Pinball to Pac-Man at Klassic Arcade
Khnemu Studioâ€™s creative growth
Meet Aaron Lane-Davies
The big heart of Kalamazoo Stripping
Southwest Michiganâ€™s Magazine
The Quilt as Canvas Local artists piece together modern masterpieces
Harry Turbeville died in 1976. Today heâ€™s helping kids be safe and healthy after school. Harry Turbeville was a local businessman with a heart for helping kids reach their full potential. His legacy is the Harry E. Turbeville fund. Established 25 years ago with a modest gift from his wifeâ€™s estate, its value has more than doubled. Grants from the fund have supported a variety of youth-focused programs at Kalamazoo nonprofits like Prevention Works, Whole Art Theatre and YMCA of Kalamazoo. An endowed fund like the Harry E. Turbeville Fund is a powerful legacy. We can help you show your love for Kalamazoo and leave a powerful legacy too. Call us today at 269.381.4416 or visit us online at www.kalfound.org to learn how.
2 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
equity | education
“Four months ago, I had anterior hip replacement surgery at Bronson Methodist Hospital. And it was the best thing I ever did. I put off the surgery for three years — until I could hardly walk at all. Thanks to Bronson, I started feeling better before anything was even scheduled. My doctor did a great job of explaining what to expect and what would be done. My pain was minimal and I could move around better than I ever expected. In just four weeks, I was back doing the things I used to do — camping, walking the dog, golfing with my buddies and so on. The best testament to my outcome: forgetting that I ever had a hip problem. And for that, I’m so thankful.” Don, Portage, Michigan To watch Don’s story and learn more about anterior hip surgery, visit bronsonpositivity.com/hip.
When the goal is not riches, but to live richly. For the sake of discussion, letâ€™s say wealth is a relative term. To some, it could be a matter of net worth. To others, it might mean lifelong friends, close-knit family and good health. To others still, it could be the ability to do and have what is most rewarding. Whatever the definition, and regardless of whether wealth is a means or an end, those who have it also have goals that shape their decisions. Thatâ€™s why clients of Greenleaf Trust benefit so greatly from our goals-based wealth management approach. Thoughtful and holistic in its methodology, it ensures clear-minded focus on achieving the things in life that are most important and meaningful to you. Through reliable benchmarks we measure progress in meeting those goals, instead of solely measuring performance against a narrow financial index. And at every step of the way, our client centric team model puts your well-being, and peace of mind, at the center of every decision. To learn more about how Greenleaf Trust can help you live a life well spent, call us.
211 south rose street kalamazoo, mi 49007 4 | Encore JULY 2016
Financial Security from Generation to Generation
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FEATURES The Quilt as Canvas
The Unlikely Blogger
Local stitchers’ quilts are works of art
K-College prof offers insights into music, film and psychology
DEPARTMENTS 7 Contributors Up Front 8 First Things — What’s happening in SW Michigan 10 Pinball to Pac-Man — Klassic Arcade offers a gallery of vintage games
Kalamazoo Stripping — Kath Paul puts her heart into her company's success
Fusion Food — Andrew Lum’s three Asian restaurants offer something for everyone
38 Back Story
Meet Aaron Lane-Davies — He’s hiking across Michigan to bring better medical care to kids
ARTS 28 Khnemu’s Creative Growth Artist runs a farm, studios, galleries — and a coffee
32 Events of Note 35 Poetry
On the cover: Mike Thompson creates Quilts of Valor to be given to military veterans. Photo by Brian Powers
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Pinball to Pac-Man at Klassic Arcade
Khnemu Studio’s creative growth
Meet Aaron Lane-Davies
The big heart of Kalamazoo Stripping
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
A sister company of Arborist Services of Kalamazoo, LLC The Quilt as Canvas Local artists piece together modern masterpieces
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The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, you may visit www.encorekalamazoo. com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date.
Andrew brings us two stories this month — a feature on Klassic Arcade in Gobles and a profile of Asian restaurant owner Andrew Lum — the subjects of which Andrew found especially appealing. “I spent a lot of quarters playing classic video games as a kid,” he admits, noting that after he interviewed Klassic Arcade owner Kevin Ketchum, he played a few games of Missile Command and was definitely out of practice. And while Andrew enjoyed learning about Lum’s three local Asian restaurants, our intrepid writer says it made him hungry. You can find more of Andrew’s work at www.dominowriting.com.
In her interview with Kath Paul, owner of the Kalamazoo Stripping & Derusting Company in Portage, Lisa found Paul’s straightforwardness, determination and desire to help others refreshing. “She is a powerhouse of a lady who not only works to run a successful business, but also wants to extend a helping hand to those who are willing to take it and put in the hard work,” Lisa says. “Plus she doesn’t pull any punches and lets you know exactly what she’s thinking.”
Kara had a busy month for Encore, writing our cover story on quilts as art and features on Khnemu founder Dawn Soltysiak and blogger and Kalamazoo College professor Siu-Lan Tan. Kara says it was a pleasure to spend time with Soltysiak, who oozes creativity and a refreshing blend of homegrown business savvy, and to hear Tan comically describe how, before she started blogging, her husband was the original audience for her obsessions of the day. Finally, Kara was struck by how each quilter she spoke with seemed to need their art, no matter how their approaches varied. For more of Kara’s writing, visit karanorman.com.
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up front encore
First Things Something Beautiful
Egg tempera paintings by a modern master Fred Wessel creates beauty with eggs.
Wessel, an artist from Northampton, Massachusetts, paints using egg tempera, an ancient medium of colored pigment, water and egg yolk that is often associated with Botticelli and other Renaissance artists. Wessel’s paintings are richly detailed realist portraits, set against patterned backgrounds and often prepared with gold leaf and other precious metals, which give them a luminescent quality. A sampling of Wessel’s work is on display at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St., in an exhibit titled Eternal Beauty: Egg Tempera Paintings by Fred Wessel. The exhibit, which opened June 25 and will run until Oct. 2, features 15 of Wessel’s paintings. A reception for Wessel will be held at 5:30 p.m. July 21. Admission to the KIA is $5, or $2 for students and free for members and children 12 and under. The KIA is open 11 a.m.—5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday; 11 a.m.—8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and noon—5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit kiarts.org or call (269) 349-7775.
Fred Wessel, Draco the Dragon, 2016, egg tempera with gold, silver and palladium leaf
Take a downtown ghost tour Promising “history with a twist,” the Kalamazoo Jaycees are offering a daylight Ghosts of Kalamazoo Historic Tour July 30. The 45- to 60-minute walking tour starts at 6 p.m. on the corner of Bronson Park at Rose and Academy streets and will proceed to various sites around downtown Kalamazoo, delivering weird, haunted and historic stories of Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Jaycees also host ghost tours in October, and all proceeds from the tours go to fund local nonprofit organizations. Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the event. To register or for more information, visit the tour’s Facebook page, facebook.com/ghostsofkalamazoo.
8 | Encore JULY 2016
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Face Off stages The Colored Museum It's a thought-provoking history lesson told on stage.
Common stereotypical misconceptions of the African-American experience are exposed in Face Off Theatre Company’s presentation of The Colored Museum, at 7 p.m. July 15, at the Epic Theatre, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. Presented in conjunction with the Black Arts & Cultural Center’s Black Arts Festival (July 11-17), the play features 11 scenes or “exhibits” examining the portrayal of African-Americans over time. The stories are told in a comedic, thought-provoking way through a variety of art forms, from poetry and dance to live art. Tickets are $20, or $10 for students and seniors and $8 for Black Arts & Cultural Center members. For more information or tickets, visit faceofftheatre.weebly.com or call (269) 369-0908.
Show fetes wheeled German engineering feats From the Beetle (Volkwagen’s, that is) to BMW to Mercedes-Benz, German automobiles will be rolling into the Gilmore Car Museum on July 9 for the annual Deutsche Marques car show. This is the fifth year for the event, which is a gathering of German cars, owners and enthusiasts. Participating cars have to be German in some way, so even vehicles that are “German-powered,” such as the Amphicar, an amphibious automobile with a VW motor, are welcome. The museum is located at 6865 W. Hickory Road, Hickory Corners. The show runs from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., and admission is $12, $11 for those showing a car and free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit deutschemarquesag.com.
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up front encore
From Pinball to Pac-Man
Klassic Arcade offers a gallery of playable vintage games Andrew Domino
t’s bigger than it looks,” says Kevin Ketchum as he opens the red front door of Klassic Arcade, and he’s right. Inside the light blue metal building on M-40 in Gobles are rows of pinball machines and video arcade games — 65 in all — including PacMan’s glowing blue maze, light years of alien-infested outer space, and games featuring James Bond and the South Park boys, all ready to play. And for $5, you can do just that, spending all afternoon with pinball and video games of the 1990s, 1980s and earlier.
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Above: From left, Lizzy Ketchum, Tina Sivewright and Keenan McFall play pinball at Klassic Arcade. Opposite page: Klassic Arcade owner Kevin Ketchum started collecting arcade games as a hobby.
