Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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Monday, March 31, 2014

A Life of Fiber

Insurance was a less than perfect fit for Marcia Koppa, who left her job when the urge to get creative struck her.

Art Al Parker “About 15 years ago, I felt a real need to do something artistic,” said Koppa, who lives just outside of Grayling. “I tried sketching and found out I couldn’t sketch. So if I couldn’t sketch, how could I possibly paint?” Koppa turned to weaving, turning out hundreds of scarves, vibrant table runners and wall hangings.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Todd Warner's Zoo Charlevoix sculptor loves animals & 'sophisticated whimsey'

Art Al Parker In his downtown Charlevoix studio, sculptor Todd Warner puts flame to his first Dominican Excalibur cigar of the day, exhales a plume of fragrant smoke and recalls his early artistic efforts.
“I was always drawing stuff,” he says with a chuckle. “From the time I could pick up a pencil. My kindergarten teacher said ‘We need to foster this.’”
Decades later, Warner’s clay-and-wood works include life-size cowboys, Indians, butlers and fishermen. He has a special affinity for animals and crafts unique beasts from armadillos to zebras.
“I’ve always loved animals,” says Warner, who grew up in Farwell, near Clare. “And I really like the more interesting animals – wart hogs, rhinos – not the sleek one. I spent some time in Africa and really want to go back.”
Described as ‘sophisticated whimsy,’ his works can be found in lobbies, living rooms, zoos, museums, offices and airports across the nation. His creations are cornerstones of collections at the corporate headquarters of USA Today, McDonald’s, Gannett Publishing and Detroit Tigers and Little Caesar’s owner Mike Illitch.
Celebrities who own at least one of Warner’s works include Randy Travis, David Copperfield, Kelly McGillis, Charlie Gibson and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo Replay

Art Al Parker Steve Ballance says his interest in photographic processes is comparable
to the ancient practice of alchemy where the wizard attempted to turn base
metals into gold.
For decades, he’s been intrigued by how one’s perception is changed by the
processes that translate subject matter to the viewer.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Bird‘s eye view/Aerial photography

Art Glen Young Bird’s eye view: Aerial photography exhibit soars in Petoskey
By Glen Young
Robert Cameron always took the bird’s eye view. Cameron, whose works are
currently on display at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center gallery,
popularized the aerial vantage point in his many “Above” books. His
first, “Above San Francisco,” was published in 1969. He went on to
publish 16 more in the series. There are more than three million “Above”
books in print.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Anna Farrell & Tyler Bier

Art Al Parker A high school project has turned into a creative, popular line of detailed
ceramic guitars produced by Charlevoix artisans Anna Farrell and Tyler
Bier.
“I made one that was about two-feet high, a Fender, for a class project
years ago,” recalls the 24-year-old Bier, who has seven real guitars of
his own. “After that I just started making them, though smaller.”
For about two years, both Bier and Farrell constructed the guitars, but
now she specializes in the axes, while Bier has moved on to more
functional ceramics like dishes, mugs, piggy banks and serving bowls.
“Anna’s guitars are a lot neater (than mine),” says Bier with a smile.
“She’s incredibly talented and precise. I stick to the wheel now.”
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Paul Van Heest

Art Kristi Kates Motivated by a couple of politely persistent emails and a recommendation
from a print company, Kuhlhaus Gallery owner Tim Coon remembers first
discovering the artwork of Paul VanHeest.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Cycling Salamander

Art Kristi Kates As a child in the ’70s, I used to spend hours looking for salamanders
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 gallery’s name stems from my childhood love for
salamanders, and my love for mountain biking.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Eye of the Beholder Michelle Hart Jahraus captures Leelanau in its element

Art Al Parker Van Gogh did it. So did Monet and Renoir.
And Leelanau County artist Michelle Hart Jahraus is an outspoken advocate
of painting outdoors, or “plein air” – especially near water. Capturing
the elusive qualities of light and landscapes are fascinating to her. She
even teaches classes in the classic artistic practice.
“If I haven’t had a day near the water, I feel unfulfilled or
irresponsible,” she says with a smile. “I feel it’s sort of a
responsibility to art.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Glenn Wolff Brings the Angels to Harbor Springs

Art Kristi Kates Traverse City native Glenn Wolff’s artwork can be seen all over Northern
Michigan and far beyond, including the pages of many magazines, books and
newspapers such as the New York Times. Now, he’s making his mark on Harbor
Springs.
As of July 21, Wolff’s art has been on display at the Kuhlhaus Gallery in
Harbor Springs. Gallery owner Tim Coon, who co-owns Kuhlhaus with his
wife, Helen, was drawn to Wolff’s work for a wide variety of reasons.
“Glenn’s work is unique, for sure,” Coon says, “he uses a wide diversity
of fascinating materials and subjects, and many of his pieces are quite
ethereal.”
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Jesse Hickman

