Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Susan Spear

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Thursday, June 9, 2005

Art‘s New Frontier... Evans Forney Fine Art seeks to elevate Northern Michigan‘s status as an art destination

Art Susan Spear “Mosey on in” to the Evans Forney Fine Art gallery in downtown Traverse City to enjoy an open range of subject matter… from landscape to figurative paintings and photographs, sculptural furniture to pastoral carvings and traditional fine art. 
The fabulous newly-renovated space at 154 E. Front Street is filled with tooled leather paintings, pedestals of Native American style carved pottery and huge breathtaking photographs of pueblo doorways and red rock canyons, all of which speak of the gallery’s owners, John Evans’ and Lance Forney’s, love and respect of the West. 
  But no spurs and chaps  are necessary! This former Southwestern duo has roped in some regional and local artists.
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Summer dawns on the art scene in Harbor Springs and Petoskey

Features Susan Spear With its dramatic geography and wilderness past, Little Traverse Bay is a place where sentimental myth and reality are often indistinguishable.
Replete with an incredible summer climate, ancient stone corals, wooded trails and roadside beaches -  not to mention old-fashioned ambience, these two bayside downtowns are brimming with galleries filled with predictable  landscapes. With a tourist-based economy, it is not surprising that many local artists are naturally seduced by living in the midst of this beautiful water wonderland, but refreshing - newcomers and transplants are challenging the artistic status quo.
More and more recognized artists are finding inspiration and solace here. Being an “outside-the-mainstream artist” is all about self-expression, exploration  --  yet, seldom about beauty. Commercial artists, whose goal is to produce an admired product to make a profit, readily comply with the  expectation of the defined aesthetic Northern Michigan, but others decide to be regional without becoming locked into provinciality.  And a few “ground-breaking” artists choose to ignore the entire sales matrix and focus on redefining art.  These artists may be readily snatched up by a visionary gallery director or may remain “ready for discovery.”
In the Little Traverse Bay region, there are a variety of venues for viewing all types of artists’ work.  Commercial, artist-owned, not-for-profit, cooperative and rental galleries line the streets of both bayside towns. You may, in fact, stumble upon some rarified art salons, but you might also uncover some new highly collectible art.  
Thursday, April 28, 2005

An Artfull Walk TC galleries bring out their best for April 29 walking tour

Art Susan Spear Just in time for the onset of the 2005 summer season, the first annual Downtown Art Walk is ready for its debut on Friday, April 29 from 5-9 p.m. A total of 21 participating stores will welcome visitors to peruse their art exhibitions and enjoy hors d’oeurves and local wines before continuing to amble through the city’s exhibits clustered along Front Street.
After enjoying each presentation, patrons will receive a stamp and an opportunity to win a $500 Downtown Shopping Spree. Walking maps will be available at each participating gallery and the Downtown Traverse City Association (DTCA) office.
Colleen Paveglio, marketing director for the DTCA and a committee of members of several downtown galleries, initiated the idea for an art walk based on the number of galleries moving downtown and the number of people passionate about local art.
A standout for her presentation this first year is Marcia Bellinger, owner of the riverside Belstone Gallery. A popular mainstay on Front Street, carrying both local and national artists, Marcia has cleared her gallery and is hosting a special reception timed to correlate with the opening of the Art Walk.
Thursday, January 27, 2005

New Location for Art & Soul Gallery

Art Susan Spear In an adventurous step forward, Art & Soul Gallery has reinvented itself in the Front Street Commons, among nearby bustling businesses, an array of restaurants and popular gift shops.
Owners Amy and Steve Stinson have purposely taken on the “A” location in Traverse City’s shopping corridor (also known as the Arcade) to become a “destination” on downtown Front Street.
“We offer one-of-a-kind art and handmade objects for office, home and body,” Amy says. “It’s no secret that I love jewelry and baubles, but our overall art collection lets you experience the sensibility of this area and beyond. We are very excited about being a part of downtown.”
Honoring the lofting gallery movement of the 1970s, the Stinsons have created an urban atmosphere where paintings, pastels, illustrations, sculpture, glass, fiber and pottery are the center of attention. With a great deal of old fashion hard work, friends and family uncovered the ceiling ductwork and the post-and-beam structure.
The Stinsons brightened the brick interior with fresh paint, carpet and new lighting - reflecting their upbeat personalities. Amy frowns facetiously at gallery manager Pam Dow and states, “Pickaxes aside, our mission now is to put art into everyday life, because art feeds the spirit.”
Tantalizing their patrons with metaphors of fantasy and pastel-hued landscapes, the collaborative management duo has chosen artists by mingling local “high art” with shimmering highfalutin’ glitter.
Undaunted by convention, Stinson and Dow, in an added breach of decorum, have also included more naïve art. Naive, self-taught artists and their playful works tend to challenge the more accepted “academicisms” with their simplistic approach.