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.


I am so excited about this new gallery. I returned from Costa Rica with a lot of energy, and I’ve spent it as if I’d won the lottery. I’m already exhausted getting ready to open: packaging prints, notecards, and original paintings, labelling, framing, planning. My friends John Lucas and Judy Prahl have been helping me hang it all up on the high long walls and little nooks.

My gallery inhabits a space in the new delicious orange Gypsies Cafe building at 510 Third Street in Bay City. Enter through the fragrant coffee shop, order the best sandwich in town from Jack’s deli, enjoy one of Maryanna’s coffee creations, and/or wander through the spirited gypsy shop to my gallery at the back.

Showing for the first time will be more than thirty pieces of art I produced during 2005, some of it during or in response to my treatments for breast cancer.

I will be on the next Bay City Gallery Walk, even if things aren’t finished, held the first Thursday of every month. The next one will be November 3rd, from 5 to 8 p.m., at which time the downtown galleries in Bay City host parties, sometimes with wine and food.

The lily watercolor is taken from my Costa Rica sketchbook. Click on the image to enlarge it.