Art & the Environment Exhibit at Interlochen

Interlochen - what a beautiful place. Founded in 1928 as a summer arts camp for high school age, it is now a year round international arts academy with 500+ students. Many of the buildings are from the CCC era - gorgeous stone buildings! Learn more at

The exhibit opened in the stunning Dow Visual Art Center on Saturday evening, Dec. 4 and runs through Jan. 22, 2011. It was a very chilly evening (25F) with snow in the forecast but it was warm and inviting inside. All the artwork was imaginative, visually complex and exciting.

Below are pictures from the Artist Reception.

12 Views of the Shiawassee River prints. It was the first time I had seen them hanging together in a gallery and not just taped to my living room wall! I was so proud of what I had accomplished! I hope this exhibit will inspire others to explore their environments and help conserve, preserve and enjoy what we've been entrusted with.

More of the Shiawassee River Prints

One of Jino Park's ink on wood pieces. Incredible detail!!!

Me in front of Eric Hansen's work. His river! (Go river people!!)

Jill Parisi world! These intaglio installations were mounted so that they moved with the air currents - coming alive like a new biological species floating in the wind. Each individual piece was different from the next yet together they created a community - rich and vibrant!

Local printmaker, Dorothy Anderson Grow and exhibitor, Jill Parisi from upstate New York.

Family and Friends. I was blessed to have so many supportive and important people in my life here!

Springfield Library Exhibit

"Tangled Water"
The headwaters of the Shiawassee River at Shiawassee Lake.

12 Views of the Shiawassee River is being shown at the Springfield Township Library from Dec. 1, 2010 - January 19, 2011. They are set up along the windows that overlook the Shiawassee Basin Preserve.

Springfield Township Library
12000 Davisburg Road
Davisburg, MI 48350

12 Views of the Shiawassee River - Completed!!!

After over 2 years of following the Shiawassee, gathering imagery in each season and thru all the communities and rural back-roads along the river, carving about 135 wood blocks and printing 175 prints by hand, the series is finished.

The journey of the river doesn't stop with the completion of the prints. On November 21 I showed the series to friends, volunteers and supporters of North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy at the Fenton Winery and Brewery.

Their response and appreciation of these prints showing the beauty of the river was overwhelming. They know the river. They clean the river. They protect the river and it's watershed. They give of their time and money "to conserving and enhancing the natural water and land resources in Northwest Oakland County through acquisition and/or preservation of key properties is essential to sustaining a high quality of life for present and future generations" and have the "intent of conserving the woods, fields, streams, wetlands and other natural features in the headwaters areas of the Clinton, Shiawassee, Huron, and Flint rivers."

Visit their website to learn more about North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy:

30th Annual Statewide Print Competition

This past weekend marked the opening of the Alma College 30th Annual Statewide Print Competition. It also marked the end of this competition for Michigan printmakers. With declining entries cited as the main reason Sandra Lopez-Isnardi, the show's Director, said, "An aging population of printmakers who no longer print, the passing on of many older printers, and so many high schools and colleges who no longer teach printmaking and have sold off their studio equipment, it was better to end on a high note."

Sandra Lopez-Isnardi and Marjorie Devon

And it was a high note, in my opinion. Juror, Marjorie Devon, Director of Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, NM giving a fascinating lecture about Tamarind and their history and mission of collaborative lithography and chose some exciting and "experimental" prints for awards.

John Bergmeier of Pontiac, award winner, with his 2 entries, When We Pray (do we just close our eyes?) and A Man Reaps What He Sows.

With Marjorie in front of my print, Tangled Water.

Marjorie and Sandra remain excited and optimistic about the future of printmaking. The trend toward digital prints, they believe, will swing back to the art of traditional printmaking. Music to my ears!

Read more about the show here:

Governor's Reception

Last night was the reception for the artists chosen to have their work in the Governor's Residence. The residence is nothing I expected. It is a sprawling contemporary home decorated with Michigan wood, textiles, books, and now, art.
Gov. Granholm greeted each one of us, spoke about the house, the art and took pictures with each of us with our art.

I was thrilled to find my three pieces together in the Living Room.

My friend and fellow Ovid artist Tom Tomasek shown with the Governor and his pastel titled, "Fayette". It is the limestone cliffs at Fayette Historical State Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. His three pieces are also in the Living Room.

All the artists gathered with the Governor.

The range of art - paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and prints - was so impressive! I met so many artists whose work I have admired and am rather stunned to find mine in the same company.

The Governor's Residence Artists Program is designed to showcase the depth and breadth of Michigan's talented artists in an annual exhibit.
Lansing Art Gallery executive Director, Catherine Allswede Babcock, provided Governor Jennifer M. Granholm with 145 selections. Thirty-six Michigan Artists have generously donated sixty-two total pieces to this years program. The art will be enjoyed by the First Family of Michigan and the many visitors who come to the home each year.

