Friday, February 29, 2008

Conservation District's Annual Tree Sale now underway

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) is hosting its annual tree sale. The deadline for ordering trees is Monday, March 31, with pickup on May 2 and 3 at the Houghton County Arena in Hancock. Extra stock will be sold at that time.

Mother’s Day is on May 11th. Here’s your opportunity to purchase something unique for her such as a native tree, shrub, fruit tree, berry bush, bat house, bluebird house or numerous other merchandise HKCD has for sale.

The tree sale is the district’s biggest fundraiser. Last year’s tree sale funds helped fill the gap left by the 50% state budget cut. For 2008 the State of Michigan slashed the Operations Grant to $11,605 and failed to fund the Forestry Assistance Program, forcing HKCD to eliminate the two forester positions that served landowners in the counties of Houghton, Keweenaw, Gogebic and Ontonagon.

"We truly appreciate all of the help and support from our volunteers and customers over the years," said HKCD Administrator Sue Haralson. "We are looking forward to your continued support again this year."

Order forms are available at the HKCD office at 600 E. Lakeshore Drive, #2 , Houghton, online at, at the MSU Extension Service and the Keweenaw Co-op Natural Foods and Groceries.

Visit the HKCD Web site for the tree sale catalog and ordering information.

For more information about HKCD or the tree sale, call HKCD Administrator Sue Haralson at 482-0214 or email

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vaclav Havel's "The Memorandum" continues at MTU's McArdle Theatre through March 5

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Department of Visual and Performing Arts is presenting Vaclav Havel's satiric comedy The Memorandum at 7:30 p.m. in the McArdle Theatre (Walker 207 on the MTU campus). The performances began on Feb. 27 and continue daily (except Sunday) through Wednesday, March 5.

Director Christopher Plummer says he's looked forward to staging one of Havel's plays for years, fascinated by his brilliance and insight into how people attempt to control others, especially through misuse of language.

Havel, a political activist as well as a philosopher and writer, put it this way: "Alongside words that electrify society with their freedom and truthfulness, we have words that mesmerize, deceive, inflame, madden, beguile, words that are harmful -- lethal, even. The word as arrow."

Havel's fame as a writer contributed to his emergence, during the 1970s and '80s, as a leader of the pro-democracy movement in Czechoslovakia. To his own amazement, the quietly charismatic professor became the first president of the democratic Czech Republic.

More information on The Memorandum and Havel can be found on Tech Today and on the visual and performing arts website, Tickets to the play are available from the Rozsa Box Office (487-3200 and and at the door an hour before performances: $10 general, $5 students.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Hung Up on "Color" exhibit continues through Feb. 29 at Reflection Gallery

On exhibit in Finlandia's Reflection Gallery, "The Thinker" is one of Andrea Puzakulich's photos of a colorful window display of London fashion. Click on the photo for a larger version and look for reflections. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

HANCOCK -- "Hung Up on Color," fashion photography and fiber works by artist and designer Andrea Puzakulich (formerly Baldridge) is still on exhibit through Feb. 29 at Finlandia University's Reflection Gallery, located on the second level of Finlandia's Portage Campus.

The photos and fiber creations were inspired by Puzakulich's observations of the London fashion scene. Puzakulich notes the images of boldly colored window displays give the viewer the gift of color in the heart of winter.

This colorful fiber creation by Andrea Puzakulich is titled "May I have this dance." (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

"George (Dewey) and I were on our honeymoon in London," Puzakulich said, "and while we were there I photographed these display windows on Sloan Street."

Andrea Puzakulich (formerly Baldridge) and her husband George Dewey pose in front of one of the "reflection" photos taken on their honeymoon in London last summer. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Puzakulich said she took the photos with a Canon 8-megapixel digital camera and didn't notice their full artistic quality until she printed the photos.

"At first my interest was to capture the colorful window display, but after looking at the enlarged prints I noticed the subtle reflections in the photos," Puzakulich explained.

Click on the larger version of this photo by Andrea Puzakulich and look for reflections of the opposite side of Sloan Street in London, where it was taken. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Whether or not you can make it for one of the last few days of the exhibit, visit Andrea Puzakulich's studio, Distant Drum, where she makes and sells fiber art to wear or display. The studio is located on the first level of Finlandia University's Portage Campus (the old hospital). The address is 200 Michigan Street, Suite 210, Hancock, MI 49930.

Andrea Puzakulich in her studio, Distant Drum, located on the first level of Finlandia University's Portage Campus building (the old hospital) in Hancock.