“People are overwhelmed when they come inside,” says Ketchum, Klassic Arcade’s owner. “They say, ‘Do you have this game?’ ‘Yes, it’s over there.’ ‘Do you have that game?’ ‘Yes, it’s over there.’” Ketchum, 59, a lifelong pinball player, started collecting arcade games as a hobby about 20 years ago. At first, it was just a way to
encore up front
surround himself with the games he enjoyed. As his collection grew, he moved it into a three-car garage adjacent to his home. By 2003, his collection required its own storage building, and that became the 2,200-squarefoot Klassic Arcade. This summer he’s planning to open a second facility in a former pharmacy
In addition, he has several more at his home that are waiting to be brought up to a playable state with new electric wiring, improved decorations and more responsive controls. Ketchum, who works in information technology at Borgess Health, does most of the repairs himself but sends out more
complicated work to specialists he’s met over the years. Name a classic video game and Ketchum probably has it, including such early 1980s video games as Galaga and Donkey Kong and pinball games such as Bride of Pin-Bot and the movie-themed Lost in Space and Addams Family. In addition, Klassic Arcade has 15 redemption games, including shooting galleries and Skee-Ball, which reward players with tickets that can be exchanged for small souvenirs. Ketchum also has a few “newer” games like the popular Mortal Kombat, from 1992. He even has a copy of a game he grew up playing, 1965’s Buckaroo, a cowboy-themed pinball game. That one is still at his house. The first few games Ketchum acquired were purchased from individuals and at
Location: 22711 M-40, Gobles Hours: 4-8 p.m. Friday; noon-8 p.m. Saturday; 1-5 p.m.Sunday More info: (269) 628-4628 or klassicarcade.com
at 206 S. State St., in Gobles, where he expects to have between 100 and 125 games. “The new facility is a mile down the road,” Ketchum says. “If we do get a busy day, we can just spread the gamers out.” Ketchum has more than 200 games in his collection, including those at Klassic Arcade and some that he’s placed in local restaurants and bars like Nino’s Pizza in Gobles and One Well Brewing in Kalamazoo.
conventions, where collectors hunt for early games and parts to rebuild games they’re restoring. Video games and pinball games usually cost several hundred dollars, he says. The most Ketchum has paid for a game was $1,500 for the 1976 video game Death Race. He had to drive to Kansas to pick it up, he says, but it was worth it. “It’s a rare game because it was controversial,” Ketchum says. “It had cars running over stick people. It’s nothing like video games now, but it was controversial then.” From its inception, Ketchum’s goal with Klassic Arcade has been to open his collection to the public. The $5 fee allows players to play all the games as long as they want. “Instead of playing with a few quarters and then being done, they stay for three or four hours — it’s more of a bargain,” he says. Ketchum’s games at local bars and restaurants still collect quarters from players, and he splits the income from those games with the establishments’ owners. Klassic Arcade also has a remote-control racetrack for high-speed races with toy cars, and it offers more than 100 kinds of root beer, cream soda and other soft drinks. Klassic Arcade is open afternoons and evenings on Friday and Saturday and afternoons on Sunday. About 100 to 150 people stop in on an average Saturday, Ketchum says, and he’s even had a few “arcade stars” visit before, like the New Hampshire man who held the world record for a high score on Centipede. But Klassic Arcade games are for everyone, Ketchum says. “It’s fun to watch people enjoy them,” he says. “A lot of kids come in, and they’ve never seen video games (in an arcade) before.” While Ketchum is working on getting his second Klassic Arcade up and running, he doesn’t rule out the possibility of a third location, perhaps in Kalamazoo. “I don’t plan on selling any of my games,” he says. “I’m more into getting and keeping.”
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Kath Paul puts her heart into company's success by
ver the years, Kath Paul has received a lot of ribbing about being a stripper — but her occupation isn’t what you might be thinking. Paul owns Kalamazoo Stripping & Derusting Co., in Portage. Sitting behind her desk, Paul holds up letterhead, stickers and other items emblazoned with the company logo, “I Love My Stripper.” “This actually came from being teased all the time by men,” Paul says. “People always have something to say to me. I have it (the logo) on everything. It’s even on my sign. It works.” Kalamazoo Stripping strips, derusts and degreases zinc die cast, aluminum, steel, cast iron and copper. A small woman with a big smile and a generous dose of forthrightness, Paul leads her company of approximately 25 workers in a male-dominated industry with a belief in being upfront and kind and doing a job right. Putting this belief into practice has caused her to do well as a woman in a man’s world, she says.
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“I think they admire me because I do what I do very timely,” she says. “My word’s really all I got. And I say that to my customers.” The automotive industry is one of the largest segments of Kalamazoo Stripping’s customer base. Paul is “busy to the heavens,” she says, with stripping automotive parts. The company also works on stadium seating. For example, it stripped and restored the seats for the State Theatre in Kalamazoo during the theater’s restoration project. The company has customers as far north as Grand Rapids, west to Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, just over the Ohio border and near Urbana, Illinois. Paul started working for the company 27 years ago, as the controller. Three men owned the company, and Paul bought them out one by one, she says. The last owner got Paul’s hackles up when he said he could “make it work for her financially” and offered to help arrange financing.
“I think I can make it work for myself,” she told him. And she did. In 2003, Paul became sole owner. After that, she purchased the company’s building and real estate. Paul admits she faced a big learning curve, especially about the industrial aspect of the business, but it didn’t scare her off. “I wanted to do it my way,” she says. “I thought there was opportunity to do things here a little differently than the way they did it.” Paul’s frankness extends into her philanthropic pursuits. She believes in “offering a helping hand” when she can. She works with Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell in the Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo initiative to provide people with nonviolent criminal records a second chance and for the past 10 years has hired former nonviolent felons. Paul expresses frustration that other companies won’t follow suit, noting that
Far left: Kalamazoo Stripping & Derusting Co. employee Ray Drain details a bumper at the company’s shop. Center: Dedric Williams uses a crane to unload parts out of a treatment tank. Above: Kath Paul began at the company as a controller and is now the owner.
she’s a tiny woman who works with five, six or seven guys at a time. She tosses a challenge out to other businesses: Help at least one person. “Then what happens is you have a chance to help them in recovery,” she says. “Help them with housing, with banking, with how to live, to buy groceries and (have) savings accounts.” Paul offers more than second chances — she helps with first chances, too. A couple of years ago, she saw Sally Reames, the executive director of the local Community Healing Centers, on television discussing how local low-income families needed assistance with diapers for their babies. Paul picked up the phone and left a message for Reames: w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 13
Kath Paul proudly displays the stickers she gives away to promote her business.
The Kalamazoo Stripper was bringing diapers. She and her guys rounded up donations for an entire truckload. In 2015, they did even better; in a matter of a few weeks, they collected 30,790 diapers. What tugged on Paul’s heartstrings listening to Reames on television?
tirelessly doesn’t “take the grace that they were given and starts repeating the same mistakes.” “It’s hard to see when you put your hand out and they don’t take it anymore,” she says. As Paul heads out onto the shop floor, she calls over to the workers and introduces each person. One by one, they surround her, most of them towering over their petite boss. The fondness between employees and employer is evident. In fact, her employees know her daily schedule. Text messages pop up on her phone if she’s late. Her guys worry. Paul feels the same about them. For instance, on the snowiest days in winter, she will pull her two truck drivers off the road. “I don’t care if (customers) are mad or not,” Paul says adamantly. “I have two drivers I care about. And there’s no money in the world worth that.” Paul is grooming her 26-year-old son, Jon Paul, to eventually take over Kalamazoo Stripping & Derusting. He has been a part of the business since the beginning — when Paul brought him to work as an infant. “He has the logistics of the business “It was all about the babies,” she says. For Paul, the toughest part of her job is also down,” Paul says. “We are zeroing in on the the piece she enjoys the most: the people. She heartfelt portion of our business. This is very loves every one of her employees, describing important to me.” them as vegetable soup — all different ages and ethnicities. The hard part comes for Paul if one of the men with whom she’s worked so
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These Asian restaurants offer something for everyone by
For those times when you’re craving both Italian and Japanese
food but your dining companions want Chinese or a burger, Andrew Lum has you covered. Lum is the force behind three Kalamazoo eateries — Spice n Rice, Buddha’s Belly and Wild Ginger — and knows variety is the spice of life. While Spice n Rice and Buddha’s Belly offer more traditional American-Asian cuisine with a smattering of sushi thrown in, its his Portage restaurant, Wild Ginger, that combines the tastes of various cultures. “We have a teryaki burger on top of cucumber straws and topped with fresh pineapple cut very thin, for just a taste of pineapple, (and) our Philly cheesesteak eggroll is really popular,” says Lum.
A Sunset Crunch roll and Lychee Sangria are among the offerings at Wild Ginger.
