New exhibit on motherhood coming to the Anton Art Center

The Anton Art Center will welcome a new visual art exhibition to its gallery from July 28 through September 5. Motherhood, a juried collection presented by McLaren Macomb, features works on the complexity of mothering. Participating artists developed works reflecting how motherhood affects a person’s body, mind and identity. The pieces also demonstrate how motherhood influences creative work or vice versa.

Earthside, Katherine Wells

Earthside by Katherine Wells

“We’ve not had an exhibit inspired by motherhood since The Art Center was founded nearly fifty years ago, when the Detroit Institute of Arts loaned us our inaugural show, titled ‘Mother and Child.’ We hope that this exhibit inspires our community to reflect on motherhood and be a part of this meaningful conversation,” said Executive Director Phil Gilchrist.

The exhibit features 42 selected artworks by 25 artists from near and far, including regional artists from southeast Michigan, out-of-state artists from Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, New York and Missouri and international artists from Singapore and Canada. A variety of media used includes photography, ink, graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, felt, oil paint, watercolor, mixed media, sterling silver, breast milk, nursing pads, mohair, acrylic, etc.

Self-Inspection, Shubhi Gupta

Self-Inspection by Shubhi Gupta

Motherhood is juried by the Anton Art Center exhibition committee, with nearly $1,000 in cash prizes and additional honorable mention awards. Accepted artwork will be on display in the first floor gallery. An opening reception will be held at the Anton Art Center on Saturday, July 28th, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., with awards to be announced at 3 p.m. and refreshments provided by SisterFriends Detroit.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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Enjoy a sundae this coming Sunday

We’ve certainly had some hot days recently. And looking ahead at the weather forecast, it doesn’t appear to be cooling down anytime soon. How do we beat this heat? Well personally, I indulge in a sweet treat from my local ice cream shop. Because nothing hits the spot quite like a scoop of vanilla on a hot day.

If the heat doesn’t drive you to dessert like in my case, perhaps National Ice Cream Day will. On Sunday, July 15, ice cream lovers across the country will enjoy a cone, cup or bowl of their favorite flavor. Some will scoop their own at home, others will visit a local ice cream store and order specially-made sundaes or shakes. And here in Macomb County, we’ve got plenty of independently owned and operated shops that you can try.

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MMYH encourages you to celebrate National Ice Cream Day by supporting one of these hometown establishments. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

For more ideas about how to spend your summer in Macomb, check out the outdoors, see a show at Freedom Hill and check out one of Macomb’s signature events!

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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A fragrant festival: Event to celebrate Michigan lavender crop

lavenderThe lavender plant has found its way into just about every area of our lives. From candles and lotions, to cooking and cleaning products, the purple flower has become an essential element in many items. And it’s no wonder – lavender has a relaxing scent and refreshing flavor. It’s soft, yet musky, making it appealing to just about everyone. This popularity is why we celebrate the “Grandmother of Herbs” here in Macomb County with the Michigan Lavender Festival. And fans of the plant should mark their calendars, as it is just around the corner – Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Blake’s Orchard in Armada.

The annual event, now in its 16th year, offers a true “Symphony for the Senses.” Over the three-day period, attendees can take a wagon ride out to the lavender field or enjoy a gourmet lunch while sipping on a glass of ice cold lavender lemonade. There will also be workshops, wellness classes and shopping with the more than 150 Michigan artists, craftspeople and local farms who will be on site.

Other activities include:

