NEMAG celebrating 25 years, exhibit to open Friday

News Photo by Darby HinkleyMore than 50 pieces by local artists will be on display at Besser Museum starting Friday in the Northeast Michigan Artists Guild’s Silver Anniversary exhibit. Here is “Celebrating Dance” by Linda Drean.

Now is the time to celebrate.

More than 50 pieces of artwork from local artists will be on display in this year’s “Celebrations” exhibit, commemorating Northeast Michigan Artists Guild’s 25th anniversary. An opening public reception will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan.

In 1993, local artist friends Kerrie Miller and Marilyn Bachelor had the idea to start an art group. The intention was to provide an opportunity and place for people to work together to promote and support art and artists through inspiration, information and education. The first official meeting was held in early 1994 at the Besser Museum.

Twenty-five years later, the Northeast Michigan Artists Guild is still going strong and continues to call the Besser Museum “home.” Membership has fluctuated between 25 and 45 members through its lifetime, yet the group has always held true to its mission. Current President Karen Cracchiolo credits the group’s longevity to its current board and strong past leadership but especially to members for encouraging, providing assistance and inspiration to one another.

Artists in NEMAG represent all levels from beginners to accomplished and meet on a monthly basis. There are painters, sculptors, photographers, textile, and jewelry artists in the group. The scope of opportunities to show and sell work has increased over the years to include annual exhibits at the Alcona County Library in Harrisville, Brush Creek Mill in Hillman and a themed display at the Besser Museum each spring through summer.

News Photo by Darby HinkleyMore than 50 pieces by local artists will be on display at Besser Museum starting Friday in the Northeast Michigan Artists Guild’s Silver Anniversary exhibit. Above is “A Time To Celebrate” by Anita Harmon.

Members may choose to participate in selling artwork under the NEMAG tents at Art on the Bay in July at Bay View Park in Alpena, the Really Big Art Sale opening at the Besser Museum on June 29, to commemorate Log Cabin Day and other venues throughout the year.

Education in art is still a primary objective and high priority for NEMAG. There are many opportunities for members to participate in workshops conducted by guest artists, including a members-only summer workshop. There are also winter, spring and summer painting weekends for members. Creating art and being with other members allows for tremendous learning experiences.

This year’s “Celebrations” exhibit will run through the end of September, thanks to the support of Besser Museum staff and Executive Director Christine Witulski.

There will also be an opportunity to meet the artists on Saturday, June 29, also at the Besser Museum. Artwork by current members who chose to participate in this event, as well as artwork from past members, will be on display.

For further information about NEMAG, call Karen at 989-766-9945 or Ellen at 989-916-5997 or email northeastmichiganartistsguild@gmail.com.

News Photo by Darby Hinkley At right, Northeast Michigan Artists Guild President Karen Cracchiolo poses next to Anne Sonnenberg’s piece titled “Laughter,” on display in the upcoming exhibit that opens Friday at Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan.