Friday, June 04, 2010

First Friday in Calumet: art, music, fun TONIGHT, June 4

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet tonight, June 4, offers art exhibit openings, a dreamcatcher art activity and music. All First Friday events are free and open to the public.

Updated: Vertin Gallery features "The Torola Exhibition"

"Mendota Lighthouse," by Ellen Torola. (Image courtesy Vertin Gallery)

An opening reception for "The Torola Exhibition," featuring paintings by the Torola family, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight, Friday, June 4, at the Vertin Gallery, 220 Sixth Street in downtown Calumet. The exhibit continues through June 30.

Ellen Torola is a self-taught artist in many varieties of media. She has attended numerous workshops over the years, expanding her knowledge of art and its application. Ellen owned and operated the Paint Box Gallery in Calumet for over thirty years. She painted and sold her artwork there, did framing for the public, and taught art classes in painting and drawing. She has painted in watercolors, oils, acrylics, and pastels, but remains fascinated with watercolors of local flowers. Her local watercolor and acrylic paintings are vibrant and captivate and reflect the colors and beautiful scenery of the Keweenaw. Since retirement from the gallery, Ellen has continued to paint in her home studio, where she teaches an occasional watercolor class and also does basswood carvings of Santas.

Update: Sadly, Ellen Torola will not be able to attend the reception because of a death in the family.

Other Torola family members with work in the exhibit include Margaret Helminen, daughter; Marisa and Mallory Torola, granddaughters; Lynn Torola, daughter-in-law; and Kayleen Horsma, niece. They will exhibit their beautiful landscape and figurative paintings, stained glass and sculptural work.

Mallory Torola writes this in her artist statement: "My artistic journey started before I can even remember -- I grew up with a pencil in my hand (and if it wasn’t a pencil, it was a crayon or a marker). My earliest drawings consisted of people with huge eyes, tiny bodies, and enormous spidery fingers. My sisters and I would draw for hours on end, and I felt such wonder at the amazing worlds we created -- all through the simple tools of our pencils and our imaginations."

Lynn Torola says her medium is soft pastels.

"It was over 20 years ago when I was dawdling in acrylics, some pastels," Lynn writes. "For many years all I did was crafts -- quicker, smaller things. Then several years ago I took out my small box of 'grays' (gray pastels). I found out, lo and behold, that I could still paint! And it was fun! So after painting a bunch of 'grays' for practice, I got right back into it, painting with pastels, a medium a little easier for a busy Mom with kids all around!"

For more information on upcoming events and the gallery itself, visit the Vertin Gallery Web site or phone Kerri Corser, artistic coordinator at (906) 337-2200.

Jack Oyler exhibit to open at Ed Gray Gallery

The Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery presents "In and Around the Lake," an exhibit of acrylic and wood by local artist Jack Oyler, from June 4 through June 30, 2010. An opening reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight, June 4. The Gallery is located at 109 Fifth Street.

Build a Dream Catcher at Copper Country Associated Artists Studio/Gallery

A stick and some stones can break your bones … but, with a bit of effort and a lot of creativity, they can also build a Dream Catcher. Of course you have to catch the Dream before it becomes your own. Build your own catcher with the assistance of our artist members from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this First Friday, June 4, at the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Studio/Gallery in Calumet.

You can bring beads, stones, feathers and maybe a meaningful bit or two, as a start on your own dream journey. According to an ancient North Woods legend, good and bad dreams fill the night air. The legend says that a dream catcher hung above the bed entangles all of the bad dreams in its web but allows the good dreams to float down to the dreamer. Follow the dream and discover the rainbow.

The (CCAA) Studio/Gallery is at 112 Fifth St. in Calumet. For more information about the CCAA call 906-337-1252 or visit their Web site.

Lefty and Curly at Conglomerate Café

Top off this First Friday evening with music and maybe a dance from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. TONIGHT, June 4, at the Conglomerate Café on Fifth Street.

"Has Lefty -- a.k.a. John Munson, champion of hard-core right-wing saxophone and piano -- got enough fire remaining to heat the pot for a Tea Party? Does Curly -- alias the winsome-if-balding Oren Tikkanen -- have any proletarian spunk left in his pinko banjo?" asks Oren Tikkanen. "Only the boldest -- perhaps most foolhardy -- attendees of the stylish Calumet First Friday will know the outcome. At the last First Friday faceoff, the scene turned out surprisingly mellow, with couples dancing to old-time jazz and blues, bossa nova, and even bits of Belafonte-calypso and Finnish waltz."

The café offers a heady mix of music, art, freshly baked pastries, good coffee, strongly-held political opinions and more.

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