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..

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Quilt Crazy

Art Carina Hume Quilt Qraze
Tradition clashes with contemporary at Quilts by the Bay show

By Carina Hume 6/15/09

Traditional quilting, born out of necessity, has been around for centuries. But contemporary art quilts – made strictly for art’s sake – are quickly becoming a new and exciting way to express oneself.
“Quilts by the Bay,” showcases both styles at the Petoskey Knights of Columbus Hall, on Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20.
Monday, June 15, 2009

The two world‘s of Charles Lindsay

Art Kelsey Lauer The Two Worlds of Charles Lindsay
Photographer makes a splash at the Dennos

By Kelsey Lauer 6/15/09

Step inside a different world - or make those two different worlds - at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, where two exhibits from noted photographer Charles Lindsay will take center stage this summer.
UPSTREAM: Fly Fishing in the American West, from June 21 - Sept. 20, features 25 large format black and white photographs (40” x 40”) shot for a book of the same title with author Tom McGuane.
Lindsay captures the essence of solo fly-fishing, at times even delving beneath the water to enter the world of the trout.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Kelli Snively

Art Carina Hume Kelli Snively: Art That’s Folksy & Fun

By Carina Hume 6/15/09

Humor is a big part of artist Kelli Snively’s life: Spill a glass of red wine on a new bride? Recreate it in a painting called Two Mad Brides. (She stepped on the other one’s dress.) Have a lovable Welsh corgi with big ears? Make him your muse for numerous paintings.
Well-known for her folksy and caricatured pieces over the last 25 years, the Levering resident brings her fun and sass to downtown Petoskey’s Mitchell Street, Thursday-Saturday each week.
With a bubblegum pink doorway leading to her upstairs studio, art-lovers should have no trouble finding their way.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bill Hosner‘s Baristas

Art Anne Stanton Bill Hosner‘s Baristas
Anne Stanton 5/25/09

Artist captures coffee house servers and their stories

When Bill Hosner first stopped in at the Roast & Toast coffee shop in Petoskey for his daily cup of brew, he was a little taken aback by the kids behind the counter. Earrings in nostrils, hair color not found in nature, and tattoos where you ought not to be looking.
“As I looked at them, I thought what a lot of people might think. I rushed to judgment and thought these are a motley crew. And as I got to know them over the three years I lived in Petoskey, I realized they were just the way I was when I was that age. They were trying to find their way into life. Some were married, some had children, they were trying to build families. They were really great kids, people trying to fit into this world.”
Hosner, a renowned pastel painter, is known for his landscapes and romantic portraits of women strolling on the beach, reminiscent of Joaquin Sorrola, a 19th Century artist he admires.
But he wanted these kids to also have their story told, so he decided to bring his easel into the coffee shop and paint spontaneous portraits of each “coffee house kid.”
Hosner proposed his plan to the Roast & Toast coffee shop owner, and she thought it was a great idea. The workers themselves weren’t quite as enthusiastic, but signed on after they saw the first portraits.
“It was one of those things; as an artist, you have to make a painting, get it out of your system, and you can’t rest until you do,” Hosner said.
These aren’t his usual paintings that take several days, yet they still succeed in capturing the essence and energy of the person. Hosner finished his 14 paintings of the Petoskey kids last summer. Now he has taken his easel to Another Cuppa Joe and Higher Grounds at Traverse City’s Building 50.
Ultimately, he’d like to display the entire collection of 24 portraits at a local museum.
Monday, April 20, 2009

Artistic Found ations... Rich Branstrom

Art Kristi Kates Artistic “Found“ ations... Rich Branstrom
Kristie Kates

If you live in or visit Northern Michigan, chances are you’ve seen the work of Rapid River ‘found object’ artist Ritch Branstrom. In addition to the traditional artist venues, such as galleries and festivals, Branstrom’s creations are also a big part of Emmet County’s Recycling Program.
Does “Emmet the Recycling Robot” ring a bell? That’s right - Branstrom is the talent behind the distinctive “Ashcan Aliens” - all named Emmet, although they each have a different appearance - that are poised next to five of the county’s recycling centers. The sculptures draw attention to the informative recycling signs at the drop-off sites. But the “Emmets” are only the tip of the artwork where Branstrom’s work is concerned.
Monday, March 9, 2009

