Mike Willihnganz


Mike Willihnganz


At seventy-two, Mike is the newest, if not the youngest artist on the board of the VFAA. Growing up in Westacres in Commerce Township, his parents instilled a strong sense of community involvement and an appreciation for the arts. He remembers the endless 78” records of the classics that his father played and afternoon practice sessions in which his father and sister would play chamber music with neighbors. Art memories began with potato stamps on scrapbook covers and linoleum print Christmas cards. His folks decorated an old toy box with German tole figures, hand-painted from a stencil kit. Mike's mother was a demonstrator for Singer Sewing Machines in Pontiac and taught Mike to use one at home to “build” a shirt from a pattern.

Mike's own art-ventures were limited to pencil sketches and mechanical drawings until he met and married Wendy. Since then, involvement with art is a daily occurrence. She made sure that Mike took a pencil portrait class, an acrylic landscape class, a three day class in oils with Heiner Herting and a writers group. The writing went on to a recently published book ‘The China Sand Wedge’ which is on sale at HVCA.  “I once mentioned that I had never done a live stage performance. Within three weeks she had me signed up as the Doctor in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ with the Hartland Players.”   Since then he has been working with the Huron Valley Council for the Arts and joined VFAA several years ago, Mike has entered a modified retirement from the electrical contracting business and has just this year submitted his first entry into PAN, titled ‘Keys’.  

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