Ten years after Art in the Loft first opened its doors as a center for the arts, interest in the picturesque gallery space remains high.
The 2011 SummerView Exhibit just opened and features more than 40 artists showcasing everything from jewelry and photography to pottery and paintings. A new series of summer ArtsCool workshops will soon be unveiled, plus two signature events will be taking place in the months ahead Arts Uncorked and Taste of the Town.
"We're excited there has been so much interest for this season, especially with our new movable walls," said Gallery Coordinator Liz Smigelski. "As always, there is a wonderful variety of work of different talents and mediums."
Pottery by Douglas McDowell
The artists displaying their creative efforts are a mix of new exhibitors and returning favorites. Among the new artists are potter Douglas McDowell and photographers Kathleen Bower, Adam Sheehan, David LaVigne and Sarah Altman.
Chris Woolman, another of the new artists, also shares his photography skills through a series of notecards. Well-known and award-winning local wildlife artist Chris Wozniak is showing his work in the gallery as well.
Several of those from seasons past have taken on new art forms, including artist Dawn Brouchez, who in addition to her usual oil paintings, has branched out into Native American beadwork jewelry. Stained glass artist Peggy Matuzak has teemed up with her husband, Augie, to create new offerings of colorful fused glass.
Additionally, a number of jewelry artists have helped to fill the space with beautiful jewelry.
"We have the latest styles in all prices ranges," said Smigelski. "Something handmade by a local artist always makes a nice gift."
Each season the gallery also recognizes the work an art student from Alpena Community College. This year's featured artist is Norma Alexander, whose photography focuses, in particular, on nature. Digital photography is her preferred medium, and she likes looking for things in nature that a person may not see at first glance.
All year long, Art in the Loft is celebrating its 10th anniversary of operation, having first opened its doors in 2001.
"This year marks our 10-year anniversary," Smigelski said. "We were closed for a season when we did the stair project, so some things here are going on their ninth year even though this is our 10th year of operation."
Smigelski encourages visitors to stop by the gallery multiple times over the summer months as the exhibiting artists will be adding frequently to their pieces. She also said the gallery is a creatively enriching space to spend time in. She invites the public to bring in their lunch and soak up the atmosphere while they eat.
"Odds are if you come up to visit one of our artists will be in action or assisting in the gallery," Smigelski said. "And we will have new items in as artists are always switching inventory, so if you visit us once, that doesn't mean that you've already seen everything."
The SummerView Exhibit is on display now through Sept. 3. Hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
The Loft also will be open till 9 p.m. for the three Friday Nights Downtown celebrations slated for June 24, July 15 and Aug. 5.
For more information, call the Loft at 356-4877 or visit www.artintheloft.org.