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Friday, January 02, 2015

Just Keweenaw project seeks to promote Copper Country, support community charities; fundraising deadline: Jan. 8, 2015

CALUMET -- There's no doubt, the Keweenaw Peninsula is beautiful. The people who live and visit here have a deep connection to this unique area and love sharing their experience with others.

Local residents Jonathan Soper and Michael Juntunen are opening a store in Calumet along with a website ( to promote the Keweenaw and give back to the community by utilizing their current web development and graphic design business, Base Nine Studios ( They have been working with other local businesses, merchants, metalsmiths, printers, and artists -- all of whom are very excited about participating in this project.

This conglomerated effort will produce high quality shirts, coats, drinkware, jewelry, and crafts -- all created locally by folks we know, thus ensuring that everything offered from Just Keweenaw is built to last. Just Keweenaw aims to donate five percent of all future monthly sales to local charities and to showcase them on the Just Keweenaw website and social media in order to raise public awareness about organizations that need help.

"We'll be working to benefit the artists -- that's our mission," Soper explains. "And we'll be selling both on the website and in the Calumet storefront."

Just Keweenaw is currently raising startup funds on, a popular crowd-funding website. When you make a pledge on Kickstarter, you'll receive rewards in return. You are not charged until, and only if, the project reaches its funding goal.

The deadline for this Kickstarter fund raiser is next Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.

Everyone is encouraged to visit, watch the video, like their Facebook page, and make a small pledge on Kickstarter if possible -- by Jan. 8. Just Keweenaw is working hard to meet their funding goal by the Jan. 8 deadline. They are confident that people will love to show off their Keweenaw pride with style.*

Jonathan Soper and Michael Juntunen live in the Keweenaw and have 30 years’ experience in marketing, business management, design and interactive development. Base Nine Studios has developed websites for many local businesses -- including The Michigan House (; Carmelita's, a Southwestern Grille (; and Fitzgerald's Restaurant/Eagle River Inn (

* Click here to go directly to Just Keweenaw's Kickstarter page and learn more about the project and rewards for supporters!

(Just Keweenaw logo courtesy Jonathan Soper.)

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Calumet Art District to offer Omphale Reopening plus art exhibits, activities, receptions for First Friday, Jan. 2

American Copper. This butterfly photo by Miriam Pickens is part of "The Butterfly Show" at the Omphale Gallery and Café, which will reopen on First Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. (Photo courtesy Miriam Pickens)

CALUMET -- The Calumet Art District welcomes 2015 with a wide array of Gallery Shows and the reopening of the famous Omphale Gallery and Café this First Friday, Jan. 2.

Omphale Gallery and Café: Reopening, "Butterfly Show," live music

The Omphale Gallery and Café, at 431 Fifth St. in Calumet, is reopening with a new menu and a special First Friday meal, courtesy of Chef Mike Porter of the Eagle Café (Eagle Harbor) and the Miscowaubik Club.

During January and February, the Omphale gallery will feature "The Butterfly Show" with works by Karen Runvik and Miriam Pickens. Karen fills her transparent watercolors with vibrant colors and light as she enjoys capturing the essence of the beauty of flowers and their pollinators. She currently spends her time at her woodland studio in the the Baraga area. Miriam has been taking close-up photos of the butterflies of the Maasto Hiihto trails in Hancock. She has photographed over 50 species and incorporates these and other delightful creatures in her work with ceramics.

Art by Karen Runvik, part of "The Butterfly Show" at the Omphale Gallery and Café. (Image courtesy Miriam Pickens)

The two will be presenting their works this First Friday evening, Jan. 2. During the Opening, enjoy the live music, visit with the artists and view their matted photographs, prints and portfolios. Please call Chef Mike at 235-9191 for more information.

Update: According to their Facebook page, the Omphale is now called the Omphale Restaurant and Gallery. Reservations are appreciated for dinner. Visit their Facebook page for the tentative menu.

