Thursday, May 05, 2011

Calumet to host First Friday events May 6

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet, May 6, promises a variety of cultural activity and celebration with a book signing, two opening receptions for new art exhibits, a watercolor painting activity and ribbon cuttings for two downtown businesses.

Book signing at Conglomerate Café

A book signing and reception to celebrate Stars in the Water, a new book published by Mudminnow Press, will take place at the Conglomerate Café from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 6, as a part of Main Street Calumet’s First Friday festivities. The book signing and reception are free and open to the public.

Stars in the Water book cover. (Image courtesy Main Street Calumet)

Stars in the Water is a collaboration of four Copper Country artists: Lesley DuTemple (author), Jack Oyler (illustrator), Laura Smyth (designer), and Joe Kirkish (photographer). DuTemple, a resident of Eagle River, is an award-winning author of more than two dozen children’s books. Her most recent book, Stars in the Water, features three magical tales of nature and the North Woods and is certain to please readers of all ages.

The stories have been richly illustrated by Jack Oyler of Calumet -- using his signature three-dimensional woodcuts. While this is Oyler’s first book, art enthusiasts will be familiar with his work, which has been displayed in area galleries.

Oyler’s illustrations were skillfully photographed by Houghton resident Joe Kirkish, who is well-known locally as a photographer, retired Michigan Tech professor, and founder of the Calumet Theater’s popular movie series, Club Indigo.

The book’s design was creatively conceived and executed by Copper City’s graphic designer Laura Smyth, who has a long line of books to her credit, as well as Further North, a magazine about life and art on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Stars in the Water has united the creative talents of these four artists in an engaging children’s book that will be loved by readers of all ages.

The author, illustrator, photographer, and book designer will all be on hand to answer questions and sign books at this First Friday event. Several of Jack Oyler’s original art pieces commissioned for this book will be on display as well. Books will be available for sale at the time of the signing. Copies are also available now in several Copper Country locations, including Copper Harbor, Calumet, Hancock, Houghton, Chassell, and Marquette.

Wood artists to exhibit at Ed Gray Gallery

"Wood: Form and Function" -- a gallery show featuring area wood artists Norm Hefke, Pat Reagan, Steve Schlumpf, Steve Uren, and Wayne Walma -- will open at the Ed Gray Gallery in Calumet at 6:30 p.m. on First Friday, May 6. All five artists will be present to premiere this show and their new work. An exciting offering of pieces ranges across the spectrum from turned pieces to furniture. Come to meet the artists and discuss their work!

The Ed Gray Gallery is at 109 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Vertin Gallery: "Kind of Blue," inspired by water

The Vertin Gallery will hold an opening reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 6 for their May show, "Kind of Blue" by Amy Arntson.

Summer Dance by Amy E. Arntson. Watercolor. (Photo courtesy Vertin Gallery)

Arntson is a Great Lakes artist who draws her inspiration directly from the water. Using the waterscape to convey emotion her work encapsulates the experience of water and uses it to convey deeper and more powerful emotions, often evoking an overwhelming sense of peace and meditation.

"My paintings are about spirit, as much as they are about a body of water," Arntson writes in her artist statement. "Growing up in the Great Lakes region, water has always been a powerful symbol for me. It is intimately connected with the passage of time, with stability and change: both fragile and seemingly eternal. Most of my current paintings do not reference the surrounding land; instead, they focus on abstract design qualities of light, texture, shape and movement of water. Without a horizon line, viewers are encouraged to meditate on the water, projecting themselves into the painting. While the artist begins the painting, each viewer completes it, with memories and personal associations."

"Kind of Blue" will be on display at the Vertin Gallery from May 6 through June 1.

For more information on the gallery and upcoming events, please visit or call (906) 337-2200.

Water Color Wonderland at Copper Country Gallery

If you ever wanted to visit wonderland, its all here at the Copper Country Gallery on Fifth Street in Calumet for a First Friday event from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on May 6. Save on gas! Water Color Painters Clyde Mikkola, Robert Sturos and Bob Dawson will still be wondering exactly what will be happening as you read this. Rest assured this will be a free, educational, fun-filled event!

All supplies will be provided by Copper Country Associated Artists. Coffee and bakery will also be provided. Donations are appreciated.

Ribbon cutting for new, old businesses

At 5:30 p.m. on First Friday, May 6, Main Street Calumet will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to honor one new downtown Calumet business and one business that has been operating in the community for 65 years.

EarthWise, at 216 Fifth Street, is a new store offering many unique items in the areas of gifts, beauty and health such as marzipan chocolate, flower essences, essential oils, books related to health and well being, Baggallini purses as well as hand-dipped beeswax candles, hand-made soaps and a variety of vitamins and supplements.

The old business to be honored is The Office Shop next door at 218 Fifth Street. In 1946 The Office Shop, Inc., opened its doors; and through the years its inventory of office supplies and services has increased to include faxing and copying documents for its customers.

Celebrate these two downtown businesses at the ribbon cutting on your way to the art events and book signing this Friday.

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