Letters

Letters 07-28-14

Worry About Legals

I can’t figure out what perplexes me more, the misinformation everywhere in the media or those who believe it to be true. Take the Hobby Lobby case; as a company that is primarily owned by a religious family, they felt their First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the “Affordable” Care Act...

Stop Labeling and Enjoy

I have been struggling to find a simple way of understanding for myself the concepts of conservative, liberal, and moderation as it relates to our social interactions with each other...

Proposal One & The Public Good

Are you kidding me? Another corporate giveaway with loopholes for large corporations who rule us? Hasn’t our corrupt and worthless governor done enough to raise taxes, provide corporate welfare, unjustly tax pensions, and shut down elected officials with his emergency manager racket...

The Truth About Road Workers

Apparently Mr. Kachadurian did not catch on to the fact that the MDOT Employee Memorial in Clare is a tribute to highway workers who lost their lives building our transportation systems. It was paid for by current and former MDOT employees who likely knew some of these people personally...

Idiotic and Misguided

As a seasonal resident, I always look forward to reading your paper, if only because of the idiotic letters to the editor and off the wall columns...


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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Carving Out A Place In Time

Art Kip Knight After breakfast and a few morning chores, Dick Lamphier finds the truck keys and points his silver Ford pickup in the direction of his woodworking studio a few blocks away in Elk Rapids. Upon entering, you see just how busy he is. Lathes, vices, clamps, saws, a drill press, mallets and custom crafted wooden boxes filled with delicate hand tools along with wood in all shapes and sizes, unintentionally decorate the interior of this cedar shake cottage-like garage. On his wall, measuring six feet tall and five feet wide and about six to eight inches thick is his current artistic pursuit. As you study the detail, it seems even bigger.
In the late winter of 2004, Lamphier accepted an offer from Harbor Beach, Michigan to design and carve a large wooden panel of the town’s lighthouse and its adjacent pier and shoreline. When completed, the approximately 250-pound rendition will be displayed in Harbor Beach Community Hospital. It will include the names of donors to the medical communities, the many programs and the hospital itself.
“It all began with a web posting on Michigan Wood Carvers Association in January 2004. I hesitated and didn’t reply right away.” Lamphier admits. “Then, a few weeks past and I sent them my portfolio. In the end, I was selected out of about four other interested carvers.”
 
Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Personal Mythology of Melonie Steffes

Art Robert Downes Melonie Steffes is one of those lucky persons who knew what she wanted to do with her life at an early age.
Call it a vision.
“I don’t really remember when I knew I wanted to become an artist; I’ve just always done it,” she says. “I think a lot of it was the encouragement I got from my family. My grandmother was an artist and I spent a lot of my young days with her and got a lot of encouragement.
“I remember in my teens I started calling myself an artist,” she adds. “I just naturally flowed into that as something I was going to do.”
That calling is starting to pay off for the 32-year-old painter from Interlochen whose work is on exhibit at Gallery Fifty at the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City through October.
Those who visit the gallery will likely be dazzled by Steffe’s personal vision which has a touch of the surreal or the magical realism found in the works of Chagall or Salvador Dali. Images of disembodied brains, a flying cow, or of her husband Michael Callaghan dreaming over a pair of red shoes naturally lead to speculation over what the artist is trying to say.
Even Steffes doesn’t quite know the answer, except that the symbolic images are a powerful new direction for her work.
“Right now I feel like this is the direction I should be going in -- it’s like a personal mythology,” she says. “I don’t sit around and think of what my symbols are or what they mean. People ask me what the cord is or the snake (in her painting, “The Red Cord”) and I don’t know. People come up with their own ideas. I think that’s great. It’s their own interpretation and that’s what I like about art.”
 
Thursday, September 29, 2005

Interlochen swings into Fall/Winter

Art From a nostalgic 1940s swing music revue to classic Dickens theatre, a quartet of jugglers to Guy Noir, Private Eye (the Ballet), Interlochen’s fall-winter season offers some of the same old acts featured year-after-year along with a few new faces.
• The season kicks off October 18 with “In the Mood,” a 1940s musical revue that celebrates the Swing Era, featuring the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and more. The 15-piece String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra, supported by a cast of singers and dancers, presents the music and the arrangements of the top groups of the 1940s in a show that transports audiences back to the ball rooms, music theaters and radios of World War II America when swing music and dance buoyed the spirits of the nation.
 
