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Saturday, April 02, 2016

Portage Library to host Keweenaw Garden Club butterfly presentation Apr. 4

A Monarch butterfly visits milkweed plants in the Keweenaw. (Photo © and courtesy Gustavo Bourdieu)

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) will host the Keweenaw Garden Club for an evening of learning about species of butterflies that live in our area.

Tim Eisele, an assistant professor in Michigan Tech's Department of Chemical Engineering, is also an entomology hobbyist. He will present "Keweenaw Butterflies in the Garden" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 4, at the PLDL.

Eisele will show slides and discuss which species are likely to come around in local gardens, what times of year to expect them, and what can be done either to provide food for their caterpillars, or to attract the adults. His slide show demonstrates that even though the Keweenaw does not have the diversity of butterflies that are seen further south, the area does have a nice selection of local species to enjoy. For local entomology photos and news, visit Eisele’s Web site.

The Keweenaw Garden Club was established by and for gardening enthusiasts. They have presentations at the Portage Lake District Library on the first Monday of each month September through May. Those who are interested in learning more about the club can visit their Web site.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Friday in Calumet April 1 to offer new exhibits, workshops, poetry, more

Art by Robin Rastello will be exhibited at Café Rosetta in April. On First Friday, April 1, the café will also host a Poetry Reading at 6:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy Café Rosetta)

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet is NO April Fool. Galleries will be open Friday evening, April 1, to welcome the public to new exhibits, art activities and more.

Vertin Gallery: Youth Arts exhibit

The April exhibition in The Vertin Gallery Art and Antiques celebrates Youth Arts Month with "History in the Making -- An Immigrant Story." The public is invited to a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 1.

This collaboration between Keweenaw National Historical Park, CLK Schools, and The Vertin Gallery features the work of the 18 CLK 3rd grade Keweenaw Youth Historians. On display are puppets that represent local members of the area with historic significance, created during national Youth Arts Month by this group of young artists with upcycled materials supplied by The Vertin Gallery.

Fine art, antiques, jewelry, and gifts from local artists and collectors will be featured including vintage, industrial chic, bohemian, mid-century modern and classic retail items available for the style-minded shopper. The Vertin Gallery is located on the corner of 6th and Oak Street in downtown Calumet.

Paige Wiard Gallery: Gallery Artist Show

"Salt and Pepper" by Meredith Krell. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

For the month of April, the Paige Wiard Gallery, 109 Fifth St., will be showcasing art work by the many artists that make the Paige Wiard Gallery so special. So stop in the gallery for an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 1, and take the time to view not just the April show but the whole gallery. Please call 906-337-5970 or email with any questions.

Calumet Art Center: Clay Whistle Workshop

Calumet Art Center First Friday. (Poster courtesy Calumet Art Center)

Celebrate spring at the Calumet Art Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday, April 1. A Clay Whistle Workshop will be open to all ages from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at a cost of $5 per person. Did you know that you can turn mud into music? Participants will learn how to create a whistle out of clay. Fun for persons of all ages!

Looking for something to do while the snow melts and the mud dries up? Sign up for one or more of the exciting classes the Calumet Art Center has planned for April. Click here for details.

Cross Country Sports: "Watercolors Now and Then"

For the month of April, Cross Country Sports, 507 Oak Street, will host a show titled "Watercolors Now and Then," featuring old favorites and new works by Bob Dawson.

"I love painting watercolors," Dawson writes. "I am often inspired by other peoples’ paintings. Works that appear to be spontaneous, transparent and loosely painted appeal to me most. There’s some mystery connected to viewing paintings made with water on paper. Maybe the viewer wants (subconsciously) to enter into the process and start painting them? I certainly look forward to doing more of these watercolors myself."

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 1, the public is invited to the opening of the show and a chance to talk to Bob about his work. Beverages and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 337-4520, visit their Web site or find them on Facebook.

Copper Country Associated Artists: Embroidery Workshop

Embroidery stitches. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA), 205 Fifth St., will host a mini Embroidery Workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 1. Karen Secor, a gallery artist member, will demonstrate some techniques and help you get started. Learn several basic embroidery stitches and explore ways to incorporate them into a completed work. Materials will be provided or bring your own. Donations appreciated.

Hahn Hammered Copper: "Collections"

Stop by Hahn Hammered Copper, 203 Fifth St., this First Friday to see "Collections" of cool stuff -- Art, Copper Things, Antiques, Nifty Bottles, Brass Hardware, Clothespin Angels, Found Objects, Ornaments, Ancient Rocks, Weird Gizmos, Wooden Balls in Tiny Boxes, and so much more! See you in downtown Calumet this First Friday!

Café Rosetta: Poetry and Art

Paintings such as this one by Robin Rastello are on exhibit through April at Café Rosetta. (Photo courtesy Café Rosetta)

Café Rosetta, 104 Fifth St., will host an exhibit of art by Robin Rastello during April. On First Friday, April 1, the café will also be open for a Poetry Reading at 6:30 p.m.

Artist Robin Rastello says her painting is inspired by her work making soft sculptured dolls.

"I painted the faces on these dolls. And after learning how to do these, I started making my own patterns and dolls, which would often take a month to create," Rastello says. "After a few years I started thinking that if I could paint a face on a doll, why not on canvas. That was probably 10 or so years ago. Once I got started I never looked back. I love mixed media because it allows me more room to experiment and play. I started out just painting angels -- more folk art style at first -- moved to women and children and then to landscapes and a few cityscapes. I love playing around with the different mediums -- feels much like a kid in a candy store. I am not a formally trained artist, but I have taken a few online classes, get info from books, mistakes, happy accidents. And those ahha moments. My painting has evolved into painting more in the whimsical and abstract."

