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 werent 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 cant rest until you do, Hosner said.
These arent 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 Citys Building 50.
Ultimately, hed like to display the entire collection of 24 portraits at a local museum.