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 · Features · There’s Always Something New...
. . . .

There’s Always Something New from Richard Asher

Al Parker - July 9th, 2012  

As a youngster growing up in New York City, Richard Asher’s early artwork drew attention from his teacher.

“I doodled on my test papers in elementary school and I got in trouble for it,” he recalls with a laugh. “I was not The Art Kid in my neighborhood.”

Asher’s family was involved in financing and banking, but he never had an affinity for those fields. But, ironically, after graduating from the University of Miami and a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he worked in accounting for almost five years serving well-heeled clients in the Hamptons.

Seeking a change, Asher moved to Denver where he managed a restaurant for six years. It was in Denver that he began doing some illustrations. “I was mostly self-taught,” he explains. “I had taken a basic drawing class at Miami and got a B. I hated to study, hated to go to class. I mainly did (art) because I just enjoyed it. I enjoyed experimenting with different media and techniques.”

After moving to Michigan and spending a decade in Grand Rapids, Asher headed north to Traverse City 14 years ago. Despite having no teaching background, he spent several years as a substitute teacher for TCAPS.

ARTISTIC CURIOSITY 

Over the years Asher’s artistic curiosity has resulted in elaborate abstracts in acrylics, impressive watercolors and intricately detailed works in colored pencils.

“I think I like colored pencils the best,” he says. “It’s a medium that requires a lot of patience. It takes time, but the results can be marvelous. With pencil you can be very detail oriented.”

A few years ago, one of his pencil works was chosen for publication in “The Best of Colored Pencil 2” by the Colored Pencil Society of America. One of 145 entries published out of more than 1,000 submitted to the group.

At his cozy studio/gallery on Front Street in Traverse City, Asher provides framing services and sells both original works and prints.

“I’ve always been an advocate of prints,” he says. “I feel art should be shared by everybody. You have to make it affordable for people who, perhaps, can’t afford to buy an original.”

Several of Asher’s works reflect his love of history. He has created ornate works featuring Mayan gods, Samurai warriors, medieval knights and American Civil War scenarios.

CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTOR

The Civil War is one of Asher’s favorite historical topics and he’s an active re-enactor of the conflict. In 1993, during the 130th anniversary of the crucial battle at Gettysburg, he and several members of his Michigan unit were among the thousands of re-enactors in the film “Gettysburg,” which featured Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels and Tom Berenger.

Despite being from Michigan, Asher and his pals portrayed Confederate troops, since the director decided he had more than enough Union soldiers. It was no problem for the Michigan boys to dress in their Rebel garb and take their place during the filming of the Battle for Little Round Top and the ill-fated “Pickett’s Charge.”

Civil War buff Ted Turner, who produced the film, had a cameo appearance as a Confederate officer who was cut down while leading his troops in The Charge. After the movie was completed, Asher used several photos taken during the filming to create a watercolor portrait of his fellow re-enactors.

SOMETHING NEW

Recently Asher has a couple of new projects to keep him busy. “I got bored with watercolors and am now learning acrylics,” he says. “I’m doing abstracts, basically patterns and shapes and colors.”

And he’s working on a series of colored pencil drawings for a book he is preparing.

“It’s an anthology of social groups,” he explains. “Sort of a guidebook for people watching.”

He’s finished about 30 drawings of different social groups, including bikers, park chess players, mimes, nudists, drag queens, re-enactors, parrot heads, Goths and others. He plans on using 80 of them in the more-than-a-little-humorous publication.

“These are all glimpses of American life,” he says. “I’ve been working on it for a couple of years and my enthusiasm for the book hasn’t diminished at all.”

To learn more about Asher’s artwork, stop by his gallery at 441 East Front St. in Traverse City or contact him at (231) 932- 8638 or ashergallery@yahoo.com.

 
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