Grand Opening Party Sunday

The Bay City Times did a nice article in their Weekend Magazine published yesterday, complete with a color picture, and Interlude, a Bay Area slick magazine, also did a one-page article on me recently, so I’ve been well-supported by the local press.

I’m hoping this is just the beginning of a new wave of support for area fine artists and writers. What do painters, sculptors, photographers, poets and other artists need? They need space: space for working, space for showing work. They need financial support for that space. I have some big ideas for shows, workshops, a guild and other supports.

A new person has been hired to help support “arts and culture” in the Bay Area. This concept is broadly interpreted to include much more than fine arts, which is fine, as long as the fine arts are not overlooked in the excitement.

That’s my soapbox for today. Come to my party! The eats are great, we might even have live music, the wine is my special reserve, and the art is, of course, fabulous!

New Gallery Opens in Bay City

Mary Blocksma has been looking for galleryspace since she moved to Bay City from Beaver Island six years ago, and now she has found it in the Gypsies building at Third and Madison in Bay City. “It’s wonderful to display all my work in one space,” Blocksma says. “I’m so prolific that no one else’s gallery can begin to represent the variety of things I do.” Blocksma, who has published three books since moving here—Great Lakes Nature (University of Michigan Press, 2004), What’s On the Beach: A Great Lakes Treasure Hunt (Beaver Island Arts, 2003), and Necessary Numbers (Portable Press, 2002)-- is also a painter. “All my work will be available in my new gallery,” says Blocksma. “There are still many original watercolors I’ve done of the Great Lakes, as well as Great Lakes posters, prints, and notecards, and two posters I did last year of Bay City—one celebrating twenty-four homes on Center Avenue and another picturing fifty-seven of Bay City’s bars.” Blocksma appears most excited, however, about her new work. “I seem to have found a mysterious passion for fish,” she confesses. “I’m not sure where it came from, since I do not fish or scuba dive, but this past year, while most of my strength went to dealing with treatment for breast cancer, I painted fish just for fun. I was too tired to get serious about anything, so I simply amused myself and my beautiful fish turned into a vibrant series of acrylic paintings.” Although half the fish paintings have already sold, all of them are available at Blocksma’s gallery as prints and notecards. “I even have room to show my quilts,” says Blocksma. “Most of them no one has ever seen. I didn’t even have room to show them in my house.” Pieced and hand-quilted original designs, Blocksma’s quilts add texture and unusal patterns to a gallery of framed art, posters, cards, and books. One quilt, called “Summertime,” even celebrates fish. The Mary Blocksma Gallery, located in the Gypsies building at the corner of Madison and Third Streets in Bay City, is now open daily from 10 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Her Grand Opening reception and Fourth Annual Open House, is scheduled for Sunday, November 13, 1 to 4 p.m.