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Letters 04-21-2014

An Exercise of Power

Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...


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Monday, March 9, 2009

A museum grows in Harbor Springs

Art Kristi Kates A museum grows in Harbor Springs
Kristi Kates 3/23/09

For years, the old Harbor Springs City Hall on Main Street - an imposing and architecturally intriguing historical building that was somewhat incongruously covered in yellow stucco - stood vacant, after the City of Harbor Springs had moved their offices to a new location on Zoll Street. It was once a grand structure, one of the largest and tallest in the Harbor Springs downtown area - so it was a natural choice when the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society (HSAHS) decided to embark on a “Museum Grows” project to restore a local building and turn it into what would be the Harbor Springs History Museum
“Since its inception in 1990, the HSAHS’s mission has been to preserve this area’s history for future generations,” Dave Harrell explains. Harrell, the museum’s Executive Director, helped spearhead the mission to revitalize the building (“a building of tremendous history,” he says) and see the museum opened at last, and the entire HSAHS team, from the board to the staff to the “Capital Campaign” committee, were ready to do their part.
 
Monday, February 2, 2009

Homeless artist creates an expression of his love

Art Priscilla Miller Homeless artist creates an expression of his love
Priscilla Miller 2/2/09

How a collection of wooden panels created by a homeless man living in a windowless Kalkaska warehouse made it to a downtown Petoskey gallery could be contributed to just a string of coincidences. Others believe, it was nothing less than miraculous.
It began when a woman from Grand Rapids named Deb Swanson called Paul Hresko to inquire about renting one of his Elk Rapids vacation properties during the off-season several years ago. Once settled into the rental, she expressed an interest in doing some volunteer work.
Hresko was working in Kalkaska at the time, and introduced her to a nun there. The two women had lunch and afterwards, the nun said, “I think there’s something you should see.” She proceeded to drive Swanson to an old school house. The man who answered the knock at the schoolhouse door took one look at Swanson and said, “Oh, it’s you. The father said you were coming!” Then, as they were preparing to leave, he gave Deb the keys to the schoolhouse door, motioned toward a collection of panels inside, and said, “Here, you need to find a home for these.”
Swanson (who has since married and is now named Deb Heinzelman) told Hresko’s wife, Patti, about the moment she first saw Ed Lantzer standing in the doorway with his magnificent panels depicting the life of Christ in the background. “His words caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end,” she said.
 
Monday, January 26, 2009

Bill Schwab, Mysteries of light

Art Carina Hume Bill Schwab, Mysteries of light
Carina Hume 1/26/09

Bill Schwab is not your typical picture postcard photographer. You’ll find him practicing his art in weather and lighting conditions most photographers run from. “I like to show ways people aren’t used to looking at the world,” says this year’s juror for Crooked Tree Arts Center’s 28th Juried Photography Show in Petoskey.
Working at nighttime and in inclement weather has become somewhat of a trademark for Schwab, a Dearborn and Cross Village resident. “People don’t think of it as being a good time to photograph,” he admits, “but there’s ambient light. The camera tends to pick up more than the eye does – it can be mysterious. It adds to the emotional impact, shot in a snowstorm or at nighttime.”
 
Monday, December 1, 2008

Local glassworks impresses in Jordan Valley & Beyond

Art Kristi Kates Local glassworks impresses in Jordan Valley & Beyond
Kristi Kates 12/1/08

Jay Bavers first discovered glass-working at the age of six months old. His grandfather, who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia, had opened a glass shop in Brooklyn, New York, and the young Bavers lived above the glass shop with his family; so it’s been something he truly has grown up with.
Back in the day, glassworking was more of a factory effort – “making dozens of the same thing, top quality items in a factory setting,” Bavers says. But for him, glassworking developed into the artistry expressed at Jordan Valley Glassworks in East Jordan.
Today, Jay works with both his family and other Jordan Valley Glassworks team members to craft an impressive range of items that have garnered critical and fan acclaim in Northern Michigan and beyond. Even his son is involved in the business.
“My son, Bill, is attending Bowling Green University, getting his Masters in fine arts with a specialty in glass blowing,” Bavers proudly explains. “Bill is an award-winning glass blower, and has worked for the Glassworks for 15 years with Glenna and myself; Glenna Haney is another award-winning glass blower, and she does most of the designing.”
All three artisans work together from concept to completion, incorporating everyone’s ideas and abilities to make Jordan Valley Glassworks’ one-of-a-kind pieces. Their most popular works are the “White House Globes,” large, densely-colored glass globes named after a recent request from the White House - yes, that White House - which wanted 25 of the globes to use on an outdoor Christmas tree.
 
