• In Honour of Life Collage by Denise LeClaire 10 Questions to the Artist – Denise LeClaire

    Photograph of artist Denise R LeClaire

    Denise R LeClaire
    Denise is our 2017 ArtWalk artist.  She is a West Michigan artist and high school counselor. Denise creates collages using found paper objects such as antique sheet music, atlases, and books.  Often, she applies a photo transparency over the collage and then, paints over those layers allowing you to see or hide different components of the canvas.  This artist focuses on an idea such as belonging, forgiveness, mortality, or love. Her goal is to create a connection between people and her art with shared experiences.  All of Denise’s work is personal, a combination of the ordinary and the profound.  Like a soft kiss on the forehead for no reason.
    In Honour of Life Collage by Denise LeClaireIn Honour of the Fact that Life is Short

    ArtWalk Voting Code:  Artist number – MM14. Category – Mixed Media

    Denise answers our
    “Ten Questions to the Artist”
    so that we can get to know her, just a little.  

     

    1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
    I heard a quote once, I think it was Marianne Williamson who said that the spiritual path is just the journey of living our lives and we are all on a spiritual path, sometimes we just don’t know it. I love this philosophy and feel like it falls together with my own belief in the importance of small moments, the little things that end up being the most memorable. So, it’s just everyday life that does it for me. We get to decide in the first world, what to do with our days, how we respond to life, and how we are creative; it’s a huge gift that not everyone has, that’s a pretty big turn on.
    2. Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?
    I think the theme is connection through common ground. I think there is a spiritual and emotional element to my work with the combination of ideas, words and photographs and I see and feel this when I talk to people about what’s drawn them to a particular piece.   
    3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    Travel photographer/writer
    4. What profession would you not like to do?
    Police officer
    5. Who are your favorite artists?
    VanGogh, O’Keefe, Gustav Klimt, Mark Rothko, Jim Dine
    6. What is your favorite tool used to create your work?
    A “mop” brush.
    7. What is your favorite word?
    Serendipitous
    8. What is your least favorite word?
    Can’t think of one.
    9. Who is your favorite musician?
    Impossible to choose. I love all kinds of music.
    10. How much formal education have you received?
    My B.A. is in Sociology and Fine Art. I’ve taken art classes on and off my entire life including in photography, pottery, painting, drawing & collage. What I’m currently doing with regard to the combination of collage, photography, photo transfer and painting is self taught, trial and error.
    Thank you, Denise, for answering our questions.  Stop in to the gallery to see her exhibit. She and I will be hosting an Artist Talk beginning at 7:30 pm.  Denise will be in the gallery, Friday night, October 6, 6-9pm.  
    Time for the Daffodil collage by Denise R LeClaire

     

     

  • BEGGAR BOWL - 198I- Robin Hopper Throwing Pots on potter’s wheel is similar to learning to play a musical instrument

    My friend Robin Hopper recently wrote about learning to throw on the potter’s wheel.  I thought I would share his thoughts since I am asked often about this skill.  Robin has written several books about ceramics.  I own all of them and consider them to be some of the most informative ceramic books that I own.

    Robin Hopper Beverly Norton Walker Cyndi Casemier

    Excerpt from Robin’s post:
    “AS I’VE SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE, LEARNING TO THROW ON THE POTTERS’ WHEEL IS LIKELY THE MOST COMPLEX AND FRUSTRATING ACTIVITY THAT MANKIND EVER DEVISED.
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    THAT BEING SAID, THROWING HAS PRODUCED OBJECTS OF MAGNIFICENCE OVER MOST OF THE WORLD FOR SEVERAL THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
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    WHEN I WAS RESEARCHING THEE PROCESS I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT TO BECOME A REALLY GOOD THROWER ONE NEEDS TO TRAIN ONE’S BODY INTO IT AS A CHILD, BORN INTO A FAMILY TRADITION AND THOROUGHLY ATTUNED TO REPETITIVE MOVEMENT.
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    CONTINUAL EXERCISES CERTAINLY HELP, BUT IT IS A VERY SLOW DEVELOPMENT PROCESS. I RECOMMEND REPETITIVE EXERCISES IN SIZES AND WEIGHT VARIATION TO LEARN CONTROL.
    Robin Hopper Mugs
    WHEN DEVELOPING VIDEOS FOR BEGINNER AND ADVANCED THROWING MUCH ATTENTION WAS GIVEN TO THE VARIATIONS IN THE HUMAN FRAME AND ITS EXTREMITIES THAT TOUCH THE CLAY. COMPLEX ISSUES OF TOUCH AND PRESSURE ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCURATELY DESCRIBE USING SPOKEN LANGUAGE. “TRY IT AND SEE” HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY CREDO.
    Robin Hopper making pots

