Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


Home · Articles · News · Art · Jordan River Arts Council
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Jordan River Arts Council

Carina Hume - October 27th, 2008
By showcasing creative art exhibits, live theater and hands-on art projects in the schools for the past 20 years, Jordan River Arts Council’s mission is simple – to bring the arts to Antrim and southern Charlevoix counties.
Housed in a brick, 1900s-built former Carnegie Library, with two galleries, original leaded windows and restored wood interior, the arts council’s Jordan River Art Center anchors the north end of East Jordan’s Main Street.
After celebrating its longevity with a late-summer, 20-year anniversary exhibit and member picnic, JRAC continues to focus on its future.

IT TAKES VOLUNTEERS
Formed in 1988, with Fran Pletz as its first president, the council quickly attained 115 members and gathered a volunteer board. Artist Pat Tinney designed JRAC’s lady slipper logo, which remains its logo to this day.
“I came in shortly after it was founded,” says Howard Ellis, a former president (three times) of JRAC and membership coordinator for the last seven years. “I was not a founding member because I had to work that night,” he says with a laugh.
Today, council memberships are close to 300 and provide a good portion of the council’s funding, as well as art education grants.
“With 292 members we do quite well membership-wise,” says Ellis. “People are very kind and generous. We really don’t go out and advertise – it’s almost by word of mouth.”
The diverse board consists of artists, lawyers and other professionals. “Everyone’s volunteer,” says Ellis. “We have really good working members. we really have to all pitch in.”

PROMOTING ART’S FUTURE
Educational grants provide funding to introduce art in area schools by offering workshops and classes and display exhibits in the galleries.
“Last spring our teachers went into all the schools with felting equipment and then all the kids got to do what is called needle-felting; and those are on display now. And we do go into the schools a lot with various projects and have school kids come to the arts center, too.”
JRAC also provides scholarship opportunities for serious art students.
“Every May we have a wonderful scholarship show,” explains Ellis. “We invite all kids in our area to participate with the criteria that they’re going to art school. At the end of the first semester they send us grades and we give money for the next semester.”
JRAC Denominations of $1,500, $1,000 and $750. 12 high schools are invited each year, and most have students who participate.
“We can’t do it without the teachers,” admits Ellis. “They’re very cooperative.”

YOU’RE INVITED!
If you’re in East Jordan in the next few weeks, be sure to grab a seat for JRAC’s current exhibit, “An Invitation to the Table.” Curated by artist, Nancy Carey, the show runs through November 14.
“You pretend you’re inviting a real person or an imaginary person to dinner and then you create a place setting that goes with that person’s background or personality,” explains Ellis. “One woman has a vast Elvis collection, so she’s inviting Elvis. People are pretty inventive, so that should be fun.”
Paintings from this summer’s 2008 Artist Gathering are also on display.
And mark your calendar for JRAC’s one-day Members’ Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair, November 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at East Jordan High School. Nearly 50 artist booths are committed already – with hopes for a few more. Many artists come from all over the state.
“We serve a marvelous gourmet lunch,” says Ellis, who works on the kitchen crew as well as overseeing the entire arts and crafts fair.
“It’s just before hunting season opens,” continues Ellis, “and we usually do pretty well. The community’s very supportive, even though there are many other art shows all around us.”
Closer to the holidays JRAC offers a members’ sale with a kid’s section of affordable gifts. Cooks will enjoy a copy of “Flavors and Visions,” a 250-page book for sale.
“It’s art and a cookbook,” says Ellis. “A lot of our artists were willing to let us have pictures and to give us recipes. It’s been a great money-raiser for us – $25 and well worth it.”

ON A MISSION
With six to eight varied art shows per year – from metal works to motorcycles to fiber art – and opportunities for art education, JRAC is clearly filling a need in its community. The council prides itself on making art accessible to all.
“It’s a very friendly place,” says Ellis, “very unpretentious. We do have a great variety of work…and we put a show together with some sort of theme.”
But JRAC’s small-town success definitely depends on those who give their time.
“Twenty years of volunteers being willing to give as much time and effort to keep an organization going,says something about our community and our artists that I think is very important,” concludes Ellis, “because without them, we could not do this.”

Visit Jordan River Arts Council at 301 Main Street in East Jordan. The council is open from 1-4 p.m. daily. Call 231-536-3385 or visit www.jordanriverarts.com for more information.


 
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