Mystery painting adds intrique

Published 12:47 pm Friday, January 14, 2005

By By Mikell Frey / Niles Daily Star
Do you recognize the painting above? Do you know the artist who painted it? If you do, the Niles Art Association wants to talk to you.
The mystery painting is located at the Fisher Innovative Technology building, located at 306 E. Main St. in the art gallery, for anyone who would like to come in and take a closer look. The NAA will give a one-year membership valued at $25 to anyone who has accurate information about the painting or artist.
Rose speculates that the painting can be traced back to the 30s and 40s, judging by the condition of the wooden frame.
A fragile, paper tag fastened to the back of the art, which appears to be some sort of copyright protection notice for the artist, sports the company name Sim &Sons of Niles. The artist's name, which was signed at the bottom of the tag, has been faded out by years of wear and tear.
The mystery painting has been hanging on an upstairs wall for the past two years in the home of Costek and Lorraine Dembinski, parents of Rose. Rose's mother, a lover of old things, received the painting at a garage sale a few years ago and brought the idea for a mystery painting event to her daughter and the other members of the NAA.
The NAA, a three-year-old non-profit organization, hope to bring more people into the Fisher building's art gallery with this event.
The building was bought in 2003 by Bryan and Kelly Fisher, and functions as a way of promotion for area artists in Niles, South Bend, Dowagiac and various other areas in the Michiana area. The NAA organization uses the gallery space for free, and hosts artists of all kinds. They include painters, singers, songwriters, jewelry makers and sculptors. Art appreciators are welcomed into the NAA too.
This weekend the gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with cookies, coffee and music for the crowds. A clapboard, with white ballons attached, will be placed outside the gallery door stating that it is open for visitors to the area venturing down Main Street.
Anyone who would like to share information about the mystery painting, or wish to browse the talent of area artists, should make a stop.