6 Reasons to Attend Book + Art Event at the Scarab Club

6 Reasons to Attend Book + Art Event at the Scarab Club

scarabwindowDetroiter Sandra Novacek will present an illustrated talk on her late husband Charles Novacek’s life as told in Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at the Scarab Club, Detroit. Sandra will show vintage family photos and give details of the dangers her husband faced and how art played an important role in his life during World War II and the Cold War.


scarabclubsmallbeam  1. THE HISTORIC SCARAB CLUB. The event will be held in Detroit’s beautiful and historic Scarab Club lounge where famed artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo hung out while he worked on his Detroit industry murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rivera signed a beam in the lounge in 1932, an over 80 year tradition of famous artists, writers et al leaving their autographs for posterity. The first beam was signed in 1928 (the year Charles Novacek was born) by Vachel Lindsey, the father of modern singing poetry. Other signers include writers Elmore Leonard and John Dos Passos and artists Norman Rockwell and Charles Burchfield.

bcmidwestbaseal2  2. AN AWARD-WINNING BOOK. The memoir Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance has not only been endorsed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, but it has been a winner and finalist of 14 awards for independent publishing including a Midwest Book Awards Gold Medal for Autobiography/Memoir, and an Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award for World History.

bcwarrenplsandycrnewsletter  3. A GREAT STORY! Charles Novacek died in 2007 but his widow, Sandra Novacek promised his story would be told. A gifted storyteller in her own right, Sandra enchants as she recounts tales from her husband’s heroic life, adventure, escape and survival in Czechoslovakia from terrifying to heartwarming.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  4. BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSIVE ART WORK. The event will be enhanced by an exhibit of Charles Novacek’s drawings and paintings. His works range from portraiture in pastel and acrylic to deeply expressive acrylics and watercolors. Examples include “Samarkand Child”, a portrait of a beggar he found crying on a street curb in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The paintings were created at different points in Novacek’s life as well, ranging from one he painted at age 13 to one he did shortly before he died in 2007.

bckroj3  5. VINTAGE, EMBROIDERED FOLK COSTUMES. A selection of rare and colorful, vintage Czech and Slovak embroidered folk costumes (kroj) from the collection of Jan Letowski will be exhibited.  Jan is an independent researcher, consultant and curator of European ethnographic dress. He lectures on the history and function of clothing in traditional societies, namely of Eastern Europe, and collects ethnographic material related to his research. His emphasis is on preservation and on increasing the awareness of the value of folk dress to the study of history and art.

applestrudelczechbox  6. DELICIOUS APPLE STRUDEL. Enjoy one of the Czech Republic’s most popular desserts – apple strudel (Jablecny zavin), while viewing the art, socializing and networking with other visitors at the event. Apple strudel is a traditional pastry, a large rectangular pastry turnover, easily recognizable because of its nice high stacks of apple layers. It is DELICIOUS and lovingly baked by the Czechbox Bakery!

The Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit. Free. Information: (313) 831-1250 tericson@scarabclub.org, www.scarabclub.org.  Lot and metered street parking. Secure public parking is available in the Cultural Center surface lot, directly behind the Scarab Club. There are no elevators or other handicap access to the 2nd and 3rd floors. 

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