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 theres 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, its 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 Hreskos 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.