Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

Home · Articles · News · Art · Charlevoix Art Fair
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Charlevoix Art Fair

Carina Hume - August 4th, 2008
Fine art treasures and a lakefront setting make Charlevoix’s Waterfront Art Fair a summer crowd-pleaser. Returning to the newly-completed downtown East Park on the shores of Charlevoix’s Round Lake, the art fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 9.
Nearly 130 artists from as far away as Florida and New York offer visitors one-of-a-kind pieces. “The artists juried into the show present a range of art that is affordable to the first time art buyer and also includes pieces that are desired by the experienced art collector,” says Mary Beth McGraw, director of the art fair and president of the Charlevoix Council for the Arts.

AMBITIOUS BEGINNINGS
Charlevoix’s art fair began in 1959 with Mrs. Edward Lemcke organizing the first committee. “Determined to bring fine arts into the remote, northwestern area of Michigan’s lower peninsula, a committee, comprised of year-round and seasonal residents, held the first art fair,” explains McGraw, a 27-year member of the art fair committee and director for 13 years.
“At that time, there were no galleries in Charlevoix, and art was not part of the school curriculum. The art fair could provide encouragement for working artists in the region and young people with an interest in art.”
Two years later, Caroline Rader succeeded Lemcke and continued as leader for 22 years.
Early art fairs offered special exhibits of loaned masterworks – many borrowed from Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Cummings, eventual Sara Lee Corporation founders – by famous artists such as Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse, in order to further encourage the area’s fine arts education.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to view important, original works of art, locally, and committee member Edith Gilbert was able to make it happen,” says McGraw. “Edith was also instrumental in bringing the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Artmobile to the Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair for three consecutive summers in the sixties.”
Special exhibits continued through 1978, but then were disbanded due to impossible logistics for transportation and insurance fees connected with the exhibits.

HIGH QUALITY ART
Originally awarding ribbons in all categories for artists desiring their work to be judged and allowing paid entry to all, the art fair’s growth eventually warranted a jury.
“We have a knowledgeable and balanced group that jury the fair each year,” says McGraw. “Based on the feedback we’ve received from artists, the public, and the reputation the art fair enjoys in the media, it appears they do a laudable job of selecting high quality art/artists.”
An estimated 600 to 1,000 entries are received each year – although no actual count is recorded – with only 150 spaces available on the East Park lawn. With several entries needing double booths, the show is limited to around 130 exhibitors each year.
“There is a great deal of variety within the primary categories that are ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood,” says McGraw.
“An enforced requirement is that the exhibition is comprised of original works by the artist, and the artist must be present. Any reproductions must be clearly marked as such and are limited to a single bin.”
Area artists Sue and Russ Bolt, Bonnie Staffel, Todd Warner, Terry Salmonson, Lori Bolt (a scholarship winner three years: 1976-1978), Luciano Duse and Barbara Godwin are all long-time exhibitors in Charlevoix’s art fair, with the late Norman Brumm – present at the second art fair in 1960 – exhibiting more years than anyone in the history of the fair.
“Painter Lars-Birger Sponberg is (now) the longest exhibiting artist – having missed only one year since 1966,” says McGraw. “He will be exhibiting in the 2008 Waterfront Fair.”

STILL FURTHERING ARTS EDUCATION
Goals of the first art fair – to further arts education – are still in place, with funds raised being used to sponsor art scholarships for Charlevoix-area students.
“The Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair was the first (1972) in the state to commit proceeds from the show to fund scholarships for students wanting to pursue further education in the arts,” explains McGraw. “Since that time more than $30,000 has been awarded.”
The non-profit Charlevoix Council for the Arts was formed in 1990 and continues to devote art fair proceeds toward area youth.
“In addition to college scholarships, profits from the art fair provide funding for youth attending art and music camps, performances by professional dance troupes and drama companies, concerts by musical groups, purchase of original art for display in the schools and other public places, art and music workshops, visiting authors, museum visits, and grants for purchase of art, music, and drama equipment,” continues McGraw. “The monies have brought wonderful opportunities to our community, and the Council has stayed true to the founder’s original goal.”
To commemorate Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair’s 50th anniversary, a unique publication is also being offered. “A special book will be published on the fair’s history, which will be given to the artists and available to the public for $10,” adds McGraw.

Check out Charlevoix’s Waterfront
Art Fair on Saturday, August 9 from
9 a.m. – 6 p.m., downtown. For more information visit
www.charlevoixwaterfrontartfair.org

 
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