Thursday, September 15, 2005

Artful Energy

Art Kristi Kates Kevin Barton’s art accomplishments began as early as 9th grade, when he won the award for Best Artist of the Year at Harbor Springs High School. “I was surprised by that,” Barton laughs, “but that actually may have been what started me out.”
High school would hold more surprises for Barton, especially in his junior year, when he transferred to Florida for a short time to get a change of pace from Northern Michigan.
“The school in Florida was a lot more serious about art,” Barton remembers, “and I was again surprised to see that I was getting graded better than a lot of people who had been there for a while. That’s when it
kind of dawned on me that art was what I wanted to do.”
 
Thursday, August 25, 2005

Totally Ignorant...Art bash aims for the unexpected

Art Robert Downes Last year’s Ignorant Art show was the hands-down art event of the year for Traverse City. Approximately 400 people attended -- all dressed in black -- raising $5,800 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Traverse through the sale of works by 13 “unknown” artists.
This year, artist Ryan Wells and his comrade organizers hope to top the success of that event with their guerrilla art show, which will be held this Saturday, Aug. 27 from 9 p.m. to midnight. Held on the floor above Trattoria Stella at Building 50 in the Grand Traverse Commons, the show is pumped with high expectations of its two previous outings.
Just be sure to wear black if you attend -- it’s a Japanese tradition of showing respect for a performance, transmogrified in the beatnik era to a hallmark of hipness in locales ranging from London to the East Village... and now even Northern Michigan.
 
Thursday, August 4, 2005

The Art of Boxing

Art What goes better than art and boxing? Find out Saturday, Aug. 13 at ArtFist, an event which blends an exhibition of paintings with fisticuffs at the Grand Traverse Resort.
ArtFist will celebrate the paintings of Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, a Miami artist who also served as Muhammad Ali’s ringside doctor in addition to his work as a fight commentator. A 4 p.m. reception and art exhibition at Governor’s Hall will be followed by a dinner at 6:30 and then boxing by members of the Trigger Gym, among others.
 
Thursday, August 4, 2005

The Contender

Art Robert Downes Whoever dreamed that poetry would get to be a competitive art form?
At events such as poetry slams, Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry” show on HBO, and even Eminem’s rhymin’ rap flick, “8 Mile,” there’s a spirit of competition among wordsmiths these days to become the top poet on the pile.
 
Thursday, July 28, 2005

Artistic Freedom...lIgor Zaytsev pushes the limits of local art

Art Kristi Kates Perhaps the first thing that will strike you when you walk into Igor Zaytsev’s art gallery in Petoskey is the sheer uniqueness of it all. It’s a little overwhelming at first. In a Northern Michigan community well-known for impressionistic landscapes, “safe” tones of cornflower blue and khaki, and more interpretations of the lake than you can shake a stick at, Zaytsev’s work takes you off guard - you won’t know what to look at first, yet you’ll feel compelled to somehow look at all of it at once.
His work harkens back to an older school of classical art, but he also fuses his paintings and drawings with a futurism that is refreshing, fluid, and filled with emotion. Although he doesn’t limit himself in subject matter, all of the work on display is obviously and gloriously his - identifiable by a style that he has made his own.
“I am inspired very much by Renaissance art, the figurative works,” Zaytsev enthuses. “I do many oil paintings on canvas, I love to draw with pencil and red chalk and charcoal, and I prefer to work on big, abstract canvases. But even in my abstract and symbolistic or contemporary works, people can still feel influence of Renaissance art. Is very important.”
 
Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cold Nose Warm Art in Petoskey

Art Kristi Kates Abby the dog’s eighth birthday was March 31 this year. So what better time to open the gallery named for the beloved Mack family’s pet than that exact date? Kathy Mack thought that was a pretty good idea, and she did just that, settling Cold Nose Productions in on Mitchell Street’s new “uptown art district” in Petoskey and bringing her colorful, eclectic, friendly artwork to a new audience.
Kathy started painting art and furniture when her son, Colin, was around three years old (he’s 10 now). With Abby the dog always around, Mack was subsequently always laughingly picking dog hair out of her drying artworks; so brainstorming a name like Cold Nose Productions was a, er, no-brainer when it came right down to it.
 
Thursday, July 14, 2005

Art in Public Places honors Eddi

Art Art supporter, the late eddi Offield, has been honored by her friends in the creative community with the placement of a new ”Homage to eddi” sculpture in the Mitchell Street courtyard in Petoskey.
Michigan sculptor Paul Varga was commissioned in 2002 to create an original piece of art that would serve as the eddi Award. The Crooked Tree Arts Center presents the annual award to those who reflect the talent, energy and commitment of the late eddi Offield of Harbor Point.
Varga’s 500 lb. bronze figure, which serves as the model for the award, is one of seven “Art in Public Places” installations around the region.
Thus far, Moran Ironworks and Crooked Tree have installed a 1,500 lb bronze stag by artist Glen McCune at the Pellston Regional Airport, as well as a 4,000 lb stainless steel and brass butterfly by sculptor Tom Moran at the entrance to Northern Michigan Hospital.
 