Calumet Art Center: Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 2

The Calumet Art Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on First Friday, Jan. 2, but will be closed for the evening. Karena Schmidt is offering a felted mittens class on Thursday evenings in January and February, and there are still a few openings. The staff at the Calumet Art Center wishes you a Happy New Year, and will see you at First Friday in February. For more information call 934-2228.

Paige Wiard Gallery: Opening Reception

Art by Jerry Eppel, on exhibit at the Paige Wiard Gallery. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

For the month of January the Paige Wiard Gallery, 109 Fifth St., will be showing work from the talented artists that can be found in the gallery every day! Stop in and show your support for the artists that make this gallery so special. An opening reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. First Friday, Jan. 2. For more information call 906-337-5970 or email

Galerie Bohème: Group show

This lovely doll by Margo McCafferty and Tom Rudd is part of the group show now at the Galerie Bohème in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème.)

Galerie Bohème is pleased to bring you a group show featuring multiple local artists. Check out the six-foot-long sturgeon that Tom Rudd just completed. The opening reception will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 906-369-4087.

Galerie Bohème is at 423 Fifth St. in Calumet.

Copper Country Associated Artists : Dry wall carving

Dry wall carving will be the featured activity at Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) for First Friday, Jan. 2. Learn how to create a beautiful carved tile from a material that is readily available as scrap. As this requires the use of exacto-knives, participants will be restricted to older teens and adults. All materials will be provided, and the activity will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

During the winter, the CCAA Gallery will be open most Thursdays from 11 a.m. - noon and on first Fridays from about 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. as well as for special events such as the Copperdog 150.

The CCAA Gallery is at 205 Fifth St. Call 337-1252 for more information.

Cross Country Sports: Art by Greg Green

For the month of January, Cross Country Sports will feature new works by Calumet master painter Greg Green. His new paintings, titled "Winter, Buddha, and a Trip to the Circus," celebrate paint, shapes and color in an abstract expressionist style. Enjoy an open house, refreshments and talk with Greg from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2.

Cross Country Sports is at 507 Oak Street in Calumet.

Hahn Hammered Copper: New found objects

Hahn Hammered Copper will be participating in the Marquette-based "100 Day Project" again this year. The Hahns will be "Exploring Beauty" in the found object and will have new works on display monthly from now until the Spring Equinox. Stop in on First Friday and help guess the little brass Mystery Object. Whatever your taste, you're sure to find something at Hahn Hammered Copper, 203 Fifth Street.

Café Rosetta: Poetry Reading; art by Chris Schmidt

Café Rosetta is pleased to host a Community Poetry Reading and Original Short Stories, open mic beginning at 6 p.m. on First Friday, Jan. 2.

During the month of January, the art of Chris Schmidt, longtime bicycle racer and avid photographer, will be featured. Inspired by the Tour de France, Schmidt has been photographing races and creating posters, flyers and t-shirts. A winter collection of skiing and cycling images in photography and graphic art will be on display at Café Rosetta, 104 Fifth Street, during January.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

UPDATE: Backroom Boys dance postponed to Friday, Jan. 2, at Copper Island Beach Club

Please note the change of date: Backroom Boys will play dance music on FRIDAY, JAN. 2, because of Dec. 31 weather cancellation. (Back Room Boys poster courtesy Oren Tikkanen.)

UPDATED: HANCOCK -- The Backroom Boys Jazz Band will play dance music from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. FRIDAY, JAN. 2, at the Copper Island Beach Club (CIBC) in Hancock. The New Year's Eve Dance Party scheduled for Dec. 31 at CIBC has been postponed because of weather. Come down to CIBC this FRIDAY for an evening of post-holiday dancing and fun with the Backroom Boys.

This time out, the Backroom Boys will be Bob "Smooth Slide" Norden -- trombone, vocals, and high-jinks; John "Mr. French Quarter" Munson -- clarinet, tenor sax, keyboard; Matthew "Matti Poika" Durocher, once again voted the Keweenaw's Best-Looking Fretless Bass Guitar Player; and Oren "Vieil Homme" Tikkanen -- guitar, banjo and vocals.

The Copper Island Beach Club is on the Hancock waterfront at the bottom of Tezcuco Street. No cover or admission charge!