Letters

Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS 

A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Home · Articles · News · Art · Happy Art
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Happy Art

Kristi Kates - May 25th, 2006
When Mary Hramiec was in high school, she was locker neighbors - alphabetical, mind you - with a boy named Mark Hoffman.  Math aficionado Mark and artistic Mary, who met at Petoskey High, became good friends, and, much like the Family Channel TV movies would have you believe happens to everyone, they grew up and got married after college.  Partners both in marraige and in business, they‘ve slowly built their Hramiec Hoffman Studio and Gallery from the ground up, and now, it‘s one of the very first (and most noticeable) businesses to greet you on your drive into Harbor Springs.
The bright spring green building on M-119 that houses Hramiec Hoffman was formerly an upholstery shop back in the 1960s - a closer look inside showcases the original red paint and the drain on the concrete floor that the duo exposed on purpose for their historical and visual interest. 
After its stint working with sofas and chairs, the shop began its second life as a hair salon, “coiffing the heads of many a local and resorter,“ as Mary Hramiec Hoffman puts it laughingly - and now, the cheerful shop welcomes visitors in to see Hramiec Hoffman‘s work, which she became interested in even before high school.
“I was always drawing and painting as a child,“ Hramiec Hoffman explains. “My mom was an art teacher, and my dad was a college professor who taught architectural engineering.  I was lucky to have both of them realize my interest in art and find resources to cultivate it at an early age.“ 

ON THE ROAD
Hramiec Hoffman would express her young artistic sensibilities in a variety of ways, whether she was simply at home or traveling the United States with her family in her father‘s homemade motorhome, which was constructed out of an old GM delivery truck. During the warmer months, she‘d dig clay up from her yard to create little clay figurines, drying them in the sun; she also made tiny wooden figures and decorated them with miniature clothes, as well as with hair clipped from the family dog. 
“The dog didn‘t mind,“ she laughs, “and I was pleased with my sales; but my mother was aghast!“  She also routinely dressed the family pets - a flock of chickens and 16 rabbits - in handmade velour shirts.  By the time she was nine years old, she was enrolled in children‘s art classes at North Central Michigan College and at the Crooked Tree Arts Center.
Once she got to college as a college aged student - where, she says she had “some of the best art professors in the country“ - she found her eyes soon becoming, as she explains it, “accustomed to seeing colors where the average person can‘t.“ 
Obtaining her degrees in fine art from St. Thomas Aquinas College and Kendall College of Art and Design, she followed up her college career by holding the position of creative director at an advertising agency, and continued to work in oils to realize her own works of art. 
Not one to be intimidated by a blank canvas, she finds everything inspiring, and believes that color is a key element to this philosophy.  “Creating art encourages people to reflect and express themselves,“ she emphasizes, “it is a vehicle not only for expression but also for the preservation of ideas.“

FAUVE MOVEMENT
So how does Hramiec Hoffman interpret her own ideas?  Well, she works in a more traditional, impressionistic style much of the time, but she also has a particular interest in the Fauve movement. Les Fauves - French for “wild beasts“ - were a late 1800s to early 1900s short-lived grouping of early Modern artists whose works favored bright, deep colors, simplified lines, and exaggerated perspectives, and preferred spontaneity over finish. 
 A few recognizable Fauve-influenced artists include Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, and Kees van Dongen. 
“I have always been fond of the Fauve movement because of their departure from convention.  I like playful, colorful imagery, and their artwork that comes from within.  I admire their interpretations of what they see.  My true passion is my whimsical ‘Happy Series‘ of oil paintings with polka dot skies, inspired by the work of the Fauves.“  
Her “Happy Series“ are already some of the most popular artworks at Hramiec Hoffman, and are only exhibited in Northern Michigan.  

MARK‘S ROLE
And what of Mark Hoffman?  Well, Mary may not have as much freedom to work so hard on her art if it weren‘t for her devoted and talented husband.  A self-styled “numbers hooligan,“ who majored in finance and received his degree from Michigan State University, the male half of this partnership is reportedly “a very savvy businessman,“ and takes on all of the public relations and marketing responsibilities for the gallery and studio full time, year ‘round.  He‘s the one you‘ll communicate with if you‘re interested in one of Mary‘s paintings.  Not to mention he also takes on half of the load of raising the couple‘s four young children.  He might be behind the scenes, but he‘s just as important a part of the Hramiec Hoffman equation. 
Both Mary and Mark also utilize their art sales to assist charity programs. The motto of their Hramiec Hoffman Studio and Gallery is “every purchase is a gift,“ because a portion of all proceeds is donated to charity.  
They are going to be hosting a major benefit for the Harbor Springs Historical Society in June, to assist with the refurbishment of the old City Hall building in Harbor Springs, which is going to be turned into a museum.  “Because of who we are and the way that we were both raised, charity was never an issue for us,“ Mary Hramiec Hoffman says, “it is inherent, to care for others and give.  I am lucky to have been given a talent, and it is very gratifying to be able to give back and help others.“ 

*Hramiec Hoffman Studio and Gallery is open only by appointment in the winter/spring.  Summer hours run 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday - in July and August, they are also open on Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.  Check them out online at www.hramiechoffman.com - and visit their exhibition at the annual 4th of July Art Show in downtown Harbor Springs‘ Zorn Park.*






 
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