  • Live Music: Relax and enjoy the sounds of flutes, harps and other string instruments as some of the areas most talented, local musicians perform throughout the day.
  • A Children’s Activity Tent: Following a short demo, kids take home a free sample of lavender play dough, along with the recipe to make more at home. Additionally, the SCIENCE ALIVE program, presented by animal scientists and zoologists, will give children the chance to meet an array of critters, including an armadillo, snakes and a cute porcupine.
  • The Orchard Café: Offering gourmet food options with a lavender twist – including garden fresh salads, sandwiches, desserts and the festival’s famous Lavender Lemonade and Lavender Ice Cream!
  • A Lavender, Herb & Perennial Sale: The festival has a fabulous selection of beautiful, hardy lavender plants as well as a host of other herbs and perennials to compliment any landscape.
  • MSU Extension – Master Gardener Booth: Stop by to chat with master gardeners, horticulturists and educators from Michigan State University. Instructors will share their expert knowledge with classes each day.
  • U-Pick Raspberries & Tart Cherries: U-Pick fruit is due to be in season, and Blake’s is expected to have both red and black raspberries available, and even tart cherries!
  • Broom Making Demonstrations: Henry Tschetter will be demonstrating his unique handiwork throughout the festival. Henry has been making brooms for over 50 years, a craft he learned from his father and grandfather as a child. He now grows, harvests and colors the broom corn on his Rockford, Michigan farm.
  • Spinning & Weaving Demonstrations: Visit Anne Tullet as she shares the art of spinning wool into yarn and weaving fibers into wearable works of art.
  • The Lavender Sweet Shoppe: Offering lavender cupcakes, cookies and fudge, lavender ice cream, lavender lemonade and other sweet surprises, this booth demonstrates the delicious touch the “Grandmother of Herbs” adds to all sweet creations.
  • Pottery Demonstrations: Jack Leyrer will demonstrate his pottery creations throughout the day, and patrons will have an opportunity to work at the wheel and make their own bowl or cup.

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Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in arts, culture, education, entertainment, environment, events, flowers, gardening | Leave a comment

Celebrating the Fourth of July as the Founding Fathers intended

man-vacation-people-summerHappy Fourth of July everyone! Today we recognize America declaring its independence from Great Britain by hosting backyard parties, attending parades, watching fireworks and eating large quantities of grilled foods and various “salad” dishes. And while this may seem a bit commercialized, it’s actually in line with how the Founding Fathers imagined future anniversaries of the momentous occasion. For instance, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

There are even several documented examples of how these visionaries would themselves celebrate:

  • In 1777, the first organized celebration of the Fourth of July was held in Philadelphia. It featured the discharge of cannon, ringing of bells, a dinner, music, drinking and several toasts, a parade, fireworks and the use of the nation’s colors as decoration.
  • In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4th with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.
  • And that same year, from their post in Paris, France, Ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans.

So truly, our good ‘ole American traditions of fireworks, food and friends are entirely appropriate given the precedent set by our Founding Fathers. Which means that today, you should do your part and celebrate the holiday the way George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have. Host that party. Enjoy some fireworks. Raise a glass to America. It’s the patriotic thing to do.

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Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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Red, white and blue – Here’s what to do.

pexels-photo-461917The Fourth of July holiday is upon us. And you know what that means – it’s time for festivals, parades, fireworks and barbecues. While many folks are heading up north to beat the heat, some of us are sticking around southeast Michigan. If you’re one of those individuals and need something to do, there’s plenty happening right here in Macomb County. Here’s a few things to add to your calendar:

  • July 3, 2018
    Shelby Township Independence Day Fireworks
    10 p.m., Ford Field Park 7460 23 Mile Road, Shelby Township
  • July 4, 2018
    Baseball at Jimmy John’s Field – Eastside vs. Birmingham Bloomfield
    7:05 p.m., 7171 Auburn Rd, Utica
    *Activities include: Youth t-shirt giveaway, kids run the bases, kids eat for free, fireworks spectacular
    *To purchase tickets, click here
  • July 11, 2018
    Clinton Township Fireworks
    At dusk, Clinton Township Gazebo (Civic Center), 40700 Romeo Plank Rd, Clinton Township
  • July 22, 2018
    Fraser Picnic and Parade
    Parade is at Noon; Route goes from Fraser High School on Garfield to City Hall

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To find more events in our community, click here. Happy Independence Day!

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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Swag for sale at Bass Brews and BBQ

Are you heading to the Bass Brews and BBQ Festival this weekend to watch the 2018 FLW Tour? As previously mentioned here on MMYH, there will be plenty of entertainment, food and beer – but did you know that you will also be able to do some shopping? We’ve got some great vendors coming on site to sell their wares – and there’s one in particular that fishing fans will love.

