Arts & Entertainment Archives for 2017-12

Miller Art Museum takes families "Beyond Words"

By Tim Kowols

The Miller Art Museum is offering an opportunity for the young at heart to see art from the pages of children's books make the leap to its gallery walls. Since its opening last month, "Beyond Words: The Art of Regional Children's Book Illustration" has welcomed several school groups and other guests to see the art of six illustrators, including Door County residents Malin Ekman, Mary Ellen Sisulak, and Bonnie Lieck, in a whole new, different way.  Miller Art Museum Executive Director Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead says the exhibit follows its annual winter tradition of something locally and family-focused.


Center for the Arts committee submits preliminary plans for granary site to Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols

The exploratory committee behind a new performing arts facility on Sturgeon Bay's west waterfront hopes members of the city's common council review their plans before a possible vote on demolishing the granary. Using a refurbished granary as  a unique feature of the development, the Center for the Fine Arts would include expanded spaces for the Third Avenue Playhouse and the Miller Art Museum, event space, and a brew pub. Committee Vice President Alan Kopischke admits the proposal is not ready for formal consideration by the council, but hopes the plan meets the criteria of an August resolution to have a plan in writing before a vote to demolish the granary takes place, even with several questions yet to answer.



A Secret Treasure of Door County: The Art of Different Media

By Tom Jordan

When most people think of Door County art they have an image of watercolors or oil paintings of sailboats, barns and flowers. And as beautiful as these works of art certainly are, this is not the only unique art of our talented artists. Consider that within our county you can find exquisite works crafted by wood, steel, glass and even fiber.


Wood. Michael Doerr is self-taught. "I started as a wooden shipwright. Everything else I had to learn on my own," Mike explains. His shop on County M, way past the airport, is filled with exquisite tables, chairs, desks, podiums and benches. Wood shavings fill the floor of this cozy workshop. Almost all the work is on consignment and ordered from all corners of the globe. I commissioned Mike to make a chair for my wife for her birthday. She loves it.


Steel.  If you happened to catch the NOVA special a few years back on "Secrets of the Viking Sword" and something looked familiar it was because most of it happened right here in Door County. Not too far from Michael Doerr's shop you will find on County MM the barn of the blacksmith Ric Furrer. His shop is filled with giant presses that pound glowing masses of metal and kilns that are so hot I had to be across the room to take some pictures. He conducts classes attracting people from all over the country. And he just finished his second NOVA special on English armor. On a cold winter day, it feels good to be in his shop.


Glass. On a whim Jeremy Popelka will demonstrate his craft by making a glass cat right before your eyes in a manner of minutes. "But," he cautions, "it will take at least a day to cool to room temperature." Jeremy and his partner Stephanie Trenchard, a fine artist as well,  have run Popelka-Trenchard Glass Shop on Second Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay since 2000. The little cat is just a novelty. Most of the time they are creating incredible bowls, lamps, vases and urns. Their skills are so respected that they recently were hired to teach a company in Thailand how to make glass. "Fortunately Stephanie picked up the language quickly. Very handy when you need to catch a taxi," Jeremy laughed.


Fiber.  If you're driving on Highway 57, just south of Jacksonport,  you'll see a sign for Martinez Studios. Wence Martinez is a graduate of the National School of Tapestry in Mexico City. Sandra is fine artist, focusing on primitive drawing for over thirty years. Years ago, someone suggested that Sandra's images would work well in tapestry. Most of the fine art weavers in Mexico passed on the challenge of incorporating her images because her designs featured subtle curves that demanded patience...except for Wence Martinez. They've been together ever since, working side by side. For the past four years they have been accepted by the prestigious show at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. (And the awards and honors keep coming in.)


Each of these artists has developed a national and international following. The next time you want to buy some art that reflects the incredible character of Door County, in addition to the fabulous oil paintings and watercolors, consider something truly different.


