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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Finlandia art students exhibit Diploma Works through May 22

Finlandia Art and Design student Jordan Siegler's diploma works exhibit is an exploration of culture’s ability to consume its people. This is part of Finlandia University's 2009 International School of Art and Design Diploma Works Exhibition at the Finnish American Heritage Center. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The 2009 International School of Art and Design Diploma Works Exhibition is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery of the Finnish American Heritage Center through May 22, 2009.

Ansley Knoch's exhibit,"Repurposed for Good," is a line of bags, purses and accessories made primarily from recycled/repurposed plastic shopping bags that can be manufactured and sold.

A reception for the artists will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

This exhibit features the "diploma works" of graduating Finlandia bachelor of fine arts (BFA) students. Each individual’s exhibit represents his or her final body of student work. The work takes the forms of intensive research projects, series of individual artworks, or design prototypes.

Colleen Carroll's exhibit is titled "Ocarinas: Listening to the Clay."

Graduating BFA seniors featured in the exhibit are: Colleen Carroll (Calumet, Mich.); Chaslyn Duffek (Pelkie, Mich.); Jennifer Hamel ( Livonia, Mich.); Stacy Karvonen (Nisula , Mich.); Jennette Katona (Negaunee , Mich.); Ansley Knoch (Madison, Wis.); Fred Knoch (Madison, Wis.); Joss Martin (Crystal Falls, Mich.); Jessica Millar (Acton, Calif.); Anne Patrick (Hancock, Mich.); Jordan Siegler (Felch, Mich.; and Whitney Sirard (L’Anse, Mich.).

The Finlandia University Gallery is located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., or by appointment.

Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.

Ontonagon High School to host Fine Arts Night May 8

ONTONAGON -- Fine Arts Night will be held on Friday, May 8, at Ontonagon Area Jr. Sr. High School. Art viewing, refreshments and slide show will be from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., followed by a Band and Choir concert at 7 p.m. Art will remain on exhibit through and after the show as well. Please help us celebrate Youth Arts.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Friday in Calumet to feature 3 art events May 1

"Sun Dance," Acrylic, by Artist Ed Schuck, is part of his exhibit "THE UNIVERSE" at the Vertin Gallery from May 1 to June 3. An opening reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 1. (Photo courtesy Vertin Gallery)

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet offers three interesting art events, open to the public, this Friday evening, May 1.

Vertin Gallery exhibit, "THE UNIVERSE," to open with artist reception

The Vertin Gallery will present its newest exhibition, "THE UNIVERSE," paintings by Artist Ed Schuck, with a public reception for the artist from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The exhibition will be on display through June 3, 2009.

Schuck , originally from the Big Apple, New York City, has been a resident of the Keweenaw for the past 30 years. This exhibit features his large format acrylic abstract paintings, inspired after the images of our universe, that have been produced by the Hubble Telescope. He received a BFA in Painting and Film Making from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.

Located in the heart of downtown Calumet, Michigan, the Vertin Gallery is one of the Upper Peninsula’s premiere fine art galleries, featuring sculpture, painting, copper, glass, fiber, woodworking, jewelry and a fine selection of books. The work in the gallery changes frequently, and each month premieres a new exhibit to feature artists of the highest quality.

For more information on upcoming events and the gallery itself, visit or call Kerri Corser, artistic coordinator, at 906-337-2200.

CCAA First Friday Demonstration with Clyde Mikkola

Clyde Mikkola’s drawings are admired by many for the feelings his work exudes. Enjoy hearing him discuss his approach, then pick up a pencil and put your own hand to paper. Mikkola's CCAA (Copper Country Associated Artists) First Friday demonstration runs continuously so join in anytime from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 1, at the CCAA Studios and Gallery in Historic Downtown Calumet.

The essence of Mikkola’s demonstration will be to explain how he sees and how he uses what he sees to create a drawing. Hearing Clyde discuss his personal style is sure to inspire beginners and accomplished artists alike.

A still life will be set up, and everyone will be supplied materials and can work according to the explanation of Clyde’s approach. All CCAA demonstrations are free, so come and enjoy.

First Friday CCAA demonstrations are an opportunity to introduce visitors to a variety of arts and fine craft techniques by some of the area’s most talented practitioners.

The CCAA Gallery is located at 112 Fifth Street in Calumet. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, Thursday through Saturday. First Fridays, the Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about the CCAA call 906-337-1252 or visit

Ed Gray Gallery to feature "Places and Dwellings"

An opening reception for the one-person show "Places and Dwellings," by Todd A. Erickson, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 1, at the Ed Gray Gallery, 109 Fifth Street, Calumet. The exhibit features unique bronze castings created by the "lost wax" tradition.