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In addition, Wild Ginger offers Japanese udon noodles with basil and tomatoes, like Italian spaghetti. At the restaurant, Lum also adds fried garlic to sushi rolls, a dish he says he hasn’t seen anywhere else. “I’m not really a chef, but I like to eat,” Lum says. Lum says all three restaurants tout Asian cuisine, with twists unique to each location and a few commonalities. “There aren’t that many Asian restaurants in the Kalamazoo area,” he says. “We try to be the most healthy — we use only breast meat and better ingredients.” Lum, 36, grew up in Portage and spent a lot of time at his parents’ restaurant, Kowloon Palace (now closed), on Portage Road. “When I was younger, I never wanted to be there. When I told my parents I wanted to open a restaurant, they said, ‘What?,'” says Lum. “I just wanted to offer something different.” Lum’s first venture was Spice n Rice, which opened about 14 years ago (it is currently
Lum's restaurants Spice n Rice, 525 Burrows Road, near Kalamazoo College Buddha’s Belly, 2706 W. Michigan Ave., near Western Michigan University Wild Ginger, 639 Romence Road, just west of Westnedge Avenue closed for construction but is expected to reopen by midsummer). Buddha’s Belly followed in 2011 and Wild Ginger in 2014. Lum and his father, Lee, co-own the three restaurants, while his mother, Lilly, sometimes makes crab Rangoon and other dishes by hand for diners. Dining jargon would tag some of Lum’s dishes at Wild Ginger, in Portage, as “Asian fusion” because tastes and food from different cultures are blended into one dish. In addition, the restaurant serves 20 kinds of sushi. If you’re not ready to experiment quite as much with your meal, Buddha’s Belly offers more traditional American-Asian cuisine, including pad Thai, lo mein, and General Tsao’s chicken, along with more than a dozen sushi rolls. 16 | Encore JULY 2016
encore SAVOR While most dishes on the menus at Wild Ginger and the other restaurants sell well, most regular customers prefer familiar foods like sweet and sour chicken and fried rice, Lum says. Some diners are willing to experiment, though, and a few even ask him to recreate something they’ve seen on a trip to Asia. He does what he can with those requests, but not everything is a success. “Chinese bitter melon nobody seems to enjoy,” Lum says. “I can’t find a palate for it.” Even if the audience for Asian fusion restaurants is a little limited in Kalamazoo and Lum is not ready to open another restaurant yet — Spice n Rice needs to reopen first, he says — he still has ideas for new dining experiences. One is focused on breakfast foods. Another is a Mexican-Chinese mix, featuring burritos stuffed with Asian-style stir fry — “like Qdoba but with a Chinese flair,” Lum suggests. His ultimate goal for his restaurants, he says, is to offer a little something for everyone. “I like to try new things. If I like it, I think other people will, too.”
Clockwise from bottom left, opposite page: Andrew Lum, center, learned much about running a restaurant from his mother, Lilly, left, and father, Lee; udon noodles with basil and shrimp; the bar area at Wild Ginger; a case at Wild Ginger displaying the fresh fish and ingredients used for sushi.
Spice n Rice offers takeout meals. Dozens of chicken, beef, vegetable and seafood combinations are available, including lighter, smaller chicken and shrimp “diet” meals. Lum has made an attempt at all three restaurants to cut back on MSG and other additives often found in takeout Chinese food. He says he likes to offer vegetarian and healthy options alongside his Asian fusion options.
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Masterpieces Local quilters' creations are works of art story by
n 2002, 70 quilts from Gee’s Bend, an isolated African-American community in rural Alabama, were displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Before art dealer Bill Arnett paid thousands of dollars for some of these quilts, the women who made them considered the brightly colored, improvisational-style blankets utilitarian objects not worth much because they were not made in the traditional painstaking style taught to generations of women as “real quilting.” One woman even burned her old quilts with the trash, according to a Smithsonian article titled “Fabric of Their Lives,” about a follow-up exhibit. “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” traveled to 11 other U.S. museums and was hailed as a showcase of modern art objects, essentially blowing the doors off the American public’s perception of quilting. These days, however, quilting is definitely viewed as an art form, and variety and innovation are as much a mainstay of the quilting world as traditional technique. Case in point: Steve and Ann Loveless of Northern Michigan, the winners of last year’s Public Vote Grand Prize at the Grand Rapids art spectacle ArtPrize, won for their piece combining traditional photography, hand-dyed textiles and tiled fabrics that took more than 1,000 hours to create. And as anyone with half a minute and a Pinterest account can tell you, the Internet is chock-full of images showcasing everything from dizzying geometric quilts to chic pillowcases made out of repurposed fabric scraps. There appears to be plenty of room in our national lexicon these days for quilting to encompass any style you want to tackle, and the same seems to be true for Kalamazoo.
What’s in a name? Traditionally speaking, quilts are blankets of any size made of three required layers stitched together: a front, middle and back. Their fronts, or tops, can be “pieced” — made with repeating shapes or blocks of fabric stitched together — or with one big piece of fabric appliquéd with smaller, more ornamental fabric, or a combination of these options. The middle part, the batting, makes up the blanket’s fluffy, soft quality, while the backs, another layer of fabric, can be as plain or complex as a quiltmaker desires. At right: Jacqueline Skarritt created “One Hundred and Ten Degrees: The 2015 Temperature Quilt,” at right, which won an award in the 2016 West Michigan Area Show at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. 18 | ENCORE JULY 2016
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A close-up view, at left, of the intricate piecing, stitching and meticulous detail in quilts created by Patrick Whalen and Nina Feirer, pictured above.
Quilting is the stitching that runs through these three layers. It can be done by hand or machine. Some people, like Kalamazoo quilt artist Nina Feirer, skip this step entirely, outsourcing it to someone else. Feirer, a 60-year-old Kalamazoo mother of four, stepmother of one and grandmother of twins, collaborates with fellow artist Patrick Whalen to create award-winning “art quilts.” Art quilts are original quilts made primarily for display and sometimes highly embellished. The pair’s “Sometimes You’re the Goat, Sometimes You’re the Tiger,” a large work made of cotton, silk and sateen materials and hand-pieced by Feirer in lively, wildly patterned blocks, won this year’s Art Quilt Award from Kalamazoo’s Log Cabin Quilters guild. It is on display until July 10 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ West Michigan Area Show, and the People’s Choice Award voting is open until July 8. The term “art quilt” grew out of a resurgence of interest in quilting led by American artists like Michael James in the 1970s and, even earlier, Jean Ray Laury in the 1950s and 1960s. In the book The Art Quilt, American folk art expert Robert Shaw writes, “Interest in handcrafts of all kinds was a strong element of the youth rebellion of the 1960s.” Many art quilters are still driven by the urge to depart from the norm. Feirer, for one, deviates from using traditional quilt blocks, instead piecing together various sizes of rectangles, triangles and strips to see where the fabric takes her. “I get bored making traditional quilts,” she says, “but a traditional block can be a great starting point or detail in one of my quilts.” 20 | Encore JULY 2016
Whalen, who co-owns Textile Art Gallery in Michigan City and does quilting for other artists, says about working on a Feirer quilt: “There is always what seems like a structure, but then it gets disheveled in color swirls. Her work is always evolving into this incredible thing that is completely hers.” Last year Whalen and Feirer won the 2015 West Michigan Area Show People’s Choice Award for a quilt called “Eclipse.” They won their first Art Quilt Award in 2011 for “Blue, Not Gloomy,” and another award in 2014 for “The Wonder of It All.”
Modern quilting Quilting with a Modern Slant, by Rachel May, is one of hundreds of gorgeously photographed books packed into the crafting bookshelves at a local bookstore. Published in 2014, the book documents more than 70 artists who are engaged in “modern” quilting, which The Modern Quilt Guild website describes as “primarily functional and inspired by modern design.” Modern quilters tend to use bold colors and high-contrast designs and may favor improvisation or minimalism, all of which retired Bangor Public Schools art teacher and former watercolorist Jacqueline Skarritt does. Now a fiber artist based in Kalamazoo, Skarritt hand-dyes her own fabrics and makes both modern and art quilts. Her work has been accepted into Houston’s International Quilt Festival and The American
Quilt Society’s show in Paducah, Kentucky, dubbed by some as “the quilt Mecca.” She currently has two quilts on display in the West Michigan Area Show, including one multicolored, row-by-row piece that records a year’s worth of daily temperatures and glows against the museum’s white walls. The piece, titled “One Hundred and Ten Degrees: The 2015 Temperature Quilt,” won the 2016 Kalamazoo Knitting Guild Award for Fiber. Skarritt says exhibiting her work is not her main motivation for quilting, though. “I do it because I love it,” she says. “If other people happen to see it, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s great too.” To make “One Hundred and Ten Degrees,” Skarritt relied on local television channels, weather updates on her iPad, and the Weather History page of the national weather website Weather.org for information about temperatures throughout the year. A project with daily discipline was good for her, she says, because she normally has about 30 or 40 projects going at once. “I go from one to the other, and they are really fun. However, half of them will never get finished. It keeps the mind active, but it’s really good to have a goal of some kind in mind — a deadline or a limitation.” She says the modern quilt world and the art quilt world both allow for individual freedom, and that’s always been high on her priority list. When asked how many quilts she’s made, she gasps, then says, “Oh, my gosh! I have no idea. Hundreds.” Skarritt works in her finished basement, designed specifically as an art studio six years ago when she and her husband, also once a Bangor Public Schools teacher, moved back to Kalamazoo, when they retired.
