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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great Lakes events scheduled for June, July, August

MARQUETTE -- Join the staff and supporters of Save the Wild UP, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and Freshwater Future in a Great Lakes Walk, Paddle and Roll Fundraising event, which kicks off with a 5-mile paddle around beautiful Lake Independence on Saturday, June 6.

There will be three events throughout the summer, including an orienteering event to be held on Sunday, July 12, in Big Bay as well as a biking event in August in Marquette. All funds raised will be used to support environmental outreach, educational activities and similar efforts around the Great Lakes region.

Visit Save the Wild UP for details.

Photo Contest

The Central Upper Peninsula Group of the Sierra Club is sponsoring a photo contest to celebrate the beauty of the Yellow Dog River Watershed. Do you have favorite photographs of the area? Enter them in the contest for a chance to win prizes and help make everyone aware how special this area is. You need not be a member of the Sierra Club to enter.

Photos that are entered should fit one of these categories: 1) Water –- lakes or rivers in the Yellow Dog Plains; 2) watershed scenery and landscapes –- beautiful photographs that don’t feature water recreation; 3) hiking, fishing, blueberry picking, skiing or whatever you, friends or family enjoy doing in this area; 4) Plants and animals –-living things that make the watershed special.

Up to four photographs may be submitted by each contestant. Please send pictures electronically to Entries should be submitted no later than Aug. 28, 2009.

Prizes to be awarded include: $100 cash prize for the best photograph overall and additional prizes for great photos in each of the categories above.

For more information Click here.

Protect the Earth Gathering

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 2, for the 2009 Protect the Earth Gathering on the Shores of Gichigami. Last year, Protect the Earth was very powerful, uniting people of all walks of life to protect our land and water. A warm invitation is extended to all those who value the Earth and want to protect it. Although Protect the Earth is not just about mining issues, potential metallic sulfide and uranium mining activity is still a major threat to the health of Great Lakes communities and our freshwater resources and will be a major focus of this year's gathering.

Saturday's events will take place in Marquette, Mich., and will include speakers, music and dance, workshops, a film premiere and displays about current environmental issues in the Great Lakes Basin. Sunday will begin with an annual walk to Eagle Rock and will culminate with a lunch and a special ceremony for our land and water, including a memorial for author, friend, historian and community activist Fred Rydholm with his family and friends.

Help is needed in all stages of the event (planning, setting up, cleaning up), so please email or call 906.942.7325 if you can contribute your time. Also, if you are able, please make any monetary contributions payable to Keepers of the Water, 254 Dukes Rd., Skandia, MI 49885. Please specify if you would like to donate specifically to Fred's memorial.

The Protect the Earth Gathering is sponsored by: Keepers of the Water, Yellow Dog Summer, Students Against Sulfide Mining and Friends. Stay tuned for updates, maps and more information, coming soon. Please visit for details.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"John Hubbard: Recent Paintings" to be on exhibit at Finlandia Gallery May 28 - July 17

HANCOCK -- An exhibit of recent paintings by Marquette artist John Hubbard will be featured from May 28 to July 17 at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock.

Artist John Hubbard in his studio. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

An opening reception for the artist will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, at the gallery. An artist talk will begin at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Drawing inspiration from well-known Canadian painters, The Group of Seven and the California impressionists, John Hubbard’s recent series of landscape paintings, created during a recent sabbatical, express the rugged beauty and luminous light of the northern landscape. Closely cropped water patterns, treetops viewed from below and the blue-green light of the deep forest fill Hubbard’s canvases.

Spider Trees 2009, Oil on Canvas, 18" x 24," is one of John Hubbard's recent northern landscape paintings. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Working alla prima, from the Italian "at once," Hubbard created each painting in one sitting. He begins his process by searching the surrounding woods and photographing thousands of images, seeking to capture a fleeting quality of light that will bring authenticity to his landscape painting.

"My goal as a painter is not to duplicate the photo, but to bring to the viewer those aspects of the image that are significant and to make it look not like a photo, but a painting that was done with brushes, rags, fingers and paint," notes Hubbard. "The interest in a painting or any work of art is the unique visual formation of the marks that differ from one person to the next."

Hubbard is also interested in conveying through his work the inherent value and vulnerability of nature.

"The relation of man and nature has been explored by many artists, especially the Hudson River artists; but my concern is different in that I am fearful of man’s impact on the environment as we face global warming and other events that may affect our world as we know it," says Hubbard, adding that his future work will continue to explore these concerns.

The productive and creative momentum created in Hubbard’s recent sabbatical, and continuing intensive painting research, are significant influences in his work. In this new series of landscape paintings, Hubbard continues to refine his process as he discovers new techniques and ideas.

A professor in the School of Art and Design at Northern Michigan University for nearly 40 years, Hubbard teaches drawing, painting and printmaking. His work has been exhibited in numerous one-person and juried exhibits. Public commissions of his work include the Fredeen Art Project in Marquette and the Copper Country Mental Health Building in Houghton.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to 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.

Vertin Gallery seeks musicians for Saturday "Music at Noon Hour"

CALUMET -- The Vertin Gallery in Calumet is participating in the Main Street Calumet summer window display theme, "Keweenaw Music Traditions." We are hoping to attract some volunteer musicians who would like to come and perform on Saturdays at noon for one hour in the gallery throughout the summer.

Just an hour or so...we would be happy to pass out your business cards or flyers in lieu of payment while you are with us. Plus we will be advertising the "Music at Noon Hour." If we have enough names, we can publish them in press releases and announce them on radio to give you more exposure.

We are looking for anything from singles to doubles to trios to whatever! Keep in mind it is a gallery space so we hope to attract some milder, sweeter music. Heavy metal or really loud stuff probably won't do in this venue.

If any one is interested, please call the Vertin Gallery at (906) 337-2200 and ask for Kerri or leave a message!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Volunteers needed for Chain Drive bike races June 20

HANCOCK -- Volunteers are still needed for the Portage Health System Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival mountain bike races on Saturday, June 20. People to help with traffic control from the race start to the top of the Hancock Cemetery hill are especially in demand.

"Volunteers do not have to be cyclists!" says Dan Dalquist of Keweenaw Trekkers, organizers of the Chain Drive race. "Time commitment is typically 30-45 minutes on Saturday morning. We do have some positions that are longer -- for example, at the finish line."

If you wish to volunteer, fill out the form on the Chain Drive Web site. Please be sure to include your t-shirt size.

Cyclists who wish to register for the Chain Drive should note the $10 discount for registering by Sunday, May 31. Visit the Chain Drive Web site for details.

The challenging 16-mile and 32-mile cross-country races traverse the Maasto Hiihto/ Churning Rapids trail system in Hancock. The course includes miles of singletrack and lots of elevation change. The finish will be at the Portage Health System hospital parking lot in Hancock.*

The Junior Chain Drive starts at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 20. The race will be on a single-track trail in a wooded area east of the hospital and will end at the Portage Health campus. The event includes timed races for youth ages 8-13 above and non-timed races for those age 7 and under. Click here for details.

* Editor's Note: Photo: Participants in a previous Chain Drive Race cross the Portage Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock at the start of the race. This year construction in Houghton may result in a variation on the start of the race. Watch for an announcement on this. (Chain Drive file photo © Keweenaw Now)