About the artist:
Ann Mikolowski was born in Detroit, Michigan. The child of Addison and Frances Stroman, Ann lived on Detroit's East Side, near Gratiot Avenue, with brother Mark. Ann's father was a draftsman who became the head of Chrysler Missile's drafting department. After high school (Cass Technical High School, Marine City High School), Ann worked for a short time at Chrysler as a layout artist, taking night classes in art at Wayne State University and the College of Creative Studies. Her teachers included painter Robert Wilbert as well as Detroit Lithography Workshop printmakers Theo Wujick and Aris Koutroulis.
Ann and Ken Mikolowski had met as high-school students in Marine City (class of 1958); they married in 1961. The couple became residents of the Jeffries Housing Projects while both attended Wayne State, Ann studying art and Ken literature. In 1966, the Mikolowskis relocated to the Woodbridge neighborhood, renting on Commonwealth St. before purchasing a home in 1967, just after the 1967 Detroit Uprising.
"I didn't have a big background in art history," Ann Mikolowski said in 1998, "in fact, a great deal of my inspiration came from poets." Formative influences include Georgia O'Keeffe and Jan van Eyck's St. Jerome in his Study (Mikolowski's favorite painting at the Detroit Institute of Arts). In a diary, Mikolowski wrote: “Everything I feel about Detroit goes into my big water paintings.”
Detroit’s Cass Corridor artists found a first, informal salon around Ken and Ann's kitchen table in their Avery St. home. In 1969, the Mikolowski basement became a pressroom, which afterwards moved with the family (children Michael and Molly, dog Inky) from Detroit to Grindstone City in 1974, then from Grindstone City to Ann Arbor in 1993–94.
Ann Mikolowski was born in Detroit, Michigan. The child of Addison and Frances Stroman, Ann lived on Detroit's East Side, near Gratiot Avenue, with brother Mark. Ann's father was a draftsman who became the head of Chrysler Missile's drafting