Writing, collaging, quilting While it isn’t a prerequisite for picking up the art form, most people who get into quilting have been sewing since childhood or at least early adulthood, when something about fabric piqued their interest and they were drawn to learning how to play with it. Thisbe Nissen, associate professor of English at Western Michigan University, author of two novels and a collection of short stories, and co-author of a cookbook
Quilt blocks become silver jewelry In the fall of 2012, jewelry business owner Karla Piper was still looking for her niche. The former merchant marine and Vicksburg resident wanted to market her Siesta Silver Jewelry line to women over 30 with disposable incomes and who liked nice things, but so far Piper had not been successful. Then, after exhibiting her wares at the Lawton Country Quilters Quilt Show that only 195 people attended, she realized she had found them: quilters. “They’re so nice!” she says. Piper went home and, with her mother, who is a quilter, brainstormed how to capture that market. Inspired by the Vicksburg Quilt Trail in her hometown, Piper designed jewelry featuring textured blocks from historic quilt patterns available in the public domain, like the Dresden Plate. She sold her first quilt block jewelry to enthusiastic buyers at the Marshall Stitches in Time Quilt Show in March 2013. More than 60 quilting-related stores across the U.S. and Canada now sell Siesta Silver Jewelry, which features 11 quilt block patterns in sterling silver variations like rings, pendants, bracelet charms, and quilt pins. Piper designs all her jewelry and has it made through a business liaison in Taxco, Mexico, a city known for its silver deposits and jewelry artisans. In addition to being carried by stores, Piper sells her jewelry online and at quilting shows across the country. She spends 7—10 days each month traveling to shows and alternates travel schedules with her husband, Mark, a training manager for Packers Sanitation Services, to accommodate their two teenage sons. Piper says she loves meeting new customers and seeing the people who knew her at the beginning of her business. “With the vendors, it’s like a circus family,” she says. “You see the same people at different places.” The shows are all-day affairs Piper attends with the help of her mom and sometimes a family friend. “It’s fun, it’s just a lot of work,”
Karla Piper, above, has found success with her quilt block silver jewelry, such as the Lemoyne Star pattern pendant and earrings at left.
Piper says, but boasts that she has whittled packing her van with inventory and signage down to a 20-minute science. Piper’s jewelry appeared as a “Fabulous Find” in the November 2013 issue of American Quilter, causing the demand for her jewelry to explode. Members of Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters, a guild with more than 250 members including Piper, kept requesting she make a special Log Cabin block until Piper created it for them. Piper periodically “retires” block patterns to keep things fresh and because, she says, “If you don’t have new items, people are going to pass by.” This summer, Piper will give any jewelry she is retiring to an organization called Quilters Dream Batting that gives quilts to people diagnosed with ALS. And she’ll be back out on the road, selling at quilt shows. “You have to go to these markets to create that buzz,” she says. “It’s imperative.” So far, her plan seems to be working. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 21
A former police officer, Mike Thompson, above, finds quilting therapeutic, especially making Quilts of Valor, pictured behind him and at left, which he creates for military veterans.
made of stories and art collages, grew up in New York City, where she loved going every Sunday to a flea market in a schoolyard on Columbus Avenue. “There were people who sold old, traditional quilts, and I loved them,” says Nissen, now a resident of Battle Creek. Her parents bought a 1940s Kentucky quilt as a special present, and, though it has come apart, Nissen tries to use pieces of it in other projects, such as quilts she makes as wedding presents and baby presents for friends. “Writing, collaging and quilting all feel like the same thing,” she says. “I collect bits of stuff in the world that interest me, whether I’m cutting it out of magazines or noting details of things I pass, and I see what might go together.” But this requires time, she says. “It requires time to stew with things, to hang out with those materials, those anecdotes, those clippings, and see how they might come together.” 22 | Encore JULY 2016
As a teen, Nissen taught herself to sew, first by hand and then on a Singer machine bought at auction for $5. After inking a two-book deal and living on its spoils in rural Iowa, she finally went out and bought a new sewing machine at Walmart, a $150 model she still sews on today. “I had been trying to quilt for a long time, but … I’m a perfectionist in some ways, but not that way,” she says. “I don’t have the patience for measuring and lines and perfect anything.” Then, in the fall of 2005, she went to the MacDowell Colony, in Peterborough, New Hampshire, for an artist’s residency and met a woman who introduced herself as an improvisational quilter. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what that is, but I love you and am going to follow you around now,’” says Nissen. The woman was Sherri Lynn Wood, author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters and creator of daintytime.net, a website dedicated to modern quilting and craft therapy. “What Sherri did was give me the license to quilt,” Nissen says. “I just thought, ‘I will never be a quilter because you have to be perfect and do all the cutting.’ But Sherri was like, ‘No you don’t. Here.’” She ripped a piece of fabric by hand to show Nissen how she could make cuts without caution.
Relief from PTSD Some people, though, find freedom in the structure of traditional quilting. One of those is Mike Thompson, a retired police officer from Osceola, Indiana, who drives over an hour to Kalamazoo to buy fabric at the family-owned and -operated Quilts Plus, on Stadium Drive. “Most men resist getting dragged into fabric stores,” Thompson says, but he admits he likes poking around when he travels with his wife, who also quilts. He makes Quilts of Valor, a specific style of quilt that often features red, white and blue fabrics or star patterns and is intended for veterans and active military personnel. He also makes quilts with Civil War themes and gives all of his quilts away to family or friends. The giving, he says, is a big part of the pleasure of making the quilts. “I think there’s a stigma against men quilting,” he says. “A lot of my friends, when they found out what I was doing, they kind of cocked an eye at me. Of course, a lot of my friends are policemen, and they go, ‘Really?’ I go, ‘You oughta try it sometime.’” Thompson, who now works part time as a court security guard, would not have stumbled onto quilting before retirement but, once retired, needed something to fill his time. “What some people don’t realize,” he says, “(is that) when police officers retire, especially after a long career, we suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the things we see.” For many years Thompson’s job was to investigate child abuse. “It doesn’t get much worse than that,” he says. After he retired, he started having nightmares. “I found myself just dwelling on things.” But then he bought a kit for a quilt he liked and asked his wife to make it for him. He ended up making most of the quilt himself over one weekend and discovered that quilting kept him from thinking about anything else. “Quilting takes one hundred percent of my concentration to do it right,” says Thompson. “Especially with these Quilts of Valor going to very deserving people, I’m going to give them the best of my effort.” After he started quilting, the bad dreams and thoughts stopped. “I don’t know how many cops you can say are mentally sound,” he says, “but I guess my happy place — if you want to call it that — I contribute a lot of my happy place to quilting.”
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Anthony Dugal Photography
K-College prof offers insights into music, film and psychology story by
hen Kalamazoo College Professor of Psychology Siu-Lan Tan got a call from the World Science Foundation in 2013, the foundation official had two requests. First, the foundation was asking permission to present Tan’s research on how music shapes film narratives during a panel discussion hosted by Alec Baldwin and the Coen Brothers at its annual World Science Festival. Then Tan was asked if she would blog about her research on the festival’s website. Without hesitation, Tan said, “Sure.” She then called her sister, who is 12 years younger, and asked, “What 'exactly' is a blog?” “This was two years ago,” Tan recalls. “They said they would send the link out by Twitter feed, so I asked my sister, ‘What is Twitter feed?’ She had to explain all of this stuff to me.” Now the 52-year-old author of two books, Psychology of Music: From Sound to Significance and The Psychology of Music in Multimedia, blogs for Psychology Today, where she writes a popular column called “What Shapes Film?” Infant emotional development, indie music videos and baby polar bears are just a few of the subjects covered in her column. Tan, whose first name is pronounced either “SYOO-lahn” or “SHOE-lahn,” depending on which of her parents you ask, blogs about viral videos and analyzes film through the lens of two fields nearest and dearest to her heart: child development and the psychology of music. Sometimes Tan combines insights from both fields. One of her most popular posts, “Why Does This Baby Cry When Her Mother Sings?” explains why the baby in a viral video cries when her mother sings a particular song. Tan’s explanation in her blog post is that the baby might be mirroring the emotive face of her off-camera mother. The post has been read nearly 90,000 times. As if achieving wild success in a medium she was once only dimly aware of isn’t enough, last August a team of Emmy Award-winning journalists and producers flew from Los Angeles to Kalamazoo to interview Tan for SCORE: A Film Music Documentary. The movie, slated to be released in November, will feature interviews with Hollywood composers Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman and Randy Newman and director James Cameron alongside footage of Tan, who was chosen to participate because of her expertise in the psychology of film music. Kalamazoo College professor Sui-Lan Tan has become an expert on the psychology of film music.
