Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Home · Articles · News · Art · Divinely Inspired
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Divinely Inspired

As a Catholic schoolgirl in Dearborn, Michelle St. Amant would sit in church services, gazing on the beautiful alabaster figures of saints behind the altar.

Al Parker - April 7th, 2014  


“I would fantasize how wonderful it would be to have the ability to create such works of art,” she said.

That fascination with sculpture and the human condition continues to this very day.

Her works have been seen in 14 different galleries and the same number of juried exhibitions in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

HOW I GOT STARTED

At the age of 10, a friend’s mother invited me to attend an art class at the civic center. We were each given a small lump of clay and told to create whatever we chose with it. I had been fixated on becoming a nun, so I placed my hands at work molding my shapeless mass of clay into a small version of one.

The encouragement and praise I received from the instructor was exhilarating.

It was at that time that I first fell in love with the feel and texture of this fabulously tactile medium, though unfortunately it was the last of my experience with it until I was in my mid-30s.

THE STORY BEHIND MY ART, MY INSPIRATION

My inspirations for my art have mainly been drawn from my life’s experiences and of those which I have observed. Unfortunately, these same experiences have served to interrupt my creative process and ability to work on my art for long periods of time. Social issues have always greatly interested me and I attribute this toward my upbringing.

I was adopted and was the eldest of eight children who were also adopted. At the age of 12, there had also been 35 foster children of various ages. I believe my interest in social issues was peaked due to my heightened sensitivity to my family situation.

WORK I’M MOST PROUD OF

The piece that is nearest to my heart is a ceramic bust entitled ‘Burial Blanket.’ I created it while living in Alpena. It was designed after a photo I found of a mother somewhere near India holding the body of her dead child swaddled head to toe in a blanket. I was so touched by the photo that I prayed often while working on it to do justice to this woman through my artwork. I strongly feel it was divinely inspired.

My son Andre was born with the rare genetic disorder Galactosemia and lived life with multiple challenges, scoliosis, autism and severe neurological complications. Andre had a white blanket he loved and often begged me to wrap him in it. This provided him with a source of comfort and eased his nerves.

At his death I had his body cremated and requested that they wrap his body in the blanket beforehand. Three years later I was observing ‘Burial Blanket.’ At that moment, like a flash of lightning whipped through my soul, I connected the significance of the piece to my own life with my son. And so I wept!

MY FAVORITE ARTIST

I was most impressed as an adolescent by the Mexican artist Rivera’s fresco paintings at the DIA which portrayed the industrial and technological era of Detroit. The masterful works of Michelangelo and Rodin and others played a great part in my desire to sculpt.

One of my favorite modern sculptures is Arturo Di Modica’s ‘Raging Bull,’ also known as the Wall Street Bull across from the New York Stock Exchange.

ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS

I would tell you to first learn to deal with non-constructive criticism. If you’re able, just choose to ignore it. Try not to compare your work with others. Our works are all unique and that’s so wonderful. Know that you will be making errors in your work, since it’s all a learning process and will continue to be for life.

Don’t misunderstand though: learning technical skill is very important. Passionately pursue the type of art you enjoy creating, but be brave and experiment with other subject matters and with various mediums.

MY WORK CAN BE SEEN/PURCHASED

At 223 State Street Boutique and Compassion Center in Traverse City. I am available for commissions at michellest.amant@yahoo.com.

 
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