Monday, November 10, 2008

Let your spirits fly

Art Ross Boissoneau It was Walt Disney who brought the concept of the circle of life to worldwide audiences with the hit animated movie “The Lion King,” and Elton John who wrote and performed the hit song.
But the movie, the Broadway musical based on it and their accompanying soundtracks were hardly the first to showcase the concept of the unending circle of life. Native Americans have long used the hoop dance as an illustration of the same concept. And Traverse City will have the opportunity to see a live illustration of it when Brian Hammill and his group, the Native Spirit Dancers, perform at Dennos Museum’s Milliken Auditorium on Monday, Nov. 17.
The hoops symbolize a sacred part of the Native American life, representing the circle of life with no beginning and no end.. The dancer begins with one hoop and keeps adding and weaving the hoops into formations that represent the journey through life, each additional hoop exemplifying another thread in the web of life.
 
Monday, November 3, 2008

Copy Queenz

Art Anne Stanton With the name “Copy Queenz,” this new business is proud to declare its female ownership.
But the name has caused some awkward moments with a few people, said owner Cindy Lyskawa.
“A man, from another shop, asked us if we only wanted female customers because we’re doing the ‘female thing.’ I thought, ‘What is he talking about?’ Then I realized, it must be our name. Other people have walked in and said they were expecting to see two big guys dressed in women’s clothing.”
 
Monday, October 27, 2008

Jordan River Arts Council

Art Carina Hume By showcasing creative art exhibits, live theater and hands-on art projects in the schools for the past 20 years, Jordan River Arts Council’s mission is simple – to bring the arts to Antrim and southern Charlevoix counties.
Housed in a brick, 1900s-built former Carnegie Library, with two galleries, original leaded windows and restored wood interior, the arts council’s Jordan River Art Center anchors the north end of East Jordan’s Main Street.
After celebrating its longevity with a late-summer, 20-year anniversary exhibit and member picnic, JRAC continues to focus on its future.

IT TAKES VOLUNTEERS
Formed in 1988, with Fran Pletz as its first president, the council quickly attained 115 members and gathered a volunteer board. Artist Pat Tinney designed JRAC’s lady slipper logo, which remains its logo to this day.
“I came in shortly after it was founded,” says Howard Ellis, a former president (three times) of JRAC and membership coordinator for the last seven years. “I was not a founding member because I had to work that night,” he says with a laugh.
Today, council memberships are close to 300 and provide a good portion of the council’s funding, as well as art education grants.
“With 292 members we do quite well membership-wise,” says Ellis. “People are very kind and generous. We really don’t go out and advertise – it’s almost by word of mouth.”
The diverse board consists of artists, lawyers and other professionals. “Everyone’s volunteer,” says Ellis. “We have really good working members. we really have to all pitch in.”
 
Monday, September 29, 2008

Poets Rock!

Art Robert Downes There’s no other way to say it: poet Derrick Brown kicks ass. He’s an action-adventure poet, swinging to the stage from the end of a vine with a ululating Tarzan yell and a ray gun in his belt. Well, not really, but the one thing you can expect from Brown’s multi-media poetry readings is the unexpected -- and that it will be the best night of poetry you can imagine.
A former paratrooper, gondolier, magician, and “fired weatherman,” Brown is bringing some of the world’s top-gun poets to the Traverse City Opera House stage on Saturday, Oct. 4 as part of his “Junkyard Ghost Revival” show that blends comedy, music and performance art with poetry.
“It’s more like a theater experience than a poetry reading, with everything planned out,” Brown says by phone from his home in Venice, California.
“Most of the poets who will be appearing are those I met at the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin,” he adds. “We’ve got a world champion on our team, who won slams in Munich and Paris. We decided that it would be better if we all got together and went on tour.”
 
Monday, September 22, 2008

Couture Quilts

Art Priscilla Miller Kathleen Glynn has always loved to sew. Both her mother and grandmother loved to sew, and Kathleen was no exception. By the time she was eight years old she was using a sewing machine to make her own clothes. As a young girl, she would go to the library and read “how to books” on knitting, crocheting and anything relating to fashion and design.
“Just touching my sewing machine has always had a calming effect on me,” says the talented film producer from Antrim County.
Knowing that Kathleen had a flair for wearing vintage clothing, Glynn’s grandma once gave her a mink collar from one of her coats. Glynn promised her that someday she would wear it down 5th Avenue in New York City. Years later, she kept that promise.
After the success of her husband Michael Moore’s film, “Roger and Me,” which she co-produced, he told her she “could have anything she wanted.” She told him she wanted “a new sewing machine!”
 
