Thursday, June 06, 2013

First Friday exhibits in Calumet offer Finnish-American-inspired art and activities June 7

Map of Calumet galleries you can visit on First Friday. (Map courtesy Tom Rudd of Galerie Bohème)

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet -- TOMORROW, June 7 -- art exhibits and activities will include a Finnish American theme in preparation for the coming FinnFest 2013.

This Tervetuloa (Welcome, in Finnish) sign is a sample of art that participants in the Copper Country Associated Artists June 7 First Friday workshop will be invited to create. (Image courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) will be hosting a workshop from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7, to make Finnish-style Welcome signs.

CCAA members will provide all of the materials and will be on hand to instruct participants on lettering and embellishment.  It is hoped that these signs will be displayed at homes around the Copper Country to welcome the Finnish guests during FinnFest 2013, scheduled for June 19-23. The workshop will be free and open to the public, but donations are appreciated.

Ziyad and Co. (former Ed Gray Gallery) will celebrate the artwork of four Finnish Americans -- Kenneth Koskela, Edith Marshall-Maki, Frederica (Tiapala-Sibilsky) Taddeucci and Bill Haapala-Wiard -- who have come together to share their creative Finnish works of art this First Friday.

"Thousand Word Picture Poem," by Edith Marshall-Maki. (Photo courtesy Ziyad and Co.)

An open reception, including drumming by the Blue Heron drumming group, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ziyad and Co. gallery, located at 109 5th Street, Calumet.

Galerie Bohème will present Drawings and Sculpture by Susanne Kilpela, with a reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 7, and a Finn Fest reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 20.

Sculpture by Susanne Kilpela. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

"This month there should be no snow or ice and we have Susie Kilpela's, unique, innovative and exciting artworks," says Galerie Bohème host Tom Rudd, "so stop by check out the work, have a slice of bread, a glass o' something, a piece of cheese, see and talk to people that you haven't seen since last summer, or last month."

Galerie Bohème is at the north end of Fifth Street. For more information call Tom Rudd at 906-369-4086.

Just up Fifth Street a few steps from Galerie Bohème you may hear live music by the Backroom Boys Jazz Band (trio version)  at the Omphale Gallery and Café. Stop in for a Finnish waltz or tango, taste some of Julie's gourmet treats and check out the exhibit of illustrations and comics by Finnish American artist Pamela Kotila. The exhibit will be featured at the Omphale through June 29.

A scene from artist Pamela Kotila's "Spidersilk" web comic, part of the June exhibit of her comics and illustrations at the Omphale Gallery and Café in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Julie DePaul Johnson)

Kotila, a 2010 graduate of the Finlandia University International School of Art and Design, is originally from Dodgeville, Mich. She currently lives in Japan, where she is employed as an assistant English language teacher. Perhaps best known in the Copper Country for her fashion designs, for the past two years Kotila has been focusing on web comics and illustrations. The Omphale Gallery exhibition will feature new works from her web comic, a fantasy comedy titled "Spidersilk." Though mostly for entertainment, Kotila says her character-driven comics carry themes of tolerance, equality, and diversity.

The exhibit’s curator, artist Joyce Koskenmaki, says Kotila’s show is an opportunity to see an art form that is currently underrepresented in the western Upper Peninsula area.

"Comics are now created for wider audiences, cover diverse topics, and stretch to any genre and use various mediums," Koskenmaki notes.

Kotila recently published a short story in a comic magazine in Japan. She updates "Spidersilk" twice a week on Visit her website at

Update: The Calumet Art Center at 57055 Fifth Street will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.on June 7.  This First Friday’s project will be  CLAY TILE. A  6"x 6" tile will be ready to carve and paint in designs of your choice. The tiles will be fired and ready to pick up in two weeks. Find your inspiration while touring the center and open studio featuring looms of all types; lamp work bead station; library and writing studio; and the clay studio, where the center is gearing up for the Empty Bowls Project. You can also see the recently completed stage expansion in the Performance Hall built by the Calumet High School workshop students.

The Calumet Art Center Gallery also features works for sale by artists Ed Gray and Emily Gray Koehler to benefit the center's youth programs. Learn about recent classes, projects and upcoming events including the Summer Youth Art Program. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 906-934-2228.

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