    Robin Hopper attaching handles

    THEN DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL EITHER THE CLAY OR THE MUDPUSHER GIVES IN. IF YOU DO THIS FOR LONG ENOUGH, THEN SOMETIMES THE CLAY WILL GIVE IN AND YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD A NOTCH. THEN YOU DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN! WHEN YOU HAVE LEARNED THE PROCESS OF THROWING, THE NEXT STAGE IS TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE, HOW TO DO IT, AND WHAT ARE THE PROPORTIONS AND DETAILS THAT MAKE IT A PLEASURE, OR OTHERWISE, TO LIVE WITH.”
    I replied to his posting saying “Thanks Robin for the conversation about throwing.  I get asked often about throwing and long it took me to be able to throw well.”
    Robin asked me, “What do you say?”  I responded:
    I say that it took me a long time to get comfortable with throwing.  Instructors would tell me that I needed to feel my hands aligned with one another.  Early on, I thought they were crazy.  I just couldn’t feel it.  But, with years of practice.  I had an “ah ha moment” and finally got it.  A very good friend said that she watched me struggle for years and told herself that I would never learn how to throw.  I was very glad that she never said this to me when I was wrestling with the clay.  Now, I say that throwing on the potter’s wheel is like practicing a musical instrument.  You have to put the hours in so that your body builds muscle memory as to where your hands are supposed to be. Then, you can begin to make your own pots.  
    Robin replied to my comment:
    “GOOD RESPONSE, CYNDI.  THE ANALOGY BETWEEN WORKING ON A WHEEL AND PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT IS RIGHT ON.  PERHAPS THAT IS WHY POTTERS ARE SO OFTEN GOOD MUSICIANS.  BERNARD LEACH USED TO SAY THAT WORKING WITH CLAY IS LIKE MAKING FROZEN MUSIC.”
    My comment:
    Love that imagery.  “Making Frozen Music.”
    Thank you, Robin.

    life of a pot cyndi casemier

  • Johnson Subway 10 Questions to the Artist – Camille Johnson

    Our August exhibit is a show different from anything in the past at C2C Gallery.    This art show by Camille Johnson will be Time Based Visual Art.  To be honest, I am not sure what we will be seeing until the show is hung and ready for viewing.  It will be both a large drawing and a video created by Camille.

     

    Growing up in the American HorrorThe backdrop for a play written and produced by Camille Johnson

    Camille spent her time in both Vermont and Michigan growing up.  Currently, she is in New York City attending Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts.  Throughout her life, she has always had many projects going at the same time. At a young age, she wrote several articles that were published in the Burlington Free Press, wrote music for the school choir, staged an entire play more than once, and created artwork in many mediums.  One of the things that I love about Camille is that she is never bored.  There were very few times she said “I’m bored.  What can I do?”  She always had an idea and ran with it.

    Camille Johnson

    Here are Camille’s answers to our

    Ten Questions to the Artist:

     

    1.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

    The Subway.

    2.  Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?

    At the moment my work is heavily influenced by my circumstances. I find that I am in a really unique context—with regard to place in the world and place in a longitudinal consideration of my life/age. I am eighteen and I live on East 93rd St. in Manhattan and it’s incredible how much those two contexts penetrate each other. I am honored by the opportunity around me to be taken by this city’s highest highs and lowest lows and every middle of the night subway ride in between.

