Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Artists Jerry Hammes, Clyde Mikkola exhibit work in Calumet

A and P by Calumet artist Jerry Hammes. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

CALUMET -- Two artists from the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery are Featured Artists through November in Calumet. The sketches of Clyde Mikkola are on display at the Café Rosetta, and the paintings of Jerry Hammes are featured at the CCAA Gallery. Both artists grew up in the Calumet area, and their fondness for the Copper Country shines through their work.

Quincy Shaft by Jerry Hammes. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

Jerry was always interested in art; and he was often found copying cartoons from comic books as a young boy, eventually drawing his own cartoons. After retirement, he started working with acrylics on canvas as well as on saw blades, painting scenes from his childhood in the Copper Country. He does careful sketches before he paints, working mostly from memory but also from researching old photographs. His style can be described as "folk art." The subjects vary from "Grandma’s Kitchen" to trains, mines and famous buildings. His work has been so prolific that as a collection it tells the story of Calumet during the middle part of the twentieth century.

Jerry Hammes was the Featured Artist at the Eagle Harbor Fair in 2009. CCAA members are honored to have this consistently thoughtful, caring and humble artist as a fellow member and particularly pleased to have a special display of his work at the CCAA gallery this winter, from November until May. The Gallery will be open until Christmas, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. After Christmas they return to the regular schedule of being open from about 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Fridays.

Clyde Mikkola was born in Highland Park, Mich., and moved up to Calumet when he was 7 years old. He graduated from Calumet High School and worked at the Osceola Mine for three months before joining the Navy and later studying at Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After returning to the Copper Country, Clyde became involved in many community art activities.

Drawings by Clyde Mikkola. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

He is currently CCAA vice-president but also has worked extensively at Keweenaw Krayons in Mohawk, has taught classes at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock and at the CCAA in Calumet, and has worked extensively at the Omphale. Like Jerry Hammes, Clyde is also a bit of a "time traveler." He enjoys occasionally stepping back into the world of the "Limners" -- itinerant artists of the mid 18th century -- and much of his artwork reflects the unspoiled beauty of that time. He has shared this interest with many area schools, bringing educational programs to history classes. Clyde did a Lewis and Clark Residency as well as Artist in Residency programs at Isle Royale, the Hiawatha National Forest, and the Porcupine Wilderness State Park.

Artist Clyde Mikkola, left, chats with another Calumet artist, Tom Rudd, during Mikkola's exhibit of acrylic and watercolor paintings, pencil and pen and ink drawings and stone carvings at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock in August 2010. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Clyde’s most common subjects are scenery, but he does portraiture as well. He is well known for his breathtaking watercolors, expansive acrylics and meticulous pencil drawings. These drawings are on display at the new Café Rosetta on Fifth Street in Calumet, just two doors down from the CCAA Gallery. The display continues through the month of November.

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