Member Profiles

See below for individuals promoting their respective art:

Katherine Bell, Bonnie Haines, Lee McKay,  Mike Byrne, Kathy Pare, Bev Steif and John Shen.

Katherine Bell

Katherine Rae Bell is an award-winning acrylic painter of pets, wildlife and landscapes.  Her love of painting the natural world began while spending her childhood playing outdoors, riding horses, caring for her many pets, gardening, hiking, fishing, and the like.  She began drawing at a young age, and quickly progressed to painting and other artistic media in high school.  As a senior at Cranbrook Schools, she was awarded the prestigious “Excellence in Art” award for her work in advanced sculpture.  

After earning a BA from the University of Michigan and pursuing a corporate career for 18 years, she returned to her artistic roots to celebrate the beauty and Divine spark in all living things.  In a short time she was being commissioned by friends and clients, and found her passion in rendering their memories as fine art.  Her finely-detailed, realistic portraits have often been praised for capturing the personality of her subjects. She also paints more whimsical subjects as well.

Her works hang in private residences and businesses throughout the U.S.  She has exhibited in group and solo exhibits, including 822 Gallery in Royal Oak, MI, ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI, and Winterset Galleries in Keego Harbor, MI.  

Katherine is a four-time recipient of the “Artist of the Year” award from Michigan’s South Oakland Art Association (twice “Overall” and twice in “Portraits Category”).   She has also participated as a local judge for the National Reflections Art Competition: Visual Arts, in Birmingham, MI for several years.

She is a member of the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association, and past officer and current member of the South Oakland Art 

Bonnie Haines

Monkey - acrylic painting on canvas

Bonnie likes to travel and take photos throughout her journeys.  Bonnie's art medium is acrylic on canvas translating her photo images to an artistic rendition.

Lee McKay

Lee MacKay is a longtime resident of Royal Oak, Michigan but has also lived in California and New Zealand. Since retiring from the Royal Oak School District, she has devoted more time to painting landscapes, seascapes and animal/pets along with personal residents upon requests.Originally a self-taught artist, she was painting with oils, but switched to acrylics. Studying under well-known artists Mike Byrne, Carl Angevine, and Karen Halpern.  A member of South Oakland Art Association since 2010,  Lee was published in the SOAA 2012 Image Book.  She has been awarded First Place, Second Place and Honorable Mentions at the SOAA Artist of the Month competitions, and Artist of the Year (Representational) for 2013-14 and again for 2014/2015.  Her work has been displayed at the Royal Oak Historical Museum/Art at the Museum Shows and in 2016 was awarded Honorable Mention Achievement Award.  At the Royal Oak Celebration of Arts (Royal Oak Middle School) Shows 2015 and 2016, and at the American Center Art Show in Southfield in April 2011.

Mike Byrne

Mike Byrne considers himself primarily a marine artist, painting mainly in Acrylic. However, he is versatile and has explored other subjects and other medium such as watercolor, pastel and pen & ink stipple. Over the years photography has become another strong interest. He continues to try new things has recently began creating abstract works on both canvas and tile.In 2009, Mike was commissioned by the Royal Oak Historical Society to illustrate the organization’s calendar with stipple art drawings of Royal Oak historic treasures. Also in 2009, he was awarded South Oakland Artist Association’s “Artist of the Year” award.Born September 29, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan, Mike Byrne has lived in Royal Oak most of his life. His first real introduction to art was at Shrine High School, where he won awards in woodcarving.In 1959, he attended Meinzinger Art School, then went to Society of Arts and Crafts (which is now The College of Creative Studies), and finished at James Cotton Commercial Art School.While in the U.S. Navy, he met and married his wife, Michele, in 1964. In 1966, Mike started a 40-plus year career in the advertising field with companies such as Burroughs Corporation, Rose Jewelers, and Highland Superstores, before opening his own advertising agency.In 1990, Mike found renewed interest in the fine arts with marine watercolor paintings, which he has exhibited throughout Michigan.Soon he developed a desire to apply his graphics knowledge of printing, and ventured into stipple art, using a very fine Rapidiograph to produce pen and ink drawings, primarily in marine art.Mike is a member of the Royal Oak Arts Council, the South Oakland Art Association, the Detroit Marine Historic Society, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, the National Maritime Historic Society, and the American Society of Marine Artists.

Kathy Pare

Kathy Pare  For 5 years, I found great joy teaching social art at Paint Party Royal Oak. As owner/artist of this independent small business, I created hundreds of original pieces that were used in our group painting classes. I feel honored that our customers have theirs hanging in their homes today. Among my favorite childhood memories were drawing and painting with my Grandmother. In 1976, I received an Associates Degree in Advertising Design and had a long career in Graphic Arts. Now, I enjoy making personal artwork in watercolor and acrylics inspired by flowers, nature and bright colors.

Bev Stief

Beverly Stief has been a resident of Royal Oak for 50 years. She has two daughters, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Beverly has been painting since 1984.Teachers: Delores Demers Kurily, Jo Chiapelli, Karen Halpern, Kathy Boltz Phillips and Edy Joppich.Workshops: Roland Roycraft, Sharon Tarr, Bob Fagen and Terry Madden.Shows: American Center, Southfield, MI, annually, Michigan State Fair, Royal Oak Library, Royal Oak Outdoor Art Fair annually, Royal Oak Artists MarketAwards: Michigan State Fair, 2001, American Center, Southfield, MIMember of SOAA and the Royal Oak Arts Council

John Shen

John Shen and his wife joined the SOAA since 2013. He participated in ArtPrize 2013 in Grand Rapids, MI.