The Frankenmuth Area Fine Arts Council is hosting its annual 'Art on Main' art show on Saturday & Sunday, August 11th & 12th at Zehnder Park on Main Street, right next to Zehnder's restaurant from 10 AM - 7 PM o Saturday and 10 AM - 4 PM on Sunday. As Frankenmuth's only juried art show, the Council organized their first 'Art on Main' event back in 2007 the event has consistently grown with an imaginative blend of visual arts and top-flight musical entertainment.
According to Council President Mary Anne Schrems, her vision is to work diligently to make this annual showcase grow to a point where it can rival the Ann Arbor & St. Joe's Art Fairs. “Frankenmuth is already a destination point, so I feel that bringing another event into the city is a win/win situation for everyone involved. We are still under 10 years in existence and keep reminding ourselves that events such as Volkslaufe, AutoFest and SnowFest all started relatively slow and took years to build into the events they are today.”
When asked what she feels helps to distinguish this event from other Art Fairs & Festivals throughout the state, Mary Anne points to the natural beauty of Frankenmuth, which helps 'frame' the setting that vendors have to display their works. “Because we hold this near the river, with beautiful landscaping, unique restaurants, shops, hotels, and campground all within walking distance, all of these factors are important assets,” she reflects. “And because this is our only juried art fair, we encourage vendors to demonstrate their art, plus we have a children's area available where they can engage in projects and demonstrations. We also plan to have local musicians sporadically timed throughout Saturday to perform.”
What follows are a few highlights that patrons can expect to experience at this year's Art on Main, which is entirely free to the public.
Heather Lane Pottery
Heather Lane Pottery first began in 1990 in a little studio on a street called Heather Lane. It was owned by a painter and a potter who collaborated their talents, creating a blend of whimsical folk art. They started selling their work at art fairs around the state and soon the little studio needed to grow to keep up with production.
A storefront on Orange Street was purchased and remodeled for both studio and show room purposes. The little business did quite well. In 2003, the two artists decided to retire and long-time employee, Susan Hathaway, was not ready to see Heather Lane Pottery close its doors, so she bought the business, expanding the showroom, studio, and website.
Susan had a vision for Heather Lane creating numerous lines of gift-giving items and making them unique with personalization. The best-selling item is the all-occasion Blessing Bowl, followed by the Michigan Collection and Children's Collection. Another unique line consists of Tile Window Valances - a creative window treatment that has been extremely popular with customers.
Heather Lane Pottery's look has changed quite a bit over the last twenty-two years, but the love of creating new shapes out of clay and hand painting them has remained steady.
Terry Dickinson * Muralist
In 1974 Terry Dickinson left his position as a high school math instructor and began his art career painting murals to commemorate the nation's bicentennial. From September of '74 to July of 1976 he had completed over fifty images of both local and national moments in history.
In 1978 The Bavarian Inn of Frankenmuth paid was so taken with Terry's work that they paid his way to Germany to study the murals that brighten the landscape of Southern Bavaria. Over the next several years Dickinson rendered more than two hundred images in the Frankenmuth community.
Dickinson also has a public art mural presence in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Ludington, Flint, Traverse City, Roscommon, Houghton Lake, Grayling and Gaylord along with many private homes across the state of Michigan.
Michigan Tech University commissioned Dickinson to create and install over a dozen base relief carvings in the Forestry Building on campus. He has completed similar work for Purdue University and the State of Michigan DNR building in Lansing, Michigan.
Though he had no formal training in art when he began painting murals he regularly enrolled in enrichment courses, workshops, seminars and community colleges, including Delta College in Saginaw, Artcenter Traverse City Summer Workshops, and Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, Michigan.
Dickinson has exhibited in several international juried shows and was awarded recognition in the 2003 Northeast Michigan Artists' Juried Exhibition at the Jesse Besser Museum in Alpena, Michigan; 2005 Gaylord Area Council for the Arts Exhibition; and 2010 Best of Show, Sketching, and Best of show, Portraits, Artcenter Traverse City.
Terry notes that he uses a special liquid acrylic paint that can hold up to the outdoors elements. “I use these same mural paints in the studio because every product mixes color differently,” he explains. “To do studio work in watercolor or oils makes it difficult to get a new mural started if I have lost touch with the medium. I have always pursued murals as if they were simply large studio works.”
When asked what he feels distinguishes his style, Terry points to a few techniques that he has personalized. “I continue to reach for an impressionistic realism or even an abstract realism in my style. While it continues to evolve and develop, it remains recognizable as a 'Dickinson' work. While this approach may not be uniquely distinct, my handling of the brush strokes and color mix distinguishes my work from others that may classify their style in similar terms.”
Terry also points out to special challenges that are involved with mural work. “With murals the size itself can be quite challenging for many artists in that it requires a different sense of vision, along with some basic mathematical geometry. For example, if the perspective is off on a 50 ft. works of art, it is more than a simply brush stroke that is needed to correct the problem as one might be able to do on a studio piece.”
Are there any insights that Terry has gleaned during the evolution of his work that has given him a deeper appreciation about his pursuit?
“My personal evolution in painting murals was to move from copying historical images to creating the composition,” he concludes. “Often a mural is oddly shaped in comparison to a studio canvas. A mural may be two to four times longer than its height. This presents a unique challenge to the composition, so it is interesting but not too crowded or sparse. It needs to have a point of interest that doesn't get lost in the width of the work; and the eye of the observer should move through the work as envisioned.”
Special Event * Toppermost * Beatles Tribute Band
On Sunday, August 12th the band Toppermost will be performing in The Bavarian Inn Parking Lot across the street from the Art Fair, doing three sets at 11:00 - 11:50 AM; 12:00-12:50 PM; and 3:00 - 3:50 PM.
The Toppermost Beatles Tribute is celebrating its 5th year as the most booked tribute act in Michigan. This authentic Beatles tribute show recreates the feel and excitement of a real Beatles concert that is fun for all ages. Toppermost performs audience favorites such as She Loves You, Yellow Submarine,Hey Jude and many more. They have also been featured on most major television and radio stations in metro Detroit.