Situated in a 30-foot long retail trailer within the festival footprint, AMP will be selling specially-designed FLW Tour commemorative t-shirts. AMP, or American Made Products, is a Pontiac-based retailer that sells high-quality shirts designed to boost an anglers’ performance. How so? Well, according to the AMP website:

“AMP fabric has a smooth, silky feel, but its cooling science keeps you dry even when lines go tight in the tropics. After a day on the water, slip into the most comfortable, homegrown, homespun cotton relax wear you can buy.”

AMP shirts feature original designs by artists and are made in the USA. Traditionally, the shirts sell for $39 and up – but at the Bass Brews and BBQ festival, shirts will be on sale for $29. Interested individuals will also be able to enter to win a signed and framed print of the FLW Tour shirt artwork.

FLW Final Version Popper

Artwork featured on the t-shirts

So if you’re thinking you might want to purchase one of these commemorative shirts, make sure to bring your wallet to the Bass Brews and BBQ event and don’t doddle! Shirts will only be available as supplies last.

For more information on the 2018 FLW Tour and the Bass Brews and BBQ event, click here.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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FLW Tour takes the science of fishing into the classroom

More than 350 professional anglers have arrived in Macomb County ahead of this weekend’s FLW Tour on Lake St. Clair. Some are spending their time practicing and getting used to the choppy waterways of the Great Lakes. Others are enjoying the sight-seeing and fun dining options the area has to offer. But notably, in the busy lead up period to the competition, four anglers ventured out to Selfridge Air National Guard Base to speak to students at STARBASE One summer camp. The visit, which is part of the FLW Foundation’s community outreach initiative, was special for both the young people and the anglers.

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As background, STARBASE One is a Department of Defense education program that offers classrooms of fifth grade students a free, five-day, hands-on curriculum that emphasizes the application of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Twenty-six years ago, when it was founded, STARBASE was the only DOD program of its kind in the country. Now there are 60 camps in the U.S. based on its model.

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This year, the Selfridge camp is hosting more than 50 children from across southeast Michigan in its summer academy. And yesterday, when the FLW pros visited the base, the kids were ready to learn about fishing and how science and technology play an important role in the sport. Because as one angler put it: “The sport isn’t about luck. If that was the case, you wouldn’t have the same guys winning all the time.”

On site at STARBASE were pro anglers James Watson, Tom Redington, Cody Kelley and Jay Kendrick. The day began with a tour of the facility, intended to give the visitors an idea of what the students experience at the camp. The anglers then spoke to two classrooms about their sport, sharing their background, fun facts and some science. For instance, did you know that bass spawn at approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit? Or that those fish prefer a crayfish-like bait that has no appendages? I certainly did not know either of those details – so the session was a learning experience for me too!

At the end of the visit, the campers got to see the anglers’ boats up-close and learn more about the machines’ inner-workings. Some lucky participants even got to get onboard and experience it all first hand. Needless to say, those kids were excited.

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Before heading out, the FLW Tour organizers presented STARBASE with a donation to help the organization continue its positive work in the community. For example, in addition to activities like visits from the FLW speakers, campers have the opportunity to:

  • Stand nose-to-nose with cutting edge aircraft
  • Become “astronauts” and launch into space aboard a full-scale space shuttle nose simulator
  • Create 3D models using CAD software
  • Program robots that navigate a simulated Mars surface

And its goals include:

  • Providing students with an exceptional opportunity for experiencing hands-on science, technology, engineering and math
  • Inspiring students and helping nurture positive attitudes toward their education and future
  • Providing career motivation, orientation and exploration
  • Fostering partnerships with the military, industry and educational communities
  • Providing assistance and guidance to parents for their active participation in their child’s education.

So as you can see, STARBASE One is an important (and fun) resource for young people in our community. If you’re interested in learning more about the programs offered through the organization, you can visit its website here. To see what other summer camps are offered in southeast Michigan, visit here. And of course, to view the schedule for the upcoming FLW Tour on Lake St. Clair and to learn more about the accompanying Bass Brews and BBQ festival, click here.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in blue economy, community, education, outdoor, Summer camp | Leave a comment