Mary Blocksma Exhibition - May 2004


This Memorial Day weekend, Mary Blocksma will kick off the summer season by bringing the beach into downtown Saugatuck on a community mural. Only a a hard rain will be cause for pause -- neither wind nor chill will deter Blocksma from encouraging visiting kids and adults to pick up a paintbrush and help turn a 12-foot sheet of paper into a glorious beach scene. Located in front of The Timmel Collection art gallery and sculpture garden next to the park on the corner of Butler and Main, the "What's on the Beach?" art project will continue through Memorial Weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 29th and 30th -- from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If one beach scene seems complete, Blocksma intends to begin a new one.

Blocksma has inspired similar eight-to twenty -foot murals with great success in Michigan schools and at book fairs. The vibrant mural produced recently at the Ann Arbor Book Fair is scheduled to hang in District Judge Helen E. Brown's courtroom in downtown Detroit. The Memorial Weekend Saugatuck project is special in that this time, adults get to play too.

Well-known in Michigan for her Great Lakes books, paintings, posters, and notecards; Blocksma has continued along her prolific path, this year offering a beautiful new color edition of Great Lakes Nature, just released from the University of Michigan Press. Also new this year is a visual crossword poster featuring 72 natural Great Lakes treasures. The poster is a delightful companion for Blocksma's recent new children's book, "What's on the Beach? A Great Lakes Treasure Hunt," perfect for classrooms, cottages, and curious would-be naturalists of all ages.

Also new this year are thirty-two five-by-seven notecards: watercolor views of Lake Michigan painted while Blocksma was an artist-in-residence in Sleeping Bear Dunes, as well as her photographs of fruits, vegetables, and flowers at the Holland Farmer's Market.

Lake lovers can take the Lake home with them or send it to friends who miss it by acquiring Lake Effects I or Lake Effects II, two posters painted at a cottage between Douglas and Oval Beaches each featuring thirty-six watercolor views of Lake Michigan. Lake Lover's Year, Blocksma's book journaling her creative process, is also an inspiring option.

Great Lakes Nature is a celebration of life and learning - author Mary Blocksma's journey of discovery and awakening to the wonders of the world all around us. From Blue moons to bald eagles, this new edition - now lavishly illustrated in color - is a guide to nature's everyday but often-overlooked gems. With an open mind and the curiousity of an old-fashionned naturalist, author Mary Blocksma furnishes more than just ecological nomenclature; she unearths a treasure trove of tips, hints, and trivia.

Blocksma sets out to identify her Great Lakes environment just a name at a time, a few times a week, for a year. When she happens upon a bird, tree, or natural phenomenon she doesn't recognize, the author takes us along on her process of learning.

Find the author along with her books and art Saturday and Sunday, May 29 and 30, at The Timmel Collection, 133 Main Street, Saugatuck. Email or call 269 857-7274 for more information.