A museum grows in Harbor Springs

Art Kristi Kates A museum grows in Harbor Springs
Kristi Kates 3/23/09

For years, the old Harbor Springs City Hall on Main Street - an imposing and architecturally intriguing historical building that was somewhat incongruously covered in yellow stucco - stood vacant, after the City of Harbor Springs had moved their offices to a new location on Zoll Street. It was once a grand structure, one of the largest and tallest in the Harbor Springs downtown area - so it was a natural choice when the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society (HSAHS) decided to embark on a “Museum Grows” project to restore a local building and turn it into what would be the Harbor Springs History Museum
“Since its inception in 1990, the HSAHS’s mission has been to preserve this area’s history for future generations,” Dave Harrell explains. Harrell, the museum’s Executive Director, helped spearhead the mission to revitalize the building (“a building of tremendous history,” he says) and see the museum opened at last, and the entire HSAHS team, from the board to the staff to the “Capital Campaign” committee, were ready to do their part.
Monday, February 2, 2009

Homeless artist creates an expression of his love

Art Priscilla Miller Homeless artist creates an expression of his love
Priscilla Miller 2/2/09

How a collection of wooden panels created by a homeless man living in a windowless Kalkaska warehouse made it to a downtown Petoskey gallery could be contributed to just a string of coincidences. Others believe, it was nothing less than miraculous.
It began when a woman from Grand Rapids named Deb Swanson called Paul Hresko to inquire about renting one of his Elk Rapids vacation properties during the off-season several years ago. Once settled into the rental, she expressed an interest in doing some volunteer work.
Hresko was working in Kalkaska at the time, and introduced her to a nun there. The two women had lunch and afterwards, the nun said, “I think there’s something you should see.” She proceeded to drive Swanson to an old school house. The man who answered the knock at the schoolhouse door took one look at Swanson and said, “Oh, it’s you. The father said you were coming!” Then, as they were preparing to leave, he gave Deb the keys to the schoolhouse door, motioned toward a collection of panels inside, and said, “Here, you need to find a home for these.”
Swanson (who has since married and is now named Deb Heinzelman) told Hresko’s wife, Patti, about the moment she first saw Ed Lantzer standing in the doorway with his magnificent panels depicting the life of Christ in the background. “His words caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end,” she said.
Monday, January 26, 2009

Bill Schwab, Mysteries of light

Art Carina Hume Bill Schwab, Mysteries of light
Carina Hume 1/26/09

Bill Schwab is not your typical picture postcard photographer. You’ll find him practicing his art in weather and lighting conditions most photographers run from. “I like to show ways people aren’t used to looking at the world,” says this year’s juror for Crooked Tree Arts Center’s 28th Juried Photography Show in Petoskey.
Working at nighttime and in inclement weather has become somewhat of a trademark for Schwab, a Dearborn and Cross Village resident. “People don’t think of it as being a good time to photograph,” he admits, “but there’s ambient light. The camera tends to pick up more than the eye does – it can be mysterious. It adds to the emotional impact, shot in a snowstorm or at nighttime.”
Monday, December 1, 2008

Local glassworks impresses in Jordan Valley & Beyond

Art Kristi Kates Local glassworks impresses in Jordan Valley & Beyond
Kristi Kates 12/1/08

Jay Bavers first discovered glass-working at the age of six months old. His grandfather, who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia, had opened a glass shop in Brooklyn, New York, and the young Bavers lived above the glass shop with his family; so it’s been something he truly has grown up with.
Back in the day, glassworking was more of a factory effort – “making dozens of the same thing, top quality items in a factory setting,” Bavers says. But for him, glassworking developed into the artistry expressed at Jordan Valley Glassworks in East Jordan.
Today, Jay works with both his family and other Jordan Valley Glassworks team members to craft an impressive range of items that have garnered critical and fan acclaim in Northern Michigan and beyond. Even his son is involved in the business.
“My son, Bill, is attending Bowling Green University, getting his Masters in fine arts with a specialty in glass blowing,” Bavers proudly explains. “Bill is an award-winning glass blower, and has worked for the Glassworks for 15 years with Glenna and myself; Glenna Haney is another award-winning glass blower, and she does most of the designing.”
All three artisans work together from concept to completion, incorporating everyone’s ideas and abilities to make Jordan Valley Glassworks’ one-of-a-kind pieces. Their most popular works are the “White House Globes,” large, densely-colored glass globes named after a recent request from the White House - yes, that White House - which wanted 25 of the globes to use on an outdoor Christmas tree.
Monday, November 10, 2008

Let your spirits fly

Art Ross Boissoneau It was Walt Disney who brought the concept of the circle of life to worldwide audiences with the hit animated movie “The Lion King,” and Elton John who wrote and performed the hit song.
But the movie, the Broadway musical based on it and their accompanying soundtracks were hardly the first to showcase the concept of the unending circle of life. Native Americans have long used the hoop dance as an illustration of the same concept. And Traverse City will have the opportunity to see a live illustration of it when Brian Hammill and his group, the Native Spirit Dancers, perform at Dennos Museum’s Milliken Auditorium on Monday, Nov. 17.
The hoops symbolize a sacred part of the Native American life, representing the circle of life with no beginning and no end.. The dancer begins with one hoop and keeps adding and weaving the hoops into formations that represent the journey through life, each additional hoop exemplifying another thread in the web of life.
Monday, November 3, 2008