    My work is a process of childhood recovery. Picasso had it right when he said, “Every child is an artist. The hard part is how to remain that artist when you grow up.” I am working on nurturing my childhood artist and finding its place in this big grown up city world.

    3.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

    I would like to be an aerial silk performer in a traveling burlesque carnival troupe that is accompanied by a Balkan brass band.

    4.  What profession would you not like to do?

    I would not like to do wealth management for Monsanto.

    5.  Who are your favorite artists?

    Egon Schiele, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, Eiko Otaike, Susan Rethorst, Bread and Puppet Theater, Marlene Dumas, Susan Sontag, Basil Twist, Diane Arbus, Swoon, Colson Whitehead.

    6.  What is your favorite tool used to create your work?

    I work in almost every medium. I like to work in all of them at once. For this reason, time has become an element of my pieces. This month you will see one example of my time based visual art—merging puppetry, film, charcoal, and movement.

    7.  What is your favorite word?

    I do not have a favorite word.

    8.  What is your least favorite word?

    realistic

    9.  Who is your favorite musician?

    Well, today, it was Lou Reed on the album, “Songs for Drella”.

    10.  How much formal education have you received?

    I have spent one year of college at the New School (Eugene Lang) in New York City.   I am currently on a year’s leave of absence.

    Johnson drawingA collage by Camille Johnson

    Camille’s exhibit will be on display through August.  It will be a large drawing with a video displayed onto the drawing.  Stop in.

  • Jack Leaver So much Fun on a Rainy Evening

    Last night was First Friday GalleryWalk Night

    in Downtown Grand Haven.

    For being a rainy evening and the first day of Spring Break, we had many visitors stopping in to say “hi”, listen to wonderful music, check out new artwork, and enjoy goat cheese from Dancing Goat Creamery.

    Jack Leaver

    Jack Leaver played in our front window.  We, all, enjoyed his talented song writing and guitar playing throughout the evening.  He and Brian enjoyed several conversations about a variety of musicians.  We even had a couple of customers dancing.   Made me smile.
    April’s featured artists, Carolyn O’Hearn and Cynthia Fielding drove up from St. Joseph.  They brought along new work.  One thing I learned this week, is that their fused glass panels have metal stands that can be staged in your garden landscape.  I don’t know why this surprised me.  As Cynthia pointed out, the windows on our houses deal with hot and cold temperatures.    I can think of several locations in our yard that one of these pieces would look lovely.

    Fielding & O'hearn Glass 

    Fielding & O'Hearn Glass

    Our glass artists stopped into another local business, Grand Haven Garden House, to surprise me with spring flowers.  Don’t they look lovely in Maggie Bandstra’s vase?

    Maggie Bandstra vase

    Remember, I said that we had a lot of fun?  Cory McCrory, our paper clay artist loves to have fun.  Her work is whimsical, light, bright, and sometimes even functional.  Somehow last night, we gained two more heads on our wall.

    Cory McCrory paperclay

    Thank you, everyone, who hung out with us last night, plus an extra thank you to those of you who purchased items.  We appreciate your support.
  • On this day in 1977

    On this day in 1977, Jimmy Carter issued an official pardon to Vietnam draft dodgers.  President Carter is quoted as saying that he knew he was going to do it before he walked into the Oval Office as President.  It was controversial.  Over 210,000 men were accused of draft violations.  Many men went to Canada.  Despite the pardon, thousands of draft dodgers remained in Canada.  They went on to become architects, lawyers, musicians, professors, and even officials in the Canadian government.

    Bill King, Jazz Musician

    Magnolia Nights – Bill King

    In thinking about this, I wonder how many other contemporary artists, dodged the Vietnam War.  What if they had become a soldier, would they have returned to become artists?

    www.danchristensen

    Dan Christensen

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    Michael Kabotie

  • Chicken Shit Bingo

    Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t usually but I do think about what I did last year and what I would like to accomplish this coming year. I have a written marketing plan for my business. Not my personal life. I probably should do that. Its a big probably. Quinn McDonald, QuinnCreative, wrote today and included a poem that resonated with me. I hope it does with you also.