Distant Drum Studio hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, or by appointment. Visit the Distant Drum Web site or call (906) 487-7460 for more information.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Updated: "Wilderness is ..." community art project continues at Omphale Gallery through Feb. 29

By Michele Bourdieu

CALUMET -- "Wilderness is ...," a community art project of photos and anonymous drawings, is still on exhibit through Friday, Feb. 29, at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet. It also continues on a Web site that is updated weekly with post card art.

These post card responses to artist George Desort's "Wilderness is ..." project are on exhibit at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet through Feb. 29. The exhibit continues on a Web site that is updated weekly. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

The exhibit drew a large crowd at the Jan. 11 opening, which also included a free showing of the "Wilderness is ..." DVD by local artist George Desort, who, as artist-in-residence in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park last August, asked park visitors to finish the thought, "Wilderness is ..." with one word, which they wrote on poster board. Photos of their responses are exhibited at the Omphale, along with post card drawings also expressing personal ideas about Wilderness.

Anonymous post cards responding to George Desort's "Wilderness is ..." community art project are still on exhibit in the Omphale Gallery in Calumet through Feb. 29. (Photo © 2008 and courtesy George Desort)

John Vucetich, Michigan Tech University professor and co-leader of Isle Royale wolf-moose research, introduced the exhibit at the Jan. 11 opening. He explained the purpose of keeping the post card artists anonymous.

"Because the artist is anonymous, we don't know if the person who made (the post card) was very ignorant or very wise," Vucetich said. "The only thing we know for sure is that our own view of wilderness is incomplete, so we have to wrestle with this ourselves."

John Vucetich, left, MTU professor and co-leader of Isle Royale wolf-moose research, introduces the showing of the DVD, "Wilderness is ...," by artist George Desort, right, as local artist Joyce Koskenmaki looks on, during the Jan. 11 opening of the exhibit at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Desort hiked with a video camera on his shoulder and took shots of a variety of natural scenes in the Porkies. A voice-over by Joe Kaplan juxtaposes the visitors' one-word answers to "Wilderness is ..." with the visual beauties of the park. The DVD is the result. Desort said nothing about the film was preconceived. *

At the Jan. 11 reception for the exhibit, Desort explained how the project began with his two-week stay in the Porkies.

"I was there just filming and getting people to write words on posters," he explained. "The words are from people who were in the Porcupine Mountains Park during those two weeks."

Photos of visitors to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park with their posters and one-word responses to "Wilderness is ..." are on display in the Omphale Gallery in Calumet through Feb. 29. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Those who wanted to express more than one word could make a 4" x 6" post card. The post card art is also displayed on the Web site, Wilderness is ... at

The Jan. 11 reception drew a large crowd, including Canadian Kjerstin Maki, a museum conservator from Victoria, British Columbia.

"Wilderness is evolving; and, if you're there looking at it, it's not wilderness anymore," Maki noted. "I think we should protect it from the outside."

Sarah Green of Calumet said she liked the idea of exhibiting participatory art.

"I like the combination of the photos and post card art," Green said.

These anonymous post card responses to "Wilderness is ..." are on display in the Omphale Gallery. More of them can be found on the Wilderness is ... Web site, which is being updated with more contributions to the project from the public.

"The Wilderness is... project is growing. The website is updated with a new collection of post card art every Tuesday," Desort reported recently in an email message. "I am still looking for more post card art expressing the different interpretations of wilderness. And thank you to all who have already participated. The collection is displayed at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet, MI, until the end of the month."

This post card is displayed on the Wilderness is ... Web site, which is updated with a new collection of post card art every Tuesday. (Photo © 2008 and courtesy George Desort)

The Omphale exhibit by George Desort also includes over 200 of his color photographs of birds killed as a result of the recent botulism e outbreak in the northern waters of Lake Michigan. A two-minute video of a long-tailed duck stricken with the bacterium is part of this exhibit.

This photo by George Desort depicts the destruction of birds as a result of the recent botulism e outbreak in the northern waters of Lake Michigan. Over 200 of these photos are part of the "Wilderness is ..." exhibit at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet through Feb. 29. (Photo © 2008 and courtesy George Desort)

The Omphale Gallery is at 431 Fifth Street in Calumet. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Call (906) 337-2036 for more information.

* Visit the Wilderness is ... Web site in order to learn how you can order the DVD, "Wilderness is ..." or contribute to this ongoing community art project with your own post card art.