New Wide-Eyed Gallery to open Apr. 1 in South Range

The new Wide-Eyed Gallery will open its doors to the public at 7 p.m. Friday, Apr. 1, in South Range, Mich. (Image courtesy Wide-Eyed Gallery)

SOUTH RANGE --  A new nonprofit art gallery is about to open its doors in South Range. Wide-Eyed Gallery will be holding its opening celebration at 7 p.m. this Friday, Apr. 1. The Gallery is at 21 Trimountain Ave. in South Range.

Wide-Eyed Gallery is a public space for artists of all medias to display their work for art lovers to enjoy. The gallery space is being donated and run by Dr. Sarah Derenzo, a returning U.P. native, who has had a life long love of all things art. A Go Fund Me campaign had helped raise over $500 to fund the opening expenses of the gallery. Donations are still being collected to support the running costs of the gallery via the Go Fund Me page. Interested artists can contact Sarah at for more information on art showings.

The gallery's goal is to celebrate art and to leave each guest a little more wide- eyed. Please come and celebrate this new public art space!

Featured at the Wide-Eyed Gallery for April and Spring 2016 are these artists:

Donna Lenard, whose breath-taking watercolors can be seen on her Facebook page. Donna is a self-taught artist who has been painting for 15 years. Her watercolors reflect the softer side of nature and leave you feeling serene.

Ashly Ekdahl of  Celestial Eden will be featuring her stunning oil painting, which can be seen on her Web page. Ashly studied art at Northern Michigan University. Her use of color makes one feel as if her work is jumping off the canvas.

Algomah Acres Honey Farm's own Melissa Hronkin will be exhibiting some of her unique multimedia sculpture. Melissa has been inspiring artists for years with her teaching. Her adventurous use of materials will leave you wondering what she is going to do next.

Monday, March 28, 2016

More Michigan Communities, Tribes pass resolutions to stop oil flowing through Enbridge’s Line 5 pipelines in Mackinac Straits

Sign displayed during the Sept. 6, 2015, protest against Line 5 at the Mackinac Bridge. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

CHARLEVOIX TOWNSHIP -- Charlevoix Township recently became the 25th community in Michigan to pass a resolution calling on Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to stop the oil flowing through Enbridge’s 63-year-old Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.*

Four Indian tribes in Michigan and the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority that manages their fishery also support stopping the nearly 23 million gallons of oil flowing through Line 5 in the Mackinac Straits, which University of Michigan experts have called the "worst possible place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes."**

Dozens of organizations, hundreds of businesses, and thousands of individuals also support efforts by the Oil and Water Don’t Mix campaign to prevent a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes, which drive the Pure Michigan economy and provide drinking water to millions of people. Enbridge has a history of oil spills from Line 5 -- which runs from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ont., and is responsible for 2010’s million-gallon oil spill disaster into the Kalamazoo River.

In response to the 25th-community milestone, partners in the Oil and Water Don’t Mix Campaign issued the following statements:

"The passage of the resolution by Charlevoix Township is historic: Since the beginning of November, a total of 25 communities and four tribes  across the State of Michigan have taken action and called on Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette to stop the flow of oil in the Straits of Mackinac," said Mariah Urueta, Michigan Organizer for Food and Water Watch, noting that the resolution has passed easily in virtually every place it has been introduced.

Mariah Urueta of Food and Water Watch speaks against the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline during the Sept. 6, 2015, Pipe Out! Paddle protest at the Mackinac Bridge. Urueta helped organize the event with Food and Water Watch and tribal groups. At right is Aaron Payment, Tribal chairperson for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (representing himself as an Anishinaabe individual) who commented on the need for tribal representation on Michigan Governor Snyder's Task Force and Committee dealing with pipeline issues in the Great Lakes.***

"In addition, citizens are working with many more local governments to pass resolutions that support shutting down Line 5," Urueta added. "To anyone listening, the message is clear: Michiganders don’t want this pipeline to continue operating for another day. It poses too great a risk to the Great Lakes, our communities, and our economy. It’s time to shut down Line 5."

"We have attended countless community meetings in towns all across northern Michigan," said Joanne Cromley of Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment. "There is overwhelming support everywhere we go for stopping the flow of oil in Line 5 immediately. This is not a partisan issue. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are concerned about the threats posed by this 63-year-old pipeline owned by Enbridge, and we’ll keep working with local governments on resolutions until the governor or attorney general does right by the people of Michigan and shuts down Line 5."

"It’s been eight months since Attorney General Schuette said that Line 5’s 'days are numbered,' but the Great Lakes still remain at risk of a disastrous oil spill," said Kelly Thayer, a campaigner for FLOW (For Love of Water). "Communities have spoken out because they know that these dented, cracked, and rusted old pipelines won’t last forever. Today we again call on the governor and attorney general to take quick action and use their authority to shut down Line 5."

Editor's Notes:

* At present, 27 local governments are supporting shutting down Line 5. Some of their resolutions as well as a list of supporters among communities, tribes, business, and organizations can be viewed on the Oil and Water Don't Mix Web site. See more updates on the Oil and Water Don't Mix Facebook page.

** Click here for the list of tribal supporters and links to their resolutions.

*** See videos with statements by Urueta, Payment and others in our Sept. 30, 2015, article, "Two protests near Mackinac Bridge defend Native treaty rights, oppose UP mining projects and Enbridge Line 5: Videos, photos."