Monday, April 30, 2007

Planning Underway for 7th Anual Petoskey Gallery Walk, Thursday, June 21, 2007

One of our region's most popular events is just over a month away as Petoskey's downtown galleries are getting ready to present the Seventh Annual Gallery Walk and make it another unforgettable evening. At the beginning of every summer, local residents and visitors flood the streets from 5:30 to 9:00 pm to take a walking tour of all of splendor and variety of the art galleries scattered through the historic Gaslight District and view the latest artwork of the new season.

For this special evening all of the galleries host a giant, simultaneous open-house, showing off our artistic treasures and serving delicious food to hundreds of art lovers as we enjoy the beginning of Petoskey's beautiful summer together.

As you visit each gallery, you receive a colored dot to stick on a card available at all of the galleries. If you buy something at any gallery, you get extra dots. At the end of the evening, everyone gathers for a big party outdoors at the Perry Hotel. You listen to live music and enjoy the fine evening with friends and neighbors. Be sure to turn in your stickers for tickets for the drawing at the end of the evening and win art works donated by each of the galleries.

At the Northern Michigan Artists Market on Gallery Walk night, hundreds of people visit, enjoy good food, mix with friends, take advantage of an early season opportunity to buy the latest artworks and make plans to return later for a more leisurely examination of the best selection of Northern Michigan art anywhere!.

This year, we are expecting about eleven galleries to participate. The exciting thing about the Downtown Petoskey art galleries is that we are all so different. Some specialize in art from a particular region of the country or by a particular artist. Some concentrate on a particular medium or style. Of course here at the Artists Market, we present the works of great local artists from Traverse City to Copper Harbor. So plan now to hire a baby sitter and spend a night in June enjoying all that Petoskey's galleries have to offer.

If you have enjoyed Gallery Walk in the past, I know you are looking forward to seeing old friends and discovering all of this year's new artwork. If you have never attended, join us and find out why hundreds of people put it on their calendars of must see events every year.

For more information, feel free to call us at the Artists Market at 231-487-0000 or toll free at 8-777-MI-Arts (877-764-2787)

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Cookbook Features Works by Several Artists Market Artists

Flipping through the great new cookbook, Flavors and Visions, it is hard to decide whether the stars of the show are the delectable recipes or the stunning artwork by Northern Michigan artists. But then, why burden yourself with such a weighty choice? Just dive in and devour it all.

I will, of course start with the artwork. While some of the pieces are reproduced in black and white, there are sixteen pages of color shots liberally mixed through. The works shown include a flavorful variety of media from paintings to sculptures to pots and more. The works have a strong Northern Michigan flavor with a large helping of Northern Michigan Artists Market artists spicing up the mix. The NMAM artists represented include Carol Ross, Jan Luptowski, Bonnie Staffel, Deanna Hergt, Dick Cunningham, Harry Boyer and Lynn Dinning. The pictures in this post show pieces form the Artists Market by several of these artists (Carol's flowers, Bonnie's casserole, Harry's blown-glass vase) and a photo of Lynn Dinning at work in her Good Hart, Michigan, studio creating a piece of her fantastic glass.

The recipes include a mouthwatering array of tasty treats including appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, entrees, breads, desserts and beverages. Among the recipes are some formulas for concoctions that are interesting though not edible, such as wool dies, homemade cleaning solutions and dashes of other offbeat necessities seasoned throughout to taste.

This art catalog/recipe collection is presented by the Jordan River Arts Council and is available for sale for $25 from them or at the Northern Michigan Artists Market. It is 250 pages long, deliciously illustrated and spiral bound for easy use in the kitchen.

Kudos to JRAC for putting together this wonderful tribute to the artists and culinary delights of Northern Michigan.

New Artists Market Artist Creates Watercolors from Photographs

The day after we hung Geary Hoffman's work in the Artists Market last week, a customer told me, "These new watercolors are exciting." I agree, except they are not strictly watercolors.

Geary calls his works Photographic Watercolors. They start out as photographs, drawings or, sometimes, paintings. He then brings them into his computer and uses a process he has developed over several years to manually rework the images to resemble fine watercolor paintings. The results are quite remarkable.

