Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Niagara
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Niagara

Kristi Kates - July 19th, 2010
Niagara Brings ‘Dangerous’ Art from Detroit
By Kristi Kates
Detroit performer Niagara isn’t one to pull punches. When asked how she feels about beating Lady Gaga to the scene - Niagara was doing avant garde performance art long before Gaga was even born - she bluntly replied, “I’m not about to jump on the Gaga bandwagon. She’s doing fine without me promoting her anyway.”
Niagara isn’t known for her subtlety. And that seems to be part of the flamboyant persona she’s fashioned for herself.
Best known early on, performance-wise, for her work in the mid-’70s Detroit rock band Destroy All Monsters, which got much of its publicity from the fact that the band also included former members of The Stooges and the MC5, she used her art school experience to put together album and promo art for the band, as well as for her follow-up band, Dark Carnival. Fast-forward to the early ‘90s, and Niagara began to show some of her quirky artwork around the Detroit area. Her art pieces, on which she would represent her vast roster of “Niagara Women” characters - all femme fatales with a “dangerous demeanor” - were reminiscent of pulp comic books with a devil-may-care attitude, and the art community promptly put her on a throne.

DETROIT QUEEN
Soon dubbed the “Queen of Detroit” by various art periodicals, she began taking her artwork to other major cities, hard-selling her brand of feminist swagger - women who would rather “dispatch a man than put up with any of his antics” - combined with images focusing on the “bad” side of female characters in old movies from the 1930s to the ‘50s. “That film connection may be the reason the InsideOut Gallery booked my show to coincide with Michael Moore’s film festival,” Niagara says, “I’ve painted certain film stars of the 20th century for this show, with elements gleaned from film noir.”
In 2002, Niagara refocused her work on what she called her “Opium Series.” These women were more apt to turn their violence inward, and were depicted “in druggy repose amidst swirling opium fumes.” Niagara also used Chinese patterns and applique at this time to craft her artworks.
“What I do in my work is combine violence with humor,” she explains, “my women are unshaken and strong-willed. They are not treated as still-life. They smoke and drink as much as they want, among other things.”

ART AND STAGE
In spite of her busy art schedule, the stage continued - and continues - to call to this eccentric performer. Still living, performing, and working in the Detroit area, she is scheduled to go on a European tour with the Australian band The Hitmen next spring. Meanwhile, she’ll continue to promote her art at various events, including her upcoming show at Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery. But don’t dare question her approach to art, because you won’t get very far.
“I love danger,” she states. “It’s not my fault.”

Niagara will be at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City on July 30; Jason Stollsteimer of Detroit band The Von Bondies will also be playing the gallery that night with his new band Hounds Below. For more information, call the gallery at 231-929-3254.

 
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