Monday, September 22, 2008

Sculpting a life: Jim Miller-Melberg

Art Carina Hume Walk into Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center and you’ll think you’ve walked into a sculpture garden. Taking over the art center entrance and Edith Gilbert Gallery is an in-your-face art installation by sculptor Jim Miller-Melberg. With vivid colors, stark whites and eye-catching forms, this exhibit is striking enough to captivate even the youngest child.
Follow Miller-Melberg’s life through early sketches – including figures, nature and sculptural concepts – maquettes, small-scale sculpture from which larger pieces evolve, and the finished product, through November 15, in the exhibit, titled “Jim Miller-Melberg: An autobiography in drawings & sculpture, 1946-2008.”
Nearly 100 working sketches and photos of finished outdoor sculptures are framed in collages on the walls, combined with 40 pieces of sculpture, including sculpture in the round and relief sculptures (three-dimensional wall pieces).
 
Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bellstone revisits Gallery 544

Art Robert Downes Marcia Bellinger will be bringing back some familiar faces for the Sept. 19 Art Walk in downtown Traverse City. Dan Oberschulte, former owner of Gallery 544, and many of the artists he used to feature there, will be the focus of Bellinger’s show at her Belstone Gallery.
“The Art Walk is a wonderful event, with all the downtown art galleries,” Bellinger said. “I do a show every Artwalk. Most are up two weeks to a month. This display will run through the end of October.”
In addition to Oberschulte, the “Gallery 544 Revisited” show will feature Mary Fuscaldo, Joe De Luca, Jerry Gates, Dorothy Grow, Dan Heron, Joe Stearns, Angela Saxon, Flora Stuck, Nancy Hoffman, Billie Hoxie and Julie Pearson.
 
Monday, September 1, 2008

Richard Schemm

Art Robert Downes Walk into Richard Schemm’s studio in a cool forest valley west of Traverse City and you’ll be pleasantly overwhelmed by color and creative energy. Dozens of small paintings hang on the wall, surrounded by larger works in colors as vibrant and alive as the neon of butterfly wings.
Schemm’s paintings have a distinct sense of depth. They contain veils, swirls, canyons and fissures that lead your eye ever deeper into the work. You get the sense that there is a ‘story’ within each painting, and if you go deep enough, your imagination will be fired with visions of what’s around the next bend in the canvas. There is a sublime power here -- and energy -- that goes far beyond other examples of abstract art in Northern Michigan.
“There’s a lot of storytelling in my work,” says Schemm, 56, whose personal intensity is as vibrant as his work. “In a way, these are not ‘abstract’ paintings. They’re abstract compared to realism, but they aren’t without content that informs.”
 
Monday, September 1, 2008

Tale of the Totem

Art Priscilla Miller For as long as Al McShane can remember, he has had a fascination with totem poles.
Al retired as a plumbing inspector from the city of Detroit several years ago and moved to Rapid City. He then took a part-time job as a plumbing inspector for Antrim County. During the summer months he enjoyed working in his perennial gardens, but when winter arrived, he was left looking for something to do in his spare time.
Although he had never carved anything in his life, McShane thought that someday he would like to make a totem pole. He began to research the subject. He learned that since the Indians of the Pacific Northwest and lower Alaska had no written language, they carved their family history and tribal legends into tall poles made of native red cedar.
 
Monday, September 1, 2008

The Push-Pin Man

Art Al Parker Traverse City artist Eric Daigh is not only passionate about his creative works, he’s also intent on earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
While other artists typically work in oils, watercolors or charcoal, Daigh has chosen to express his abilities through a very unusual medium – push pins, those run-of-the-mill, plastic colored pins that are jabbed into bulletin boards in offices around the world.
“We’ve applied to the Guinness book for ‘The Most Push Pins Applied by an Individual,’” says Daigh, an affable, energetic artisan whose lifelike character portraits are catching eyes at the
InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City.
 
Monday, August 18, 2008

A certain irony for jeweler Alice Landis

Art Priscilla Miller How does one choose a direction in art? For Alice Armstrong Landis, it came down to filling a need.
Alice was living in Biggerville, Pennsylvania, and had been teaching art for 10 years, when a friend invited her to “come along” to a meeting of artists in the area. During the meeting each person in attendance was asked to introduce themselves and tell what their media was. “When it was my turn I told them I wasn’t sure -- that it might be pottery, weaving, or jewelry,” Landis says. “When I learned there were 12 potters, 13 weavers and no jewelers in the group, the choice was easy.”
 
 
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