Art and the Environment Exhibition

I am honored to have been chosen to represent Michigan beauty and it's important environment in this exhibit. I will be showing the 12 Views of the Shiawassee River.

The Interlochen Dow Center for Visual Arts Gallery will host its first Art and the Environment exhibition. Art related to the environment is something Interlochen students are asked to contemplate often as they create art in the woods of Northern Lower Michigan. 2011 will be the third year that the Visual Arts department has offered an Art and the Environment class where students are challenged to explore art-making from an ecological standpoint be it through the materials used, the concepts projects are built upon, or the nature influenced aesthetics of the work.

Six artists who address environment in their art work are included in this exhibition: Linda J. Beeman (Ovid, MI), Eric L. Hansen (Nashville, TN), Jill Parisi (NY,NY), Jino Park (Philadelphia, PA & Korea)), Mary Lyverse (Mesa, AZ), and Merrill Steiger (NY, NY).

At a time when “environmental art” can be alarmist, cautionary, critical and often depressing, this exhibition was created with a focus on environmental education, celebration and respect.

The Art and the Environment exhibition will be presented from December 4, 2010 - January 22, 2011.
The artist’s reception will take place on Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 6:00 – 7:30pm.
Additionally, one of the exhibition’s artists, Jill Parisi, will present her work during an artist’s lecture from 7:00 – 8:00pm on Thursday, December 2.
Interlochen Dow Center for Visual Arts Gallery hours are 12:00 – 8:00pm, Tuesday – Friday, 12:00 – 5:00pm, Saturday.

Chihuly Exhibit

Dale Chihuly developed an impressive and inspiring exhibit to celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The exhibition is designed to respond to the horticultural and natural conditions of each site. The Sculpture Park itself is one of the world's foremost collections of Modern and Contemporary sculpture. Set amidst diverse gardens and landscapes - it's a treasure.

Yellow Reeds

I, you, she or he by Jaume Plensa

Lime Crystal Tower

Grand Rapids Arch by Andy Goldworthy

Blue Moon

The American Horse (Leonardo Di Vinci's Horse) by Nina Akuma

Listening to History by Bill Woodrow

Red Reeds

Niijima Floats

Three Prints Selected for Governor's Residence

I am honored to have three prints selected by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and First Gentleman Daniel G. Mulhern to hang in the Lansing Governor's residence for the coming year. The Governor's Residence Michigan Artists Program brings artwork of Michigan artists into the public areas of the residence for one year. There will be an artist reception - date to be determined.
The 3 pieces selected are Winter Thaw, Shy That Way and Guardian.

Lansing Art Gallery Demonstration

On Thursday, August 12 I demonstrated Japanese woodblock printmaking at Lansing Art Gallery during the lunch hour. A very hot and humid day in the 2 story front window made printing........interesting. A good crowd of people came and went with more watching from out on the sidewalk.
The demo was sponsored by Mid-Michigan MRI. Lansing Art Gallery is located at 113 S. Washington Square, one block from the Michigan State Capital.

Winter Thaw

Winter Thaw is another print in the 12 Views of the Shiawassee River series. It was a bright day in late January. We were traveling the back roads near Fenton when we came across this area of the river thawing at a little one lane bridge. The bushes had berries that turned a bright red and they were full of happy birds!

I have been remiss in that I usually just post the print and never the process. I can only say it's because I forget to take pictures. I might take the first couple but then forget to take the rest. So this time I made a point of taking every step. Ok, I missed one........but at least I consciously tried!
Step one:
I laid in the far background.

Step two:
berry bushes

Step 3:
Deepened red on near bushes and added some reflections

Step 4:
Sky and reflected blue

Step 5:
Shadow on ice edges and added trees

Step 6:
Deepened water

Final print:
I added shadow along the river banks and deepened color on trees.

I was rather intimidated to do a winter scene but I really like how it turned out.

River Water

Recently another printmaker suggested using actual water from the Shiawassee in the making of the prints for this series. I don't know why I didn't think of that! It adds a special dimension to the prints.
So, on a very chilly (58 degrees) July morning here in Michigan, we set off to Curwood Castle Park to collect water. I grew up 3 houses from the Castle. This view of the Shiawassee was my view.

We ran the water through our Katadyn filter that we use backpacking.

Now I have a clean gallon of Shiawassee River water to use!

Recent News Article About Shiawassee River Series

The complete article with photos can be viewed at this link:

Portraits of activism

Shown in her home studio, Linda Beeman holds a completed woodblock print that depicts a portion of the Chesaning rock rapids. It is one of the prints which will be in her “12 Views of the Shiawassee” exhibit.

