Onekama Art Snake tour creates community for artists

This book features works created by L.J. Laskey titled “Security Envelopes Now Tampered.” It was on display at his Art Snake location. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

This book features works created by L.J. Laskey titled “Security Envelopes Now Tampered.” It was on display at his Art Snake location. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

ONEKAMA — Taking on a different perspective of an art show, the annual Art Snake tour invites others to peer inside of an artist’s personal studio and support their work.

For the 11th year, the Art Snake tour around Portage Lake was held on Saturday and Sunday with 11 featured artists to meet and view their artwork.

This year’s featured artists included L.J. Laskey (printmaking, paintings, sculpture etc.), Kristine Harvey (paintings, pastels and paper goods), Mick Szymanski (printmaking), Les Scruggs (sculpture), Andrew Jagniecki (printmaking), Terri Barto (paintings), Susan Wild Barnard (costumes/textiles), Jamey Barnard (paintings/drawings), Michael Grant (paintings), Pamela Burkhardt (tiles, quilts, jewelry) and Judy Jashinsky (fisher-women paintings).

Created by artists Scruggs and Barnard over a decade ago, the idea for Art Snake was to provide stops near and around Portage Lake for art enthusiasts to take in the works of local artists, as well as the natural beauty found in the backdrop of the tour.

At one stop, an artist who is not new to the Art Snake, Laskey, 97, who has a studio on Lakeshore Road,

A visitor peers at a display at L.J. Laskey’s studio, which featured works by Mick Szymanski and Kristine Harvey, as well. Pictured is works by Mick Szymanski. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

A visitor peers at a display at L.J. Laskey’s studio, which featured works by Mick Szymanski and Kristine Harvey, as well. Pictured is works by Mick Szymanski. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

has been a part of the show on and off since it started.

“I did it early on when it first started,” said Laskey. “I had a hiatus for four or five years, and this is my first year after a gap.”

Laskey, along with Kristine Harvey and Mick Szymanski, who are members of Laskey’s KAAK art class, were showing their artwork at his studio.

Szymanski said this was his first showing at Art Snake. He displayed wood block prints, many featuring historical landmarks in the area like the Vogue Theatre.

“This is my first Art Snake participating, but I have been a visitor,” he said. “(Laskey) asked myself and Kristine if we would be willing to show some of our pieces along with his work.”

The turnout this year was successful for many artists, while the weather brought in plenty of tourists and residents. Laskey said his studio had many visitors on Saturday.

“It has been really great, a lot of people are showing up,” he said.

With a laid back atmosphere, Harvey, who had many paintings on display, said Art Snake allows artists to show their natural selves and talk about art with those who have similar interests.

She said it creates community between artists.

“I love how it creates activity and you get into other (people’s) spaces,” Harvey said. “I love how, as an artist yourself or a creative person, it kind of helps you to imagine how to incorporate (certain aspects) into your daily practice. It’s a way of connecting with people who speak the same language as you.”

There’s something for everyone at Art Snake, and Szymanski said so far his experience has been wonderful.

“What I like about Art Snake is the fact you get a view of the artist, the things that excite them or fuel their creativity,” he said. “Every artist has a different setting, so you get a feel for their work.”

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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