Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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Al Parker

 
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Monday, March 31, 2014

A Life of Fiber

Insurance was a less than perfect fit for Marcia Koppa, who left her job when the urge to get creative struck her.

Art Al Parker “About 15 years ago, I felt a real need to do something artistic,” said Koppa, who lives just outside of Grayling. “I tried sketching and found out I couldn’t sketch. So if I couldn’t sketch, how could I possibly paint?” Koppa turned to weaving, turning out hundreds of scarves, vibrant table runners and wall hangings.
 
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympic Games

The Northern Michigan connection

Features Al Parker Northern Michigan has more than a few ties to the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympic Games, ranging from East Jordan yarns in the U.S. team sweaters to a sports psychologist hailing from our region to Heather Clark, who will be on the slopes of Russia weeks from now.
 
Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Arts

A round-up of the season’s most creative events

Features Al Parker Art lovers in Northern Michigan can find a high quality show almost every weekend through Labor Day this summer. Here are details on some of the most popular shows and art fairs across the region.
 
Monday, April 1, 2013

Pet Portraits

Shanny Schmidt has a doggone good time portraying pooches

Features Al Parker

Shanny Schmidt has found an art niche that offers something special for animal lovers.

She paints pet portraits, mostly dogs, which feature vibrant colors and unusual poses. Her growing collection of works ranges from Airedales to Wolfhounds and most breeds in between.

 
Monday, July 30, 2012

Grande Vision

Gary Grimshaw's Exhibition of '60s rock posters coming to InsideOut

Features Al Parker While much of America was grooving to the sultry “Summer of Love” sounds in 1967, Detroit was cranking out gritty, raw, pounding music from its epicenter, The Grande Ballroom.
 
Monday, July 9, 2012

There’s Always Something New from Richard Asher

Features Al Parker As a youngster growing up in New York City, Richard Asher’s early artwork drew attention from his teacher. “I doodled on my test papers in elementary school and I got in trouble for it,” he recalls with a laugh. “I was not The Art Kid in my neighborhood.”
 
Monday, February 6, 2012

Real Life

Features Al Parker Since those early Colgate-on-cardboard days, she’s become an award-winning landscape artist whose oil works hang in collections and galleries across the country. At the Northwest Michigan Regional Artists show currently at the Dennos Museum, Saxon’s The Sky Above the Lake.
 
Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Shows

Features Al Parker What’s hot on the region’s stages

It may be wintry outside, but Northern Michigan theatre stages are warming up with several exciting performance choices in coming months, from professional presentations to community theatre to student performances...

 
Monday, October 3, 2011

A PRESSING Engagement

Features Al Parker Driving west and north out of Mancelona, it’s not too long before you’re surrounded by a lush green forest where you find the gurgling waters of the under-rated Cedar River.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Todd Warner's Zoo Charlevoix sculptor loves animals & 'sophisticated whimsey'

Art Al Parker In his downtown Charlevoix studio, sculptor Todd Warner puts flame to his first Dominican Excalibur cigar of the day, exhales a plume of fragrant smoke and recalls his early artistic efforts.
“I was always drawing stuff,” he says with a chuckle. “From the time I could pick up a pencil. My kindergarten teacher said ‘We need to foster this.’”
Decades later, Warner’s clay-and-wood works include life-size cowboys, Indians, butlers and fishermen. He has a special affinity for animals and crafts unique beasts from armadillos to zebras.
“I’ve always loved animals,” says Warner, who grew up in Farwell, near Clare. “And I really like the more interesting animals – wart hogs, rhinos – not the sleek one. I spent some time in Africa and really want to go back.”
Described as ‘sophisticated whimsy,’ his works can be found in lobbies, living rooms, zoos, museums, offices and airports across the nation. His creations are cornerstones of collections at the corporate headquarters of USA Today, McDonald’s, Gannett Publishing and Detroit Tigers and Little Caesar’s owner Mike Illitch.
Celebrities who own at least one of Warner’s works include Randy Travis, David Copperfield, Kelly McGillis, Charlie Gibson and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo Replay

Art Al Parker Steve Ballance says his interest in photographic processes is comparable
to the ancient practice of alchemy where the wizard attempted to turn base
metals into gold.
For decades, he’s been intrigued by how one’s perception is changed by the
processes that translate subject matter to the viewer.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Mi Farm Market

Dining Al Parker Scotty Bruce is one of those uber-creative guys who just seems born to be
an entrepreneur.
His creative mind, coupled with a strong work ethic, thrives on generating
money-making opportunities. At his 2004 Ellsworth High School graduation,
much to the chagrin of school officials, Bruce sold advertising space on
his graduation gown.
 
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.”
 
 
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