In addition to her involvement in what she says is “a ground-breaking film on film music,” in 2012 Tan received the Lucasse Award, Kalamazoo College’s honor for excellence in teaching. And she’s been quoted on websites and in publications from BuzzFeed to the Oxford University Press. When does this woman sleep? And, more importantly, how did she get to this point in her life, when things as disparate as orchestral music, Hollywood film scores and a baby’s emotive face make sense to her? Tan was born in Bondu, Indonesia, and when asked how she came to Kalamazoo, she laughs and says, “I kept venturing into new worlds that I was not prepared for.” When Tan was 4, her family moved to Hong Kong, which at the time was still a British colony. Because the Tans didn’t speak English or the Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong, Siu-Lan entered British school on probation, eventually learning English. At home, her family spoke Indonesian and Dutch. Tan still speaks with a faint British accent. It sounds more like a hypersensitivity to correct pronunciation than anything else, but it gives her speech an elegance that matches her ideas. “Hong Kong was a completely new environment for me,” she says. “I had to grow into the language, the culture, the whole school system. It was very different from what my parents had experienced, so if I asked for help with homework, the answer was, ‘Oh, we didn’t do it that way.’” Tan says that school experience still resonates with her now that she is a college professor. “I know what it’s like to not know what’s going on in the classroom,” she says. “It’s really important for me to look for those students who are lost.” At 19, Tan moved to California to study music as an international student. “We used to call it 'foreign student' back then,” she says, laughing. She said goodbye to her parents at the airport in Hong Kong not knowing when she would see them again. After earning a bachelor’s degree in music education and an associate degree in piano pedagogy at Pacific Union College, Tan fell in love with psychology. The transition from studying the arts to studying psychology challenged her. “In music, intuition is really important,” she
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Above: Tan says her husband, Danny Kim, pictured with her, is “like 10 people to me. ” Right: Tan has authored two books on the psychology of music.
says. “It informs the expressivity of what you put into a piece. When it comes to psychology, intuition is just the beginning of the story.” Psychology, which requires a systematic testing of hypotheses according to rules of research, wasn’t easy for Tan at first. But her father, who is in his 80s and still lives in Hong Kong with her mother, was an electrical engineer before he retired. Rigorously structured learning was part of Tan’s background, although she didn’t tap into that type of learning until early adulthood. Interestingly, Tan’s mother played music and ran a kindergarten. “She’s very artistic,” Tan says. In 1990, Tan reconnected with her college sweetheart, Danny Kim, and married him shortly thereafter. They had been apart for six years, during which time Tan began doctoral studies in psychology at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. In 1992, she transferred to Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., to be near Kim and in 1998 earned a doctorate in psychology there. Tan says despite her new academic credentials, she was still determined to hold onto her own artistic path, especially her love of music. “When I left Hong Kong, I didn’t want to say, ‘OK, I’m going to replace myself and be an American and forget where I was from.’ The same thing happened when I went to psychology. It was really important for me to say, ‘Don’t lose the music. Don’t lose that artistic instinct, that creativity.’” The combination of creativity and structure is what Tan is most passionate about in her work with her students, especially in a developmental psychology class at Kalamazoo College, where she teaches students that imagination is essential for a healthy society.
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“Reading and mathematics are very important,” Tan says, “but if all children are doing is memorizing and pattern recognition and they lose their imagination, you are cultivating people who lack the creativity to become innovators, to grow up and produce ideas.” She relates a story her mother often tells about Siu-Lan’s childhood in which the young girl would line up her stuffed animals, prop a chalkboard and a clock in front of them, and lecture the animals for hours about how to tell time. “Imagination is such an important aspect of childhood not to lose,” Tan says. “How to read a certain language is not a natural thing to know to do, but this other thing (imagination), the child comes into the world with, so it’s not like we have to teach it. We just have to keep it alive.” Tan calls her various projects “potato printings,” as if the life of an academic is not too different from the projects she facilitates with local elementary students through a program called Playground Crew. The program, which was created by Tan with students in her developmental psychology class, pairs college students with elementary school recess groups to study how a child’s play is actually a child’s work.
The Co-Authorship Project
Such projects with local elementary students are pivotal in Tan’s work. She also runs The Co-Authorship Project, a program she founded in her first year of teaching at Kalamazoo College 17 years ago. The project matches Kalamazoo College students with elementary students at Woodward School for Technology and Research in Kalamazoo to write books together, producing one-ofa-kind, hand-bound literary gems such as Fufu the Lawyer Wizard Dog, Save the Drama for Your Mama and How to Make a Banana Milkshake, a how-to book that opens with the line “Borrow your grandma’s blender.” Last year Tan’s husband, a video producer and documentary filmmaking instructor at Kalamazoo College, directed a full-length documentary about The Co-Authorship Project called Stories We Tell. Kim worked on the film for two years, editing 80 hours of footage while keeping editorial decisions separate from Tan so she wouldn’t influence its shape. “My husband is a huge part of my life,” Tan says about her 31year marriage. “We collaborate. We edit each other’s work. We met in
creative writing class. We both love words and everything about performing.” “He’s like 10 people to me,” she says.
The student within
Tan starts her days listening to “Rey’s Theme,” from the Star Wars movie The Force Awakens, which accompanies the character Rey, a tough young woman with an active moral compass and a task to bring missing intelligence to the good guys in the movie. It seems fitting. During her sabbatical this year, Tan is working on six publishing contracts: One is a book, three are book chapters, and two are research articles. Her students confirm the layers of preparation that go into Tan’s work. She has three research assistants who will be credited in the published books they are helping to create. Tan sends them chapters she is revising, and they tell her what they think. Christina Dandar, a sophomore psychology major who is one of Tan’s research assistants, says she appreciates the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how books are made. “It’s cool to see how I affect the chapter,” Dandar says. “The input I have actually makes a difference in what Dr. Tan writes about.” The words Tan uses to describe her assistants could easily sum up Tan herself: dynamic, curious, bright, talented and very different. But Tan’s focus is rarely on herself. Instead it is always on what she is learning. “I love these women,” she says of her research assistants. “I couldn’t do this sabbatical without them. They are picking apart everything I’m doing and giving me feedback on how to do it better. It’s fun because usually the tables are turned, but now they’re guiding me.” Despite all her accomplishments, Tan says disappointments hit her hard. If she does something and it doesn’t go as planned, it stings, she says. But then “I just say to myself, ‘Something else will come through, and I’ll do a better job at that.’” In other words, Tan doesn’t scrutinize the events of her past, a trait that is interesting for an expert in the fields of child development and psychology. “Mainly, I am moving forward,” she says. “Maybe I should be more analytical, but I think I just tend to move forward.”
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Artist runs a farm, studios, galleries â€” and a coffee shop, too Kara Norman
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One year when Dawn Soltysiak was a child, she received a
dollhouse to build for Christmas, and her father got a gun. They sat in their family room together while he carved the stock of his gun and she glued together her little dollhouse. Her father, a short-distance truck driver for UPS, was creative in ways she didn’t understand then. He fished and hunted, taught his children to skin deer and grind meat, and was always busy making something if he wasn’t at work. But he told his daughter, “You can’t do art for a living. You do art because you want to do it.” Soltysiak, who is 47, tells this story clutching a mug of hot coffee, one of the thousands of mugs
she now makes for a living in her Fennville pottery studio and art gallery, Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm. Ignoring the advice of almost everyone in her life, Soltysiak left a successful real estate career in Grand Rapids 16 years ago to open Khnemu on a farm she and her husband bought. Named after the Egyptian god often depicted as a ram-headed figure at a potter’s wheel, Khnemu sells locally made, handcrafted artisan wares, including Soltysiak’s own work, and offers classes, workshops and special events. The studio and gallery run on solar power, and a plethora of farm animals, from horses and llamas to peacocks and free-range chickens, wander the farm's fields. Like the crops and animals the farm nurtures, Khnemu has grown enough that two years ago Soltysiak launched a satellite studio and gallery called Fernwood 1891, located in downtown Fennville. Fernwood Farm, located in Fennville, provides studio space, crops, animals and other amenities to support Dawn Soltysiak’s many enterprises. Below, pottery created by Soltysiak.
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Clockwise from top left: Fernwood 1981 carries a variety of artisan wares including pottery by Soltysiak and other artists; Sheba, a llama at the farm; Root Coffee House, Café & Bakery sells locally made products as well as coffee; an interior view of Root; and Dawn with her dogs, Chloe (left) and Riley.
But she wasn’t finished. Last May, next to Fernwood 1891, Soltysiak opened Root Coffee House, Café & Bakery, where she sells smallbatch roasted coffee in mugs she handcrafted and rustic food she grows or gets from other local farms. “Michigan really is ahead of the curve when it comes to the farm-to-table movement,” she says. “It’s because we have such a diverse farm industry, with everything from soybeans to corn to vineyards to fruits to vegetables to dairy.” Soltysiak grew up in Rockford, north of Grand Rapids. Her grandparents had a vegetable farm where she and her three siblings worked in the summer months. The family grew 50 acres by hand and sold their vegetables at a farmer’s market three times a week. Soltysiak’s mother was a ceramics hobby artist who worked out of the family’s garage, teaching classes five days a week. That’s where Soltysiak began working with slip-cast ceramics, pouring liquid clay into molds, when she was 2. Fast-forward several decades to 2000, when Soltysiak’s husband, Rob, a physician, took a new job near Fennville. The couple looked at the 1890s Fernwood Farm estate as a possible home, but Soltysiak, who had been doing ceramics as a hobby for five years, didn’t see the property as a viable option given her real estate career in Grand Rapids.
