We’re still open Saturdays 11-6pm and Sundays 12-5pm through Sunday October 1st. We have lots of Alpaca and wool to get you through the season warm, soft and stylish!
This year Port Austin has something great in store for visitors and residents. The first Port Austin Art fair will take place in the Veteran’s Waterfront Park, Saturday July 1 and Sunday July 2 from 1oam to 4pm. White Church Gallery will be there with Mike’s incredible art.
Stop by the booth to say hi, and be sure to visit the Gallery for more inspiring art by Michigan artists.
See you there!
The Gallery is open- and we’ve changed things around. Besides moving the furniture, we have new artists and new art!
Still the same: awesome Michigan artists in a renovated 1880’s Methodist Church.
New: Photographer Keith Lowrie. A view of the Lake at Holly Rec. Area.
Ceramic Artist Nancy Drescher is always cooking up new pieces.
And even Mike Zaitz, Owner and Artist, has been busy…
We’re open Fri- Sun 11-6pm, and usually later on Saturdays!
Come refresh your soul at the White Church Gallery!
The White Church Gallery’s annual Artists Reception will be Saturday June 25th from 3 – 7 pm. Gallery hours are Fri. – Sun, 11 am – 6pm, but we’ll be open late on Saturday. All are welcome to meet the guest artists and their work and to enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
Here’s some snaps from last year’s party:
This year will be even more fun! See you there!
An Annual Art Event of Michigan’s Thumb happens this weekend. All along the Thumbnail or coast of Michigan’s Huron County, you can drive from art studio to art studio as the waves crash along the sandy beaches. Click here for more info. White Church Gallery, located in Grindstone City, will be the first stop on the Tour. Be sure to have an appetite for ice cream if you visit, since famous Rybak’s Ice Cream is right across the street!
We’ve been open for a season, and the white rails that my Mom and Dad helped put in right before opening last year have served their purpose.
It was hard work to get everything ready to open for the Thumb Arts Guild Studio Tour. Mom and Dad Meyers pitched in and nailed wood rails to the cement forms, which were supposed to come off after the cement had set, but made useful supports for the temp rails!
Fast forward almost exactly one year. Mike had made many calculations and CAD drawings to figure out the exact slope and length of the iron rails he ordered. Yet he was still nervous when they came and we set them out.
The first order of business was to drill 2.5″ wide by 3.5″ deep holes in concrete. 16 of them.
It took a lot of sweat on that hot sunny day to drill the holes. I was official vacuumer of the holes. It was definitely teamwork.
I also got the task of putting the hydraulic cement into the holes while Mike mixed the batches one by one. It dried pretty quickly so it had to be made in small batches. That went pretty smoothly as well.
All in all, for a task that had been a long time coming and a bit dreaded, it went well and we are very happy with the finished product!
I turned 48 on Friday, May 15th, and I will tell you about the most exciting birthday I’ve had in a long time!
But not because of the cake, though it was sweet and thoughtful! It was about the Window!
The last time we saw the quatrefoil window , the frame was remade. Meanwhile, glass artist extraordinaire Tom Newton had been plotting and planning the glass art for the window.
Today was the day. The window was to arrive, and installation was to begin!
But let’s go back in time…on May 15, 1967, a young woman named Carolyn (Ma!) was giving birth to a 10 pound baby. That was me. Sorry, Ma. Fast forward 48 years, and that baby now weighs 133 pounds and now a project taking nearly four years and much of her resources to gestate is finally coming to fruition. But, as with any good thing, its beauty is from the Grace of God and the reflection of him in the people around us. Tom and Sandie are such reflections.
Here’s Sandie putting the clear glass down on the outside.
Next comes the artwork.
The glass is pre-war WW2 german glass the Tom acquired in a business deal. The clear glass goes on the outside, the precious colored glass on the inside. I was honored when he noticed the glazing I had done on the Church windows and asked if I’d like to help glaze this window. Yes please!
So here’s the process:
And so. The little pieces of tape help align the glass pieces. The tacks (unseen) hold the glass in, and the glazing seals the whole bit.
Tom and Sandie cleaned it up and got it ready for the install.
The install was a feat of engineering. The chief engineer this day happened to be our electrician, Dave Schramski. It was a perfect example of teamwork. Dave had an idea, and we all wanted someone with a good idea to tell us how to get this work of art up a ladder without breaking it!
A frame was built!
The window was laid in…
And then wrapped for uber protection aloft.
