Sunday, June 23, 2013

Silver Birches: A Positive Sign

Most places have one, the intriguing building, closed up for decades that tempts you to trespass and peek in the windows at what may be waiting inside.

On Mackinac, that building was Silver Birches on the north shore of the island. Recently the shutters were thrown open and the new owner invited the public to tour the property before a massive restoration begins.

While the main building is certainly in need of work, it was nowhere as rough as we had been expecting.

It appears the previous owners simply locked the doors and left - all the furnishings were still in place, a curious mix of Victorian and 1970!

 I was surprised at the condition of the vintage furniture, I would have expected the "critters" to have caused significant damage during the decades the house was closed.

I've always avoided Island politics on this blog, there's lots of other places to participate in that conversation.

If you follow this blog, you know that history and original artifacts are very important to me personally and
the recent Mackinac trend of demolishing historic buildings and replacing them with structures more appropriate to Disney World is very hard to watch. However, I do not place the blame on the developer - he has worked within the law. I DO blame decades of city government who refused, until recently, to put in place the regulations necessary to preserve our history. While there are now historic districts in place, it remains to be seen how effective that designation will actually be in preserving our buildings.

So,  I want to offer sincere thanks and good wishes to the new owner of Silver Birches, who is making the massive effort to restore this historic property - and I can't wait for the next open house, in several years to see the final result.

Friday, June 21, 2013

North of 45 Opening

The North of 45 show opened June 7th and I'm really glad I was able to attend - it's a wonderful space and a beautiful show.

My piece, "The Foundation or In the Beginning" was very well displayed and generated quite a bit of interest and conversation.

The juror, Mason Riddle, gave a brief talk about how she approaches the process of selecting pieces for a show and specifically mentioned that she wasn't sure she could include a "beaded tree stump" but after seeing the piece in place, in person, was very glad that she had chosen to include it - me too!

The local paper, The Mining Journal, covered the show, read their article here.

The show runs through August 4th - it's well worth a visit if you'll be in the Marquette area.

Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 Lilac Parade

It's lilac time on Mackinac and the highlight of the season (besides the glorious lilacs) is the Lilac Parade!

The leader of the parade is always Don Andress, a descendant of Chief Mackinac.

We have beauty queens, including the Lilac Queen, Princess and court:

Pretty horses:

Bands of all types:

Decorated floats:


Walking entries (no cars, of course!):

Including clowns:

And bikes too!:


Even the bike riding street sweepers:

And the grand finale is always the Scottville Clown Band, doing a raucous bump and grind the length of the parade route:

It's a great parade, with certain traditions but always with a bit of a twist - come join us next year!

Monday, June 10, 2013

By the Yard Extra

This was a very interesting show: 10 different artists with 10 varying visions of surface designed textiles.

The techniques were wide ranging - weaving, dyeing, machine and hand embroidery, image transfer, even stamping with the end of a branch!

I was really pleased with my final piece and loved how it looked on display.

I felt the need to create a little something "extra" - an "art to wear" vest made from the applique scraps!

I used an 1860's paletot pattern as my base, then block printed and embroidered and added a wild fringy collar.

The show ends tomorrow, but the vest lives on!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

North of 45

The North of the 45th is an annual juried exhibition of artists living in the geographical area north of the 45th parallel in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. This line is known as the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole, and crossing this line from the south is often associated with being “up north.” 

Each year a different juror is asked to select pieces for the exhibition from an open call for entries. This year’s juror selected 53 artists from a diverse field of 205 submissions - and one of the pieces selected was mine!

"The Foundation or In the Beginning" will be on display starting June 7th, 2013 through August 4th, 2013.