After enjoying each presentation, patrons will receive a stamp and an opportunity to win a $500 Downtown Shopping Spree. Walking maps will be available at each participating gallery and the Downtown Traverse City Association (DTCA) office.
Colleen Paveglio, marketing director for the DTCA and a committee of members of several downtown galleries, initiated the idea for an art walk based on the number of galleries moving downtown and the number of people passionate about local art.
A standout for her presentation this first year is Marcia Bellinger, owner of the riverside Belstone Gallery. A popular mainstay on Front Street, carrying both local and national artists, Marcia has cleared her gallery and is hosting a special reception timed to correlate with the opening of the Art Walk.
The Belstone will highlight the work of local artists Nancy Crisp, Tim Lewis, Bob Purvis and Al Vigland. The exhibition will continue through May 15, representing acrylics, watercolor, sculpture and pottery.
Suttons Bays Bob Purvis is widely acknowledged as a minimalist sculptor and furniture maker. The anti-illusionist projects a sheer focus of vision, demonstrating a Modernist agenda with the durability of steel. At his very best, Purvis fools the eye by formulating work that precariously overcomes gravity and yet dominates in design. He enjoys creating a spark of surprise in the audience by making steel appear weightless. With his humble beginnings as a steel worker in his fathers construction business, Purvis now enjoys serious play with his art.
Empires Tim Lewis creates intricate watercolors with layers of pictorials and frequently, adds the subtleties of a visual pun! Prolific and idiosyncratic, Lewis novel observations appear as sardonic, but respectful swipes at our sense of social order. His idealized Western culture cartoon-like men and women interact in symbolic landscapes and with prop-like artifacts. With a background of innovative illustration with Push Pin Studios, Lewis images continue to frolic in quirky environments. Each work incorporates strong design elements, balanced patterns and metaphorical implications while delighting viewers.
Traverse Citys Nancy Crisp, utilizes an abstract landscape format as her vehicle of expression. Her acrylic paintings have a wonderful interplay of color and expression. Large fields of color give context to the composition and are balanced by more intricate environments. Autobiographical experiences and even trips to the islands merge in natural collages of color with random hatching. For painters and their collectors, abstracts become stories communications through visual perception, highlighting study and structure. Crisps accessible and vibrant works have a fascinating tension, which successfully tightropes between experiencing the real and the imagined at the same time.
Benzonias Al Vigland is a legend for his poetry of form. A contemporary master, his current work is primarily globular and ethereal, elevating pottery beyond decor and function - into art. His contribution to this special exhibit consists of a collection of wheel thrown high-fired ceramic vessels. His refined glazes, both matte and glossy, with tinges of breathtaking color have no specific motif, but convey a rich mottled translucency in tone. Viglands elegant round forms vary in size and containment, but are also beautifully consistent - famous for faint yellows, bold magentas and depths of cloudy blue-greens. Each featured Belstone artist expresses certain color combinations, shapes and patterns to capture feelings in their selected mediums. But also, for each, a gallery opening is momentous occasion.
Art walks, crawls or strolls occur in many cities across the United States and have a ripple effect of adding cultural ambiance to an area, but having a focus on just four local artists is reminiscent of a big city gallery functioning in a large metropolitan area. Traverse City has long been known for being a mecca for artists studios, but it is a treat to see this community so centered on the visual arts and taking some progressive strides for the upcoming season. Experience an evening of culture on the 29th!