Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Art · The Mackinac Seven
. . . .

The Mackinac Seven

Glen Young - June 9th, 2008
Mackinac Island has long been a haven for artists. Photographers and painters have regularly found the Island’s rocky outlines inspiration for intense study. The surrounding waters and green spaces have lured artists since the 17th century.
So the development of the Mackinac Seven, a loose association of painters who depict the changing views of the historic island, is not hard to understand. Marta Olson, who has lived part of her year on Mackinac Island since the 1960s, describes the Mackinac Seven as a “group of friends who just started painting together and hanging out together.”
Olson stresses the group is not a by-law abiding, rule enforcing collective. In fact, Olson appreciates that the group does not require formality at all.
Maeve Croghan, whose family roots on Mackinac Island extend back to the 19th century, says the group came to exist because “a few of us all realized that even though we had all known each other previously in other capacities… that we all shared this interest in outdoor painting, drawing the model, and basically making art together.”

Croghan, who operates Maeve’s Arts on Mackinac Island’s Market Street and calls San Francisco home during the winter season, also says the group regularly encourages one another. “We talk about our art and what’s happening with it, where it seems to be going.”
And while artists can be competitive by nature, Olson, who also operates a web design business, says the group “shares a lot of ideas.” They “critique each other’s work and get together to talk about art.” The collaboration has created “a little family.” Like a family, they “trust each other absolutely.”
The origin of the group is easy to see in retrospect. Olson started painting 15 years ago when her youngest daughter was two years old. She found herself in need of an outlet and happened on Murray Hotel owner Pat Pulte in Ann Arbor. Olson says Pulte was excited to encourage her and the two soon found themselves painting together at Mackinac.
Kitty Hannabas, another member of the group, says she had not yet started to paint when she ran into Nikki Griffith in 1993 or ’94. They talked about the idea of painting during a conversation in front of the (Mackinac Island) post office and the two were soon working together.
Soon after, Griffith told Hannabas, who splits time between Mackinac Island’s East Bluff and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the two were going to start painting with Pulte. From this the group evolved to include the present roster of seven painters, most working in either oils or watercolors. Hannabas says that while some members of the group were at first shy about their abilities, “we all persevered.”
Several members of the collective credit some of their inspiration to the Canadian Group of Seven who paint just north of Mackinac Island in Ontario. Olson says the Mackinac Seven admired their Canadian counterparts, and at some point someone suggested the idea of the Mackinac Seven almost “as a joke, and it kind of stuck.”
The Mackinac group has even traveled together to Ontario to paint.
The members of the Mackinac Seven, who first started exhibiting together in 1994, believe their association does raise awareness about art on Mackinac Island. “It changes everyone’s perspective,” Croghan says. “It reinterprets (Mackinac scenes) for the viewer, maybe giving them a different or deeper understanding of a commonly known place or image.”
Each summer the Mackinac Seven, which in addition to Olson, Crogahn, Hannabas, Griffith and Pulte, also includes Pam Finkle and Catherine Brockman, holds two exhibitions. The first showing takes place in the gallery space at Pulte’s Murray Hotel in June, and another at the Mackinac Island Public Library in August. Most of the Mackinac Seven make their work available for purchase at the exhibitions. Visit www.mackinac.com/art for further information on the artists and their work.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5