    The Journey

    by Mary Oliver

    One day you finally knew

    what you had to do, and began,

    though the voices around you

    kept shouting

    their bad advice—

    though the whole house

    began to tremble

    and you felt the old tug

    at your ankles.

    “Mend my life!”

    each voice cried.

    But you didn’t stop.

    You knew what you had to do,

    though the wind pried

    with its stiff fingers

    at the very foundations,

    though their melancholy

    was terrible.

    It was already late

    enough, and a wild night,

    and the road full of fallen

    branches and stones.

    But little by little,

    as you left their voices behind,

    the stars began to burn

    through the sheets of clouds,

    and there was a new voice

    which you slowly

    recognized as your own,

    that kept you company

    as you strode deeper and deeper

    into the world

    determined to do

    the only thing you could do—

    determined to save

    the only life you could save.


    Off on another adventure today, Austin Farmer’s Market, Chicken Shit Bingo with Dale Watson, musician, and possibly the Historical Museum. We will make a nice dinner with friends and maybe more music. It has been a great vacation.

     

     

     

  • 10 Questions to the Artist

    1236546_10151915043448410_1397514176_nBob Walma

    This week I talked with Bob Walma, one of our photographers in the gallery, and asked him our ten questions.  Bob is one of the TippleAid Crew members.  He is the driving energy behind the restoration of Grand Haven’s Coal Tipple.  I am going to have to check out some of his favorite musicians.  He told me that he had too many favorite artists to list, which led him to name locals.

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    (click on the image to watch Bob’s video)
    Bob’s answers to our 10 questions:

    What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

    Bob:  “I get a real buzz, like a natural-high, from having a new creative idea.  Whether it’s a solo-idea, or a collaboration with others, there is an emotional and creative “project energy” that comes from the combination of having an idea and then trying to make it happen.  Some ideas never advance beyond my writing them down in a notebook, and some ideas don’t turn out as well as I’d hoped for, but each of them is fun and engrossing to me “in the moment”.

    Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?

    Bob:  “Not in any overt or pervasive way.  My thoughts and motivations are different from project-to-project, with each one incorporating greater or lesser amounts of “personal artistic expression”.  When I work for a client, my main concern is to produce something that suits their needs or makes them happy – more “craftsman for hire” than “artist”.  Working with video allows me to incorporate more personal elements into my work, even when they’re only short little “doodles” done for a laugh.  The biggest ongoing influence on my work is simply a desire to keep learning, and hopefully, keep getting better…”

    What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  

    Bob:  “I think I would enjoy almost any other profession in the creative arts – be it writer, painter, filmmaker, musician, sculptor, etc.”

    What profession would you not like to do? 

    Bob:  “I think I would enjoy almost any other profession in the creative arts – be it writer, painter, filmmaker, musician, sculptor, etc.”

    Who are your favorite artists? 

    Bob:  “Far too many to mention – I could give separate lists for novelists, songwriters, photographers, painters, film directors, etc, so instead I’ll mention local artists who are not only very talented, but are also people I’m fortunate enough to count as friends and sometime-collaborators:  Lee S. Brown, Julie Sanford, Christi Dreese and Cyndi Casemier.  Getting to watch talented artists create their own work is a major perk to what I do…”

    What is your favorite tool used to create your work? 

    Bob:  “My camera and my computer have become almost equally important to my work.  Whether I’m working on photographs or videos, everything starts with the camera, but nothing is complete until it’s been through some level of editing or processing (from very simple to very complex) on the computer.”

    What is your favorite word?

    Bob:  “Brainstorm”.

    What is your least favorite word? 

    Bob:  “Goodbye.”

    Who is your favorite musician? 

    Bob:  “John Lennon – but more currently, I really like Rob Thomas, Ingrid Michaelson, Of Monsters & Men, Florence & The Machine (followed closely by about 50 others – lol).”