For more information call 906-337-5970 or visit

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conservation District Volunteers help prepare for Tree Sale May 1 - 2

Wrapping trees and plants to keep them fresh, volunteers help Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Administrator Sue Haralson, center, on Monday morning, Apr. 27, in preparation for the HKCD Tree Sale pick-up this Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2. (Photo © 2009 Gustavo Bourdieu)

HANCOCK -- Volunteers have been working hard this week preparing trees and plants for the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) Tree Sale to be held this weekend. Pick-up times are 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 1, and 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, May 2, at the Houghton County Arena in Hancock. While most items have been pre-ordered, extra stock will be sold at that time.

The tree sale is the District's biggest fundraiser. All proceeds go to conservation efforts and education in Houghton and Keweenaw counties.

For more information about HKCD or the tree sale, call HKCD Administrator Sue Haralson at 482-0214.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Where Do the Children Play?" film, discussion to be at Portage Library May 4

HOUGHTON -- As adults, some of our fondest childhood memories include exploring in the woods, streams and sand boxes in our backyards. In contrast, children today are often connected to electronic media or scheduled sports events that leave them little time to imagine or engage in make-believe play. Time spent building forts, playing neighborhood games and exploring nature’s wild edge is slipping away from children’s lives. Should we be concerned?

Where Do the Children Play? -- a one-hour award-winning documentary produced for Michigan Public Television will be shown from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4, at the Portage Lake District Library. A discussion will follow for those who wish to examine whether this is a concern in our own communities.

The film visits three separate locations (Beaver Island, a suburb and an inner-city Detroit neighborhood) to probe how sprawl, congestion and suburban development may be impacting children's mental and physical health.

Parents of young children, childcare givers, grandparents, teachers and everyone interested in the well-being of all life is encouraged to attend.

This program is sponsored by the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education; Get Outdoors Michigan! Western U.P. Summit Planning Committee; the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative; Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education; and Michigan Technological University.

For more information, contact the library at 482-4570 or the Western U.P. Center (Email Joan Chadde at or call 487-3341). Library events and presentations are free and open to the public.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Peter Van Pelt to deliver Finlandia Commencement address May 3

HANCOCK -- Peter Van Pelt, executive director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, will deliver this year’s Commencement address at Finlandia University on Sunday, May 3. Finlandia is pleased to honor Peter Van Pelt with an honorary doctoral degree in recognition of his sincere and substantive engagement in the life of the western Upper Peninsula.

Peter Van Pelt, executive director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, will deliver this year’s Commencement address for Finlandia University graduates and will receive an honorary doctoral degree on Sunday, May 3, 2009. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

Commencement exercises will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at the Paavo Nurmi Center, Hancock. Finlandia will award diplomas to 108 graduation candidates.

A Baccalaureate worship service will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 3, at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The Rev. Dr. Lee Goodwin, the director of the ELCA Northern Great Lakes Synod Sabbath Project, will deliver the sermon.

The Finlandia University Class of 2009 Valedictorian is Lauren VanderLind. She has completed a bachelor of arts in Liberal Studies: English, with concentrations in philosophy and religion. If she had to name three things she’s gained at Finlandia, Lauren says they would have to be confidence, a direction in life and a voice. Lauren graduated from Houghton High School in 2003. She lives in Hancock with her husband, Blake. Her parents, Joan and Marshall Logue, live in Houghton.

Degrees conferred to Finlandia’s Class of 2009 are: 8 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in Elementary Education; 4 B.A.s in Liberal Studies; 1 B.A. in Liberal Studies: English; 1 B.A. in Liberal Studies: Social Science; 5 B.A.s in Human Services; 28 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degrees; 13 Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degrees; 14 Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degrees; 12 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees in Criminal Justice; 15 A.A.S. degrees in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA); and 7 Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.) degrees.

Alumnus speaker Jan Wisniewski is a senior fiscal analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives, overseeing the fiscal budgets of the Michigan State Police and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Jan earned an associate degree in English at Suomi College in 1993 and was awarded a bachelor of science in English and a master of public administration degree by Northern Michigan University.

For additional information, please contact the office of Finlandia University Provost Jeanne Rellahan at 906-487-7512.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Johnson / Wiitanen photography exhibit continues through May 15 at Rhythm Skate Shop

A large number of visitors attended the Apr. 17 reception for the collaborative project by photographer Adam Johnson (pictured here, far right, greeting guests) and artist/model Heidi Wiitanen -- on exhibit at the Rhythm Skate Shop in Houghton through May 15. (Photo © 2009 Gustavo Bourdieu)

HOUGHTON -- A large crowd attended the Apr. 17 reception for "A Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness: An acknowledgment of life, death, grief and rebirth" -- a collaborative project by photographer Adam Johnson and artist/model Heidi Wiitanen -- at the Rhythm Skate Shop in Houghton.

"I didn't expect so many people," Johnson said as he greeted visitors in the spacious, remodeled shop, an interesting venue for the exhibit.

The 11 black-and-white nude photographs conveying the emotions involved in the process of life, death, grief and rebirth are Wiitanen's tribute to her mother's long battle with cancer. Also displayed with the photographs is the mask her mother wore for radiation treatments. The exhibit continues through May 15.

Visit the blog for details.