Hoffman's subjects include many facets of the Northern Michigan outdoors from quiet country lanes, birds and flowers to the region's beautiful and historic lighthouses. You can get a general idea of his talent and range from these pictures of some of his works but the best way to truly appreciate his vision of Northern Michigan and the effect of the unique set of techniques he has developed is to view his work in person. The Northern Michigan Artists Market has an excellent selection of Geary Hoffman's Photographic Watercolors in a range of sizes and prices, framed and unframed.

Hoffman, now lives in Suttons Bay, Michigan, just north of Traverse City, where he retired from a career as a professional photographer and graphic designer in Chicago. We are delighted to have Geary's work at The Market and we are looking forward to many more appreciative comments about these colorful expressions of our region's natural and historic heritage from Northern Michigan art lovers this summer and for years to come.

Monday, April 9, 2007

We Celebrate Spring with Three New Artists

One of the things I like about this time of year, after the skiers leave and before the summer crowd arrives, is that I have the time to sit in the Northern Michigan Artists Market and talk with artists who are interested in showing their work here. We do that all year round, but it seems to be a lot more fun in this season when we can have a more leisurely chat.

The best part is when one of those chats results in a new member of the Artists Market family. That happened three times in the last month so I have three new Artists Market artists to tell you about.

The first one is David Johns of Kalkaska, Michigan. David makes beautiful Nantucket baskets. Obviously, Nantucket is not in Northern Michigan but Kalkaska is and Nantucket and Northern Michigan have a lot in common. For one thing, we both have a lot of shipwrecks. And in both places, that lead to a lot of lighthouses and lightships. In Nantucket, the lightship keepers spent months at a time in small, uncomfortable quarters. As there were no video games in the late 1800's, they filled their days making baskets and they filled their baskets with all kinds of things. David's baskets are the classic Nantucket style with woven cane, wooden bottoms and swinging bale handles. They are extremely well made and very stylish. They come in several sizes and are definitely worth stopping by the Market to look at.

While you are here, be sure to check out the turned wood bowls by new Artist Market artist Dan Kuhn. Dan lives in Boyne City and has worked with wood for most of his life. His bowls show that long time appreciation for the living medium of wood and its many personalities. Each of his creations takes advantage of the various colors and grains of different types of wood and combines them into a highly functional and decorative piece of art.

Our third new artist is a master with wood as well. Vicki Carpenter of Gaylord, Michigan, takes wooden plates, lazy Susans, candle holders, bread boards, animals and other items and transforms them into stunning heirlooms by painting them in a traditional Scandinavian style. Her designs include flowers, horses, hearts and other traditional images. She has also painted her traditional designs on Christmas tree ornaments.

Spring is the time for new things. New grass and flowers, newborn creatures and new Northern Michigan Artists Market artists. So shake off the winter blahs and enjoy spring with a trip to the Market to see the works by our new artists -- and some of the new work of our existing artists as well.

Way to Go, John!

Northern Michigan Artists Market artist John Wijnberg
recently learned that he has been accepted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for this coming fall. John already has a B.F.A. from the University of Buffalo.

John paints primarily in watercolor, pastels and charcoal. His subject matter runs from human figures to Northern Michigan landscapes. He is a prolific painter and works very hard to broaden and improve his skills. His talent and dedication is obvious from the wide range of his works available at the Artists Market.

One of my personal favorite examples of John's work is his pen and ink drawing, Conversation with a Fish
pictured here. It shows a friend of the artist engaged in what I imagine to been a deep and riveting conversation about some intricate matter of philosophy.

I greatly enjoy John's frequent visits to the Artists Market to converse about life and art, often between fares in his current job as a taxi driver, a perfect gig for an artist from New York. I will miss these chats when he moves to Chicago this fall to attend SAIC, but we are very excited for him and wish him well. We know he will learn a lot and grow even more as an artist.

John, don't forget to write or visit us. We look forward to continuing to carry your artwork as you explore new directions. Good luck!