Submitted by Sherrie McCabe, AIRP Director
The fourth artist of the Artist-In-Residence Program (AIRP) is Matt Assenmacher from Brighton, Michigan. Matt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Aided Design Technology and his Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Eastern Michigan University where he is currently nearing completion of his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Technology. He holds secondary teaching certifications in Industrial Technology Education and Industrial Technology (IX) Vocational Education. He worked as a CAD Engineer for two downstate companies while completing his BA degree. Since 2001 he has been a teacher of CAD/Drafting and Animation Instructor, first in Ann Arbor and now in Hartland.
Matt wrote – “I became interested in art in 2004 after enrolling in still life and landscape painting courses at Eastern Michigan University. Additionally, I have always been an avid outdoor adventurer. I enjoy kayaking, snowboarding, cycling, hiking and camping to name a few. Through these experiences I have gained artistic inspiration from the vivid natural beauty of the outdoors. I have since become involved with the Brighton Art Guild and have had two public shows including an art exhibition at the University of Michigan’s Pierpont Commons Gallery, a gallery showcase of my work at the Brighton Area District Library and my work has appeared in the Grand Rapids based ArtPrize competition. In addition, I have created pieces for the city of Brighton, the Mt. Brighton ski Area and I have even designed labels for a brewery. I am honored and excited to be given the opportunity to create a piece of art through the Porcupine Mountains Artist-in-Residence program and I look forward to meeting any interested visitors.”
On Saturday, August 3 Matt will guide workshop participants in the basics of sketching using the natural surroundings of the park for inspiration. This free program is from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Porcupine Mountains Folk School located near the Union Bay Campground in the park. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Call 906-884-7663 to reserve a slot.
AIRP is a program of the Friends of the Porkies organization and is supported solely by memberships and fundraisers. For more information, please visit www.porkies.org.
The Friends of the Porkies have received the Keweenaw Heritage Grant through the Keweenaw National Historic Park. The $1,000 grant is used to facilitate local school field trips. The Friends match the grant with a $1,000. Donations can be accepted to support this program.
The Dreaded Garlic Mustard
Recently, four retired park rangers headed into the woods to continue an ongoing project of eradicating Garlic Mustard, an invasive plant that has plagued the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park for years. This year, the four stayed at interior cabins while they conducted their search and destroy mission. The four were Jim Richardson, Mike Rafferty, Bob Sprague, and Dave Braithwaite, also members of the Friends of the Porkies.
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a biennial herbaceous plant with single stems of 12 – 36″ high in its second and flowering year, the only plant of this height blooming white in wooded environments in early spring. The leaves are round, kidney or scallop shaped of dark green. In the first year, they present with rosettes of 3 or 4 leaves. The leaves smell like onion or garlic when crushed. They pose an ecological threat to woodlands by invading and replacing native plants. Garlic mustard alters habitat for native insects, which impacts upon native birds and mammals. It is now occuring in 27 midwestern states including Michigan.
The Folk School has kept busy providing quality instructors to teach interesting projects and the weekend of June 8 – 9 was no exception. Former resident of this area Heidi Bukoski led three classes, 2 in the felting arts, and a silver wire bracelet class. Heidi is a fiber artist who learned fiber crafts from her mother. Later on, she learned wire weaving from her father, who’d learned it as a merchant mariner.
For details on further classes at the Porcupine Mountains Folk School, please visit the Friends of the Porkies website at www.porkies.org or call 906-884-4886 and talk with Programs Administrator Angie Foley. The Friends of the Porkies is a non-profit organization formed to showcase the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and to enhance the visitor’s experience in the park.
The Porcupine Mountains Folk School kicked off some recent spring-like weather with Darlene Marczak’s class in making a vintage wind chime from articles such as old silverware, kitchen ware, pan lids, beads and other adornments, and fishing line. Darlene, a resident of Ontonagon, was shown this craft by her daughter and subsequently spent some time at estate sales and yard sales shopping for items to be re-purposed into wind chimes, as varied as the people who make them. For information on future Folk School classes, please call Angie Foley at 906-884-4886 or visit the Friends of the Porkies/Folkschool website at www.porkies.org/folk-school. Tuition discounts are offered for Friends of the Porkies members.
Submitted by Sherrie McCabe, AIRP Director
The third artist of the Artist-In-Residence Program (AIRP) is Bill Norton from East Lansing, Michigan. Bill earned his B.A. degree in English and Psychology at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and his Educational Specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in School Psychology at Michigan State University. In addition, he has taken several workshops and classes on photography in the last several years. It is the stunning bird photos and landscapes submitted with his application that proved his mastery over the camera and earned him a place in this year’s selection for residencies.
Bill wrote – “My interest in photography began as a child with my father’s installation of a black and white dark room in the basement. We had inherited most of the equipment from my grandfather who had taught printing and graphic arts at Lansing Eastern High School. This interest continued on for much of my childhood along with an interest in nature, also fostered by my parents. This interest waned during high school and college. Upon completing graduate studies 15 years ago, my interest was rekindled with a chance meeting at a local orchid show with an art instructor at Lansing Community College (LCC). She encouraged me to take some related classes at LCC and has encouraged this interest ever since.”
Photos taken by Bill have been published in books on orchids and have been seen on several covers of the “Jack Pine Warbler” magazine as well as on promotional materials for the Michigan Audubon Society. Bill’s work has been featured at several art galleries and art festivals in the downstate area. In addition, he has taught photography workshops for children and adults.
On Thursday, July 18 he will present a digital slideshow entitled “A Season of Bird Photography: Following the Spring Migration from Appalachia to Lake Superior.” Bill will speak to both the technical and aesthetic considerations that go into creating exceptional images of birds and the environments in which they reside. This free one-hour program starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Visitor Center at the park.
AIRP is a program of the Friends of the Porkies organization and is supported solely by memberships and fundraisers. For more information, please visit: www.porkies.org.