About two years ago, maybe three, Robin Hopper knew that he wasn't long on this earth. He asked Tony Clennell to give his eulogy at our national ceramics conference (NCECA). I know that Tony started thinking about what he would say to his peers about this man who gave so much to our clay community. Tony did a great job. He wore glasses, hat, and bow tie of Robins. He had one of Robin's t-shirts on too. Robin would always wear these silly T-shirt's while running a workshop. One time when he took me to his favorite T-shirt shop in Victoria. We hunted around, being in the moment, I had to purchase three silly T-shirt's too. When, I got home, I said to myself "Really?! I don't wear T-shirt's like this laughing at myself.". Robin Hopper, an artist, man, husband, father, teacher, author, gardner, chemist, entertainer, and taskmaster, he was a force. Who will take his place? I know Tony is to some degree. Robin counseled him to not live as large and hard as he did. I hope Tony listens and that we get to see his artwork, take his workshops, and read his blog: smokyclennellblogspot.com for many years.
Treating Everyone with Respect One of C2C Gallery’s core values is to treat everyone with respect. You say, “well, of course”. Sadly, this is not something that happens automatically in our world. As C2C grows, treating customers with respect is one of my personal core values and I am proud that is part of the gallery’s DNA. In my mind, treating people with respect should simply be part of the fabric of society. We shouldn’t have to write it down. It’s just the right thing to do. We are all humans, (as one of my girl friends reminds me often). We’re all in this together and, for the most part, people are good and want good things for society. What’s sad is how surprised people are to see this in practice. That’s because we live in a world where people say and do very disrespectful things to one another on social media and in real life. So, I thought I would share my thoughts about respect and talk about change in the gallery. Change is good. Change will not include losing our focus on always being friendly, helpful, respectful, and offering the highest quality plus widest range of art in West Michigan. Our goal is to help you include art in your every day life. You will see two new faces in the gallery – Julie Minnema and Joy Roach. Joy will be helping us on First Fridays, special events, and other busy days. Julie Minnema will be helping us on Sundays and Mondays with a focus on networking with interior designers, architects, and realtors. We have relationships with more than 45 artists. If you are one of these professionals or have a favorite pro, please consider scheduling a time to talk with Julie or myself. We would love to learn if we can be of service to you, helping one another. Sarah Mattone will be in the gallery during the week managing the sales floor and other duties. So where does this leave me? I will be in the gallery several mornings a week. Then, heading to my studio to make pots and create new forms. I am excited to be able to focus on my art, plus the business side of C2C Gallery. C2C Gallery has always been about sharing the talents of our artists with you, our clients and visitors to Grand Haven. As we grow, C2C is also supporting me, our employee’s families, our health, and our choice of lifestyle. So, once in awhile, we will not be able to be open, because a child is sick; we have the flu; a kiln needs repair; or some other emergency that is out of our control. I hope that you will understand because we only have one life – our family and our health are much more important than the gallery. For us, treating everyone with respect is a mantra that we will continue to do in ways both big and small….every day.