

Our Mission

Celebrate creativity and excellence in artworks to promote creative and artistic undertakings in the City of Pontiac.

Our new programs will demonstrate that the arts are alive and will thrive in Pontiac for decades. Programs include youth art, scholarship awards, outdoor strolling exhibits, and galleries. 

World Artists | Large Prizes | Outdoor Exhibits

Years Running
Individual arts exhibited
$ 0 k+
Funds raised for art in our community

Our History

The program was created in 2014 by Robert Karazim, Karen Jorgensen, and Christian Marcello in collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the DIA Inside|Out Program. 

The arts are alive in downtown Pontiac.  For our contributing artists it has always been a sense of pride to have their art enlarged to large 8’x10′ canvases, but this year, thanks to the partnership with the DIA, the artists were validated even further by having the DIA logo placed on their canvassed art.  

Through a partnership program, the Main Street Pontiac “Canvas Pontiac” program has fostered the arts throughout Downtown.  For two years running Pontiac welcomed the DIA Inside|Out program showing the masters of the DIA to Pontiac thanks to funding from the Kauffman Foundation.  With incredible passion, the program continues to grow, and for the 9th year, the DIA has outreached through Canvas Pontiac to demonstrate how tax funding can bring arts to a community like Pontiac.

With over 200 individual pieces of art exhibited, $50,000 in prize money, and more than 1800 submissions Canvas Pontiac has grown from a local program to now encompass the nation and has reached international recognition. 

Program Staff

Steven Childs, Director

Daniela Walters, Treasurer

Sean Kammer, Strategist

In Memoriam

Robert G. Karazim

1954 - 2022

Robert was a co-founder and an original organizer of Canvas Pontiac. He along with the other founders fostered a long-lasting relationship with the Detroit Institute of Arts. It’s with his vision that this program exists. We’re honored that he was a part of it. 

Robert was an extraordinary creator and architectural designer. Being both technical and creative he built unique art and restored architectural pieces to their former glory in his professional life. His vision for architectural restoration brought a clear and distinct historic restoration to Pontiac at Pontiac’s Little Art Theatre with his partner Karen Jorgensen. 

He was a member of the Pontiac Arts Commission, Pontiac Historic Commission, a former board member for the Pontiac Downtown Business Association, and owned multiple businesses in Downtown Pontiac. 

We are also proud to name one of our artistic scholarship prizes in his name. The Robert Karazim Scholarship for Art. 

Celebrating creativity and excellence in artworks.

Made In Pontiac.

© 2013-2022 Canvas Pontiac. All Rights Reserved. Canvas Pontiac is a Main Street Pontiac Initiative. In collaboration with The Detroit Institute of Arts.





Celebrating creativity and excellence in artworks