Diane took this last weekend at the Grand Rapids Balloon Festival (which I hadn’t heard of).
More balloons on Michigan in Pictures.
The 66th annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival starts tomorrow and runs through June 14th. It celebrates the Island’s historic varieties of lilacs (many from the Colonial era) and equestrian culture and is one of the Island’s biggest attractions.
Apparently it’s “Lissa Edwards Goes to Mackinac Week” on Michigan in Pictures as I turn again to one of my favorite writers for her take on the Lilac Festival.
Metaphors for islanders and their favorite shrubs are easy pickings. Lilacs are tough as native islanders (or native islanders are hearty as these flowers?). Like their human counterparts, lilacs thrive in the cold Straits of Mackinac winters; neither lilacs nor island folk shrink from sinking their roots into the island’s craggy limestone bedrock. In fact, they crave that acidy terra firma. And last but best, lilacs prefer their soil the way these islanders like their beer: well drained.
When the long, cold winter and cool spring finally ends, Mackinac lilacs show their joy by transforming the island into a fairyland of blossoms. Cotton candy–colored tinkerbelles tempt from behind white picket fences. Big bold creamy Madame Lemoine lilacs strut next to a fluttery pink and white Beauty of Moscow in Ste. Anne’s churchyard. Down at the marina, where voyageurs working the Great Lakes fur trade once pulled their canoes, blue President Lincolns wave next to white Betsy Rosses. A froth that includes double pink Elizabeths and dark purple Monge spills out over the rolling green lawn at Marquette Park. And the gauzy backdrop to them all: the anything-but-bourgeois, lilac-colored common lilac.
The island is home to all 23 lilac species, some 400 varieties and thousands of individual plants. In June—and even into July in the case of late-blooming varieties—these flowers radiate their perfume into the windy Straits, where it melts into the aroma of warm fudge wafting from Main Street’s famous fudge shops and fresh horse apples (cars are banned on Mackinac Island) to create a signature Mackinac Island scent.
Read on for lots more.
Reports of morels are coming in from all across the state. They’ll be celebrating our delicious woodland friends this weekend (May 8-10) at the Mesick Mushroom Festival and next weekend (May 14-17) at the National Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City.
If you’re looking for Michigan morel photos and features, click that link for a ton from Michigan in Pictures. Happy hunting!!
Holland’s annual Tulip Time starts this Saturday (May 2) and continues through May 9th. The annual celebration features parades, music, displays of Dutch Heritage and of course tulips, 4.5 million of them!
One of my favorite Michigan fine art photographers is Bill Schwab, and I still remember the day when I pulled up the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr to find he’d added some of his photos to the group, including the one above.
This morning I learned that he will be presenting an artist lecture “Across Iceland” for the Charlevoix Circle of Arts:
Fine art photographer, Bill Schwab has been taking photo-expeditions to Iceland since 2009. He will share some of his favorite photographs of Iceland’s harsh, yet beautiful, landscape. Schwab is also the founder of PhotostockFest held annually in Harbor Springs. The Artists Adventure Lecture Series are free and open to the public.
Click above for more on the event and visit the Charlevoix Circle of Arts for more about them. Bill’s PhotostockFest takes place June 18-21 and you can register and get details on workshops and the event at that link.
The photography site RFOTOFOLIO has a great interview Seeing the Beauty: Bill Schwab that starts out:
My father’s side of the family was very much into photography. My Great Grandfather, Frederic C. Lutge had a portrait studio in late 19th and early 20th century Detroit and it branched out from there. My father always had interesting cameras and my uncle had a darkroom. I was fascinated by the gear. Even when I was too young to have a camera, I would draw pictures of them. After cutting them out I would pretend to use them and then draw the pictures “taken” with my cut out cameras and show them to people. Apparently I was hooked at an early age, but it wasn’t until I was twelve that I started processing and contact printing my own film from an old Ansco kit. After that, it is all a blur.
…Growing up in Detroit, pretty much everyone worked in the automobile manufacturing industry and I knew very well at a young age that wasn’t going to be my destiny. I can remember very clearly my dad asking me what I wanted to be at about age five. I said that I would get a job like his and he basically said, no way. Then there was my mom with her unbridled curiosity. She was an early news junky and I seriously think she missed her calling by not going into journalism. The major happenings of the day were right there on the TV during dinner and I was very aware and interested in what was going on. We had subscriptions to Life Magazine and Look and I loved to go through the pages looking at the photographs.
Read on for lots more and some beautiful photos.
View Bill’s photo of the ruins of the pier at Cross Village bigger on Flickr and see lots more from across the state in his Michigan slideshow. You can view and purchase prints at billschwab.com. He’s a good follow on Facebook and also just started up an Instagram @bill_schwab, so you might want to follow along there too!
More Michigan photographers on Michigan in Pictures.
The 2015 North American International Auto Show starts this Saturday (Jan 17) and runs through next Sunday (Jan 25). Held at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, it remains the premier show for car enthusiasts. For a sneak peek, have a look at CNN’s highlights which appear to be split between “muscular” and “efficient” (unsurprising spoiler: muscular wins 70/30).
If you do attend, consider going on their photo day (Jan 20) for early access. In any case, if you are packing a camera you might want to enter their 2015 Photo Contest which offers five different prizes of $200 each.
More about NAIAS/Detroit Auto Show on Michigan in Pictures.
ArtPrize returns to Grand Rapids for its 5th year next Wednesday and runs September 24 – October 12th. The 19 day event turns downtown Grand Rapids into a free & open art competition for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. While you can certainly debate the merits of ArtPrize and the art displayed, there’s no question that this is one of the most engaging and immersive art events in the country.
You can check out the 2014 entries right here, look back through the years on their History page, and also see a video from 2013 that captures some on the flavor and fun. The only way to really experience it is to go, something that I heartily recommend!!
This is part of Kevin Sudeith’s Contemporary Petroglyphs installation along the Grand River.
Lots more ArtPrize on Michigan in Pictures!