Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Art · Art on the west wind
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Art on the west wind

Kristi Kates - September 28th, 2006
The afternoon light in West Wind Atelier is a perfect complement to Elizabeth Pollie’s work.  Her paintings - which range in subject matter from horses to evocative scenery to detailed renditions of foreign shop windows - are hung at comfortable spacings on the pale gray walls, with white molding offsetting the artwork and objets d’art from Pollie’s travels adding interest to the room. 
It’s an environment that is as elegant and interesting as Pollie herself.  But that’s not to say the artist doesn’t have a sense of fun: friends, several of whom have been her painting subjects, pop in and out to say hello and laugh over shared stories and planned get-togethers almost as often as the never-ending stream of tourists who stop by to admire Pollie’s work.  And this entire Harbor Springs tableau may not have happened had Pollie not, as she puts it, “fallen in love with a great local guy.”
Elizabeth Pollie grew up near Detroit, and spend nearly 35 years summering in Harbor Springs.  She moved up to the area about five years ago after meeting local real estate executive Bernie Schaffer, and first settled in Harbor Springs proper, later moving out to Cross Village. 
“Bernie and I also have a little house in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we spend part of our time,” Pollie explains, “but it’s Harbor Springs that we come back to.” 
Pollie has been involved in the arts since she was a child, working with many different mediums, but it was her work as a freelance editorial illustrator that was the real beginnings of her path to becoming a painter. 
“I was an illustrator for quite a while,” she says, “but when I moved Up North, I was painting in oils part time, and that was when I decided to commit to my own artwork entirely.”
Pollie has had a working studio in Harbor Springs since around 2002, and would have about one opening per year to showcase her artwork.  “Those openings were very well received,” Pollie remembers, “and that is a big part of what helped me make the decision to open up my own gallery downtown.” 
Opened at the end of June of this year, the gallery opening, combined with the installation of Pollie’s current exhibition on Mackinac Island, has been keeping the artist very busy.  Her “Horsepower: The Horses of Mackinac” collection (on display at the Mackinac Island library), in which Pollie rediscovered the island’s signature working animal as a central part of island life instead of just as a tourist attraction, features almost two dozen pieces. And 19 of those paintings have already sold, a testament to Pollie’s artistic ability to translate the many moods of the gentle equine giants into compelling art.

The rest of Pollie’s work, however, tells a different story - many, actually.  The pieces in her downtown Harbor Springs gallery reflect the artist’s travels, while other paintings are still lifes and still others are figurative studies. 
“I try to take at least one interesting trip per year,” Pollie points out. “The last few have been to Spain, Morocco, and San Francisco.  It’s great for inspiration.” 
And, while Pollie is also influenced by the beauty of her Harbor Springs surroundings, she’s definitely not limiting herself to that range of scenery, as she feels that those interpretations are already being done by so many others. 
“I was a little nervous, at first, to make that statement,” she explains, “of doing a wider range of artwork than what might normally be seen in this area.  But people seem to be glad to see different subject matter, they seem happy to see works that diverge from the regional art, which is, of course, nice in its own way - but it’s a huge world, and there are so many other amazing things to see and paint too.”
Pollie also enjoys doing series work, in which she picks a painting topics and focuses on that topic for anywhere from six months to a year, exploring the different nuances and ranges within that self-imposed limit.  Her most recent series, of course, is the aforementioned “...Horses of Mackinac,” and before that, Pollie reports, she did a set of paintings that solely focused on the sky. 
“It really teaches one to become very intimate with your subject matter,” she enthuses, “and it’s good for people to see how, much like Monet and his waterlilies paintings, an artist can handle the same subject over a series of paintings and make those paintings different yet cohesive.”
Visitors to West Wind Atelier will likely enjoy chatting with Pollie as much as they will enjoy viewing her works.  A gregarious hostess, she’s grateful for the opportunity to do what she does, and she also tries to share what she’s learned by teaching her techniques to others. 
“Another of the reasons I wanted to open my own gallery was that I had done some teaching at the Center For Creative Studies in Detroit,” she explains, “and I thought the gallery would help give me a chance to teach my own classes up here.” 
Although it’s best to telephone Pollie’s gallery for more information, the general idea is that she will be offering six-week sessions plus separate workshops both in the studio and out in the field, a chance for fellow artists of all levels to both learn and share painting ideas and methods.  It’s Pollie’s way to share her good fortune.
“As an artist, what I get to do with my life and time is such a thrill,” she smiles, “to some extent, I guess I’m selfish about it - but I think that to paint what you love is the key to your growth as an artist.  And I’m lucky to be able to do just that.”
West Wind Atelier’s hours are generally from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the gallery is located in downtown Harbor Springs at 231 E. Main Street, telephone 231-526-2601. Pollie may also be visited online at www.elizabethpollie.com.
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