High Point Neighbors: Door County’s Fine Line Designs Gallery Second Artist Reception of 2009, Saturday, June 13

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Four artists with distinct styles and mediums are the focus of Fine Line Designs Gallery’s Exhibit II, which opens from Friday, June 12 and rins through Tuesday, July 7. Fabric and embroidery artist Martha Fieber, furniture builder Leonard Fieber, pastel artist Alberta Marana, and oil painter Kathie Wheeler are the featured artists for Exhibit II. The artist’s reception for Exhibit II is scheduled for Saturday, June 13 from 4 – 8 pm.

Martha Fieber calls her artwork “landscape in thread,” and focuses on texture, technique, pattern, and detail to express her interest in our human connection to the natural world.  “I needed a change,” Fieber say when asked why she left her primary career in engineering for the art world. Her intricate embroideries often take as many as 60 hours to complete, depending on how intense the design is. Fieber is completely self-taught and focuses primarily on the landscapes and beauty that surrounds her Upper Michigan home. “I want to show everyone how beautiful it is,” says Fieber. “Many landscapes tempt me to record them.”

Furniture artist Leonard Fieber has been working with wood for over 40 years.  His most recent body of work, Beaver Chew Furniture, is made from sticks left behind after beavers have eaten the leaves and bark. “I’ve built furniture all my life,” says Fieber, “but this body of work is really special to me. I feel like the beaver and I are collaborating together.” A lover of the outdoors, Fieber enjoys that his furniture can provide a connection to nature in someone’s home.

Both Martha and Leonard Fieber will be on hand for an artist’s demonstration on Sunday, June 14 from 11am – 2 pm.

Alberta Marana, a pastel artist, says she finds solace in nature from the chaos of the world – and is attracted to the vibrant colors of the wildflowers and grasses in the summer, the dynamic red and golds of the autumn, and the wonderfully moody blues of the evening. “I love looking at the landscape, but I also enjoy working in the landscape,” Marana says. “I really try to convey the emotional experience I get when I look at nature – I like to call it ‘the wow.’”

Oil painter Kathie Wheeler was drawn to the work of the American Impressionists as a child, who would take to the fields and woods with their sketchbooks and paints to record the beauty of their surroundings.  “All of my paintings are scenes from my own experiences,” Wheeler says, going on to say that her farm in Southern Wisconsin is responsible for much of this inspiration. Wheeler has been painting “as long as she could hold something in her hand.”  Kathie was the winner of the Quick Paint at the 2008 Door County Plein Air Festival.

Fine Line Designs Gallery is located at the north end of Ephraim at 10376 Highway 42 and features original paintings, sculpture, custom wood furnishings, and fiber art from over 90 renowned artists.  The gallery also hosts the annual Town Line Art Fair every year on Columbus Day weekend.  Gallery hours are daily 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sundays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.  For more information about Fine Line Designs Gallery or its artists and exhibitions, please call (920) 854-4343 or visit www.finelinedesignsgallery.com.

Northern Door County’s first festival of the season: Ephraim’s 45th Annual Fyr Bal Festival June 19-21, 2009

From the Ephraim Business Council’s Press Release:

Ephraim celebrates its 45th Annual Fyr Bal Festival June 19-21, 2009. Steeped in Scandinavian tradition, Fyr Bal, pronounced fear ball, is Norwegian for bonfire. The festival re-creates customs of early Norwegians celebrating Midsummer’s Eve. Evening bonfires on Saturday represent the burning of the ‘winter witch’ and welcome in the long days of summer. The weekend is fun for the entire family along the shoreline of Eagle Harbor.

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Treat your ears to an eclectic music lineup at Harborside Park on Saturday: first, the acoustic sounds of D’Arez & Friends, and then pat mAcdonald and melaniejane of Steel Bridget Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The duo teams up to create a sound rich in low-end, heavy in groove.

Saturday boasts the majority of Fyr Bal festivities. Music begins at 9am with MC and acoustic musician Tim Byers. Byers will keep crowds up-to-date on activities throughout the day. The Ephraim Library invites you to peruse the myriad of hidden treasures at their annual Used Book Sale. Along the shoreline, over 25 artisans from throughout the state will display their craft at the annual Fyr Bal Arts & Crafts show. Showcasing works in wood, clay, glass, jewelry and fiber textiles. Be sure to visit the Summerwind Alpacas and Iron Wood Croft Llamas at the Ephraim Visitor Information Center, where you can pet the animals and even purchase wool.

Young fiddlers, under the direction of Christine Whyatt, will treat festival-goers to traditional Scandinavian music Saturday and Sunday. Whyatt and her husband Nelson, who will accompany the group on accordion, are originally from Minnesota, where she taught music for over 30 years. Whyatt is happy to have a dozen former students and their families make the trip to Door County for Fyr Bal Festival weekend. In 2005 many members of the group traveled to Dalarna County in Sweden, the center of traditional folk music and craft in that country, to play at one of the largest midsummer festivals. They are a delight to watch in their authentic Scandinavian costume.

Don’t miss Ephraim’s traditional Scandinavian blowout!