Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Art · “The Land of Delight”
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“The Land of Delight”

Al Parker - June 23rd, 2014  

Empire fiber artist Holly Sorensen’s latest works are literally off the wall. After years of weaving colorful but conventional, artistic scarves, rugs, garments and wall hangings, she wanted to add a twist to her works and opted for a 3-D look.

Her current creations bring her weavings into a three-dimensional format; they seem to pop off the wall. Foam core, pipe insulation, aluminum fl ashing, Plexiglass and copper wire add the new dimension to her colorful works.

Sorensen’s newest specialty is a series of eye-catching masks. Using mannequin faces as templates, they are created in her former garage-turned-studio that now houses two working looms. Her work schedule has been interrupted lately by her caring for ill friends, but she tries to keep a steady fl ow of projects underway.

After years of traveling and living in places across the country, Sorensen moved to northern Michigan when her son went off to college. Leelanau County is a place she had long loved after childhood visits to a family cottage on Crystal Lake. The landscape near her Empire home and studio remain an inspiration.


My fascination with fiber began in my childhood, while playing in the old woolen mill that my family operated in Connecticut. The colorful webs of yarn, noisy clanking looms and rich smell of lanolin were magic to me.


After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in graphic design and working in New York City in the fashion industry, I did some extended travel. Eventually I settled in Ninilchik, a small fishing village in Alaska, near Homer. It was there in the mid-‘70s that I rediscovered my love of fiber while learning to make coiled baskets from beach-salvaged hemp fishing line wrapped with the colorful wool yarns my father sent me from the mill. I began studying various weaving techniques, made my first loom and started to explore yarn dyeing processes. Space dyeing, a method producing multiple blocks of color on a single skein of yarn, became my signature. I continue to use space dyed yarns in most of my work today.

I love exploring color relationships by creating a warp of space dyed yarns. Once it is on the loom, the weaving is easy and it is so pleasing to watch the juxtaposed blocks of colored threads form into a richly textured fabric. Then when the piece is taken off the loom, the fun begins: finding a way to make it into a three dimensional sculpture.

I guess I could be called a colorist as that is my medium, my favorite tool. Since moving to The Leelanau, “Land of Delight” as the Native Americans named it, I have found inspiration in the colors of its lovely landscapes and ever changing light. Each season always brings a fresh new palette.


After many years of weaving hand-dyed rugs, garments and wall hangings, I began experimenting with various stiffening elements to bring new dimension and movement to my wall pieces. Using foam core, pipe insulation, aluminum flashing and bent Plexiglass, I was able to bring my weavings off the wall. This 3-D sculptural approach led me to my present interest in creating masks, which I feel are my most original works to date.


Poet Anne Marie Oomen wrote a poem about one of my masks. It’s called “Kindred Spirits.”


There are many, but here are three – Henri Matisse, sculptural fiber artist Adrienne Sloane and local watercolorist Tim Lewis.


When I’m working on a piece, it feels like an extended experiment. I don’t believe in rules so much as breaking them when it feels right. I would encourage people to have fun. I also remember a quote from my favorite weaving teacher, Anita Mayer: “If you are not making mistakes and having failures, you are not learning anything.”


In Empire at my studio, at the Secret Garden, or at the Sleeping Bear Gallery. Also at www.hollysorensen.com.

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