See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Finlandia Singers, Pep Band, Choir to perform Apr. 9

Members of the Finlandia University Singers and Pep Band, who will be performing, along with the University Choir, at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Apr. 9, at Grubbie's Café in Finlandia Hall, include (back row, from left) Brooke Thompson, Niki Webb and Sami Horst; and (foreground, from left) Matt Sundquist, Kumiko Takahashi, Toshi Mita and Kazuki Nishiyama. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Singers, Pep Band and Choir will be performing in a concert at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Apr. 9, at Grubbie's Café in Finlandia Hall, Hancock. The event is open to the public.

Performing with the Choir will be singers Amanda Moyer and Sara Spangler, accompanied by pianist Carla Phillips, adjunct instructor of music.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sign of Spring! Coast Guard breaks ice on Portage

This Coast Guard vessel could be seen breaking through the ice on the Portage Waterway today, Apr. 8, 2009, a sunny "Spring" day in the Keweenaw. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2009 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Updated: Houghton County Democrats to hold annual Spring Fling Dinner Apr. 18

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton County Democratic Party will be hosting their annual Spring Fling Dinner on Saturday, Apr. 18, at the South Range VFW Lounge. Cocktail hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with Dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Speakers (tba) and an Awards Ceremony will follow the dinner. Now that HCDP has a permanent location in downtown Houghton, the Spring Fling annual dinner and awards program is a way to help raise money for expenses. It is also a time when elected officials and recipients of the annual Wisti Award are recognized. Several Service Awards and special Youth Awards will also be given.

Tickets can be reserved online at by entering the code SP09HCDP, by emailing or by calling (906) 680-4075. Tickets are $22 and will be reserved for you at the door.

Update: Funds raised from the dinner help support the Houghton County Democrats' Office, located at 509 Shelden Avenue, Houghton. The office, staffed by volunteers, is open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays (except the first Wednesday of the month) and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The HCDP regular monthly meeting is held at 7 p.m. every first Wednesday of the month at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton.

More information can be found online at

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hancock Council to hold public hearing concerning Anthony St. Apr. 8

HANCOCK -- The Hancock City Council will hold a public hearing and special meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 8, 2009, at at City Hall, 399 Quincy St., on the abandonment of Anthony Street between Spruce Street and Emma Street, a distance of 430 feet. The proposed abandonment is based on a petition from Finlandia University, which hopes to build an athletic complex in that neighborhood.

The project is intended to provide a facility for Finlandia to expand its sports programs and still provide utilization by the Hancock Public Schools.

At a public hearing held by the Hancock Planning Commission Mar. 23, commissioners and residents heard a presentation on the $4 million, three-phase proposal. According to the draft minutes of that meeting, the proposed project is to include construction of a soccer/football field with lighting and synthetic surface, two football practice fields, a 1500-seat grandstand with locker room, a nature trail, softball diamond and lighting, an alumni pavilion and new tennis courts and lights.

At the Mar. 23 hearing several residents expressed their support of the project as well as concerns about safety and walkability in the area and the impact of construction activities on events at a nearby church. Stan Kaczmarek, senior estimator for Gundlach Champion, which will be involved in the project, noted construction would occur from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. No weekend work would be scheduled, he said; thus the noise and dust from the work shouldn’t affect church events on weekends.

Chairperson Dan Lorenzetti read a letter from former mayor Barry Givens, 1301 Garden Street, saying he supports the project and the vacation of a portion of Anthony Street to accommodate it. He also cited community access for the new facilities as an important consideration.

Artist/teacher to speak on "Art as Activism" Apr. 7

HANCOCK -- Professional artist and teacher Helen R. Klebesadel will discuss the place in which art and activism come together at a free community lecture from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 7, at the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m., preceding the lecture.

The title of her talk is, "The Personal Is Political: Art as Activism."

Klebesadel is working this week as an artist-in-residence with Finlandia art and design students.

Klebesadel is director of the Women’s Studies Consortium at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2006 she was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle to a three-year term on the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Best known for her feminist subject matter, Klebesadal’s current work is centered around environmental themes and the relationship of humans to nature. She also teaches art workshops that focus on empowering participants to create art from their own life experiences.

Klebesadel notes that the arts are one of the ways a culture defines what they value. Visual artists, for example, not only relay aesthetic, and sometimes personal, content in their work, but also may use the content of their own lives to express their understanding of cultural, social, and political issues.

Klebesadel exhibits widely and has written several publications on using student-centered pedagogies in college-level art teaching. In her teaching, she says, she is committed to student-centered, multicultural pedagogies.

An exhibit of watercolor paintings by Klebesadel was featured this March at the Vertin Gallery, Calumet. See Keweenaw Now's slide show of the exhibit on this page.

