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creative:impact-Passion For Art Drives Ann Arbor Illustrator

Courtesy Photo
Myra Klarman

Ann Arbor resident Cathy Gendron describes herself as "someone with a serious need to draw," and that need has led to quite a career.  She talks about her artistic journey with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Deb Polich, President and CEO of The Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County. 

About Cathy Gendron

Credit Cathy Gendron /
Bayou Boogie

After completing a serious degree in fine arts, Cathy Gendron began making pictures as an illustrator and graphic designer for the Ann Arbor News somewhere late in the last century. 

Credit Cathy Gendron /
Elvis and Grateful Dead

Just a few years as Art Director of the Detroit Free Press convinced her that what she really wanted to do was paint, and since then she has pursued it with a passion.  Somewhere within that fuzzy time frame, she also began teaching and has proudly remained on the faculty of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit for over 30 years.

Credit Cathy Gendron /
Nutcracker Cover

As an illustrator, she has primarily worked for the editorial, book and corporate markets.  A confessed bookworm, she spent many hours reading aloud to her son, Ian, and developed a life-long love of children’s books, amassing a rather large and wonderful collection.  Her bright, color-intensive oil paintings have appeared in many publications throughout the country and have won her awards from, among others, Communication Arts, Print and the Society for Publication Design.  

Her publishing clients include: Great Source Education Group, Holiday House, Kensington Publishing, Llewellyn Worldwide, McGraw Hill, Peaceable Kingdom Press, Penguin, and Scholastic.  She works from her studio in the culturally rich and bookish college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Cathy Gendron Official Web Site

Illustrator Saturday-Cathy Gendron
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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.
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