Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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Art rides a painted horse in Northport

Jolynn Paige - July 19th, 2007
Art rides a Painted Horse
in Northport
By Jolynn Paige

Many would say that the village of Northport at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula has been in a bit of a slump over the past several years. Businesses have closed, including the town’s major employer, Leelanau Memorial Hospital. Families have been forced to move away due to lack of work, and the town’s school has seen a drop in enrollment.
But a renaissance is on the horizon, in the form of a declaration by the prolific and populous art community of Northport shouting out, “We are here. We love this place and we’re not going anywhere. Come join us!”
Woody Palmer, for example, is undaunted by stories of doom and gloom.
Over the course of the past several years, Palmer has transformed an old downtown warehouse into what is now The Painted Horse Gallery – an airy, classy gallery to be proud of.
“I bought a main building in the center of Northport with the dream of transforming it into useable, attractive commercial space,” Palmer says.

THE DOG NEXT DOOR
Adjacent to the gallery is a fabulous little bookstore – Dog Ears Books – owned by Northport year-rounder Pamela Grath.
“We are planning all kinds of wonderful events for the future here,” said Grath. Goals include hosting artists’ workshops and authors’ visits in the bookstore/gallery’s new home.
A native of Ada and a talented landscape painter, Palmer’s vision is to create a professional, eye-pleasing space with great art and books in the hope that people will come.
Indeed, those who have come have been impressed.
“We had a woman wander in here a few days ago. She spent a bunch of time looking at the work, and she came to us and said that she’d been to galleries all over the world, and this one was her favorite,” said Palmer.
The past year of blood, sweat and tears has been worth it to him because he believes in the town. “I love Northport, and I think it has a great future ahead of it,” he says.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Palmer’s expertise in design architecture, his “second career,” is evident in the gallery’s color scheme, lighting, wall space, and ceiling.
“When I first saw this space, I fell in love with the wood-beam ceilings and skylights. We wanted to create the feeling of both a clean, inviting barn and an upscale gallery. I think we did it. I’m pleased with the way it’s turned out.”
He was drawn to a barn scheme because he and his wife, Bonnie Marris, a wildlife artist and partner in sweat equity, share a passion for horses.
“We have four horses – three of them painted – and that is why we named our gallery The Painted Horse,” said Marris.
“We hope that this is a shot in the arm for Northport,” she added. “This is just an incredible place, with so many wonderful, talented, creative, and loving people. It deserves all the best that we can give.”
In addition to Palmer’s landscapes and Marris’s oil paintings of wildlife, the gallery includes works by several Northern Michigan artists.
Palmer said there will be more art events in the near future for the town. “There are six galleries all together in Northport. We are joining together and working together to create events and art walks throughout the summer.”
The Painted Horse Gallery in Northport is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the summer. The following artists’ work will be on display and for sale, with prices ranging from $200-$10,000. Call 231-386-7209 for info.

Mary Beth Acosta, collage artist
Chip Gadek, furniture and wood sculptor
David Grath, painter
Philip Kellogg, sculptor
Bonnie Marris, painter
Gene Rantz, painter
Donn Palmer, painter
Woodruff (Woody) Palmer, painter
Bill Perkins, rustic furniture maker
 
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