Nostalgia Tour

While my home area in Washington State has constant rain, heavier than usual, I’ve enjoyed 3 days of perfect sunshine here in Michigan!   This is another day based in Traverse City.  My first stop this morning was to attempt to see a Tall Ship just outside of the city but it was locked up.

So on to my nostalgia tour. First stop, Interlochen.    This is a world famous summer arts camp which, during the school year, is an Arts Boarding School.  We used to camp in the state park right next door when I as a teen ager.  I would walk a path through the park
into the campus and hang out.

My parents couldn’t afford to send me to the summer music camp.  But we would attend performances.  Though I as a flute player, I didn’t hang out around flute areas.  I hung out in the dance building, watching class and rehearsals.  Today, I found that building exactly the same as it was 48 years ago!  The class room has a beautiful view of Green Lake, with windows on three sides.

What seemed odd to me today was that I could just walk on to campus and sit in a classroom.  No security.  No checking at the office for a visitor pass.  Very different from public school!  Maybe because they are in the remote wooded countryside of northern Michigan they figure it’s not an issue.

I sketched a Pan sculpture.  The air here is so fresh and scented with pine.  Ahhhhhh.

Next stop, Gwen Frostic‘s studio.    To me at 20-something, she seemed old when I met her in the late 1970’s. She was born in 1906 and died in 2001.   She was a nature artist who
worked in linoleum block prints.  Her shop produced her prints on all sorts of paper products, using old fashioned Heidelberg printers.

I shopped and bought some cards.  I also did two sketches.  Her building is a work of art in itself.  It has nature inside and out but, unfortunately, has deteriorated since her death.

I met and talked with the current owner, Greg.  He said Gwen gave $11 million to Western Michigan University.  There was no money for upkeep of the building as she intended it to rot away and return to the earth.  However, she was not mindful of her fame and artistic legacy that others want to keep alive.  They are still using her carved blocks and those Heidelberg presses!  They are trying to raise money to restore the building.   The income from the business is not enough to do so.

Inside the building was a small waterfall with a pond.

She was ahead of her time with a green roof in the 1960’s.

My final destination was something new.  I do not think I’ve ever been to Sleeping Bear Dunes on shore of Lake Michigan.  I made a couple stops and finally found some dune.

I’ve been experimenting with paper.  The studio interior of the pond was done on Arches cold press 14o #.  The other two are Fabriano cold press, also 140#.  I’m not sure I really like either of them.

Lots of photos are here.


About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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2 Responses to Nostalgia Tour

  1. Fabio says:

    Beautiful post!

  2. Michigan fall is so colorful! You can also see Northern lights in traverse city on a clear sky night…keep posting 🙂

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