No, just trying to get it safely to the window opening…
So two men were carrying it up the ladder, and Mike and I were on the ropes pulling it up. It went quite smoothy, but I couldn’t take pictures since I had promised to have both hands on the rope! Luckily Sandie did and was kind enough to send them to me. But I do believe Kind is Sandie’s middle name!
Up it went in its cocoon, and Chief Shramski went out on the ladder to make sure the window didn’t get pushed through to the ground. ( I still have shocking memories of having pushed an air conditioner out a second story window trying to install it!)
Inside, the boys had to loft the window into place.
It was a logistical puzzle. But we did it, and the window was installed. All that remained was for nature to light it up!
And, of course, nature showed up for the job!
What do you think?
And so, God said, let there be light!
Something’s going on with the back of the church.
As we get closer to opening day, it is imperative(!) that we have more space. All of the equipment and tools we’ve needed for renovation must be stored elsewhere when the final transformation of the building into an Art Gallery happens.
Space in the form of a storage/workspace.
First comes the cement floor, so smooth and shiny!
Then comes the roof joists.
It’s a very exciting development for us. This stuff has to go somewhere!
– The White Church Gallery
Here you see the gritty grin of a person sanding beautiful wood. Cherry, at this moment. Every piece of wood you are about to see came from a tree. I say this because it has never been so real to me before. Such a simple idea, yet so much work! Trees are not smooth, nor are they beveled or cut to size. That all had to be done piece by piece. Not complainin’. Just es’planin’!
At the end of March, we had some guest-workers. Meet Vickie and Kevin. C’mon, let’s get busy!
There’s Kevin, helping plane some wood.
The Altar piece has been the center of attention for some weeks, but other jobs are calling. Here’s Vickie getting gritty with the antique light fixtures. Go Vickie!
And we sent Kevin to the corner…to sand the floors.
But the floors look very, very good!
Meanwhile more vertical action on the Altar Piece.
We had a nice visit with Kevin and Vickie, but the weekend came to a close and the Altar Piece was still not done.
– The White Church Gallery
…overheard while eating chicken soup on a tuesday night…and the rest of the sentence was, ” but it takes three years of your life and a ton of money.”
Michael was referring to the renovation of White Church Gallery, specifically the altarpiece we’re working on.
This past weekend was all about putting some wood up on the front of the church. I started the ball rolling on Friday by pulling staples. It’s been awhile since I’d done it, and it seemed harder somehow than the last time. The staples were rusty and stubborn. It was the opposite of fun.
I had to clear the floor around the pillars, because work was about to commence on them. So I pulled staples and sanded around the front of the Church. Saturday morning, bright and early, we got to the church filled with eagerness and a bit of anxiousness. We’d been working on the wood planks for almost two months now, taking them from rough sawn planks all the way to the glorious art pieces they became. But now, after weeks and weeks of planning and plotting, we were finally going to see how the whole thing would look. Would it look as we intended- to be a glorious work of art? Or would it look like Dean Martin’s living room? (Actually- Dean Martin’s living room ain’t too bad!)
The first step was to do the bottom border. These border pieces came from giant planks of walnut.
This procedure took some hours, since it needed to be practically perfect. Level, fitted, and mitered.
All went fairly smoothly; there was a rhythm of measuring thrice and cutting once.
And then it happened. A boo boo. A piece of walnut got cut too short. Red Alert, Emergency! Luckily we had a chunk of unprocessed walnut nearby. I ran it through the planer a few times, I jointed the edges, then did a quick but thorough sand job on it. It would have to be clear-coated in situ. But it looked fine, and work could continue.
Walnut is a VERY hard wood, but it keeps a nice edge.
Once the base was finished, we started on the upright pieces.
Thanks to Rybak’s owners Paul and Ann for burning the late night oil with us and getting the first layers of the altar piece up. It was grueling, exacting, tiring, but inspiring.
And so it goes…piece by piece, bevel by bevel. Screw by awkward screw. Awkward, because Mike had to screw each of the boards in from the back.
His arm had to fit through the space you see here at the side. And then somehow bend around enough to put pressure on the driver to screw into extremely hard wood from the back. (After drilling a pilot hole.)
We had two different nail lengths depending on which wood it was going through. There was a lot of thought put into this! And it was exhausting work.
But we think it was worth it. Here’s the other side.
There are imperfections, and we’ll fix a few next time, but this represents so much effort that I hope it shows.
I had to take a selfie- and I think it’s my fave so far. Blurry, wrinkled eyes, weariness, but a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
The next morning, things still looked good, so we did a photo shoot.
Until we meet again!
– The White Church Gallery