Copy Queenz

Art Anne Stanton With the name “Copy Queenz,” this new business is proud to declare its female ownership.
But the name has caused some awkward moments with a few people, said owner Cindy Lyskawa.
“A man, from another shop, asked us if we only wanted female customers because we’re doing the ‘female thing.’ I thought, ‘What is he talking about?’ Then I realized, it must be our name. Other people have walked in and said they were expecting to see two big guys dressed in women’s clothing.”
Monday, October 27, 2008

Jordan River Arts Council

Art Carina Hume By showcasing creative art exhibits, live theater and hands-on art projects in the schools for the past 20 years, Jordan River Arts Council’s mission is simple – to bring the arts to Antrim and southern Charlevoix counties.
Housed in a brick, 1900s-built former Carnegie Library, with two galleries, original leaded windows and restored wood interior, the arts council’s Jordan River Art Center anchors the north end of East Jordan’s Main Street.
After celebrating its longevity with a late-summer, 20-year anniversary exhibit and member picnic, JRAC continues to focus on its future.

Formed in 1988, with Fran Pletz as its first president, the council quickly attained 115 members and gathered a volunteer board. Artist Pat Tinney designed JRAC’s lady slipper logo, which remains its logo to this day.
“I came in shortly after it was founded,” says Howard Ellis, a former president (three times) of JRAC and membership coordinator for the last seven years. “I was not a founding member because I had to work that night,” he says with a laugh.
Today, council memberships are close to 300 and provide a good portion of the council’s funding, as well as art education grants.
“With 292 members we do quite well membership-wise,” says Ellis. “People are very kind and generous. We really don’t go out and advertise – it’s almost by word of mouth.”
The diverse board consists of artists, lawyers and other professionals. “Everyone’s volunteer,” says Ellis. “We have really good working members. we really have to all pitch in.”
Monday, September 29, 2008

Poets Rock!

Art Robert Downes There’s no other way to say it: poet Derrick Brown kicks ass. He’s an action-adventure poet, swinging to the stage from the end of a vine with a ululating Tarzan yell and a ray gun in his belt. Well, not really, but the one thing you can expect from Brown’s multi-media poetry readings is the unexpected -- and that it will be the best night of poetry you can imagine.
A former paratrooper, gondolier, magician, and “fired weatherman,” Brown is bringing some of the world’s top-gun poets to the Traverse City Opera House stage on Saturday, Oct. 4 as part of his “Junkyard Ghost Revival” show that blends comedy, music and performance art with poetry.
“It’s more like a theater experience than a poetry reading, with everything planned out,” Brown says by phone from his home in Venice, California.
“Most of the poets who will be appearing are those I met at the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin,” he adds. “We’ve got a world champion on our team, who won slams in Munich and Paris. We decided that it would be better if we all got together and went on tour.”
Monday, September 22, 2008

Couture Quilts

Art Priscilla Miller Kathleen Glynn has always loved to sew. Both her mother and grandmother loved to sew, and Kathleen was no exception. By the time she was eight years old she was using a sewing machine to make her own clothes. As a young girl, she would go to the library and read “how to books” on knitting, crocheting and anything relating to fashion and design.
“Just touching my sewing machine has always had a calming effect on me,” says the talented film producer from Antrim County.
Knowing that Kathleen had a flair for wearing vintage clothing, Glynn’s grandma once gave her a mink collar from one of her coats. Glynn promised her that someday she would wear it down 5th Avenue in New York City. Years later, she kept that promise.
After the success of her husband Michael Moore’s film, “Roger and Me,” which she co-produced, he told her she “could have anything she wanted.” She told him she wanted “a new sewing machine!”
Monday, September 22, 2008

Sculpting a life: Jim Miller-Melberg

Art Carina Hume Walk into Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center and you’ll think you’ve walked into a sculpture garden. Taking over the art center entrance and Edith Gilbert Gallery is an in-your-face art installation by sculptor Jim Miller-Melberg. With vivid colors, stark whites and eye-catching forms, this exhibit is striking enough to captivate even the youngest child.
Follow Miller-Melberg’s life through early sketches – including figures, nature and sculptural concepts – maquettes, small-scale sculpture from which larger pieces evolve, and the finished product, through November 15, in the exhibit, titled “Jim Miller-Melberg: An autobiography in drawings & sculpture, 1946-2008.”
Nearly 100 working sketches and photos of finished outdoor sculptures are framed in collages on the walls, combined with 40 pieces of sculpture, including sculpture in the round and relief sculptures (three-dimensional wall pieces).