Art Snake returns on July 6 and 7

ONEKAMA — Put some incredible artwork in one of the most beautiful areas of Manistee County and toss in the chance to discuss with the artists what inspired them to create it and the end result is the very popular Art Snake.

The popular Art Snake featuring the works of artists in the Onekama area will be returning on July 6 and 7 this year. The popular program allows art lovers to view the artwork, visit the artists studios and even purchase it if they like.

Anyone who has an appreciation for the arts will enjoy Art Snake. This annual event was the creation of sculptor Les Scruggs and artist Jamey Barnard who have been helping to put together this event for the past 12 years. This year it will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 6 and 7 in the greater Onekama area. Maps of the route are available at the various stops and at the Yellow Dog Cafe, located at 4850 Main St. in Onekama.

“This year we are going to have 16 artists in nine locations,” said Barnard.

Art Snake got its name in the early years because all of the artists were located around Portage Lake and it was possible to “snake around the lake” on a bicycle to see them all. Since that time it has grown in artists and locations as there are nine stops on the route this year.

They even have some nationally know artists among them like 98-year-old Leslie Laskey, who is a Manistee native.

“He just came off a really successful show in St. Louis, Missouri, and he has 40 pieces ready for a framer to go to another show,” said Barnard. “The guy is such an inspiration, as he is so current and cutting new territory all the time.

Laskey’s work will be in Art Snake at his home at 6173 Lakeshore Road where his works will be shown with Kristine Harvey and Mick Szymanski. It will also feature works of students from his KAAK (Kick Ass Art Kamp) that is held in Onekama every year.

Scruggs said one of the many unique things about Art Snake is people not only have the opportunity to talk with the artist, but they can also see the studio where they create their artwork.

“It is still going great after all these years, and has actually grown since we have more artists,” said Scruggs. “What I also like is it’s held right at their studios so they can talk with people about what type of art they are creating.”

Scruggs is well known in the sculpture world and will have his works on display on his Art Deck that is located at 7187 Miller Road. He has been a fixture in Art Snake, but every year new creations of his work are on display.

Other things that make Art Snake unique are the fact that it is free of charge, the artwork can be purchased and the variety of artwork on display among the various artists. There will be sculpture, paintings, printmaking, drawings, ceramics, fiber optics and so much more for people to enjoy.

Barnard said they also have several new artists joining them this year.

“Melanie Parke and Richard Kooyman are back in this year as they were in some of the earlier Art Snakes and this year they are featuring the paintings of Amanda Acker at The Provincial (7325 Chief Road) in Kaleva,” said Barnard. “Don Paone is going to be showing his paintings at the Yellow Dog Garden (4850 Main St. Onekama) as that is going to kind of make it the headquarters of Art Snake.”

Barnard is making a change of location this year from where he will be showing his works.

“I am going to be showing my paintings and drawings at my Handstand Studio (located at 4968 Main St. in Onekama) instead of at the house this year just to try something new,” said Barnard.

Other returning artists are Susan and Phil Joseph, who will be joined by well known artist Ken Cooper at 9220 South Portage Point, where they will be showing paintings and ceramics. Also back is Michael Grant (4404 Main Street, Onekama) who will be showing paintings and Andrew Jagniecki, who will be displaying printmaking at 7581 Milarch Road.

“Judy Jashinski will be previewing a show called Fiber Optics at her space called Pines of Arcadia on Bischoff Road just north of Arcadia Bluffs Golf,” said Barnard. “Her space is really something and she has been trying to get the word out about it. It is like the ultimate studio and she will be on the tour with artists from that show.”

Art Snake locations

• L.J. Laskey and KAAK, Kristine Harvey and Mick Szymanski at 6173 Lakeshore Road;

• Les Scruggs and Artdeck at 7187 Miller Road;

• Andrew Jagniecki at 7581 Milarch Road;

• Amanda Acker, Melanie Parke and Richard Kooyman at 7325 Chief Road;

• Jamey Barnard at 4968 Milarch Road;

• Don Paone at Yellow Dog Cafe at 4850 Main St.;

• Michael Grant at 4404 Main St.;

• Susan and Phil Joseph and Ken Cooper at 9229 Portage Point; and

• Judy Jashinski at Bischoff Road.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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