Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Art · InsideOut Gallery Digs Into...
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InsideOut Gallery Digs Into Art‘s Underground

Rick Coates - October 27th, 2005
It’s called “Pop Surrealism,” or “Underground Art,” and sometimes “Lowbrow or Outsider Art.” Call it what you like but InsideOut Gallery owner Mike Curths likes to simply call it art.
“I don’t claim to be an expert on art,” said Curths, “But I do know what I like and this art that is known as ‘underground’ speaks to me.”
Curths and his wife Kim opened InsideOut seven months ago. Located in downtown Traverse City on Garland (near the fish weir and the Visitors Center) the gallery will host an artist reception and masquerade/costume gathering Saturday October 29 from 7 pm to 11 pm. Since opening, InsideOut has hosted a series of artist receptions on the last Saturday of each month.
“I have expanded the theme for this reception in keeping with the Halloween weekend spirit,” said Curths. “We are encouraging people to come in costume and to be creative. We will serve refreshments and there will be live music.”
Voluntary contributions will be accepted for a scholarship fund that Curths and others are creating to help students interested in pursuing non-traditional art forms.

D.R. FOSTER
The featured artist will be D.R. Foster, an underground artist who lives in Traverse City. Curths has been exhibiting a few of Foster’s pieces since the gallery opened and is excited about having an expanded offering for the next month.
“D.R. is phenomenal; his home is literally a museum of his works. He is very private and doesn’t have his work in galleries so this is a real bonus for the gallery,” said Curths. “His work is really beyond description. I get so many comments on ‘The Welder.’ He spent six years creating this piece out of scraps he found.”
Curths spells out his philosophy on art right on his business card: “Art shouldn’t match
your sofa.”
“I really believe that. So much of what is being sold is ‘cookie-cutter,’ essentially mass-produced stuff,” said Curths. “When I buy a sofa I want something that is comfortable and looks good in my home. When I buy art I want something that inspires me, makes me think, makes me ask questions and not the question will it match my sofa.”
Word of Curths’ gallery has spread around the Midwest and it actually has become a
tourist draw.
“We are constantly hearing from people from places like Chicago that ‘this is really cool and we don’t have anything like this even in Chicago.’ It really blows me away when people come in from big cities and tell us our gallery is better than anything they have,” said Curths.

ARE WE READY?
Curths had been considering an underground art themed gallery for a while, but was hesitant because he didn’t think Traverse City was ready for it. He isn’t sure if the town is ready yet, but he has a vision for his little section of downtown, but first he has to get people familiar with his location.
“I am a member of the Downtown Traverse City Association and we have participated in the gallery walks and we have people coming to us and saying you are so far away from everything. I have to chuckle as I came from New York City and we would walk 50 blocks to get someplace,” said Curths. “I am a stone’s throw from Union Street, Front Street and West Bay. I see us as being the catalyst for what will be known as Traverse City’s funky little neighborhood.”
He also thinks that there are a lot of undiscovered jewels in town if people just get off the main roads and look around.
“I think we have it pretty good up here. There are all these great shops, artists and cool parks that often go undiscovered because people don’t walk down an alley or a path,” said Curths. “I am right next to the Boardman River and there is this great path with benches and seldom do I see people on it. I don’t think most people who live here know it even exists.”
He is currently expanding the size of his gallery as he says “one tip at a time,” to include more exhibition space and to host concerts and films.
“I work days at Trattoria Stella bartending and if the tips are good then I head to Lowe’s and buy another track light,” laughs Curths.

FILMS & MUSIC
As for a concert and film series Curths sees endless potential and points to the recent success of the Traverse City Film Festival as an indicator of the community’s interest in films.
“I am looking to develop an independent film series here,” said Curths. “I certainly am also planning to bring alternative type bands here as well. This will be a smoke-free environment and a great place for a concert, film and even a wedding reception.”
He is renting out his space for parties and banquets and recently hosted a wedding reception.
“If someone is looking for something different and creative for a reception and party this is definitely it,” said Curths. “We even have plenty of parking.”
Curths arrived in Northern Michigan eight years ago after living life in large metro communities working in the music industry. He started out as a performing musician and was even Chuck Berry’s drummer for a while in the early 1970s. In the mid-’70s his band Gaberial Star scratched the scene and led to national tours with Firefall and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. By the end of the decade he tired of the road.
“I decided I wanted to settle down so I went to recording engineer school and after graduating made my way to California to work as an engineer,” said Curths. “Eventually I tired of the big city and decided I want to find my version of ‘Mayberry’ and so that is how I ended up here in Traverse City.”

FULL CIRCLE
For six years he ran Full Circle Studios with Jon Knight. When Knight moved south the two decided to close the studio. Curths decided it was time to pursue his dream of opening a gallery.
“The support has been great. I guess I have been most shocked by people who I thought wouldn’t be interested are actually interested,” said Curths. “We have people in their 60s and 70s coming in and buying pieces. We just came off of a very successful exhibition of Tara Hackett’s work. She has an international following.”
The gallery has a mix of works from local (about 30%) and nationally renowned artists. Outsider (Underground) Art is gaining in popularity in the art world. Born out of the 1960s rock posters, hot rod and underground comic culture, underground art is being recognized by art scholars and investors alike.

InsideOut Gallery is located on Garland (off of Hall Street near West Bay) and is currently open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, closed on Thursday’s, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. The Halloween Ball and D.R. Foster artist reception will take place Saturday October 29 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For additional information call the gallery at (231) 929-3254.
 
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