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Celebration of the Upper Peninsula as Home
Published on 8/30/2007
I heard about the traveling fine art exhibit "Celebration of the Upper Peninsula as Home" around the first of the year. I knew this was going to be a feature on our site. The Upper Peninsula Environment Coalition (UPEC) teamed up with 11 fine U.P. artists to bring awareness to the environmental issues that are affecting our region.

In the video, you'll see Jon Saari, UPEC board president, talk about why they chose to combine environmental issues and the arts. These artworks weren't created with any political agenda. They are not artworks that specifically cry out with rhetoric. They were created by artists who live in the Upper Peninsula. Artists whose lives and work are influenced by their environment.

Aside from the usual environmental concerns such as global warming and pollution, there is another threat that is casting its shadow over the U.P. and that is sulfide mining. I've read a few articles on this process and I'll sum the dangers up as: it will put heavy metals into our lakes and streams. Heavy metal isn't just a musical genre, in the medical world it's deadly to well as everything else. At the website, you can find in depth information on the preservation of the Upper Peninsula's wilderness.

The premier opening of the exhibit was at the Bonifas Art Center in Escanaba and will be there 8/2 - 9/6/2007. The exhibit will be traveling to:
  • 9/13 - 10/11/2007: Marquette Arts and Culture Center Gallery
    (Reception 9/13, 6-8pm)
  • 10/19 - 11/19/2007: Nicolet College, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
    (Reception 10/20, 7-9pm)
  • 12/20 - 1/31/2008: Finlandia University, Hancock
    (Opening reception 12/20, 7-9pm)
  • 2/2 - 2/28/2008: Alberta House Gallery, Sault Ste. Marie
    (Opening reception 2/9, 2-4pm)

The participating artists are:
  • John Lundeen (Munising)
  • Ron Lukey (Marquette)
  • Vicki Allison Phillips (Marquette)
  • Patrick St. Germain (Marquette)
  • Ingrid Blixt (Escanaba)
  • Eric Munch (Calumet)
  • Peg Sandin (Ironwood)
  • Jan Manniko (Keweenaw)
  • Rex Marsh (Sault Ste. Marie)
  • Christine Saari (Marquette),
  • Joyce Koskenmaki (Hancock),

On more of a technical note: The only experience I have with shooting/editing video is with this website. I know this video's video and audio aren't the greatest. I hope to purchase an external mic and a light as well as camera stabilization equipment.

  •  Artists
    An interview with artist Joyce Koskenmaki. A native of the Upper Peninsula and has moved back after lecturing art at University of Wisconsin in La Crosse and numerous academic positions elsewhere in the US before that position. She also taught at Finlandia University in Hancock, MI for 4 years until retiring to her painting.

  •  Storytellers
    William Jamerson knows a good story. He knows how to tell one and he knows when he hears one. Many years ago he saw a film about the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) and, as a historian, he knew he had stumbled upon a golden slice of American history. The CCC was a work program for troubled and underprivileged young men in the 1930s.

    For a few families in the U.P., springtime is known as maple season. Between the months of March and April, thousands of gallons of maple syrup are harvested from our woods.

    An interview of the author. Although the novel is not linear, there is a story that starts to develop as you turn the pages. The reader follows the narrator as she lives through her youth in a small town named Cripplecreek. You learn of her many experiences in this small town.

    Every year before the holiday season there is a high demand for evergreen boughs from tree farms and other businesses that sell holiday and winter decorations locally and to bigger markets in Wisconsin, Illinois and lower Michigan. This page describes how this brush is harvested.

  •  Adventures
    I knew when we started this website that ice fishing would have to be featured. Although I was reluctant because I also knew that the ice fishing experience would not transfer well to video. I suppose that goes for any fishing experience. Unless you are in a tournament, the main point is to let life slow down for a couple of hours. The point isn't catching a fish.

    In regards to paintball, I probably should have started at a beginner's level. Some would argue that combating against teenagers is a beginner's level...however the average person would agree with me in saying that age is no factor in paintball.

    I know some people don't like seeing animals in cages. My own statistic is that 99% of animals in zoos are so well taken care of to the point that they're pampered, and yes, perhaps even loved. Which is the case at the DeYoung Family Zoo.

    Winter Carnival at Michigan Tech is one of the biggest festivals in the Upper Peninsula. Up until recently, snow sculpting in Houghton was a student activity. For the past few years, there has been interest in the community to partake in the icy construction. This page includes a 16 minute video and 75 photos of the construction process.

    Known as Big Springs, Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan's largest spring. Over 16,000 gallons a minute erupt from the limestone bottom 40 feet beneath the surface where giant trout rest. This spring is constant all year and keeps the surrounding water at 45 degrees. This page has a few nice photos and a 5 minute video.