Letters 11-30-2015

“Snapshots” of Islam Offensive  In his latest effort (Northern Express Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015,) David Kachadurian provides a jumble of FYI disclosures pertaining to Islam and Muslim societies, and posing as if providing a public service announcement, he advises the readers to ponder their import and to “make of them what you will.”

Not Another War To these people who believe we need to be at war in the Middle East all the time: try thinking about getting the countries that are in the area to take care of these bad guys instead of us. We are almost in constant war and have been as long as most can remember...

The Unvaccinated Are Punished Pulling healthy children from school due to a so called “outbreak” of a mild childhood illness isn’t for the safety of the community, as we’re being led to believe. It’s to prove a point that the health department will follow through on their threats to exclude the unvaccinated from all school related events, whenever they see fit...

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Charlevoix Art Fair

Art Carina Hume Fine art treasures and a lakefront setting make Charlevoix’s Waterfront Art Fair a summer crowd-pleaser. Returning to the newly-completed downtown East Park on the shores of Charlevoix’s Round Lake, the art fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 9.
Nearly 130 artists from as far away as Florida and New York offer visitors one-of-a-kind pieces. “The artists juried into the show present a range of art that is affordable to the first time art buyer and also includes pieces that are desired by the experienced art collector,” says Mary Beth McGraw, director of the art fair and president of the Charlevoix Council for the Arts.
Monday, July 28, 2008

Tom & Carole Bowker

Art Rick Coates Sculptor Tom Bowker fell in love with the Leelanau Peninsula the first time he visited in the early ’70s. He knew someday this would be his home and the place that he and his wife Carole would further their artistic endeavors. That day finally arrived 13 years ago.
“I remember that day in the early ’70s. I had come to visit our good friends the Leinbachs who owned and operated Camp Innisfree near Pyramid Point,” said Tom Bowker. “I immediately called Carole and said: ‘You wouldn’t believe the beauty up here.’ We took baby steps towards creating a living environment here that would house not only us, but our studio and gallery.”
The Bowkers will play host this Saturday, August 2 at 6 p.m. to an “Unveiling Party” at their By The Bight Art Gallery and Studio near Northport.
By The Bight Studio opened five years ago, though the Bowker’s originally owned a gallery in Northport for eight years. They currently rent the gallery to another artist, who is taking a similar path as the Bowkers.
Both Tom and Carole are artists. They see themselves as explorers, travelers and communicators with their works. The Bowkers both work in multiple mediums. Tom’s primary focus, however, has been sculpting, and this weekend’s “Unveiling Party” will showcase his talent.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Artists reach out to Guatemalan children

Art Area artists are lending their talents to help provide hope and opportunity to children of families who work and live at the Guatemala City garbage dump.
The dump is Central America’s largest land fill. The size of several football fields, the dump is in a deep ravine filled with everything from household trash to medical waste from Guatemala City’s two million residents. It oozes with toxic chemicals and methane gas. Vultures circle overhead creating a surreal scene of unimaginable poverty.
Last April, a number of local artists visited a virtual dump constructed at Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City and viewed, “Recycled Life,” a documentary chronicling the lives of thousands of people who make their living scavenging at the dump.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Miracle Productions unveils a Phantom

Art Rick Coates Every town has its “best kept secrets,” and certainly Northern Michigan is no exception. One of these is Miracle Productions. This local production company is now in its fourth season of offering
off-Broadway productions here in Northern Michigan.
This week Traverse City-based Miracle Productions will present Yeston & Kopit’s “Phantom” at the Milliken Auditorium, located within the Dennos Museum on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. “Phantom” will be performed July 17-19 and July 24-26.
Monday, June 9, 2008

Get your Art-Off

Art Rick Coates Seldom does one get to watch an artist in the creative process. Rather, the public typically only sees or hears the completed work. Creating a work of art is usually done in private without time constraints. Imagine telling Picasso that he would have only three hours to complete a painting.
But that is exactly what Sean Tobin and Skyler Nelles, organizers of the first ArtOff in Traverse City, will be doing this Saturday night.
Monday, June 9, 2008

Take a walk for art

Art Kristi Kates Put some of the best promotional minds of Petoskey together, add a little “gotta have art,” and what do you get? Petoskey’s annual Gallery Walk, now in its ninth year as one of downtown’s favored events for locals and tourists alike.
It only takes a quick stroll through Petoskey’s quaint downtown area to see that there’s a strong art presence, especially where landscape art (a big draw for visitors) is concerned; if you’ve ever wanted your walls to capture every single mood of the bay and the surrounding area, you could certainly do that by acquiring art from Petoskey’s extensive selection of galleries.
Monday, June 9, 2008

The Mackinac Seven

Art Glen Young Mackinac Island has long been a haven for artists. Photographers and painters have regularly found the Island’s rocky outlines inspiration for intense study. The surrounding waters and green spaces have lured artists since the 17th century.
So the development of the Mackinac Seven, a loose association of painters who depict the changing views of the historic island, is not hard to understand. Marta Olson, who has lived part of her year on Mackinac Island since the 1960s, describes the Mackinac Seven as a “group of friends who just started painting together and hanging out together.”
Monday, April 28, 2008

