Michigan Artists

Spencer McQueen paints in his studio in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Spencer McQueen says looking at his art isn’t enough. He wants you to feel his paintings.

“It’s just this little extra ability that you can give someone to connect with you and the things that you created,” he says.


Pines of Arcadia is a new artist residency near Manistee.
Dan Wanschura

Pines of Arcadia. That’s the name of a new artist residency and studio north of Manistee. The studio is built into a sand dune and surrounded by pine trees.

Judy Jashinsky is the owner and came with the idea to start the residency.

Rufus Snoddy says being apart of Art Miami is one of the biggest opportunities in his career.
Dan Wanschura

Next week, Traverse City artist Rufus Snoddy goes to the Super Bowl of the modern art world.

“This is one of the best opportunities I’ve had in my life,” he says.

Rufus is a part of Miami Art Week. It brings galleries and high-end collectors from all over the world to south Florida.

Rebecca Childs works on a painting in her '99 Paintings for Evelyn' series.
Dan Wanschura

Rebecca Childs’ grandmother-in-law painted and sketched right up until her death last year. Her name was Evelyn Henry, and she was 99 years old. And Evelyn changed the way Rebecca thought about her own art.

“You can’t have an excuse if a 99-year-old woman is sketching in her bed, you know, the last week of her life,” she says.

Kyle Novy recently completed a 52-song album project, called 'Mount Valor.' And he's released every song for free.
Kyle Novy

Kyle Novy has been a singer-songwriter for a long time. But it had been about 10 years since he released any music. He was still writing songs, but the timing to record them wasn't right.

“I almost think of it like the whole pregnancy process," he explains. "I mean there’s a good nine months of development before this child is ready to be birthed, and like out in the world.”

Shanny Brooke opened up the Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City in November. She wants to bring more modern and contemporary art to the northern Michigan community and is coming up with unique ideas to do so.
Dan Wanschura

Shanny Brooke moved from Florida to Traverse City about nine years ago. Soon, she noticed that her type of art, was missing. She sees a lot of what she calls “loons and dunes,” but little modern or contemporary art. 

Shanny says that’s because businesses cater to tourists and visitors.

 

Kyle Novy is producing a 52-song album project, called 'Mount Valor.' And he's releasing every song for free.
Kyle Novy

Kyle Novy has been a singer-songwriter for a long time. But it had been about 10 years since he released any music. He was still writing songs, but the timing to record them wasn't right.

“I almost think of it like the whole pregnancy process," he explains. "I mean there’s a good nine months of development before this child is ready to be birthed, and like out in the world.”

Two years ago, Kyle says he had an idea pop into his head. Instead of releasing just one new album with 10 - 12 songs, what if he produced one big album— with 52 songs— and released it over the course of a year?

Sufjan Stevens wrote a whole music album about his home state, Michigan. It's included in The Awesome Mitten's updated list of top Michigan songs.
Sufjan Stevens

If someone were to ask you to name your top songs about Michigan, what would come to mind? Would you have trouble coming up with more than one or two? 

Jake Cagle writes for the website, The Awesome Mitten. When he was asked to come up with his top five songs that mentioned Michigan either in the title or lyrics, or were about the state– he had some difficulty at first.

"I could only think of maybe a handful," Jake explains. "I knew it would take me days and days to come with an actual list, and then to whittle it down to songs that wouldn't get me laughed off the internet."

Jake Cagle eventually came up with his list of the top five Michigan songs, but since four years have passed since that article was published, but he recently collaborated with IPR to update it.

Emma Berger sketches in Warehouse MRKT in Traverse City.
Daniel Wanschura

For many musicians and bands, summer is the time to get out and tour. And when they’re out on tour, posters are needed to help promote the different shows.

That’s good news for Emma Berger

She’s a graphic artist from Traverse City who designs everything from posters to t-shirts for bands across the country. Her work has brought her in contact with artists like Brandi Carlile, who performs tonight at Interlochen Center for the Arts


Penny (left) and Radel Rosin of Oh Brother Big Sister are out with their first original album.
Dan Wanschura

Just a couple years ago, Penny and Radel Rosin were performing in separate bands. The two siblings from Grayling, Michigan had grown up in a musical family and had gotten used to the performance life at an early age. But, being in a band with multiple members and schedules can be difficult to coordinate at times. That was a big reason why Radel eventually approached Penny about creating their own music act.

“Yeah, Del just pretty much just called me up and he said, ‘We’re going to start a duo, and we’re going to call it Oh Brother Big Sister,’” Penny recalls. “And I said, ‘Alright, sounds good.’”

Poet and writer Keith Taylor joins us today to offer a quick list of recommendations for some good reading.

Joan Richmond in her studio near the Grand Traverse Commons.
Dan Wanschura

In the early nineteenth century, artists spent almost all their time inside studios. Instead of going outside, artists would usually sketch and paint from existing sketchings and paintings. 

The goal wasn’t to paint as realistically as possible, but as beautifully as possible. 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was different. He started taking his paint outside.

Traverse City-based artist Joan Richmond says Corot was an important link in leaving behind the idealized world in painting.   

Carey Gustafson spent hours in her bedroom as a kid, sketching images of rock stars and actors and her favorite pop culture characters. She especially loved drawing Pac-Man and The Monkees and E.T. and Rick Springfield.

Gustafson says back then, she did not have a well-developed sense of identity. But she did have a good sense of humor. Plus she loved rock-n-roll and pop culture, and found plenty of inspiration in music and books and art.