Door County Maritime Museum hits $2.5 million benchmark for tower project


By Tim Kowols

The Door County Maritime Museum is nearly halfway towards their goal of $5.5 million to build their Maritime Lighthouse Tower. The museum raised $2.5 million in its first stage of fundraising for the Maritime Lighthouse Tower, which includes ten stories of new exhibit space and an 11th floor outdoor observation deck. Executive Director Amy Paul says she is thankful for the support the community has given.


Some of the tower's exhibits will focus on the evolution of commercial ships, shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, and other regional highlights. The Door County Maritime Museum hopes to break ground on the project in the near future.


Hmong memoir selected as 2018 Door County Reads selection

By Tim Kowols

The Hmong culture will be the primary focus of this year's Door County Reads program and its book, The Latecomer A Hmong Family Memoir, beginning January 28. The book written by Kao Kalia Yang is a memoir of her life running away in war-torn Laos before living in a refugee camp in Thailand and emigrating to the United States. Tracy Vreeke from the Door County Library says the book is powerful because the events are still relatively fresh in people's minds.



Joffe's book "Personal PR" a tool for small businesses getting started


By Paul Schmitt

Door County author and pastor Bruce Joffe has published six books with topics ranging from religion to his own memoirs, but his 2008 book called Personal PR is one new business owners may benefit from reading.  Joffe, who taught public relations for over 25 years at seven different universities around the country, says Personal PR is a simpler and less expensive read than most academic text books.


Area high schools prepare for winter concerts

By Tim Kowols

High school musicians in Door and Kewaunee County are preparing to display their talents at their winter concerts. While some schools are doing musicals or mixing in pieces from the likes of John Phillip Sousa and Aaron Copland, most will feature traditional Christmas tunes. Sturgeon Bay Band Director Heidi Hintz says these winter concerts are a great way for the students to show off the hard work they have been putting in over the last several weeks.



Many of the concerts are free to attend, but others are also attached to a meal or fundraising event. You can see a schedule of the winter programs and when some of them will be rebroadcast on 102.1 and 105.1 MORE FM for "Music to Wrap Presents By" online with this story.




Algoma: Saturday, December 9, 2017,  5:15 p.m. Silent Auction opens.  Auction is open to the public, no ticket required. 6:00 p.m. dinner is served.  Tickets are only available through AHS Band or Choir students. 7:00 p.m.  AHS Instrumental and Choir Concerts in the AHS Gym. The concert is free and open to the public. Rebroadcast on 12/19.


Kewaunee: Sunday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m. Rebroadcast on 12/20.


Luxemburg-Casco: Monday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m. Rebroadcast on 12/22


Sturgeon Bay:  Monday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. Rebroadcast on 12/21


Sevastopol:  Monday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m.


Southern Door: Monday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m.


Gibraltar: Monday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m.


Washington Island: December 9 at 6 p.m.

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Local "Cold War" veteran publishes new book about his experiences

By Paul Schmitt

A Sturgeon Bay man recently published his own book on his experiences in Europe during the Cold War era.  Jerry Grassel's book is about his time in the military while being stationed in Germany in the late 1950's.  Grassel, 79, says it took over two years to complete the book that is called "Cold War Stories Unclassified:  Revealing, Amusing, and Educational."  Drafted in the Army in 1957, Grassel served in the Army Security Agency that dealt with radio frequency waves and electronic eavesdropping.  He says the 284-page book is broken into 54 chapter stories for an easy and entertaining read.  The spying that was going on between the occupying allied forces and the Eastern Bloc countries is not the main focus of the book, but rather Grassel's relationship with his army buddies and the interesting people he met during his time in Germany.



Grassel says "Cold War Stories Unclassified" has been used in area schools as an educational tool by teachers.  The book is available for sale at Bosse's News Stand in Green Bay for only $18.95 or $16 for any veteran of the armed forces by contacting him directly.   (920) 743-2684



Jerry's full interview is available below on Sound Cloud:

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