Art Al Parker There’s Something Fishy about Jesse Hickman
By Al Parker
Artist Jesse Hickman has created well more than 1,000 witty, whimsical
fish over the years, but like a devoted catch-and-release angler, he
hasn’t kept any for himself.
“I have to work, it’s an obsession,” says Hickman. “But once it’s done,
it’s out of my life. I don’t own a fish of my own. For me, the art is not
the finished product, it’s the process. Once it’s completely finished,
it’s okay to let it go.”
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

The Contemporary Quilts of Sarah Bearup-Neal

Art Al Parker It’s been about 25 years since Sarah Bearup-Neal visited a small historical museum in Flint and was taken aback by what she saw there.
“There was a twist,” she recalls. “The quilts were hung from the ceiling rather than spread horizontally across a bed. It was explained to me these quilts were being exhibited for the strength of their design.”
Quilts as Art?
“The idea struck me as revolutionary and it germinated inside my brain for 20 years,” she says.
Art has been part of Bearup-Neal’s life since she was growing up in Grand Blanc, south of Flint. In 1978, she earned a BFA in studio art from Michigan State University. Despite this background, she didn’t pursue art professionally until the late 1990s when she displayed her fiber arts.
“I created women’s clothing using techniques from the quilting world,” she explains. “But then I decided my heart wasn’t really in that and I began really studying contemporary quilts. They’re different from traditional quilts. People believe they just belong in the bedroom. Quilting as an art medium is sometimes difficult for people to get their minds around.”
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

SOBO Art Festival

Art Kristi Kates WE is a big word when we discuss the 2nd Annual SoBo Arts Festival,”
explains festival co-coordinator Robin Lee Berry, “each of us have had big
and important jobs that are essential in making the festival happen.”
The idea for the Arts Fest began last year, when the community decided to
work together to “put a face,” as Berry puts it, on the collective pool of
local artist talent; Freshwater Studio’s Tony Williams and
Berry worked with Jerry Dennis, CindiFranco’s CoolStuff, and Lake Street
Market to create a committee that put together the first festival.
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

The Contemporary Quilts of Sarah Bearup-Neal

Art Al Parker It’s been about 25 years since Sarah Bearup-Neal visited a small historical museum in Flint and was taken aback by what she saw there.
“There was a twist,” she recalls. “The quilts were hung from the ceiling rather than spread horizontally across a bed. It was explained to me these quilts were being exhibited for the strength of their design.”
Quilts as Art?
“The idea struck me as revolutionary and it germinated inside my brain for 20 years,” she says.
Art has been part of Bearup-Neal’s life since she was growing up in Grand Blanc, south of Flint. In 1978, she earned a BFA in studio art from Michigan State University. Despite this background, she didn’t pursue art professionally until the late 1990s when she displayed her fiber arts.
“I created women’s clothing using techniques from the quilting world,” she explains. “But then I decided my heart wasn’t really in that and I began really studying contemporary quilts. They’re different from traditional quilts. People believe they just belong in the bedroom. Quilting as an art medium is sometimes difficult for people to get their minds around.”
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Rick Daigh

Art Al Parker Gaze on the evocative works of Rick Daigh and you might wonder who his
early artistic inspirations were.
The Old Masters? Perhaps the Impressionists?
“When I was about 9 years old, I got Mad Magazine,” he says with a wry
smile. “My heroes were those artists – Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Mort
Drucker. I loved those guys. By the time I was in high school, I wanted to
be an illustrator.”
After a year and a half as nt art major at Sacramento City College and a
tour of duty in the U.S. Air Force, Daigh found work at a number of print
shops and ad agencies in Southern California. He gradually got more
art-related jobs, working as a cartoonist at a greeting card company and
for several design studios where his detailed illustrations were featured
on brochures, print ads and publications.
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

The nature side of Kaye Krapohl

Art Al Parker Kaye Krapohl finds the perfect view atop Sleeping Bear Dunes, pulls out her gear and settles in to interpret the stunning scene before her. 
“Here’s my ‘very technical’ approach to painting,” she says with a laugh. “Get a clip board, gessoed paper, or piece of wood, grab whatever paints will fit into my Oryana cloth bag, roll brushes up in a dishtowel, grab a small china plate and water in a water bottle. Get on my bike or travel to a nice location and paint. I take a backpack, sit on a rock and do my little sketches.”
Then she returns to her in-home studio in Traverse City and turns those ‘little sketches’ into 24x36-inch or 38x38-inch things of beauty. Her favorite medium is oil on wood with very thin washes.
Nature dominates Krapohl’s works, mostly landscapes of stunning appeal and accuracy. Her acrylics, oils and watercolors capture clouds, rivers, lakes, marshes, streams and sunsets from across northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. 
“I do landscapes because it’s there,” she explains. “You can always expect my work to give a sense of being there in the present. The greatest compliment anyone could give me is ‘I can hear the snow crunch’ or ‘I can smell the river.’”
 
 
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