Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

Home · Articles · News · Art · The Art Crowd Gets Serious
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The Art Crowd Gets Serious

Robert Downes - June 14th, 2010
The Art Crowd Gets Serious: ArtisanDesign Network offers a bold new venture in TC
By Robert Downes

Walk into the new ArtisanDesign Network Cooperative Gallery on Front Street in downtown Traverse City and it’s not hard to imagine that you’re in an upscale gallery in New York City or Chicago.
The new gallery is a bold yet thoughtful venture embarked upon by more than 40 of the region’s top artists and artisans. Committed to the exhibition of fine art, the gallery aims to elevate Northern Michigan’s art scene into the rare air of national significance.
In other words, don’t expect to find Petoskey stone knick-knacks, paintings of old barns, faux impressionist harbor scenes and other staples of the Northern Michigan art scene. The gang at the ArtisanDesign Network are gunning for glory with serious art, and are laying serious cash on the line to see that their work reaches the public.

“We’ve got a jury process for every artist who’d like to join the co-op,” says painter Daniel Lisuk, who serves as spokesman for the group. “Artists must submit a portfolio for consideration and the jury is very strict as to who becomes a member. Even once you’re a member, each piece on the floor must be juried; you can’t just bring out your old college stuff and hang it here.”
Artists who are accepted for membership pay dues of $50 per month and then rent floor space at $5 per square foot in increments of up to 50 square feet.
“That’s fairly expensive, but it insures that we get artists who believe in themselves, because when you make that commitment, you’re investing in yourself,” Lisuk says.
He adds that an additional 10% of sales goes to the support of the gallery and each member takes a monthly turn at staffing the floor. Lisuk says the 10% gallery commission is exceptionally low, considering that the norm in Traverse City averages 40% and a Chicago gallery may keep as much as 60% of an artist’s asking price for a work.
Those funds go toward supporting a prime location in the heart of downtown: the former Stewart-Zacks fabric store located at 118 East Front. It’s a classy setting which benefits from the spillover of TC Opera House events as well as fronting a downtown crosswalk. “People crossing the street at this end of town are led right to our door,” Lisuk says.

Rick Paid, a fine woods merchant who owns Rare Earth Hardwoods on M 72-West, is credited with launching the co-op.
Paid creates amazingly intricate tables of interlocking wood patterns and veneers, with materials drawn from sustainable forests he owns in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. Last fall, he became aware that the Stewart-Zacks building had become available and began contacting area artists and craftspersons of distinction with the idea of launching a co-op gallery.
That led to exploratory meetings, tours of the building and a board of directors. Today, the gallery is in high gear, averaging 600-800 visitors per week with perhaps 250 on weekends.
There’s some consideration being given to expanding the venture to include evening soirees with music, wine and munchies. “We want it to be a cool place where people want to gather,” Lisuk says. “Stylish, but also welcoming.”
So, who’s shopping for fine art in TC? “Eighty percent of buyers tend to be from out of town,” Lisuk says, “but there are also a lot of locals building new homes who want quality art. Typically, a buyer might be a person who travels a lot to Chicago or New York and recognizes quality art, along with the fact that they’re getting a really nice price here in Traverse City. We have a much lower price point here for art than what you’ll find in a big city gallery.”

A resident of Leland, Lisuk served as an art teacher with Traverse City schools for more than 32 years. He was head of the system’s art department for 22 years of his tenure.
“I retired three years ago specifically to make art,” he says. It’s difficult to teach art and make art at the same time because as a teacher you’re making hundreds of decisions each day and it can influence your own work.”
Lisuk paints and draws with the novel medium of tar.
“I started my education with geology as a major and to me, tar is literally liquid history because it started out as oil and the compression of fossils,” he says. “You’re painting with five million years of history.”
Each artist in the co-op brings a similarly eclectic perspective. Sculptor Bill Allen, for instance, is renowned for his lifelike bird and animal sculptures, but at the gallery, he’s chosen to exhibit his new direction with abstract art.
“One hallmark of this place is that everyone here is in love with their materials,” Lisuk notes.

The ArtisanDesign Network Cooperative Gallery will hold its Grand Opening this Friday, June 18 from 6-9 p.m. with food, wine and all welcome. The gallery is located at 118 E. Front Street, TC. Hours are Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun. noon-6 p.m. Info: artisandesign@att.net.

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