For additional information, please contact Yueh-mei Cheng, associate professor of studio arts and illustration, at 906-487-7375 or

Monday, April 06, 2009

Multi-media installation at Community Arts Center Apr. 7-30

HANCOCK -- TIME. SPACE. BEING is the exhibit in the Community Arts Center’s Kerredge Gallery this April. Artist Yueh-mei Cheng, associate professor of art and design at Finlandia University's International School of Art and Design, has created a spatial-temporal chess board as a collaborative multi-media installation.

Untitled Image from the multi-media art installation, "Time. Space. Being," created by artist Yueh-mei Cheng and collaborators. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

This New Media installation will be on display from Apr. 7 to 30. An opening reception for the artist will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Apr. 9, at the Community Arts Center.

New Media art describes creative projects that make use of emerging media technologies such as digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art and interactive art technologies. Their aim is to explore the cultural, political and aesthetic possibilities of these tools.

Artist Yueh-mei Cheng arranges some elements of her multi-media installation, "Time. Space. Being," in the Community Arts Center. (Photo © 2009 Gustavo Bourdieu)

The genre emerged in the 1990s as the Internet and electronic communication methods began to pervade modern society. New Media projects are often completed in collaboration with other artists. To create the installation, Cheng is collaborating with artists Aaron Radzwilowicz, sound design; Jonathan Soper, computer animation; Donica Dravillas, glass design; and Karl Larson, electrical support.

During her work of setting up the installation in the Kerredge Gallery of the Community Arts Center, artist Yueh-mei Cheng, left, pauses for a photo with her collaborators, from left, Donica Dravillas, glass design; Jonathan Soper, computer animation; and Aaron Radzwilowicz, sound design. (Photo © 2009 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Cheng says the installation places each visitor in a unique position to play 3D visual chess. Derived from her meditative experiences, "TIME. SPACE. BEING" creates images that echo the existential reality of meditation.

She cites Albert Einstein as saying, "Space and time are not conditions in which we live, but modes in which we think. A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest . . . a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness."

Untitled image from the multi-media art installation, "Time. Space. Being," created by artist Yueh-mei Cheng and collaborators. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Cheng adds that -- in art -- time, space and beings are interwoven and inseparable. She says that in this art installation, one’s internal vision is represented by pictographic images and metaphoric symbols. The letters of the alphabet become beings that live beyond the ordinary dimensions of perception, invoking the ancient mystics. The viewer’s sense of time and space is influenced externally by the artist’s imagined appearance of form, color, light and sound.

Yueh-mei Cheng's most recent book, Visual Chess (published in 2008), is also closely related to the topic of this installation.

Untitled Image from the multi-media art installation, "Time. Space. Being," created by artist Yueh-mei Cheng and collaborators. (Photo © 2009 Gustavo Bourdieu)

The exhibit is made possible with a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with funding through the National Endowment for the Arts. For additional information, please contact the Copper Country Community Arts Center at 906-482-2333.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Finlandia Student Fashion Show highlights Art Exhibit opening

HANCOCK -- Finlandia's Student Juried Art Exhibit opened on March 31 with a Student Fashion Show exhibiting original creations by fiber art students of Finlandia's International School of Art and Design.

Among the student art works on exhibit in the Finlandia Gallery of the Finnish American Heritage Center is "It's Not Just the Forest," by Juice DeMers, fiber artist, who also designed several dresses for the Fashion Show. See videos, below, and our slide show, above right. (Photo © 2009 Keweenaw Now)

"The fiber students look forward to this show every year," said Phyllis Fredendall, Finlandia associate professor of fiber and fashion. "They find the models and choose their music. It's a delightful group effort. The fiber studio has been buzzing this semester!"

Keweenaw Now presents here some video clips of the Fashion Show. See also our slide show with photos (top right corner of the page).

"Plush Living by Proper Etiquette" is the title of this collection of fiber designs by Juice DeMers. Phyllis Fredendall, Finlandia associate professor of fiber and fashion, describes the outfits and the stuffed toys -- eggplant, stuffed olive, melon, poptarts and a rice ball -- carried by the models as they dance to this catchy tune.

A large crowd filled the theatre and the gallery at the Finnish American Heritage Center to enjoy the event.

Pamela Kotila's colorful designs are presented in this lively choreographed segment of the Fashion Show. Models shown here are Kotila herself, in the pink hair, followed by "angel" Sarah Anderson and Kazuki Nishiyama.

The Juried Student Art Exhibit continues through April 21 at the Finlandia University Gallery in the Finnish American Heritage Center, located in downtown Hancock at 435 Quincy Street (U.S. 41 North). The Heritage Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.