Episode 14: The Artists, Part II.

This is the second in a series entitled, “The Artists.”

The V Gallery in Omena, celebrated their grand opening on Friday, May 24 with a curated exhibit featuring over 20 artists.

How does this new exhibit represent the evolving culture of northwest lower Michigan? Traverse City writer, Patrick Sullivan offers his take on the show.

The entire episode is exclusive content and available at this link. Listen to the preview below.

Episode 13: Nibi

From left to right are JoAnne Cook, Tina Frankenberger, Holly T. Bird,
Carolan Sonderegger and Eva Petoskey

In the Anishinaabe way of life, the women are called to work for the health of the water. Members of the Anishinaabe community spoke with the Traversecityist about their sacred relationship with water, and how there is a growing body of law that incorporates Anishinaabe values and culture.

Episode 13 is sponsored by FLOW.

Episode 12: The Artists Part I.

Photo Credit: Kevin Summers

This is the first in a series entitled “The Artists,” a sort of  cultural survey, profiling emerging and established regional artists from diverse backgrounds and identities, representing all disciplines.

Kevin Summers is an interdisciplinary artist. His experience of growing up in Traverse City included a series of prolific moments in his creative growth and development.  Will his latest work, Piggery Pete’s Perchten Parade, part-social sculpture and part-performance art piece, become a new Traverse City tradition?

Piggery Pete’s Perchten Parade

  • Saturday March 2, 2024 at Noon
  • Come dressed as your favorite spirit, creature, deity or create your own magical identity. For inspiration this parade draws on a variety of pagan and folk traditions that incorporate marches, costumes, sound, songs, street theater and dance. In some ways this parade is a way out of the winter and into the spring.

Episode 12 is sponsored by Common Good Bakery

Episode 11: Winter

Sleeping Bear Bay, January 2024

Winter requires more.

More planning.

More clothing.

More sleep.

More nourishment.

More movement.

And, more community.

In Traverse City, there are many individuals who have harnessed their passions and resources, resulting in strong communities, big and small. Those communities help us power through the winter.

Episode 11, Winter is sponsored by Burritt’s Fresh Markets.

Episode 10: The Handstanders

The Handstanders at Handstand. From left to right; Yali Rivlin on saxaphone, John Storms Rohm on bass, Casey Chinnock with his back to camera on vocals, Trevor Hobbs on drums, and Jamey Barnard on keyboard.

The Traversecityist is in love with a new band. Meet The Handstanders; Jamey Barnard, Yali Rivlin, Casey Chinnock, Trevor Hobbs, and John Storms Rohm.  Together these five northern Manistee County residents have created a new regional sound that they describe as fun, raw, expansive, and in the moment. They just released their first single, Happiness, available on Spotify and iTunes. Their first album is coming soon.


Episode 9: Strongheart

Strongheart Civic Center / photo by Douglas Cardinal Architect Inc.

In 2001, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians collaborated with internationally acclaimed architect Douglas Cardinal to create the Strongheart Civic Center, a place where tribal members could continue to carry on their traditions and culture. Douglas Cardinal recalls his journey in  becoming an architect, and the process of envisioning Strongheart with this Anishinaabek community.

Episode 9, Strongheart is sponsored by Ken Richmond, Architect, AIA

Episode 8: The Architects

Drawing by Michael Fitzhugh

Five Traverse City architects, Suzannah Tobin, Ray Kendra, Peter Smith, Michael Fitzhugh and Ken Richmond took part in a live conversation entitled, Architecture Design and Community Influence. The dialogue focused on elevating awareness for enduring design and the importance of community involvement. The production was recorded on October 17, 2023, at The Alluvion in Traverse City, and made possible with the support of Boomerang Catapult and Tusen Takk Foundation. It was conceptualized by Jill Vincent of Through an Open Eye Media, and coproduced with the Traversecityist.

