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Paint on the roof with a glass of wine at GLMHC

Courtesy Photo Above is the photo participants will be painting from at Thursday’s Corkscrew and Canvas class, held for the first time on the rooftop deck at Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. The photo is of the propeller of the shipwrecked Monohansett, courtesay of NOAA, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

ALPENA — Sit back and sip up atop the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Thursday evening as you paint your own version of one of the area’s most well-known shipwrecks.

For the first time, Art in the Loft is partnering with GLMHC and Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to present Corkscrew and Canvas on the rooftop deck overlooking the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail along Thunder Bay River.

The class is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, for $50 per person. Wine will be served during the class, which is for ages 21 and older.

Students will paint under the direction of instructor Justin Christensen-Cooper, executive director at Art in the Loft. They will be painting from a photo of the shipwrecked Monohansett, one of the better-known shipwrecks in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

“We have so many great shipwrecks to choose from, and so many great images to choose from,” said Stephanie Gandulla, maritime archaeologist for NOAA.

She went through many images with Christensen-Cooper, and ultimately they chose the Monohansett.

“I was very pleased that they chose the Monohansett in particular, because it is probably one of our most accessible shipwrecks in the sanctuary, and is also very well-preserved,” Gandulla said. “An experience at the Monohansett is really diving into our rich maritime landscape that we have here in Alpena, because you can see the shipwreck, the wooden hull, and the steel boiler, and then you can also see the beautiful Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse right there. And the open lake, and you might even see a freighter passing by, so it really is an environment that has so many aspects of our rich maritime history.”

She added that the glass-bottom boat, Alpena Shipwreck Tours on the Lady Michigan, goes out to that site regularly.

“I would say it’s our most visited shipwreck site that we have,” she said.

Gandulla will present brief background about the Monohansett shipwreck to students at the Corkscrew and Canvas class.

She will also be participating in the painting class herself, as she wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun.

“At Art in the Loft, we like to promote that art is in our everyday life,” said Amanda Kuznicki, education coordinator at Art in the Loft. “Everywhere we look, there’s art. And our culture here is so rich with art. Think of underwater photography, capturing this image so we can paint it.”

Christensen-Cooper will take students step-by-step through the process to recreate a likeness of the Monohansett image. They will then take home their own painting, made with fast-drying acrylic paints.

“It’s super easy, and super fun,” Kuznicki said. “It will take a couple of hours. Justin is a very dynamic instructor.”

The Corkscrew and Canvas class is limited to 20 students, so call Art in the Loft at 989-356-4877, or visit artintheloft.org. The cost for the class includes materials, wine and snacks. GLMHC is at 500 W. Fletcher St.

“We love to work with Art in the Loft because there is a lot of good energy there, and Stephanie really has been forging that partnership,” said Katie Wolf, GLMHC liaison to the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. “Our focus is ‘How can we engage the community in celebrating our maritime heritage?’ So this is really a perfect opportunity.”

She added that having the class on the roof deck is an added bonus.

“It’s a way to showcase the roof deck,” Wolf said. “It really is a prized view of looking down the river to the city skyline. It will be a very inspirational location.”

She noted there is a garden up there too.

“It’s a green roof,” Wolf said. “We have succulents growing all around, so it will really be a nice setting for everyone.”

Friends of TBNMS and Art in the Loft will share the proceeds from the class. It will be moved inside the GLMHC in case of inclement weather.

About the Monohansett

The Monohansett was a Wooden Steam Barge that caught fire and sunk on Nov. 23, 1907.

Amid a dark storm, the ship full of coal went down, but no lives were lost.

“Late at night, a lantern tips over in the engine room,” Gandulla explained. “And so, it’s a wooden vessel, they’re hauling coal, so obviously it burns.”

The heroes of this story are those who manned the Thunder Bay Island Life Saving Station, she noted.

“Thankfully, nobody passed away,” she said.

Here are the specifics of the shipwreck:

¯ GPS Location: N45° 01.996′ W83° 11.988′

¯ Depth: 18 Feet

¯ Wreck Length: 160 Feet Beam: 30 Feet

¯ Gross Tonnage: 572 Cargo: Coal

¯ Launched: 1872 by Linn and Craig at Gibraltar, Mich.

Here is a description from https://thunderbay.noaa.gov/shipwrecks/monohansett.html:

“Built as the double-decked bulk freighter Ira H. Owen, the ship was rechristened Monohansett in 1882. Ten years later, it was rebuilt as a single-decked lumber carrier. On November 23, 1907, the ship burned to the water’s edge at Thunder Bay Island. Most of the crew lost their personal belongings and some suffered minor burns, but there was no loss of life because the ship was near the island’s Life Saving Station.Today, the Monohansett’s wreck lies in three sections. The stern portion has hull features, propeller, and shaft all in place, and the boiler is nearby.”

Reach Darby Hinkley at dhinkley@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5691.