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If you go… Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm 6322 113th Ave., Fennville Open May 1–Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday Khnemu hosts visiting artist workshops and offers classes by appointment More info: (269) 236-9260 or KhnemuStudio.com
Fernwood 1891 120 E. Main St., Fennville Open May–October, 1–9 p.m. Sunday–Friday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Saturday Winter hours begin in November; check website for schedule More info: (269) 512-1171 or Fernwood1891.com
Root Coffee House, Café & Bakery 120 E. Main St., Fennville Open 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. daily More info: (269) 512-1171 or RootFennville.com
“Why buy your dream house if it’s just going to sit in front of you, and you can’t make the dream a reality?” she says. “I told my husband, ‘I don’t want to live here if I can’t do what I want to do with it.’” He responded, “Well, you smile more when you play with your clay. It might be time for you to walk away.” And while plenty of other people thought she was crazy, she did walk away, making the leap from selling real estate to working as an artist and entrepreneur. She runs all four of her businesses — Khnemu, Fernwood 1891, Root Coffee House and the farm — in what she calls “a quasi coop” format, giving employees access to the pottery studio and discounts on consignment commissions. There’s a small pottery studio in the front corner of Fernwood 1891, so employees can work during a slow shift. “People want to see artists working,” Soltysiak says. “They’re totally happy with someone sitting there working on things as they shop.” Nearly 70 “makers,” as Soltysiak calls them, many of whom she has known most of her life, sell their work at Khnemu and Fernwood 1891. One can find every decorative and functional piece of ceramic art imaginable at the galleries, from mugs with chickens on them to sculptures, ornaments and striking wall hangings with owl faces. Soaps, paintings, mixed-media work, furniture, jewelry,
notecards and books are among the other products sold at the galleries. Also available are artisan foods like salsa and dried pasta. Fernwood 1891 even carries bread from Salt of the Earth, the popular Fennville restaurant two doors down. Nature is a common theme in much of the art, as it is in Soltysiak’s life. The mugs for Root are imprinted with an image of a tree and the café’s slogan, “Feel Grounded.” Earth tones mix seamlessly with elegant, rustic touches inside the coffee house. An antique upright piano holds the cream and sugar, while menu boards are fashioned from screen doors. Still, the life of an artist and entrepreneur is not the misty-eyed dream some people might think. “People say to me, ‘You have such a romantic life,’” Soltysiak says. “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘If you had any idea … .’” Khnemu’s website says Soltysiak “enjoys a live/work lifestyle.” When asked what this means, she says, “My life is work!” She laughs, but she’s half-serious. “A lot of people would sit on my porch and all they would see is a bunch of unfinished projects, or a bunch of work,” she says. “I find flaws in everything that I do, and I can choose to let them stop me or move me forward. You know, the journey is the heart of things. The goal is …” She stops talking and flicks her hand, then says, “If I reached my goal, I’d be bored.”
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New Edition — Reunion tour of the R&B vocal boy band, 7 p.m. July 17, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. PERFORMING ARTS THEATER Plays Pirates of the Amazon — Youth production about the adventures of Captain Jenny Silver and a band of pirates, 5:30 p.m. July 6–8, 3:30 p.m. July 9–10, Kindleberger Park, Parchment, 504-615-5474. The Colored Museum — Face Off Theatre Company presents this George C. Wolfe play exploring prominent themes of African-American culture, 7 p.m. July 15, Epic Theatre, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 349-1035. Musicals Guys and Dolls — Broadway musical about gamblers, gangsters and showgirls, 8 p.m. July 1–2, 5 p.m. July 3, Barn Theatre, 13351 West M-96, Augusta, 731-4121. Until the Stars Fall — Edgar Lee Masters' poetry examining small-town, early 20thcentury American life, accompanied by music of the era, 8 p.m. July 1–2, 8–9, 15–16 & 22–23, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. Jesus Christ Superstar — A rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, 8 p.m. July 5–8 & 12– 15, 5 p.m. July 9–10 & 16–17, 8:30 p.m. July 9 & 16, Barn Theatre, 731-4121. Brigadoon — Lerner and Loewe's musical about a magical village in Scotland, 7 p.m. July 6–8, 5 p.m. July 9–10, Kindleberger Park, Parchment, 504-6155474. The Addams Family: The Musical — Center Stage Theatre presents a musical about a ghoulish American family with an affinity for the macabre, 7:30 p.m. July 15–16 & 22–23, 2 p.m. July 17 & 24, Comstock Community Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St., 348-SHOW. Monty Python's Spamalot — Farmers Alley Theatre production about King Arthur and the bumbling Knights of the Round Table, 8 p.m. July 15–16, 22–23 & 29–30; 2 p.m. July 17, 24 & 31; 7:30 p.m. July 21 & 28, Little Theatre, 798 Oakland Drive, 343-2727. The Little Mermaid — Disney's love story of the mermaid Ariel and a human prince, 8 p.m. July 19–22 & 25–29; 5 p.m. July 23–24 & 30–31, 8:30 p.m. July 23 & 30, Barn Theatre, 731-4121. MUSIC Bands & Solo Artists Retro Pop Shuffle — Jazz/pop band, 7–9 p.m. July 1, Arcadia Ales, 701 E. Michigan Ave., 276-0440. 32 | Encore JULY 2016
The Ragbirds — Ann Arbor-based indie/pop band, 9 p.m. July 1, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. That Freak Quincy — Kalamazoo-based band with Chicago's Genome, 8:30 p.m. July 2, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Soul-Filled Sundays — Edge of Midnight, pop, rock and blues cover duo, 5–7 p.m. July 3; Double Strung, three-piece acoustic band, 4–6 p.m. July 10; FlyliteGemini with Joe Chamberlin, folk, rock and blues, 6–8 p.m. July 17; ByJr, funk/soul trio, 5–7 p.m. July 24; Sydney Burnham, rock and blues singer, 5–7 p.m. July 31, Arcadia Ales, 276-0440. Gun Lake Live Summer Series — Tony Fields, July 6; Brena, July 13; Dueling Pianos, July 20; The Vintage Band, July 27; all concerts 6–10 p.m., Lakefront Pavilion, Bay Pointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, 888-486-5253. Live Music at Arcadia Ales — Steve Pesch, guitarist, July 6; The Sam Pilnick Project, modern acoustic jazz collective, July 13; The Brass Rail, local brass quintet, July 20; all shows 7–9 p.m., Arcadia Ales, 276-0440. Here Come the Mummies — Nashville-based funk band, 8 p.m. July 7, Bell's Eccentric Café, 3822332. Laith Al-Saadi — Blues and R&B vocalist/guitarist who performed on The Voice, 7 p.m. July 9, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Downtown Music Jam — 5:30–9 p.m. July 13, parking lot at 300 E. Water St., 388-2830. Music Hop — Live music in multiple Kalamazoo venues, 6–9 p.m. July 15; see schedule at themusichop.com.
Room Full of Elephants — Roots/rock group, 9–11 p.m. July 23, Arcadia Ales, 276-0440. Megan Dooley — Concerts in the Park series presents the American roots musician, 4 p.m. July 24, Bronson Park, 342-5059. Summerland Tour — Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit and Sponge perform rock, alternative and pop classics, July 27, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 345-1125. Brett Dennen — Californian singer/songwriter, 9 p.m. July 29, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Schlitz Creek — Concerts in the Park series presents the bluegrass band, 4 p.m. July 31, Bronson Park, 342-5059. Chamber, Jazz & More Air National Guard Band of the Midwest — Concerts in the Park series presents the Concert Band, Harmony in Blue jazz ensemble and Permanent Party rock band, 7 p.m. July 1, Homer Stryker Field, 251 Mills St., 342-5059. The Glenn Miller Band — Big band and jazz, 6:30 p.m. July 5, Overlander Bandshell, 7800 Shaver Road, Portage, 329-4522. Thursdays in the Park Live! — Jazz, food trucks and recreational activities, 5–8 p.m. July 14 & 28, Bronson Park, 337-8191. Crescendo Academy of Music — Part of the Concerts in the Park series, 4 p.m. July 17, Bronson Park, 342-5059. Forté Handbell Quartet — Colorado Springs-based advanced handbell quartet, 7 p.m. July 17, Portage United Church of Christ, 2731 W. Milham Ave., 327-3114. VISUAL ARTS
Mold with Reptilian and Odd Dates — 9 p.m. July 15, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775
May Erlewine — The singer's new EP release show, 9 p.m. July 16, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332.
Madcat Midnight Blues Journey with Peter "Madcat" Ruth — Part of the Music in the Park Summer Concert Series, with hands-on art activities at 4:30 p.m., concert at 5:30 p.m. July 17, Flesher Field, 3664 S. Ninth St., Oshtemo, www. pattiflemingmusic.com.
Barbara Takenaga: Waiting in the Sky II — A collection of abstract paintings by a prominent contemporary artist, through Sept. 18.
Kindleberger Summer Concert Series — Who Hit John?, bluegrass group, July 17; Jersey: The Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band, July 24; Barn on Fire, Americana/folk rock band, July 31; all shows 6:30 p.m., The Stage at Kindleberger Park, Parchment, 504-615-5474.
2016 West Michigan Area Show — Juried exhibition of work in all media, through July 10.
Eternal Beauty: Egg Tempera Paintings by Fred Wessel — Fifteen of Wessel’s realist portraits, through Oct. 2. Reaching into Infinity: Chul Hyun Ahn — Sculptures by the Korean artist, July 2–Nov. 6. Renee Stout: Tales of the Conjure Woman — The artist explores African cultural traditions in contemporary America, July 23–Oct. 23.
