2017 Holly Wren Spaulding

Holly Wren Spaulding is a poet, editor, and teaching artist based in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, though she maintains deep ties with the Leelanau Peninsula, where she lived until recently. In 2012 she left academia and now runs Poetry Forge, a community-based incubator for writers and their work, and mentors emerging writers through her apprenticeship program and in online courses that engage writers in conversations about craft and creative process, while urging them toward the completion of significant bodies of work. Holly also teaches creative writing for Interlochen College of Creative Arts and other arts organizations.

Her passion—-helping others engage their art and thrive amidst the many social, technological, and existential pressures of our time–is most deeply felt in her live workshops and private sessions with artists, and which will be a component of the 2017 residency. Spaulding says that she regards the role of the artist in our time as “fundamentally radical in the sense that we are almost always living and working at the margins, which informs our world view, and our sense of what matters.” She says “I am here to speak of things not often spoken of, and I’m interested in remembering and revivifying aspects of the human experience which must not be allowed to disappear despite pressures to conform, or to consume as a way of life, or dedicate one’s life-forceprimarily to the pursuit of profit. Artists know that there is more to life, so I’m asking myself and those I work with: What else do you think about, or feel, or care about?”

Holly has received numerous awards, residencies and fellowships, as well as two Pushcart nominations for her writing. She has been published widely as an independent journalist, book reviewer, essayist, and poet in places like The New York Times, The Nation, The Ecologist, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, Talking River, Alternet, Z Magazine, Corpwatch.org, and even locally, with Dunes Review. Holly has published two chapbooks, The Grass Impossibly (Michigan Writers Cooperative Press, 2008), selected by Fleda Brown for that year’s poetry prize, and Pilgrim (Alice Greene & Co., 2014). She also contributed to the book We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism (Verso, 2003); The Michigan Poet: 2005-2010, and other anthologies. Holly studied creative writing at Trinity College, Ireland (M.Phil), University of Michigan (BA), and at Interlochen Arts Academy.

To learn more about Holly Wren Spaulding visit hollywrenspaulding.com

2016 Joan G. Richmond

The Leelanau Community Cultural Center is delighted to announce that Joan Gallagher Richmond has been selected for 2016 Ann Hall Artist in Residence. Joan appointment will mark 10-year anniversary of this summer program at the Old Art Building.

Richmond, a graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, also holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame. She taught painting for 10 years at Northwestern Michigan College and continues to instruct at drawing and painting workshops.

Focusing on, but not limited to, landscape images, Richmond uses gouache and other media. She works both in open air and in her studio, Studio 1S, in Traverse City. Northwest Michigan provides a rich source of visual inspiration. She has also painted along the west coast of Ireland, the North Channel in Canada and the city of Rome, Italy.

Richmond believes that direct observation of nature is an essential process for the artist. Critical seeing informs the artist’s visual and emotional responses that help form the image no matter how illusionistic or abstract. Major influences on her development include the work of Cezanne, Corot, Matisse, Morandi, Fairfield Porter and Louisa Matthiasdottir.

Richmond exhibits regionally and is represented in a number of corporate collections throughout the Midwest. She has received numerous awards at the Glen Arbor Art Association “Paint Outs,” was an Artist in Residence at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the fall of 2014 and a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome the spring of 2015.

Visit her website at joanrichmondart.com for more information and to see a gallery of images.

2015  Gene Rantz 

Landscape artist Gene Rantz has been selected as 2015 Artist in Residence for the Old Art Building’s Summer Program,becoming the ninth regional artist to achieve that designation.   At the age of fifty, Rantz broke free from a commercial art business in Southern Michigan to   fulfill a pledge made to himself – to become a fine arts painter. The journey began by packing a  few worldly possessions aboard the Summer Breeze, his beloved sailboat, and permanently leaving his home port of South Haven to sail north, eventually anchoring in Northport Bay at the tip of the beautiful Leelanau peninsula. You might say, he had “run away from home.” Now, thirty years later, even more fascinated by the beauty of the surrounding landscape, he is still discovering the subtle secrets of painting… composition and color…capturing the magic of the land.  Rantz’s greatest inspiration and influence for his work has come from visiting museums and researching the great painters of the past. Nothing stirs the heart of a painter more than standing in front of an original by the masters; to see the thick colors of a Rembrandt portrait, the brushwork of Sargent, or the dabs of sunlight in a Manet canvas, is a revelation.  His advice to any would-be painter is to study the best; even if it means setting unattainable standards. Rantz mostly paints in Leelanau County but he also maintains a studio on the Nature Coast of Florida and he occasionally does painting trips to Alaska and the Western USA.  His paintings are in numerous private collections around the country and he does several large commissions each year.

2014  Richard Kooyman

Last fall (2013) Richard Kooyman began an artistic project he calls “ArtCamp”.  ArtCamp has become Kooyman’s attempt to explore a deep aesthetic/natural environment relationship and to record the effect that this environment has had on his work.   “The ArtCamp Paintings” is the first public exhibition of paintings from the project.  Viewers will experience a large selection of paintings, representing all four of Michigan’s distinct seasons, originating from the artist’s two-acre wooded ArtCamp.

At some point in my artistic career I had to ask myself why make a painting of the Michigan shoreline rather than a field of cows?  Why make a painting of a sunset?  I make paintings of things that have an effect on my life.  Iconic images of Michigan, the glare of sunlight through the trees, an arrangement of color.  These are things that I notice are important and that I think are worthy of other people taking note of.

How I paint them, what makes them look the way they do is because of my love of what oil paint does.  Oil paint is expressive.  It offers surprises.  It’s wonderfully messy, yet sophisticated and refined.  It is poetical by its very nature.  I try to make paintings that show that.

Richard Kooyman received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Grand Valley University and was awarded a Collage of Art and Design Fellowship to attend Ohio State University where he earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts (1982). He was awarded a Michigan Council for the Arts grant, the Michigan Governors Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.  Kooyman has lectured on the subject of art to art organizations, given numerous workshops along with being a visiting artist at various educational institutions, most recently the University of Minnesota in Mankato, MN. In 2013 Richard Kooyman was nominated for consideration for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Artists Grant in Painting.

2013 Sallie Stanley

An English and pre-med major at Smith College, Sallie enrolled in an art history and a drawing class her senior year which led her to study at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. With a degree in Graphic Design, she became an art director at J. Walter Thompson in Chicago for five years. Stanley has exhibited her work throughout the Chicago area and many venues in Leelanau over the past twenty years.  She currently lives in Winnetka, Illinois.

Having summered in northern Michigan for most of her life, Sallie has been entranced by the mysterious beauty and light of the Leelanau peninsula from a very young age. This luminous beginning, coupled with the viewing of a Winslow Homer exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago at age seventeen, led her to an endless fascination with watercolor landscape painting both in Michigan and in subsequent plein air travels. There is an energy and joy that come from painting in the landscape—a celebration of life itself.

Drawn to the work of artists Fairfield Porter, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Nell Blaine and Richard Diebenkorn, she has been exploring large, painterly figures in the landscape, a quest to capture the gesture of a moment in time. Through cerebral, yet intuitive brushstrokes, arresting compositions and heightened color harmonies, she keeps her paintings fresh and “alive”.

2012 Glenn Wolff

The most consistent creative endeavor in my life has been drawing. It defined me starting in kindergarten and ultimately led to a career in illustration and fine art, with sidebars as a public art collaborator, and muralist. After half a century the process is still a mystery, but for the first time in my life the different creative areas of my brain are at peace. A typical month can involve painting a mural with high school students, carving and printing a series of wood engravings, exhibiting mixed media paintings in a gallery, and illustrating a book.

Glenn Wolff grew up in Traverse City, Michigan. He studied Printmaking at Northwestern Michigan College, and received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His career began in New York as an illustrator for such clients as the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Central Park Conservancy, and the New York Zoological Society. In 1987 he returned to Northern Michigan concentrating on fine art and book illustration. The list of authors he has worked with include Stephanie Mills, John Gierach, and Robert Sullivan, but he is best known for his illustrations in the books of Jerry Dennis, starting with 1992’s It’s Raining Frogs and Fishes, and most recently The Windward Shore.

Glenn’s mixed media fine art has been shown throughout the US and Canada, and is included in numerous private and public collections including The Dennos Museum Center, The Kellogg Foundation, and the International Crane Foundation. He has also been a frequent artist-in-residence for environmental organizations such as The Great Lakes Bioneers, Wings of Wonder, The Watershed Suite Project, and The North American Prairie Conference.

2011 Dewey Blocksma

Dewey Blocksma, whose sculptures are hard to describe but are instantly recognizable, will be the Old Art Building’s sixth annual Ann Hall Artist in Residence for summer, 2011.

He has been called a folk artist and a creator of “outsider” art but however it is defined, Blocksma’s art is always provocative in sum, and amusing in its parts. His materials are household objects,  builder’s tools, children’s toys and pieces of Americana. Sally Viskochil, owner of Omena’s Tamarack Craftsmen Gallery which is home to many of Blocksma’s creations, puts it succinctly in a 2004 Traverse Magazine article: “Dewey does what he does…and the world either gets it or doesn’t get it.”

Blocksma spent several years of his childhood in Lahore, Pakistan, which set him on a non-traditional learning path before his family moved back to the United States and Grand Rapids, MI.  Following in his father’s footsteps, he became a doctor and traveled through Africa and Europe before returning to the U.S.  He began working as  an emergency room physician in small towns across lower Michigan.

To relieve the pressures of emergency room trauma, he began crafting toy-like figures from everyday objects until his part-time obsession overtook his professional life. He left the medical world in 1979 at age 36 to pursue life as a full-time artist and moved from the Grand Rapids area to northern Michigan.