Episode 8, The Architects is sponsored by Sarah Bourgeois, Architects

Episode 7: Northern Delights

In 1982 DeAnne Loll decided she wanted to start her very own natural foods restaurant in a place that had more trees than people. After starting the deli at the Oryana Food Co-op, she partnered with Robin Webb-Bransky and Betty Demers to create Northern Delights, in the heart of Benzie County. The restaurant was hailed as an ‘oasis in the middle of nowhere.’ Northern Delights was later sold to a young Jim Barnes who hired a vibrant group of students that ended every shift with a communal meal, and a cool plunge in Lake Michigan. That oasis in the middle of nowhere became somewhere, and now the Grand Traverse region is recognized as one of the premiere culinary destinations in the United States.

Episode 7, Northern Delights is sponsored by Oryana Food Co-op.

Episode 6: The Winemaker

Sean O’Keefe’s identity is rooted in the landscape of the Old Mission Peninsula. What does he observe when he surveys our cultural landscape?

photo credit: Two Twisted Trees Photography

Episode 6, The Winemaker is sponsored by Trattoria Stella.

Episode 5: Captain Ger

Gerry Shiffman believes the most important investment is the one we make in youth.  He credits his personal, creative and financial success to meaningful relationships. A father of four and a grandfather to fifteen, Gerry maintains a busy schedule in his retirement years, devoting time to his grandchildren, and making a difference for at-risk and children in our community.  In 2021 he founded Seaside Sailing Excursions and Charity Charters LLC, a sailing company with the mission of providing free of charge sailing excursions for youth who may otherwise not have such an opportunity.

Episode 5, Captain Ger sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan

Episode 4: Public Art

For over a century, artists have come to the Traverse City region for inspiration. In that time, our region has become the home of multiple arts organizations, galleries and prominent independent artists.  The National Center for Arts Research lists Traverse City as one of the most vibrant arts communities in the country. But some feel we are not quite there yet, and we need to have more art of all mediums in our public spaces.  

What does Traverse City’s  public art say about who we are as a community  and as a culture? 

Episode 4, Public Art is sponsored by McMillen’s Custom Framing

Episode 3: The Neighborhoods

Traverse City is a city of neighborhoods. Within these neighborhoods are residents who love the convenience of living in a 15-minute city, and the relationships they have with their neighbors. The City is rewriting its Master Plan, and part of the process includes asking the residents what they want to preserve, enhance or transform within their own neighborhood. Over 240 residents of Traverse City and beyond participated in the sessions led by City Planning Director Shawn Winter and his colleagues on April 19, 20 and 22, 2023. The Traversecityist attended each session and pulled out the highlights.

Episode 3 of the Traversecityist is sponsored by Dr. Christopher Moon, in memory of Clara Moon and her love for the Traverse City community.

Episode 2: Citizen Lois

Lois Golightly described herself as a common person with an ability to connect with people. Her curiosity and creativity prompted her to serve the Traverse City community with dedication and devotion.  In honor of Women’s History Month the Traversecityist devotes this episode to her legacy.

Episode 2, Citizen Lois sponsored by Oryana.

Episode 1: Geography

What do Abu Dhabi, the Namibian Desert and the Leelanau Peninsula have in common?  Rob Karner discusses his connection to the land around him, and how it has influenced his identity and values.

Oxford Essential World Atlas Eighth Edition Cover Design: Brady Mcnamara Cover Image: Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan. U.S. @ European Space Agency
Oxford Essential World Atlas Eighth Edition Cover Design: Brady Mcnamara Cover Image: Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan. U.S. @ European Space Agency

As one of the world’s most easily identified geographical boundaries, Michigan’s lower peninsula is commonly called  “the mitten.”  Michiganders often reference where they live by displaying their open right hand.  Between the pinky and the ring finger is Traverse City, Michigan.  The geography of this midwest American region is the common denominator that influences the values and collective identity of the people here.

Last summer, I was walking down Front Street in Downtown Traverse City, and there in the center of the window display of my favorite book store was a world atlas. The cover for this atlas was a satellite image of the Leelanau Peninsula, or as Michiganders  call it, the pinky finger.   I immediately wanted to know the back story.  How was this corner of the world selected for the cover of the Eighth Edition  Oxford Essential World Atlas? I contacted the Oxford University Press Art Department,  and their staff was  able to share the story behind the selection process.

Rob Karner sailing the Sleeping Bear Bay. photo courtesy of Jeffrey T. Karner

Episode 1 of the Traversecityist is sponsored by Common Good Bakery.