Movies Under the Stars — Watch Big Hero 6, 8:30– 10:30 p.m. July 21, Oshtemo Township Park, 7275 ARTbreak — A weekly program about art, artists W. Main St., 553-7980. and exhibitions: James Turrell and Jenny Holzer, video, July 5; Narcissism Before the Selfie: How Olympic Spotlight: Rugby — Andrew Gyorkos of Portraiture Drove the Economics of the Day, a the Kalamazoo Rugby Football Club discusses the discussion with A.J. Hartman, July 12; The Man history of rugby, 6 p.m. July 25, Eastwood Branch, Who Invented Motion Pictures and Got Away with 1112 Gayle, 553-7810. Murder, a BBC film about photographer Eadweard Powell Book Discussion Group — A discussion of Muybridge, July 19; Miriam Schapiro and Feminist Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive, by Art, with Gwen Raaberg, July 26; all sessions begin T.D. Jakes, 6 p.m. July 26, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 at noon, KIA Auditorium. W. Paterson Ave., 553-7960; registration required. July Art Hop: WMAS People's Choice Award — 5–8 Olympic Spotlight: Rowing — Learn about the p.m. July 8, West Michigan Area Show People's Choice history and craft of rowing, 6:30 p.m. July 26, Award winner announced at 6 p.m. Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St., 553-7980. Thursday Evenings — The Poisoner by Chris Hefner, Portage District Library film, July 14; Tim Terrentine, Denise Willhite and The 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 Soul Experience, music of the '70s and '80s, July 28, LEGO City Returns! — See a city made of LEGOs by both events at 6:30 p.m. the Western Michigan LEGO Train Club, July 5–9. Get the Picture: "Sleeping Men and Excavation" by Richard Wilt — A discussion with Michelle Top Shelf Reads — A young professionals' book group discussion, 7 p.m. July 11, Latitude 42 Stempien, noon July 21. Brewing Co., 7342 Portage Road, 585-8711. Reception with the Artists — Meet exhibition artists Renee Stout and Fred Wessel, 5:30–7:30 p.m. July 21. Lights! Camera! Murder! — Solve a murder during a night of secrets, celebrities and scandal, 7–9 p.m. Other Venues July 22. American Society of Aviation Artists International Must Be 21+: Game, Doodle, Color — Hang out and Juried Exhibition — Aerospace art collection in oil, play some games, 7 p.m. July 25. watercolor, gouache and mixed media, through July 25, James C. Westin Gallery, Arts Council of Other Venues Greater Kalamazoo, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite Black Ash Basket-Weaving Class — Kelly Church 203, 732-940-1646. demonstrates how to weave a round-bottom Art Hop — Local artists and musicians at various basket, 5:30–7:30 p.m. July 13, Comstock Township Library, 6130 King Highway, 345-0136. venues in Kalamazoo, 5–8 p.m. July 8, 342-5059. A Field Guide to Wonder — Georgia Donovan’s work features cut paper pieces and oil paintings, July 2–Aug. 30; artist’s reception 2–4 p.m. July 17, Kalamazoo Nature Center, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574.
MUSEUMS Air Zoo 6151 Portage Road, 382-6555
POPnology — Hands-on exhibit of pop culture's impact on technology, through Oct. 2, Air Zoo, Plein Air Artists of West Michigan Paint-Out 6151 Portage Road, 382-6555. — Artists paint outdoors in natural light on Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy preserves, Gilmore Car Museum 9 a.m. July 9, Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089 Haven Township; 9 a.m. July 23, Wau-Ke-Nau, Kalamazoo's Insane Inflatable 5K — An obstacle William Erby Smith Preserve, Ganges Township, course filled with large and extreme inflatables, Allegan County, 324-1600. 8:30–11:30 a.m. July 9. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS
"Deutsche Marques": A German Auto Event — Featuring "daily drivers" to "weekend treasures," Kalamazoo Public Library including BMW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Market Saturdays @ The Square — Enjoy healthy Volkswagen, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 9. smoothies made by the Fresh Food Fairy and her bike blender, 10 a.m. July 9, Washington Square Mad Dogs & Englishmen British Auto Faire XXVI — British-made vehicles, including the MGA and TVR, Branch, 1244 Portage St., 553-7970. People's Choice judging, car games and bagpipers, Zen Journaling Meditative Art — Create beautiful 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 10. images by drawing structured patterns with Carrie Dunn, 6 p.m. July 20, Washington Square Branch, MOPARS Show & Swap Meet — West Michigan's largest all-Chrysler products car show, 9 a.m.–3 553-7970; registration required. p.m. July 30.
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Events encore Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990
Birds and Coffee Walk — A morning bird walk and discussion over coffee, 9–10:30 a.m. July 13.
Fares and Squares: The History of Checker Motors — Explore the company's history and a 1923 taxi from the Gilmore Car Museum, through Aug. 21.
Hummingbird Banding Demonstration — Brenda and Rich Keith of the Kalamazoo River Valley Bird Observatory demonstrate banding, 6:30–8:30 p.m. July 19.
LEGO Travel Adventure — Use LEGOs to think creatively and build vehicles, through Sept. 11. Photography and Poetry by Colin Overhiser of Captured Photography — An interactive experience of photography and poetry, 5–8:30 p.m. July 8. Art Hop Musical Artists: The Mushmen and Brotha James — 6–8:30 p.m. July 8. Magic of the Otherworld — A journey through imaginary vistas, set to harp music, 8 p.m. July 8 & 1 p.m. July 20, Planetarium. Wildest Weather in the Solar System — Take an imaginary spacecraft to explore weather on other planets, 1 p.m. July 13, Planetarium. NATURE Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574 Forest Discovery Hike — Hike in the Beech Maple Forest, 2 p.m. July 10. Golf Cart Tour: DeLano Woods — Tour the woods looking for birds and other animals, 4 p.m. July 11, DeLano Homestead, 555 West E Ave.; registration required. Annual Butterfly Count — Join the North American Butterfly Association/Michigan Butterfly Network butterfly count in Kalamazoo County, 1 p.m. July 16. Tree ID Hike — Take a short hike to identify trees by examining leaves and bark, 2 p.m. July 17. Golf Cart Tour: Emma Pitcher Tallgrass Prairie — Tour the prairie looking for flowers and birds, 4 p.m. July 25; registration required. Boomers and Beyond: Michigan Butterfly Network — Learn about butterfly data collection and current butterfly population trends, 11 a.m.– 1 p.m. July 26. Moth Night — An evening trek through the woods, 9:30 p.m. July 28, Heronwood Field Station, 6378 Hart Drive; registration required.
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute 701 W. Cloverdale Road, Hastings, 721-4190 July Dinner & Program — Highlighting local summer produce with presentations by student researchers, 5 p.m. dinner, 6 p.m. program, July 10. Moth Watch — Join John Wilterding, professor at Olivet College, in looking for moths and learning about their life histories, 10–11:30 p.m. July 12. Bracelets & Beer Fundraiser — Try your hand at metalsmithing, drink beer and eat appetizers, 5–8 p.m. July 23. Lunch and Learn: The Past, Present, and Future of Prairies in Michigan — Tyler Bassett, doctoral candidate at Michigan State University, discusses Michigan's prairies, 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. July 29. Mushroom Hike — Hike with Philip Tedeschi of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club to identify mushrooms, 9–11:30 a.m. July 30. FESTIVALS Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival — Hot-air balloon launches, night balloon illumes and fireworks, through July 4, W.K. Kellogg Airport, 15551 S. Airport Road, Battle Creek, 9620592.
Kalamazoo Night Market — Food and other vendors with music, games, beer and wine, 6–10 p.m. July 2, and every third Thursday June-Sept., Kalamazoo Farmers' Market, 1204 Bank St., 359-6727. Fitness in the Parks — Free exercise program, 9–10 a.m. Saturdays, through Aug. 13, Upjohn Park, 1000 Walter St., 337-8191. Lunchtime Live! — Food trucks, vendors and live music: Kris Hitchcock, July 1; Kaitlin Rose, July 8; Mark Sala, July 15; Scott Davis, July 22; That Freak Quincy, July 29, 11:30–1:30 p.m. Bronson Park, 337-8191. Walking Tour Series: Downtown Kalamazoo Breweries — Learn about the local beer culture, noon–4:45 p.m. July 2 & 23, starting at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, 211 E. Water St.; July 9 & 30, starting at Central City Tap House, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall; July 16, starting at Shakespeare's Pub, 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave.; July 31, starting at Old Burdick's Bar & Grill, 100 W. Michigan Ave., 350-4598. Portage Farmers' Market — Noon–4 p.m. July 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, Portage Senior Center, 320 Library Lane, 359-6727. Light Up the Lake Fireworks — Fireworks synchronized to music over Lake Michigan, 10:35 p.m. July 3, South Haven, 269-637-5252. 100-Mile Farmers' Market — Fresh food from local farms, 3–7 p.m. July 6, 13, 20 & 27, People's Food Co-op, 507 Harrison St., 359-6727.
Kalamazoo Blues Festival — Local, regional and national blues performers, 5 p.m.–12:30 a.m. July 7–8, noon–12:30 a.m. July 9, Arcadia Creek Festival Site, 145 E. Water St., 381-6514.
Michigan Antique Radio Club's Extravaganza '16 — A roadshow of radios and vintage electronics, 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. July 8, 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. July 9, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St., 734-316-2803.
BlackRock Medieval Fest — Jousting, live steel combat and six stages of live entertainment, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. July 9–10, 16–17, 23–24 & 30–31, Olde World Village, 13215 M-96, Augusta, 580-1290.
