Letters

Letters 09-15-2014

Stop The Games On Campus

Four head coaches – two at U of M and two at MSU – get a total of $13 million of your taxpayer dollars each year. Their staffs get another $11 million...

The Truth About Fatbikes

While we appreciate the fatbike trail coverage, the quote from the article below is exactly what we demonstrated not to be true in most cases last season...

Man Has Environmental Responsibility

I tend to agree with Thomas Kachadurian (“Playing God,” Sept. 8) that we should not interfere with the power of nature by deciding what is “native” and what is not. Man usually does what is better for man (or so we believe), hence the survival and population growth of our species...

The Bush & Obama Facts

Don Turner’s letter to the editor on 8/25/14 stated that there has never been a more corrupt, dishonest, etc. set of politicians in the White House. He states no facts, but here are a few...

Ban Pesticides

I grew up downstate in a neighborhood without pesticides. I was always very healthy. Living here, I have become ill. So I did my research and found out a lot about these poison agents called pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, etc) that are being spread throughout this community, accumulating in our air, water and soil...

Respect for Presidents?

Recently we read the Letter to the Editor that encouraged us to stop characterizing President Obama as anything other than an upstanding, moral, inspiring “first Black President”. The author would have us think that the rancor in the press, media and public is misguided. And, believe it or not, this rancor is a “glaring exception to … unwritten patriotic rule” of historically supporting all previous presidents...


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Thursday, December 1, 2005

On the Brink

Art Rick Coates Self-doubt runs through us all from time to time, especially those who create for a living. So when artist Angela Schuler was encouraged by her friends three years ago to pursue her passion to paint, she wondered how good she really was.
“My friends and their friends were telling me that I had talent,” said Schuler. “But I didn’t know if they were just being nice. I appreciated their support but I wanted some validation of my work outside of my circle of friends and family.”
Earlier this fall Schuler received that validation when a call came from Chicago’s famed Gruen Galleries (part of the internationally renowned River North Gallery District that attracts collectors and buyers from around the world) asking Schuler for four of her works to sell at their gallery.
“When I was questioning my abilities a couple of years ago I sent copies of my works to three galleries in Chicago’s River North District,” said Schuler. “Gruen said they loved my work but the pieces they wanted had already sold. So things stalled until they called again and asked me to create four works that were 4’ by 6’ to be sold at their gallery. I just dropped them off a couple of weeks ago so we will see.”
Gruen plans to hold an exhibition of Schuler’s works in the future where she will be the gallery’s featured artist.
 
Thursday, November 3, 2005

Mission Possible

Art Rick Coates Debra McKeon, the new executive director of the Traverse Area Arts Council has her hands full. Funds and grants for arts organizations have been drying up in recent years. And without a leader for over a year, little if anything has been heard of the Arts Council during that time.
“The Arts Council has essentially been resting for the past year,” said McKeon. “Its importance to the community has not lessened at all. After coming off a 10 year run where it accomplished so much for the arts in this area, this sort of down time is typical. It has been catching its breath and is now ready for its next phase.”
McKeon, who started in late September, comes in as “overqualified” for the position. For the past 20 years she has worked at the international performing arts level. That included serving as the assistant manager of the New York Philharmonic and traveling with famed conductor Leonard Bernstein. A desire to enjoy small town living led her and her husband to move to Elk Rapids where he serves as a school band director.
 
Thursday, October 27, 2005

InsideOut Gallery Digs Into Art‘s Underground

Art Rick Coates It’s called “Pop Surrealism,” or “Underground Art,” and sometimes “Lowbrow or Outsider Art.” Call it what you like but InsideOut Gallery owner Mike Curths likes to simply call it art.
“I don’t claim to be an expert on art,” said Curths, “But I do know what I like and this art that is known as ‘underground’ speaks to me.”
Curths and his wife Kim opened InsideOut seven months ago. Located in downtown Traverse City on Garland (near the fish weir and the Visitors Center) the gallery will host an artist reception and masquerade/costume gathering Saturday October 29 from 7 pm to 11 pm. Since opening, InsideOut has hosted a series of artist receptions on the last Saturday of each month.
“I have expanded the theme for this reception in keeping with the Halloween weekend spirit,” said Curths. “We are encouraging people to come in costume and to be creative. We will serve refreshments and there will be live music.”
Voluntary contributions will be accepted for a scholarship fund that Curths and others are creating to help students interested in pursuing non-traditional art forms.
 
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. 
 
 
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