A place can be special because of the local visual and performing artists. And you don’t have to live in Sante Fe or Interlochen to have art as a part of your place. Your local place is sure to have local musicians, artists, a local theater group. Does it make your place special and unique? Do you take advantage of that?
Here in Sault Michigan we have a thriving arts community. The Alberta House showcases local visual arts. We have several theater groups. The Soo Theater Project (the group that’s restoring the old Soo Theater) has classes for visual and performing arts. Our high school has an excellent arts program and music programs (I hope we can continue funding art and music despite the fact that there’s no State Assessment Test for arts and that some people say ‘These kids aren’t going to become professional artists and musicians so why are we offering those classes?’). We have a large number of local musicians. The Sugar Island Music Fest is one venue for these local musicians as are other civic events and, shall we say, local hospitality businesses. Our local native American tribes also add a unique dimension to our visual art and music.
Whether it's kids doing covers of their favorite national acts or local, traditional musicians whose art is informed by their place, the availability of local music adds to the value of our communities. Support your local musicians.
I'm reminded of when I lived in Hays, Kansas, I enjoyed the works of one of the local visual artists who sculpts in limestone. The local limestone is part of the place. It’s a common building material for some iconic structures in the area. It was used for fenceposts by early settlers. That history added to the appreciation of Mr. Felton’s sculptures.
One of our visual artists here, Mary Demroske, does very nice sketches of lighthouses. We have prints of several of her sketches. The art adds to our appreciation of the sites and vice versa.
Just as food nourishes your body, arts nourish your spirit. Just as the local farmers market lets you get to know the people who grow your food, the local art scene lets you get to know the people who make your art. I enjoy talking to the artists just as I enjoy talking to the food growers. I’d like to hear about how local talent makes your place special.