Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

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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, 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 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

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.’”
 
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.’”
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Char Brickel

Art Al Parker It’s easy to see that artist Char Bickel is serious when it comes to joy and fun.
“It’s good to keep in touch with that childhood joy,” advises the smiling Northport resident who creates evocative, handsome shadow boxes of painted silk and cotton fabric that is painstakingly cut and glued. “I loved making art as a kid and I still do.”  
Paying homage to collage, Bickel’s works draw their inspiration from the nature that surrounds her in Leelanau County and most of her works include images of animals – rabbits, fish, birds, and most noticeably, bears. In fact, her haunting image of a Juggling Bear has become synonymous with her work, appearing in a variety of her shadow boxes.
“There’s something about the shape of bears,” she says. “I’ve been doing the Juggling Bear since 1992. It’s sort of a logo for me now. To me, it reflects that you should handle parts of life in balance and joyfully.” 
Bickel’s shadow boxes begin simply with white silk that is screen printed with splashes of color. Then she cuts and glues the silk into images as simple and subtle as bears flying kites or ponies romping on a beach. The scenes may seem other-worldly, yet are rooted in the familiar. Take a closer look and you’ll see sturdy stitching linking a stone to the beach or fixing the moon in the sky.
“I like adding detail,” she says. “I like to start with a strong image first, then see something else and something else, adding details.”
 
Monday, December 20, 2010

Dining with Gusto

Dining Al Parker Dining with Gusto! in Suttons Bay
By Al Parker
Just for the record, the colorful Italian eatery in Suttons Bay is pronounced “Goose-tow,” not “Gus-tow.”
“I don’t care how they say it, as long as they come in,” laughs Sam Hybels, owner of Gusto! on M-22 just a couple of doors north of Suttons Bay’s south blinker light.
In a prior life, the building housed Hattie’s, operated by noted restaurateur Jim Milliman. In 2003, Milliman decided to sell Hattie’s and Hybels, who had worked at the eatery, saw an opportunity. He bought Hattie’s, changed the menu and reintroduced the restaurant as Samuel’s.
About 18 months ago he transformed Samuel’s into Gusto!
“It’s been a good direction for us to go,” says Hybels, who comes from a family of self-proclaimed foodies and has been a chef for 20 years. “I really modeled Gusto! after a couple of Italian restaurants in Kalamazoo where we went when I was growing up.”
Hybels devotion to authentic Italian cuisine goes back many years and was sparked when he spent two weeks visiting Sicily. “I had been a corporate chef for 10 years and was burned out,” he recalls. “The Italian people are food people. They emphasize freshness and quality. That’s the way I do it.”
 
Monday, December 6, 2010

Union Cantina

Dining Al Parker Union Cantina offers South of the Border style
By Al Parker
You might say restaurant entrepreneur Matt Davies has come full circle.
“I started early on (in the restaurant business) at Taco Ed’s in
Findley, Ohio,” says Davies, an Ohio native whose family summered in
Northern Michigan when he was a boy. “I was just a kid.”
 
Monday, November 29, 2010

Cogs Creek Collective

Art Al Parker Cog’s Creek Collective : Offers New Art Gallery & Café
By Al Parker
Kim Bazemore smiles widely, wipes her hands on a rag and talks about her latest project of turning a neglected building into a home for creative art and artists. “It’s been a lot of work over a long time, but it’s coming together,” she says, her voice rising with excitement.
“It” is the Cog’s Creek Collective, a 6,000-square-foot building in Traverse City’s “Little Bohemia” neighborhood, tucked behind the popular Lil Bo Pub & Grille on North Maple Street.
The former home of Coddington Cleaners, the building now houses an art gallery for Bazemore’s gold and silver jewelry creations, an eatery, a clothing designer, a knife sharpening workshop and room for more artisans.
A grand opening celebration is set for Friday, Dec. 3 at the century-old building that took about a year to renovate. About 10 artists are expected to display their creations – paintings, photography, furniture, modern art quilts, ornaments and more. It’ll be catered by their neighbor, Lil Bo Pub & Grille.
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

Alden Bar

Dining Al Parker In Alden: a facelift revitalizes the ‘AB’
By Al Parker
In many communities, the largest employer is a factory, hospital or
maybe a school.
That’s not the case in Alden, according to Walt Owens, who owns and
operates the newly-remodeled Alden Bar & Grille in the friendly little
village that hugs the east shore of Torch Lake.
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Tuscan Bistro

Dining Al Parker Bistro Offers a Taste of Tuscany
By Al Parker
Some chefs spend years in culinary schools learning their craft and
honing their skills before launching into a career in the kitchen.
But that isn’t Mickey Cannon’s style.
 
Monday, October 11, 2010

Enjoy a Fall Picnic with Rolling Farms

Features Al Parker With cooler days elbowing aside the warmth of Indian Summer, another
spectacular Northern Michigan autumn is here.
But there’s still time to enjoy one of the area’s most beloved outdoor
traditions, the picnic. There’s something memory-making about enjoying
a simple outdoor meal with a special companion on a comfy slice of
your favorite terrain.
 
 
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