Score!! Detroit Red Wings Visit Dresner Foundation Soul Studio

Soul Studio artist Adam Egrin arrived early.

The 23-year-old hockey fan from Southfield could hardly wait for three Detroit Red Wings to arrive Wednesday for a whirlwind tour of the Dresner Foundation Soul Studio, that included breakfast with artists, a hands-on art project and the presentation of a $3,500 donation to the Friendship Circle.

The visit started off in the center’s Soul Café, where Adam and two other artists – Jordan Hartz, 26, of Grand Rapids and Nick Gammisshia, 26, of Shelby Township – dined with Wings defensemen Ryan Sproul and Nick Jensen and forward Anthony Mantha. As the group savored Soul Café fare, the artists showed off their work — and, of course, talked hockey.

“My favorite thing to do is scream at the goalie,” Adam told the Wings, before showing off his latest piece of artwork – Rock-Tart, a fully functional guitar bedecked with tons of tiny beads.

Friendship Circle director Bassie Shemtov held up Jordan’s India ink portrait of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, for the table to see.

“Rebbe is the one who taught us about a soul,” she explained.

Before heading to the studio, the Wings players hopped behind the café counter for an up-close view of the baristas hard at work. David Kole, 23, a barista-in-training from West Bloomfield, whipped up come coffee for the players. To show their appreciation for his superb service, the Wings gave David an autographed flag, which he held up proudly for all to see.

The highlight of the tour came when Sproul, Mantha and Jensen entered the studio.

There, they were greeted by artist Mackenzie (Macko) Matlen, who handed the men a Red Wings pillow she made by hand.

“I made it for them yesterday,” Macko said, adding that while she likes all the Wings players, defenseman Danny DeKeyser is her favorite.

“I’m a big fan,” she said with a grin that lit up the room.

The players went from station to station, talking with the studio volunteers and the artists who were busy crafting their latest projects, before stopping at a table where artist Jordan was waiting to put these players to work. After demonstrating his ink artwork, each player was given a piece of paper, a sponge and some ink. They put ink to paper and signed each piece, to which Jordan will add his illustrative vision.

Once the tour ended, the group gathered in the gallery where the players presented Shemtov with a Red Wings jersey, emblazoned with the words Friendship Circle. The Red Wings organization and ITC presented Shemtov with a ceremonial check for $3,500, which Friendship Circle says will be used to buy new hockey equipment and other gear for the Meer Center activity wing.

Surrounded by an array of awe-inspiring art, the Wings were visibly moved.

“It’s eye-opening,” Mantha said of the artists’ amazing work. “They do a great job. I could never do any of these things on the wall.”

JOIN US this Thurs., September 14 from 6-8pm for our newest exhibition, In a Groove. Our address is: 5586 Drake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322

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