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, 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.”
 
Monday, August 4, 2008

Charlevoix Art Fair

Art Carina Hume Fine art treasures and a lakefront setting make Charlevoix’s Waterfront Art Fair a summer crowd-pleaser. Returning to the newly-completed downtown East Park on the shores of Charlevoix’s Round Lake, the art fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 9.
Nearly 130 artists from as far away as Florida and New York offer visitors one-of-a-kind pieces. “The artists juried into the show present a range of art that is affordable to the first time art buyer and also includes pieces that are desired by the experienced art collector,” says Mary Beth McGraw, director of the art fair and president of the Charlevoix Council for the Arts.
 
Monday, July 28, 2008

Tom & Carole Bowker

Art Rick Coates Sculptor Tom Bowker fell in love with the Leelanau Peninsula the first time he visited in the early ’70s. He knew someday this would be his home and the place that he and his wife Carole would further their artistic endeavors. That day finally arrived 13 years ago.
“I remember that day in the early ’70s. I had come to visit our good friends the Leinbachs who owned and operated Camp Innisfree near Pyramid Point,” said Tom Bowker. “I immediately called Carole and said: ‘You wouldn’t believe the beauty up here.’ We took baby steps towards creating a living environment here that would house not only us, but our studio and gallery.”
The Bowkers will play host this Saturday, August 2 at 6 p.m. to an “Unveiling Party” at their By The Bight Art Gallery and Studio near Northport.
By The Bight Studio opened five years ago, though the Bowker’s originally owned a gallery in Northport for eight years. They currently rent the gallery to another artist, who is taking a similar path as the Bowkers.
Both Tom and Carole are artists. They see themselves as explorers, travelers and communicators with their works. The Bowkers both work in multiple mediums. Tom’s primary focus, however, has been sculpting, and this weekend’s “Unveiling Party” will showcase his talent.
 
Monday, July 14, 2008

Artists reach out to Guatemalan children

Art Area artists are lending their talents to help provide hope and opportunity to children of families who work and live at the Guatemala City garbage dump.
The dump is Central America’s largest land fill. The size of several football fields, the dump is in a deep ravine filled with everything from household trash to medical waste from Guatemala City’s two million residents. It oozes with toxic chemicals and methane gas. Vultures circle overhead creating a surreal scene of unimaginable poverty.
Last April, a number of local artists visited a virtual dump constructed at Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City and viewed, “Recycled Life,” a documentary chronicling the lives of thousands of people who make their living scavenging at the dump.
 
Monday, July 14, 2008

Miracle Productions unveils a Phantom

Art Rick Coates Every town has its “best kept secrets,” and certainly Northern Michigan is no exception. One of these is Miracle Productions. This local production company is now in its fourth season of offering
off-Broadway productions here in Northern Michigan.
This week Traverse City-based Miracle Productions will present Yeston & Kopit’s “Phantom” at the Milliken Auditorium, located within the Dennos Museum on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. “Phantom” will be performed July 17-19 and July 24-26.
 
Monday, June 9, 2008

Get your Art-Off

Art Rick Coates Seldom does one get to watch an artist in the creative process. Rather, the public typically only sees or hears the completed work. Creating a work of art is usually done in private without time constraints. Imagine telling Picasso that he would have only three hours to complete a painting.
But that is exactly what Sean Tobin and Skyler Nelles, organizers of the first ArtOff in Traverse City, will be doing this Saturday night.
 
 
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