Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Breakout artists

Art Vance Hancock Breakout Artists
Prison art exhibit debuts at Manistee Art Institute

By Vince Hancock 8/10/09

From tiny territorial prisons across the country, to behemoths like Leavenworth, prison art has existed as long as people have been incarcerated. Inmates, with time as their most plentiful resource, have used bits of soap, trash and other social residue to produce stunning and surprising works.
Some prison art is as notorious as its creators. Serial killer John Wayne Gacy painted images of Disney characters and clowns. Family members of his victims purchased many of them so they could be pitched onto a bonfire. Other art remains locked inside, scratched directly onto walls and only seen by the next inmate.
For many, the closest contact with prison art is the Clint Eastwood flick, Escape From Alcatraz, in which the character of Doc is punished for his portrait of the warden.
For those who’ve never seen prison art directly, the Manistee Art Institute’s upcoming show at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee will be a mandatory sentence. Tudie Rulison, an MAI board member and organizer of the show, has herself put in several years of labor. “It’s isn’t something you do overnight,” she says. “A show doesn’t normally take three years to put together.”
After battling red tape and uncertain timelines, Rulison is about ready to open the doors. But even with contributions from the University of Michigan’s Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), the Manistee County Jail and Manistee’s Oaks Correctional Facility, the exhibit is just a small sampling of available artwork.
 
Monday, July 20, 2009

An American Century visits Petoskey

Art Kristi Kates An American Century
Visits Petoskey

By Kristi Kates 7/20/09

“As far as how long it will take to tour the collection, I have had people
return over and over again - because they say they cannot take it all in
at one time,” says exhibit curator Gail DeMeyere.
 
Monday, July 20, 2009

Enter Sandman

Art Jeffray N. Kessler Enter Sandman
Bellaire sculptor Ray Villafane
makes mark in Italy

By Jeffray N. Kessler 7/20/09

In June, the resort town of Jesolo, Italy hosted 18 of the world’s most
highly-respected sand sculptors to participate in their annual summer
sculpting event. Bellaire’s Ray Villifane was one of the invitees.
 
Monday, July 20, 2009

The Ellair Gallery

Art Kristi Kates Art‘s a Breeze at The Ellair Gallery

By Kristi Kates 7/20/09

Multi-media artist Edith Pair grew up in Charlevoix, and followed a direct route to her current artistic career, starting at five years old painting with oils.
In high school, Edith served a summer internship at Parsons School of Design (New York). From there she attended the Art Institute of Chicago, “which was ranked second-best art school in the country,” she says proudly.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (she also majored in fashion design), Pair freelanced in Chicago for 15 years doing work for various corporations and businesses; but she decided to move back to Charlevoix to pursue her lifelong goal of opening her own gallery in 2008.
 
Monday, June 29, 2009

Japanese Woodblocks: Mary Brodbeck

Art Kristi Kates Japanese Woodblock
Mary Brodbeck teaches the printmaking art of Japan
By Kristi Kates 6/29/09

Mary Brodbeck grew up on a dairy farm in southern Michigan, and felt “a magnetic pull” to the ground her family farmed. As a young adult, she wanted to expand her world away from that country life - studying industrial design at Michigan State University and subsequently moving to Los Angeles to work at an architectural firm. But the way she felt about the land and waters of Michigan remained unchanged, and she decided to return.
“After a few months in L.A., I realized that I would have to make a radical change in myself in order to survive there. In essence, I would have to leave the country girl behind. I decided to move back to Michigan - in part because I had never been to Traverse City - I’m not making this up! - and partly because I liked who I was and didn’t want to give up being that country girl.”
 
Monday, June 15, 2009

Quilt Crazy

Art Carina Hume Quilt Qraze
Tradition clashes with contemporary at Quilts by the Bay show

By Carina Hume 6/15/09

Traditional quilting, born out of necessity, has been around for centuries. But contemporary art quilts – made strictly for art’s sake – are quickly becoming a new and exciting way to express oneself.
“Quilts by the Bay,” showcases both styles at the Petoskey Knights of Columbus Hall, on Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20.
 
Monday, June 15, 2009

The two world‘s of Charles Lindsay

Art Kelsey Lauer The Two Worlds of Charles Lindsay
Photographer makes a splash at the Dennos

By Kelsey Lauer 6/15/09

Step inside a different world - or make those two different worlds - at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, where two exhibits from noted photographer Charles Lindsay will take center stage this summer.
UPSTREAM: Fly Fishing in the American West, from June 21 - Sept. 20, features 25 large format black and white photographs (40” x 40”) shot for a book of the same title with author Tom McGuane.
Lindsay captures the essence of solo fly-fishing, at times even delving beneath the water to enter the world of the trout.
 
Monday, June 15, 2009

Kelli Snively

Art Carina Hume Kelli Snively: Art That’s Folksy & Fun

By Carina Hume 6/15/09

Humor is a big part of artist Kelli Snively’s life: Spill a glass of red wine on a new bride? Recreate it in a painting called Two Mad Brides. (She stepped on the other one’s dress.) Have a lovable Welsh corgi with big ears? Make him your muse for numerous paintings.
Well-known for her folksy and caricatured pieces over the last 25 years, the Levering resident brings her fun and sass to downtown Petoskey’s Mitchell Street, Thursday-Saturday each week.
With a bubblegum pink doorway leading to her upstairs studio, art-lovers should have no trouble finding their way.

 
Monday, May 25, 2009

Bill Hosner‘s Baristas

Art Anne Stanton 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 weren’t 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 can’t rest until you do,” Hosner said.
These aren’t 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 City’s Building 50.
Ultimately, he’d like to display the entire collection of 24 portraits at a local museum.
 
Monday, April 20, 2009

Artistic Found ations... Rich Branstrom

Art Kristi Kates Artistic “Found“ ations... Rich Branstrom
Kristie Kates

If you live in or visit Northern Michigan, chances are you’ve seen the work of Rapid River ‘found object’ artist Ritch Branstrom. In addition to the traditional artist venues, such as galleries and festivals, Branstrom’s creations are also a big part of Emmet County’s Recycling Program.
Does “Emmet the Recycling Robot” ring a bell? That’s right - Branstrom is the talent behind the distinctive “Ashcan Aliens” - all named Emmet, although they each have a different appearance - that are poised next to five of the county’s recycling centers. The sculptures draw attention to the informative recycling signs at the drop-off sites. But the “Emmets” are only the tip of the artwork where Branstrom’s work is concerned.
 
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.
 
 
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