Thursday, July 7, 2005

Art that Rocks

Art Rick Coates This summer Steve Loveless is throwing a little “rock” into tradition as he “rolls” out a unique collection of photographs and memorabilia from the world of popular music at his State of the Art Framing and Gallery in Traverse City.
It’s a departure for Loveless at the gallery he opened 20 years ago because for the past several summers he has had an exhibition of new works from nationally-acclaimed artist Charles Murphy.
“It’s not like we kicked Charles Murphy out -- his work is very popular and sells well. But Charles had some other projects for this summer so the door opened for this to happen,” said Loveless. “A few years ago the John Lennon art exhibition was well attended during the Cherry Festival and there was a lot of enthusiasm for the Tom Wright exhibition at the college, so that was my motivation for this.”
Several of Wright’s photographs will be part of the exhibit including some never-before-seen pieces. Wright, a close friend of Pete Townshend, was tour manager for The Who and traveled with the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and numerous other bands, amassing one of the greatest collections of rock photographs of all time.
“I am pleased that Tom has reached into his archives for this show,” said Loveless. “His work is amazing and there is so much to it. It seems to never end.”
 
Thursday, July 7, 2005

Tatum Studios

Art Kristi Kates Cali Tatum and Dave Stuursma were quite familiar with the Lake Orion
area -- they‘d spent plenty of time establishing a gallery there in
the northern suburbs of Detroit.  But Northern Michigan was calling, so
the business partners decided to come Up North to see what Petoskey had
to offer.  “Lots of things!“ was the answer, as Tatum Studios co-owner
Stuursma enthuses: “We found that there were not only several open
buildings, but the town was also completely welcoming to art and new
galleries.  It was an easy choice to come up here.“
  Located at 445 East Mitchell Street in Petoskey‘s new “uptown art
district,“ Tatum Studios began with a focus on furniture. They‘re
branching out into other artworks as they discover new artists and
items they‘d like to showcase. 
 
Thursday, June 30, 2005

The hunt for Bearable Art

Art Visitors to Northern Michigan can expect to find plenty of black bears on the prowl this summer, thanks to the sponsors of the Hunt for Bearable Art.
A fundraiser for the American Red Cross, the “hunt” has enlisted some of Michigan’s most talented artists, who have added a splash of whimsy to more than 45 lifesize bear sculptures on display throughout the region. The bears have been sponsored by businesses, community groups or private donors.
From Central Lake to Cheboygan, it’s possible to track the bears using color brochures available at local chambers of commerce. You can even get to know the bears by name, including Aurora Beary Alice; Shakesbear; Bear Boating and Rock Bottom, to name a few.
On the evening of August 13, the bears will gather for an auction under the stars at Bay Harbor. Honorary chairs Doug and Melanie Johnson have an evening of food, fun and competition planned for the culmination of the bear hunt. All proceeds from the auction will benefit local services of the American Red Cross.
The Northern Lower Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross provides services to Charlevoix, Emmet, Antrim and Cheboygan counties. Contact the Red Cross for more info or for tickets to the Art Auction by calling 231-348-7666; on the web at
www.arcnlm.org, or visit their office at 2350 Mitchell Park Drive, Petoskey.
 
Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gallery 31 aims for big city quality and small town atmosphere

Art Danielle Horvath S
isters Holly Nelson, 25, and Erin Fisher, 27, grew up in their parents’ Platte River Printing business, so when it came time to look for a place to showcase local artists, they once again turned to their roots. Along with Erin’s husband, Todd Fisher, 27, they remodeled the front of the family business near Honor to make way for a new art gallery and named it for its location on US 31.
Benzie County’s newest art destination, Gallery 31, opened on May 6 to rave reviews. Holly has gallery experience from her work from the past four summers at Les Sirenes Galerie D’Art in Frankfort, which features nationally-known batik artist Terri Haugen, among others.
 
Thursday, June 16, 2005

Petoskey‘s triple play weekend...with Art Walk, Concours Festival & Chick Corea

Art Rick Coates In baseball the greatest double play combination ever was “Tinkers” to “Evers” to “Chance,” and on occasion the Chicago Cubs trio would pull off the triple play. Well this weekend the Petoskey region plans to field their own triple play: “Galleries” to “Concours” to “Corea.”
It all starts on Thursday, June 16 with the Annual Petoskey Gallery Walk, and then the ball is tossed over the Bay Harbor Concours Festival on Friday and Saturday with a quick relay Saturday night to Bay View for jazz legend Chick Corea for what should make a great “triple play” weekend.
 
 
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