By Lynne Scheible
“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” Randy Pausch
August is American Artists Appreciation Month. Isn’t that fantastic? An opportunity to show appreciation is always a good thing! And this month is dedicated to the artists in our lives.
Take a look around Big Rapids and you can see the tremendous influence artists and the arts have had on every aspect of our community and how blessed we are in Big Rapids, our small little town, with so much of the arts.
For example, there are amazing sculptures all around Big Rapids, on Ferris’ campus and on the Riverwalk. In the Artworks back alley there’s a cool fish and two incredible murals (Pokémon even has a spot on the mural). Our streets downtown are lined with baskets of flowers and banners on the light poles that were painted by the community. And the bulldogs are everywhere! Thank you to the artists who are behind all of this.
Big Rapids has 12 parks where the arts have been part of the design experience (have you been by Mitchell Creek or the new Veterans’ Park yet?). Pocket Park downtown & the band shell in Hemlock Park provide space for our local musicians to perform. Then there’s Tuba Bach, Stage-M, Voca Lyrica, Con Brio Voce, Canadian Lakes Men’s Chorus, Canadian Lakes Players, all that our schools offer, and so much more! Thank you to the artists who are behind all of this.
There are two more Friday artist demonstrations scheduled in front of Artworks from 11 – 2, which is during the Friday Farmers’ Market and the Pocket Park concert time. Come watch and appreciate the skill and artistry of the Wood Whackers on August 19 and Margo Berke on August 26.
Two more performances remain for “God of Carnage,” one on Saturday night at 7:30 and the other on Sunday at 2:30. Tickets are available at The Painted Turtle at Artworks or online at EventBrite.
There are many ways to show your appreciation to our artists. Come in to Artworks (or wherever you are) and buy one of their pieces of art, attend a performance, write an artist a thank you note, take a picture of something you enjoy and post it on Facebook, give them a call, attend an artist reception, take an artist out to coffee, read their book, share a poem, encourage your children to create, share the arts with your children, encourage the artist within.
Be sure to notice all the arts around us and give thanks that we live in a community that continues to invest in this gift that enriches our lives.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Voltaire.