along Lake Charlevoix, where my parents had a cottage on the south arm,
says Rebecca Glotfelty, owner of the Cycling Salamander gallery in
Charlevoix. The gallerys name stems from my childhood love for
salamanders, and my love for mountain biking.
Celebrating her 10th anniversary as the proprietor of the Cycling
Salamander gallery in Charlevoix this year, Rebecca is an artist,
storyteller, director of the nonprofit video/film organization Real People
Media, and, of course, gallery owner.
Opened in 2001, Glotfeltys gallery venture followed her ownership of the
Sweet Pea Gallery in Marshall, Michigan, as well as her work with the
co-op Gallery 127 in 1999.
It was in 1999 that Glotfelty met Ray Bier, owner of Bier Studio and
Gallery in Charlevoix. That meeting would prove to be a turning point.
Ray invited me to come work for him for a couple months, Glotfelty says.
I jumped at the opportunity to spend autumn in Northern Michigan. While
working for Ray, I learned that the former Staffel Studio and Gallery was
for sale. With Rays prompting, my then-husband Chet Morris and I
purchased the property and started renovating the gallery, house, and
property. Cycling Salamander opened in 2001.
In addition to her love of salamanders and cycling, her brothers
childhood plays a part in the gallery, as well.
One year, my brother found a newt in the red eft stage - theyre
orange, she says, hence, the orange salamander as our logo.
The salamanders theme continues throughout the gallery in several
ways.Im currently writing the story of Zeke - the Cycling Salamander. I
plan to publish the book next year. Diane Hanway, an incredible Cycling
Salamander artist is illustrating it. Animator Jim Middleton of Battle
Creek, created our whimsical logo, which adorns our t-shirts, which we
sell in the gallery. And our kinetic Cycling Salamander sculpture, which
you can see from US 31, was made by Mancelona Artist John Unger,
Sculpture is a big part of the Cycling Salamander. In addition to the
artworks within the gallery, Glotfelty has gathered a variety of outdoor
works. These are complemented by the gallerys garden, which is planted
with native perennials and annuals, including one that visitors find
Every summer, gallery visitors exclaim, what is that beautiful
fragrance?, Glotfelty explains, and many are surprised when I tell them
Her goal for the gallery, including outdoor spaces, is to create a space
in which art and nature can be viewed together, she says.
I want people to appreciate the environment surrounding the gallery as
much as they appreciate the artwork.
The property features a pond, maple and apple groves, and a meadow.
When we pur-chased the property, no other gallery in the area featured an
outdoor sculpture garden, she says.
Today, sculptures by Larry Halbert, William and Karla Tye, John Mishler,
Karin Kirulus, and Bill Walthers are included in the garden, with more
works added each summer. Popular works by Ritch Branstrom are also on
Indoors is a whole other range of artwork.
Currently, the gallery is showing two group shows in addition to our
regular gallery space, Glotfelty says, Voices: Getting Off the Fence is
on display now through September 17. It is a fine art show that comments
on contemporary issues, including war, love, and politics, and features
artists like Manistees Mark Hoffman, Petoskeys Trisha Shattuck,
Kalamazoos John Running-Johnson, and Grand Rapids Karen Godfrey.
The second show is titled Clear, Blue, Water, a group show featuring
glassworks in which the themes are depicting water or are blue in color.
That show includes Captured Moments of the Great Lakes, which are plein
oil paintings by Lori Feldpausch, as well
as works by Rick Shapiro, Joel Ellis, Delilah Smith, and Barbara Dorchen,
Speaking of plein air painting, the gallery also offers a variety of
participatory events that are ongoing throughout the season.
Plein Air painting, in which guests are invited to utilize the gallerys
grounds as a painting environment, takes place on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m.
to 6 p.m., and the Morning Coffee and Song event takes place Wednesdays
through August 31, and invites musicians to enrich the gallerys
environment with music over coffee and other beverages.
Musicians of all levels are welcome, Glotfelty says.
Glotfelty is working hard to keep an eclectic and varied level of artwork
and events circulating through her gallery. But she feels its worth it,
as many of the artists are, or have become, her close friends.
Most people who come to the Cycling Salamander for the first time are
surprised to find such high quality artwork at a rural gallery, she says,
I am blessed to know and represent talented Michigan artists on a regular
basis. All my artists are exceptional and all deserve mentioning - but I
have over 50, so that would be impossible.
The Cycling Salamander Gallery is located at 02217 US 31 South in
Charlevoix, Michigan, telephone
231-547-2333. Please call for gallery hours. They may also be visited