Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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The Arts... A Gathering... The art is all homegrown at the Northern Michigan Artists Market

Kristi Kates - May 26th, 2005
Such a scenic place as Northern Michigan is bound to have plenty of galleries of artwork from those trying to capture the beauty of the area. And such is also true of Petoskey, Michigan. A quick browse of the telephone book boasts almost 20 fine art galleries in Petoskey alone, not even including such surrounding art-friendly areas as Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, and Charlevoix. But many of these are one-person galleries, great for showcasing a certain artist’s work, but not very conducive when it comes to showcasing the variety of artwork created about and available in this region. That’s where the Northern Michigan Artists Market comes in.

WHO’S WHO
Co-owned by four ambitious artists - Vivi Woodcock, who works in mixed water mediums and collage; Marty Scott, who designs and crafts mobiles; Susan Lange, who makes jewelry; and Susan Galbraith, who represents the photography of her talented late husband, Jim - the gallery, opened in October of 2003, is a place where a wide range of local artists are encouraged, catered to, and given space for their work.
For as little as $20 a month and a commission fee, artists of all levels, from well-known regional talents to those who may never have displayed their work before, can place their art on display in the Artists Market both for viewing and purchase.
“One of the first issues we had was how to set the gallery up,” Marty Scott explains. “We wanted it to be as artist-friendly as possible. The usual cooperative art gallery, while a good idea, would’ve also involved the artists having to come in here and work in the gallery itself. We didn’t want to do that - we wanted to give them time to work, we wanted to help the artists produce more art and get in touch with their audience. That’s what’s important.”
So, instead of the usual co-op format, the quartet decided to man the gallery themselves, inviting the artists instead to stop in whenever they liked, but not making it an obligation. It’s a plan that has worked out well if the gallery itself is any indication - with all that time to work, the place is chock-full of unique and expressive items by their roster of over 80 artists who work in a very wide range of mediums.

NORTHERN MICHIGAN ONLY
“Our only exclusivity detail is that all of the artists must be from Northern Michigan,” Scott emphasizes. “It is a Northern Michigan artists market, after all. Other than that our range is very broad. We thought it was important to establish a place like this.”
Scott and Vivi Woodcock explain that around a third of their exhibiting artists are people who have wandered in to the gallery and who wind up in conversations with the friendly owners, often explaining that they do art as well. The Northern Michigan Artists Market enjoys looking at and evaluating all kinds of artwork, much of which does end up in the gallery itself. And a lot of it is affordable, even for the art collector who is just beginning, or who is on a limited budget.
“We have everything from $2 watercolor cards to paintings that cost upwards of several thousand dollars,” Woodcock enthuses. “We also have ceramics, fiber art, mobiles, hand-crafted boxes and baskets, lots of gift cards, photography -- there’s so much here. When we get a new artist in, we try to get them to bring in as much of a variety as they can of the things they create.”
Scott continues, “That’s why it’s an artists market as opposed to a typical gallery -- clearly, it is a gallery, but we wanted it to sound friendlier, and we wanted to convey that it’s even more than a gallery. It’s also less formal. It’s really all about the art.”

THE GOODS
And there’s plenty of art to be had at the Artists Market. Bright acrylic paintings by Nicki Griffith share space with photography by B. Hull, watercolors by Jan Glass, colorful fish platters by Shapero, jewelry by D.H. Designs and Morning Star Jewelry, and fabric tapestries by Joanne Cromley, who also volunteers in the gallery.
“Our website is another great opportunity for our artists,” Vivi Woodcock offers. “Each artist has a chance to have a page of their own on our site, and it’s all integrated in with our in-house system as part of their fee. That way customers can browse all of the art online, too.”
“And we’re not just a tourist destination,” Scott points out. “Of course, one part of the visitor’s experience is seeing Northern Michigan art, and maybe taking it home with them. But just as many of our customers live here and visit here in the wintertime, too.”
Woodcock agrees, “W
e do participate in gallery walks, and we encourage our artists to come in when there are a lot of people here. But it’s also important to have something going on artistically year-round.”

The Northern Michigan Artists Market is located at
445 East Mitchell in downtown Petoskey, telephone
231-487-0000. They can also be visited online at
www.nmam.us.

 
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