    How much formal education have you received?  Related to your craft.

    Bob:  “None.  I was a ‘serious amateur’ for many years before doing anything professional, and I still regularly read & study things to expand my knowledge and skill-set; not to mention that I take an average of about 1,000 pictures every month, which is a lot of ‘practice’ whether I’m deliberately seeking it out or not.  I’ve also found YouTube to be an invaluable resource for training and tutorial videos on nearly any topic you might be interested in learning.”

    I would like to thank Bob for this interview.  I appreciate his time and thoughts.  I hope you enjoy getting to know him a little better.    For more information about the Tipple Art Competition, go to:  c2cgallery.com orfacebook.com/c2cgallery

  • Everybody knows

     

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    Everybody who knows C2C Gallery, knows that we love music.  
    Monthly, we host local music on First Fridays, 6 to 8pm.  Last night, we had the opportunity to hear Peter Mulvey  at a wonderful outdoor  venue, Camp Blodgett on Lake Michigan.  It doesn’t get better than live music with the sounds of our lakeshore.  Thank you to the organizers.

     

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    Click on above image for video, “Everybody Knows by Peter Mulvey”.
    Peter’s version of a Leonard Cohen classic.

  • Stories in Clay

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    “Stories In Clay”

    Can you believe that school has started or will be starting soon?  For me, it seems as though we just celebrated Fourth of July.  In Grand Haven, The Coast Guard Festival marks time for many residents as the end of summer.  The days are still warm but nights are cooling off.  We begin to think about new shoes for kids and school supplies.  I sent my youngest off to college.  My last one.  Another rite of passage crossed.

    We have an interesting ceramics exhibit in the gallery through September 15.  Blair Clemo and Israel Davis are both professors at Grand Rapids Universities.  Both gentlemen spend their days working in clay and instructing students.  But, their approach to the same medium is very different.

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    Blair Clemo instructs wheel throwing at Grand Valley State University.  Blair throws on the potter’s wheel, alters his work extensively using handmade stamps, firing in an electric kiln.

     

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    Israel Davis instructs at Kendall School of Art and Design.  He focuses on images from dreams, his life, or the life of his family.  He screen prints images onto his clay work and then fires in a wood kiln.

     

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    As always, we will be hosting an opening on the First Friday of September for these two artists.  Please put Friday, September 6 on your calendar.  Stop in between 6 and 9pm.  Michael Drost,  jazz guitar professor at Grand Valley will be performing  on the same evening, 6 to 8pm.

    Michael Drost

    Michael Drost

  • Karisa Wilson Why C2C?

    c2c gallery 2011
    Yesterday, a man came into the gallery.  He was selling vibrating speakers.  He asked if I would like to sell them in the gallery.  I looked around the store and said “We only offer handmade items for sale here.”  The salesman said to me, “These were made by someone’s hands and they are going to be a best selling item in the future.  You can count on it. “
    He got me to thinking, I wonder if you know why I opened C2C.   I was an accountant, working in a bank.  Worked hard, week after week.  Taking care of my customers and  family.  I never had time for a hobby.  Just kept my head down, doing what had to be done.  Then, I moved to Vermont.  As a way to meet people, I started taking clay classes.  I fell in love with making pots.   I also realized that having handmade items in my life brings pleasure to my everyday tasks.  The mug I use in the morning was made by a potter that I met over the years.  The platter I use to serve fish was made by a special man, Robin Hopper, in British Columbia.
    Spin forward, 18 years.  I am still in love with all forms of pottery and artwork.   For most artists, they spend their days in solitude working their craft.  It can be lonely.   My favorite part of being a banker was talking with customers, getting to know them, and helping them.  May 2011, I opened C2C Gallery.  My plan:  have a working ceramic studio where you can watch me work, provide a venue for artists to sell their craft,  help you select artwork that you will enjoy for many years, and have fun talking with you when come into C2C.

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    Karisa Wilson

    Video of Karisa performing on May 28, 2011

    video by Bob Walma

    c2c gallery 2011