Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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

SHARING SPIRIT
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.”
CANADA TIES
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.


 
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