Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Art · New Location for Art & Soul Gallery
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New Location for Art & Soul Gallery

Susan Spear - January 27th, 2005
In an adventurous step forward, Art & Soul Gallery has reinvented itself in the Front Street Commons, among nearby bustling businesses, an array of restaurants and popular gift shops.
Owners Amy and Steve Stinson have purposely taken on the “A” location in Traverse City’s shopping corridor (also known as the Arcade) to become a “destination” on downtown Front Street.
“We offer one-of-a-kind art and handmade objects for office, home and body,” Amy says. “It’s no secret that I love jewelry and baubles, but our overall art collection lets you experience the sensibility of this area and beyond. We are very excited about being a part of downtown.”
Honoring the lofting gallery movement of the 1970s, the Stinsons have created an urban atmosphere where paintings, pastels, illustrations, sculpture, glass, fiber and pottery are the center of attention. With a great deal of old fashion hard work, friends and family uncovered the ceiling ductwork and the post-and-beam structure.
The Stinsons brightened the brick interior with fresh paint, carpet and new lighting - reflecting their upbeat personalities. Amy frowns facetiously at gallery manager Pam Dow and states, “Pickaxes aside, our mission now is to put art into everyday life, because art feeds the spirit.”
Tantalizing their patrons with metaphors of fantasy and pastel-hued landscapes, the collaborative management duo has chosen artists by mingling local “high art” with shimmering highfalutin’ glitter.
Undaunted by convention, Stinson and Dow, in an added breach of decorum, have also included more naïve art. Naive, self-taught artists and their playful works tend to challenge the more accepted “academicisms” with their simplistic approach.
On a dedicated wall, Jil Johnson’s naive structures are composed of a variety of materials; combinations of humble wood and found materials - like scraps of fabric and metal. With both invention and expression, her creations simultaneously embody an endearing sense of humor, absurdity and warmth.
Usually more visceral than intellectual, Johnson begins with a preconceived plan, but ultimately works intuitively, allowing the figures to reveal themselves. The busy new mother’s forms have a delightful range of homespun allegories and traps. Her large horse profile is ecstatically relevant - attuning the viewer to Johnson’s subtle wit.
Moving through the gallery, conversations naturally focus on another standout genre. Local NMC instructor Jerry Gates, known for his vital continuity of work, is securely enthroned with his unequivocal nod to Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, elegant stylized abstraction and controlled intellectualism. Each oil pastel over acrylic is an effective study of the issues of form, line and color, but this modern iconoclast (or sometimes outlaw Surrealist) could step beyond his nature to glimpse the audacious ideas that challenged institutions of the past to bring his paintings over-the-top. Meantime, regulars can continue to take pleasure in his pure abstractions, sublime landscapes and visionary textural still lifes, but of course - always reflecting a strong measure of control.
Gargantuan horses seem to prevail at the new Art and Soul Gallery. Dan Heron’s horse study is centerstage without any flourishing illusions. Since the Renaissance, artists have been preoccupied with various ideas about how to represent three-dimensional forms on a two-dimensional plane. One after another pictorial mode has been explored and challenged. The recent Minimalist Movement reduces canvases to one plane only.
Heron’s work explores and redefines this recent representation of dimensionality. His horse becomes an intentional fragmentation in a uniformity of color and tonality, where forms seem to float rather than recede into the delicate gray plane. Heron’s quiet aesthetic is deliberately spatial using surface relationships to create a space within a space.
On another wall, it is nature’s lore that draws customers to Chuck Forman’s sporting watercolors. The consummate outdoorsman translates his aesthetic in an array of colors highlighting shimmering water, the scenic character and activities of Michigan coastal living. Accustomed to the proximity of lakes, woods and wildlife, Forman has developed a deep reverence for animals and their natural habitats. His watercolors are bright essences of local scenes and wild places.
Art & Soul Gallery is an ideal playground for shedding stresses and enjoying a feast of cultivated novelty. Without pristine walls or an overblown cerebral context, there is a special efflorescence to this relocated gallery. The extensive collection is a celebration of diversity, color and craftsmanship.
 
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