Friday, May 14, 2010

Jordan Valley Glass Headlines Show at Charlevoix Circle

This month one of our favorite local glass studios and a very special local art gallery combine to put on a spectacular show in our neighboring town of Charlevoix.

Jordan Valley Glassworks
of East Jordan is the creation of third generation glass blower Jay Bavers. He discovered the wonder and some of the secrets of glassblowing as a young boy living above his grandfather's glassblowing shop in Brooklyn, New York. Glenna Haney added her talents to the studio part time fifteen years ago and became a full partner about four years later. Jay's son Bill brought the family tradition to a fourth generation when he joined the Glassworks last year after earning his BFA from Bowling Green. Together they produce beautiful glass pieces for the home and garden from ornaments to lighting fixtures to free form sculptures.

The Charlevoix Circle of Arts is a non-profit cultural arts organization that, in addition to its gallery. provides classes, concerts and other activities to support the arts and provide cultural enrichment to the region. Their latest presentation, Translucent Show, includes large and small glass creations by Jordan Valley Glassworks and other artists as well as watercolors and other translucent mediums.

The show is well worth seeing and continues through July 4th. The Circle of Arts gallery is located at 109 Clinton Street in Charlevoix. Hours are 1-5 Tuesday through Saturday.

The Northern Michigan Artists Market has a large selection of works by Jordan Valley Glassworks available at our gallery in Petoskey and our online store.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Brings Major Waterfront and Park Improvements to Petoskey

Spring is in full flower [like this watercolor by Bruce Love] at the Northern Michigan Artists Market and in our home town of Petoskey, Michigan. At the Market, that means new artists and lots of new artwork. In town, spring means that a slew of new boating, recreation and downtown enhancement projects are about to start. Whether you live here or are planning to visit us sometime this summer or even if you just love Petoskey and like to keep in touch, we thought you might like an update.

On the waterfront, the big news is a whole raft of improvements at the City's marina. The biggest change will be a fourth pier that will be built in the gap between the leftmost dock and the two on the right. This new pier will add forty-four additional boat slips. The plans for this summer also include renovation and expansion of the marina's service building. The shelter house will be relocated to allow for the expansion.

The Army Corps of Engineers has resumed its reconstruction of Petoskey's breakwall. [Watercolor by Karen Kubovchick] The outer portion was completely rebuilt last year and is a vast improvement. Rebuilding will continue moving down the breakwall all the way to the shore. This project will not only repair the damage caused a couple of years ago when ice and waves broke through the wall and created a huge gap but will rebuild the wall to correct years of wear and deterioration. It will also widen the wall and make it safer for all of the people who love to walk out on the breakwall and dive off into the harbor.

You probably know that the Bear River flows under the big bridge on US-31 just west of Downtown Petoskey, then under a bridge on Lake street and through a rocky channel next to City Hall, then empties into Lake Michigan in the Petoskey harbor. What you may not know is that before all this, the Bear flows through a beautiful wooded valley right in the middle of town. This scenic walking path is a local favorite and is actually a segment of the North Country Trail that runs all the way from Upstate New York to Central North Dakota. In mid-May, Petoskey will begin a major improvement project that will include the construction of walking trails, restrooms, picnic shelters, and improvements to the Bear River that will create a Class III whitewater rapids along the Bear River from Sherridan St. to Lake Michigan. Actually, preparatory work has been going on for a while but the major, visible enhancements will take place through this summer. I personally walk this trail frequently and I strongly recommend a visit to this tranquil oasis. The improvements should make this walk even more pleasant and will make more people aware of its existence and beauty.

As I discuss in the latest issue of the Artists Market's email newsletter, Art Up North, there was a major breakthrough this winter in the efforts of the City to develop Pennsylvania Park. The railroad track and its right-of-way that makes up much of this park in the center of Downtown has been untouchable because it is owned by the State of Michigan. After about twenty-five years of discussion and negotiations with the State, Petoskey has made a deal buy this property. Plans include a long anticipated historic rail trolley and walking path that will run from the Zipp building, a former railroad station south of Downtown, through the middle of the Gaslight District and on to Bay View east of Downtown. When completed this project will be a beautiful and functional attraction and reminder of Petoskey's railroading history.

There will be a lot going on this summer here in Petoskey. We hope you will come and enjoy it with us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Artists Market Featured in The Graphic

This week, The Graphic, Petoskey's local free entertainment and events weekly, takes a break from its series of outstanding features on local artists to review the Northern Michigan Artists Market.

I am a big fan of Maggie Peterson and her Art Scene feature in the Graphic. I have commented here on her previous columns profiling Artists Market artists such as extraordinary Harbor Springs wood turner Tom Jacobson. This week, I was delighted to read her insights into my own favorite creative work, our art gallery.

The article features a great picture of my two partners, Vivi Woodcock and Susan Lange, and me inside the Market. It does a great job of capturing the spirit and mission of our little store. In addition to visiting the gallery and talking with the three of us, Maggie spoke with a couple of the very special local artists who exhibit here, nature photographer Kris Busk and potter Christine Rowe.

Sometime this week, take the time to pick up a copy of The Graphic or check out the article on their website. If you have any comments, be sure to post them here.