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 8:00 am | Updated: 10:01 pm, Sat May 22, 2010.
JULIANNE MATTERA, Argus-Press Staff Writer

OVID — Linda Beeman was one of many junior high students in Owosso who celebrated their first Earth Day in 1970 by picking up truckloads of trash around the city. Since then, the memory of bags upon bags of trash that students retrieved has remained lodged in Beeman’s mind.
Of course, that wasn’t the only place she’s found trash over the years. Growing up next to the Shiawassee River in Owosso, Beeman often saw pollution-related suds in the water and garbage floating down what she considered a piece of her backyard. And when Beeman took up geocaching as a hobby, she was disappointed to see water bottles and old plastic containers dotting otherwise beautiful natural areas.
“It really surprised me to see the irresponsibility,” Beeman said. “I just thought, ‘How hard is it to throw it away? Why did you have to do that?’”
Now, the Ovid resident and self-described Michigan artist has been awarded a $1,000 emerging artist grant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing to produce and exhibit a series of Japanese woodblock prints focusing on promoting environmental awareness regarding the Shiawassee River.
Called “12 Views of the Shiawassee,” the exhibition is scheduled to begin around late fall and will include Beeman demonstrating the moku hanga technique — a Japanese form of printmaking that uses watercolor paint and carved wood to create images on paper. Additionally, Beeman will collaborate with environmental agencies such as the Friends of the Shiawassee River and the North Oakland County Headwater’s Land Conservancy.
“Linda was seeking to collaborate on a project that would raise environmental awareness but also produce beautiful prints,” said Katie Robiadek, program manager for the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. “Her work is very detailed and very relevant to Mid-Michigan, so I think the panel was especially pleased with her applications for those reasons.”
In her daily life and with “12 Views of the Shiawassee,” Beeman is a proponent of the environment who is quick to remind people that the Great Lakes are one of Michigan’s greatest assets. Beeman knows she can’t simply go out on a boat and hope to solve all of the state’s water pollution problems, but she hopes her exhibit will inspire others to care more about the environment.
“Art has long been used for political (purposes)” and as a means to reach out to people and get a point across, Beeman said. “I was hoping by showing the river in different settings, in different places along the way and how just beautiful it is, it would entice people to care.”
Beeman’s prints showcase parts of the Shiawassee River from Oakland to Saginaw County. With the exception of one print, all portray the Shiawassee River weaving its way through natural or rural areas, varying from parks to a swamp.
But she did include a print that shows a point in the river behind Owosso City Hall — alluding to the importance rivers have had in being a water source for the communities built around them.
Local environmental topics, such as the future of Corunna’s dam, are also close to Beeman’s heart. One of her completed woodblock prints depicts the rock rapids system that Chesaning opted for after its dam broke. And Beeman hopes Corunna chooses a similarly eco-friendly option when it fixes the dam there.
“When you don’t need the dam anymore to run the mill that’s no longer there, then the dam is really just aesthetic. People like it because it’s pretty,” Beeman said. “And I understand people who live along the river — things will change with river levels and everything once that dam is gone, but everything is not always about humans. It’s not about us, it’s about the health of a water system.”
But most of all, Beeman hopes her prints get people to think about the conservation of the river in its entirety, as well as the Great Lakes.
“I know people are desperate for employment. But we need to protect our state and not be swayed by things that are going to hurt us ecologically,” Beeman said. “My whole thing with this is conservation of the river in its entirety. And that’s what I want to get across to people from Oakland County to Saginaw. It’s not just our section of river; the river flows.”

Ember Tide

My favorite sunset is probably one for the most rare here in Michigan: a green sunset. Our local art guild is having a show beginning in May and our theme was "green" so I decided on this.
Following in the footsteps of Yoshida Hiroshi Sailing Boats series, I reused the same blocks from Evening Sunglow. With these two prints done and looking so different from each other I am going to continue this series. I'll try different times of day, maybe rain, maybe snow. It will be interesting!

Shy That Way

Last summer I was going thru old family pictures with my mom when we came across this one. It was tiny but the image was so dynamic and told such a story that I knew I had to make a print.
The photo is of my grandmother and taken by my grandfather when they were "courting". My grandmother, Maisie, passed away when I was in elementary school so I didn't know her very long or very well. What I do remember is that she worked for the phone company, she was a proper Baptist lady and always wore a house dress. She taught me to plant morning glories and pansies on the north side of the house, how to thread a needle in a lady-like manner, how to embroider and how to make a perfect pie crust. As her only granddaughter she tried very hard to teach me how to be a proper lady as well. Even though I still hear her voice when I thread a needle in my un-lady-like way (instead of delicately wetting my fingers and then rolling the thread end, I stick the thread in my mouth to wet it so it goes thru the eye of the needle easier), the whole "proper" thing didn't quite stick.
This picture brought back those memories and yet made me wonder what she was like when she was young. Here she is, alone, in a boat, with a man. Was she being shy? Coy? After all, later on in their wedding picture she is wearing a sea glass aqua silk flapper dress with rhinestones on it! Who was this person? I'll never know but I chose to portray her shy and proper - even if I did take away her shoes and stockings and give her a big red hat!