Del Michel‘s Abstract World

Art Rick Coates This weekend, Gallery Fifty will open its three-month exhibition titled “The Ways of Seeing: The Abstract Art of Jennifer Gardiner Lam, Delbert Michel and Debra Lanning.” The exhibition will kick off Saturday, May 3 with an artists’ reception from 6-9 p.m. in the Mercato (lower level) of Building 50 at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
Artist Delbert Michel, who spent 39 years as a professor of art at Hope College in Holland, took time to answer a few questions and offer his reflections and observations on the world of art. Michel moved to Northern Michigan in 2003 and opened up a working studio/gallery in downtown Traverse City. While he doesn’t keep gallery hours, people do track him down in his somewhat hard-to-find studio located in the alley near Jack’s Market and The House of Doggs.
Monday, April 21, 2008

Kim Krumrey

Art Carina Hume Fun, funky and colorful is how Petoskey potter Kim Krumrey describes her art – a nearly accurate description of the artist herself. With her hair in ponytails, a cap on her head and a colorful, patterned self-made scarf around her neck, Krumrey appears to be the epitome of her work.
A Traverse City native since she was 10 years old, Krumrey still considers the area home. She attended Western Michigan University – with a stint at Northwestern Michigan College her sophomore year with classes in graphic design. Back at Western in her junior year, she realized commercial art wasn’t for her.
“I don’t really like to compromise when it comes to my artwork,” Krumrey says with a laugh. Her focus shifted to ceramics, and in 1993 she completed her Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in art, and settled in Petoskey, unsure of what to do with her life.
Monday, April 21, 2008

The Art Of Austin

Art Carina Hume When David K. Austin left Marquette in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Michigan University in hand, he was searching for snow. An avid cross country skier, he wanted to live where he could pursue both of his passions. Petoskey was his compromise, and he’s built a career in art along the way.
“At the time, I was skiing heavily – cross country skiing,” says Austin, who ran the Boyne Highlands Cross Country Ski Program for five seasons. “It was the closest I could get to the sculptures I was doing in southern Michigan, but still ski.”
Monday, January 28, 2008

Russell Chatham

Art Glen D. Young Artist Russell Chatham may not have been able to attend the opening gala for his retrospective exhibition in Traverse City, but 23 of his most notable paintings certainly showed up. The paintings represent the collection of Ann Arbor area health care executive Randall Pittman and his wife Mary.
Gene Jenneman, director of the
Dennos Museum Center, where the paintings are featured, credits Harry and Piper Goldson with securing the display. The Goldsons, owners of Suttons Bay
Galleries, have worked with both
Monday, December 31, 2007

The artistic life of Chuck Forman

Art Priscilla Miller Chuck Forman’s interest in art was initially sparked by a seventh grade art teacher. She got him interested in oil painting, and after that, he was “hooked.” While attending Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan, he took courses in engineering and drafting, yet he also managed to get in three hours a day of art classes.
He began his career as an artist at the age of 17. When visiting his grandparents’ farm in the Traverse City area, he saw an ad in the local paper for an apprentice artist. He decided to answer the ad, and of the 72 applicants, Chuck was one of two selected for the job.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Schooner Sails Again

Art Carina Hume In 2004, Petoskey’s Little Traverse Civic Theatre (LTCT) first presented The Christmas Schooner, a turn–of–the–century story of the Stossels, who sailed Lake Michigan in November to bring Christmas trees to families in fire–ravaged Chicago. The musical is based on a book by John Reeger, with music and lyrics by Julie Shannon.
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Allen Brown Art

Art Priscilla Miller When Allen Brown of Rapid City laid down his dental drill ten years ago and retired from his downstate dental practice, he was looking for something to do that would give him a sense of fulfillment. He knew he possessed artistic abilities, because dentistry requires skill and precision. But what to do?
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jerry Gates

Art Rick Coates Artist Jerry Gates grew up in Bay City, where he drew on his passion for art by having the opportunity to take four years of art classes while in high school. As he prepares for an exhibition and an artist’s reception November 15th at Gallery Fifty that will include more than 80 works he has created over the past 20 years, he reflects on the state of art in the schools and the community.

“I was fortunate to be in school at a time when taking art classes and music classes was encouraged and valued,” said Gates. “In general, today we don’t look upon visual artists with the same esteem other countries do. I think this has somewhat to do with the dummying down of our appreciation for art.”
Gates isn’t angry and he doesn’t want to appear too cynical, yet his observations over the years have led him to believe that to a certain extent, the arts are headed in the wrong direction.
“Visual art takes concentration by the participant, unlike going to a concert or listening to pop music; no thought is really required for those things,” said Gates. “Most people today are unwilling to stand in front of a painting and spend the necessary time appreciating it and understanding what the artist has captured. This appreciation for art is not being taught like it used to be when I was growing up.”
He chuckles at the attention that pop musicians and actors on the big screen are given by society while many other great artists practically go unnoticed. However, he feels fortunate to be working as an artist in Northern Michigan, an area that he feels is one of the pockets in the country that does have an “appreciation and willingness to celebrate its artists.”