Blocksma’s work drew considerable attention when he was commissioned by Traverse City to create a public sculpture. The result was the controversial “River Guardian” on the Cass Street bridge over the Boardman River, which brought equal amounts of praise and complaining.

The artist’s work will be exhibited at the Old Art Building June 24, 25, and 26, with an interactive presentation during the exhibit at a time to be announced later.  He will conduct two workshops in August to design and create an art piece.

2010 Charles R. Murphy

Charles Murphy grew up in southern Minnesota and remembers always wanting to be a painter.  His grandfather, who was fluent with a pencil, served as his earliest inspiration.

Graduating from Minnesota State University with his BFA in Studio Art, he set off for Cape Cod to immerse himself in a community of artisits.  After his first taste of apinting and exhibiting on the East Coast, he settled in the Grand Traverse Bay area of northern Michigan where he again found himself in a large community of artists.  For several years, Murphy exhibited in art fairs around the state, garnering award and a large audience of collectors.  With additional assistance from galleries and dealers who represented him, his work found its way into many large corporate collections such as Kraft, General Motors, Prudential, Mead Corporation, International Harvestor, Us Gypsum and Joh Hancock.

While his career as a painter took form he supplemented his income through another of his interests, woodworking.  Murphy spent a number of years designing furniture and cabinet making for shops in the Grand Traverse region.  Seeking greater fulfillment from his painting, he set the woodworking aside and began teaching painting classes and workships at regional art centers.  Expanding on this experience he has undertaken more travel for his own painting as well as the opportunity to teach in a variety of environments.  These pursuits have taken him around the US , France, Spain, Italy, Nova Scotia, Hawaii and the Caribbean.

A couple of excursions into illustration have resulted in two books. The first book, the award-winning “Reach for the Moon” was a collaboration with a young learning disabled writer.  The second bood, a children’s book titled “Smokey the Raccoon”, published by PF Publishing.  In 2002 Charles was flatter to have his work selected for publication in Artists’ Magazine’s 2002 limited edition calendar.  The calendar features 13 artists juried from a field of 13,000.

Charles Murphy curently teaches painting programs at the Grand Traverse Art Center in Traverse City, Michigan.  His works are in the 143rd Annual International Traveling Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society.

2009 Melanie Parke

Melanie Parke has a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, with a National Leadership Award. She is the recipient of several professional residencies, including Yosemite and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Parks. Her paintings are exhibited nationally.

2008 Bob Purvis

A native of Traverse City, Michigan, Bob Purvis graduated from Traverse City High School in 1965 and from Northwestern Michigan College in 1968. He worked in his family’s steel fabrication business until 1976 when, after the business was sold, he struck off on his own. After several years of repair work, he was asked to be more creative at the behest of clients interested in more unconventional work. From that experience to present, he has tried to use his creativity to the fullest extend possible.

In 1982, Bob and his wife Suzanne moved to Suttons Bay. In the ensuing years his career has evolved to include architectural ironwork, furniture design, and sculpture. It has also increasingly included interaction with art departments and their students in public and private schools throughout the Grand Traverse Region. Current sculptural work can be seen at the entrance to Center Point and the wall sconces inside the State Theatre in Traverse City.

2007 Fred Petroskey

A native of Leelanau County, Michigan, Frederick T. Petroskey was born near the small village of Lake Leelanau. Fred graduated from Western Michigan University in 1962, having majored in Art and Political Science and began the Art Program at Delton-Kellogg Schools near Kalamazoo, MI before moving to Boston, MA in 1967.

During the next seventeen years Fred taught at the DeCordova Museum of Art, judged art shows and lectured. In 1984, Fred returned to Leelanau County, taught at Northwestern Michigan College and restored a 19th century farmhouse which became his studio and where he continues to receive portrait commissions from around the country.

2006 David Grath

Well-known area artist David Grath was chosen as the LCCC’s first Artist-in-Residence. One of Leelanau County’s most highly respected artists, Grath has created rich landscapes of the area’s land and shorelines for more than fifty years. He has taught art at universities and conducted workshops throughout the state, and has work in many private and public collections, as well as images on several book and record album covers.

Grath says that in his oil paintings he seeks to show the mystery inherent in the interplay of the light, the shadow, and the depth of his vision. Likening the light in our area to that of southern France or Italy, Grath states, “Because the peninsula runs north-south, the light and the way it reflects and refracts off the trees and the water and the land is unique.”

The new Artist-in-Residence was introduced to the public at a reception and art show for the Tuesday painting group known as the Leelanau Artists at the Old Art Building. At that time it was announced that he would conduct four workshops designed to give attendees the opportunity to work and paint with the artist. These workshops were held June 22, July 9, July 20, and August 16.

A lecture was held August 4, amid a large selection of Grath’s artwork which had been set up for the annual David Grath Fine Art Exhibit. At this time the artist focused on the special qualities of painting in Leelanau County, including his own personal history of painting.