Up and Down the River by Cathy Johnson and guest writers is published weekly in the Big Rapids Pioneer.
By Lynne Scheible
I had the wonderful opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall a couple weeks ago with the Voca Lyrica Women’s Choir. We were part of a 170-voice women’s choir that worked with Andrea Ramsey, composer and director. Choir members were ages 15-80 and we were connected by the art form of music. It was a magical experience. We started as strangers and through music we left as friends. It is truly the power of the arts when you are able to make that happen.
“Sunset Boulevard” with Glenn Close and “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” with Josh Groban were two musicals I was able to attend. Both transformed me to another place and another time. The power of the arts and artists were certainly evident in those theatres.
The day we left New York City we decided to visit the 911 Museum. Through the arts the dramatic stories of people’s lives were told through artifacts, voices, colors, water and stone. It’s the power of the arts that can take you emotionally deep and know that somehow you are connected as humans.
NYC is a big palette of the arts….colors, lights, foods, smells, people…..music, theatre, visual art, dance…..art that makes you weep, art that makes you laugh, art that makes you go “huh?”……..
It was an amazing reminder that the arts do matter and the arts do take you places.
Another way to let the arts influence your life is through local activities. Artworks Summer Camps begin June 20. Offerings this year include Handmade Pottery, Mixed Media Art and a new offering called The Art of Living. Check out more information on the Artworks website.
With the coming of spring, new exhibits have arrived at Artworks. Come in and check out “Youthful Stitches,” quilts and other fabric items made by 7 – 17 year olds, April 15 – May 27.
Concurrently, running May 2 – June 10 is another fabric-based exhibit entitled “Mixed Media Messages,” quilts and three-dimensional items created by the Kreative Kamp Quilters. And from May 9 – June 17, the Chemical Bank Gallery in the lower level of Artworks will be hosting “Brilliant Quilts by Guest Artist Shirley Cook.” Shirley is a graduate of Big Rapids High School.
Coming in June is the Michigan Water Color Traveling Award exhibit.
As always, The Painted Turtle Gift Shop is filled to the brim with artistic creations in all media. It could just be the perfect place to find that Mother’s Day or graduation gift you’ve been looking for.
By Cathy Johnson Granted, poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea. But the idea of capturing ideas and feelings in as few words possible should resonate with today’s society, which seeks to do just that, especially in our forms of … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade. I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over I’ll be the proudest fellow in the … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson Touring or just simply travel is an integral part of the life of many musical groups, and Voca Lyrica is no exception. From its early years, the experience of singing in places other than Big Rapids has … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson Did you miss something at this year’s presidential inauguration? Did you even notice it wasn’t there? Students of historical precedent, who have been watching inaugurations since the 1960s, took note. And so did America’s poets, particularly former … Continue reading →
(Editor’s Note: The following essay is taken from the National Women’s History Project website www.nwhp.org. The project’s mission is to write women back into history. Visit their website for much more information to help observe March as Women’s History Month.) … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson There are a lot of 7’s involved in this year’s Art Attack: 27th annual March 7 to April 7 2017 If you believe in lucky numbers, there you are. First of all, it is important to note … Continue reading →
A review of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult by Olive Mullet This is a novel I would urge everyone to read, especially white liberals. It fits in with the racial divisions in our country today but also it has … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson A recent interview with Rick Steves caught my eye. In it he explained and explored a variety of reasons why we should not stay home during times of “uncertainty,” but instead, continue to travel, for whatever reasons … Continue reading →
by Cathy Johnson As human beings we can be inspired by many things: nature, art, beauty, music, or, the topic for today, other humans. And I’d like to talk about two people, in particular, who inspire me, and try to … Continue reading →