Salute to the Source Pond — Take a guided hike through DeLano Woods to the Source Pond, 2–4 p.m. July 31, DeLano Homestead, 555 West E Ave. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510
Black Arts Festival — July 11–17; see schedule at blackartskalamazoo.org.
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Kalamazoo Farmers' Market — 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Tues., Thurs. & Sat., through Oct. 27, Kalamazoo Farmers' Market, 1204 Bank St., 359-6727.
Kindleberger Summer Festival — Family musical production, youth play, 5K race, car show, parade, arts and crafts and children's activities, July 6–10; see schedule at kindleberger.org/festival.php.
Celery Flats Music Festival — Bluegrass and Americana music, noon–6 p.m. July 10, Celery Flats Historical Park, 7328 Garden Lane, Portage, 342-5059.
Poetry Nature Walk with Art Stewart — Stewart shares his poetry inspired by science, 7:30–9 p.m. July 12.
BTR Park Bike Race — A 1.1-mile circuit around WMU's Business Technology and Research Park, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. July 9, WMU's Parkview Campus, 387-2072. Gazelle Sports Historic Walks — Walking tours focusing on area history and architecture: Edison Neighborhood, 8 a.m. July 8, starting at Washington Elementary School; Parkwyn Village, 6:30 p.m. July 14, starting at Winchell Avenue and Parkwyn Drive; Downtown Kalamazoo: Business and Industry, 8 a.m. July 22, starting at Gazelle Sports; Vicksburg, 6:30 p.m., starting at Vicksburg District Library, 342-5996.
An occasion is a rare occasion Rare as a bloodbath in a barn. In our county, not one bloodbath in a barn, but a redbird in a birdbath is ho-hum. A field is ho-hum. A horizon is just a girl yawning at the edge of a field holding a long, curved stick. She remembers reading ho-hum in a book and it was odd to her though not odd enough to be an occasion. Rhubarb leaves
occasion. So many things burn that fires are in danger of becoming ho-hum. Only the strange fires count. The supermarket fire with its exploding
curling up out of the dirt in the spring are not an occasion. Things that happen on their own without help are ho-hum like popping out a baby but a baby shower
jar of pickles, the outdoor movie-screen fire. The firehouse fire. In our county clouds are bags heavy with empties gathered from parking lots of strip malls
is an occasion, a small occasion but it counts. There are cupcakes to be frosted blue and balloons to blow up with the breath of our own bodies though now
and shut-down pattern factories. Soon there will be enough to cash in. Soon the sky will rain quarters. Enough for bread and bologna
there are helium tanks. Have you sucked in enough? Did your voice sound high and strange? That is a miniature occasion, but then your voice goes back to its usual
and squares of American cheese and cereal shaped like stars. The milk in the bowl will go pink with the pinkness of the stars. That will be an occasion.
ragged self so in the end sucking helium is a temporary occasion. All occasions are temporary in our county. A silo in a field is ho-hum but if it burns it is a temporary
— Diane Seuss Seuss is writer-in-residence at Kalamazoo College and in April was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her poetry collection Four-Legged Girl (Graywolf Press, October 2015). This poem from that book was first published last spring in the poetry journal Court Green. ENCORE Events
Kalamazoo 4-H Open Horse Show — Over 65 classes for nearly every riding discipline, 8:30 a.m. July 9, 9 a.m. July 10, Horse Arenas, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 383-8778. Slide the City/Kalamazoo at WMU — A slipand-slide water party, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. July 9, West Michigan Avenue at Western Avenue, 801-494-3336. Spirit Series: Rum Tasting Class — Learn about origins, processes and styles of rum, 6–8 p.m. July 12, Food Dance, 401 E. Michigan Ave., 382-1888. Olde Tyme Tractor & Steamer Show — Threshing machines, antique cars and tractors, parade, flea market, crafts and demonstrations, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. July 15 & 16, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 17, Scotts Mill County Park, 8451 S. 35th St., Scotts, 223-0003. Movies in the Park: "Inside Out" — Family activities, 7 p.m.; movie begins at sunset, July 15, South Westnedge Park, 1101 S. Westnedge Ave., 337-8191.
Wings West Vendor and Craft Show — Christmas in July, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. July 16, Wings West, 5076 Sports Drive, 743-4218. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and exotic pets, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. July 16, Room A, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 779-9851. Antique Trade Tools Auction — Over 300 lots of antique and trade tools, 1 p.m. July 16, Tillers International, 10515 East OP Ave., Scotts, 800964-9036. Taste of Portage — Celebrate the history, restaurants, brewpubs and traditions of Portage, noon–10 p.m. July 18, Overlander Bandshell, 7800 Shaver Road, Portage, 388-2830.
Corks for Conservation — Help conserve endangered wildlife at a wine tasting with music, silent auction and live animal presentations, 6–10 p.m. July 29, Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek, 269979-1351. Surf and Turf Dinner on the Terrace — 6:30– 9:30 p.m. July 29, W.K. Kellogg Manor House, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, 671-2400. Ghosts of Kalamazoo Historic Tour — A walking tour delivering weird, haunted and historic stories of Kalamazoo, 6 p.m. July 30, starting at Rose and Academy streets in Bronson Park; see details at facebook.com/ghostsofkalamazoo.
Kalamazoo Restaurant Week — Downtown restaurants offer a fixed-price menu, July 23–30, 978-2167.
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BACK STORY (continued from page 38)
At the same time, I was starting a new role as the medical director of Bronson Children’s Hospital and coming to understand how to build a sustainable children’s hospital. Kalamazoo is different than most communities its size because of the breadth and depth of care our Children’s Hospital offers. At the same time, it is challenging to recruit specialty pediatric physicians to a children’s hospital of our size. Because of changes in health care reimbursement, Bronson is experiencing a shift where it is relying more on philanthropy to support programs that don't provide enough revenue to be sustainable. People think physicians are well-paid — and that’s a fact — but there’s a difference between the revenue a specialty care physician can generate from patients and what it costs to bring and maintain those highly trained people at the hospital. Somehow, to me, the idea of developing an endowment to support the specialized care the hospital provides and a longdistance hike were connected. They are both long-term journeys. How will your hike raise money? I have personally pledged $10 for every mile I hike, but this is as much about raising awareness of what it takes to sustain a highquality children’s hospital in our community. We want people to understand the impact they can have by helping us deliver the best care for kids.
When did you start the hike? This is the third summer. I hike about 200 miles, doing three or four segments of the trail each summer. I started at the MichiganOhio line, near Hillsdale. The whole North Country Trail is 4,600 miles, from North Dakota to Vermont, and the largest section is in Michigan. It’s 1,150 miles from Ohio through the Lower Peninsula and across the Upper Peninsula to Wisconsin. Did you train before you started? No, I’ve done remarkably little training (he laughs). Bill Bryson (author of A Walk in the Woods) would be proud. I don't carry a heavy pack. I have rain gear and snacks, and I filter water as I go. I also have a support team that picks me up on the trail at the end of the day. The next day I start back up at the spot I stopped. What kind of challenges have you met? Distance. Now, when I go to my next hike segment, it's a big deal because I have to get in the car and drive three or four hours or more to my starting place on the trail. The furthest start point is 14 hours away by car. I will probably fly into Marquette to do that section of the trail. What do you do when you aren’t hiking? My clinical role is as a pediatric hospitalist and I am part of the team that provides medical care for kids from birth to 18 years that have been admitted to the hospital. My other role is as medical director, which is about building and sustaining a children’s hospital that meets the needs of
the community. I work on developing new ways to provide care to meet patients’ needs. We know we can’t have every type of doctor that the kids in the community need so we’ve been creative and are using telemedicine to bring specialized expertise to the community through partnerships with University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital (in Ann Arbor), Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (in Grand Rapids) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. We help families so they get the care their child needs and can still be close to home. Have you had any surprises on your hikes? The whole experience of moving on foot through communities I know like Marshall, Battle Creek, East Grand Rapids and Rockford — the trail sort of winds through these communities — gives you a very different perspective of them. You see things walking that you’d never notice otherwise. What do you think about out on the trail? I am a pretty introverted person, and what recharges me is that personal time when I can slow down, reflect and focus on projects at home and work. But sometimes I don’t think about anything. I am just enjoying being in the woods and putting one more mile behind me. You can follow Lane-Davies’ hike or donate to the Pediatric Specialists Endowment at bronsonhealth.com/bronsonhealth-foundation
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Medical Director Bronson Children's Hospital
Aaron Lane-Davies is hiking for his
hospital. To be more specific, Lane-Davies has embarked on a multi-year, 1,100mile hike through Michigan to develop and maintain the Pediatric Specialists Endowment at the hospital. The purpose of the endowment is to recruit and sustain pediatric specialists so children who need specialized care can remain close to home. It was launched in 2014 by Lane-Davies, who is also Bronson Methodist Hospital’s chief of staff. Last month he reached the 500-mile mark on his quest, but he notes that, like his efforts to build the endowment, there’s still a long path ahead. Why a long-distance hike? The idea to do this hike (on the North Country Trail) came out of our family’s bonus year — when my children were taking a gap year before they started high school — and we traveled a lot, including hiking in California and on the Appalachian Trail. I love experiencing the world in that way, being on foot and seeing it at that pace. Brian Powers
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