Arts & Entertainment

Local artist published in national magazine

July 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

Local artist Judith Diephouse of Rockford was recently published in the summer issue of The Decorative Painter, an international quarterly publication and the oldest decorative painting magazine currently published. With 40 years of history, the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP) is home to the world’s most experienced decorative painters, teachers and designers. Diephouse started decorative painting in 1974. After many years of teaching in her home studio and selling at regional art shows, she joined with Lynne Deptula to form Distinctive Brushstrokes. They design a full line of pattern packets and books that are available on their website. Diephouse has been a member of SDP since 1977 and she, along with Deptula, has contributed many articles to The Decorative Painter. Check out Diephouse’s seminar schedule at She may be reached at,, or by writing to her at: Distinctive Brushstrokes, 9796 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford, MI 49341. SDP’s mission is to stimulate worldwide interest in and appreciation for painting. The decorative painting style employed by SDP allows anyone, regardless of prior training or inherent skill, to pick up a brush and create a masterpiece. It is SDP’s goal to teach the world to create, and the work of teachers and designers like Diephouse are their primary helpers in achieving these goals. To learn more, visit

Elementary students have opportunity to create works for Art Attack

July 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER More than one-third of the students at Lakes Elementary School participated in the first-ever art competition and creativity display at the Rockford school. Art Attack, which the students considered as their version of ArtPrize, included entries from kindergarten through fifth-grade students, according to Matt Zokoe, the fourth-grade teacher who led the Lakes Elementary Student Council in putting together the event. The Lakes Student Council wanted to coordinate an event for the school as part of their mission. Art Attack allows students to express their creativity without feeling compelled to do a project in a particular manner. The entries in Art Attack were completed and on display as part of the annual Art Make-and-Take. Kenn Vidro, art teacher, has a passion for art, whether creating it or helping students learn how to express their creativity. “Art is about the students expressing their creativity,” Vidro said. Art Attack allowed students to do any type of artwork that was original. Vidro said some students did artwork to share with other people, such as paintings on canvas, which they are not able to do in art classes because of the expense and don’t want to do just for themselves. All 504 students at Lakes Elementary had works on display at the Art Make-and-Take. There were 161 entries and 190 participants in the first Art Attack. Students were able to either enter an individual piece or work with someone on their artwork. Zokoe said all students did their piece on their own time and received a ribbon for participation. “We wanted to emphasize this is about an art expression not art competition,” he said. The Lakes Elementary students were able to vote and choose their favorite 10 entries as part of Art Attack. The winners, whether an individual or a pair of students, received recognition certificates and gift cards for entry to visit the art at Fred Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park along with recognition at an all-school assembly. “This allowed students to go outside the mold and be individuals,” Zokoe said. The Lakes Elementary Student Council funds its projects, such as the costs of Art Attack and donations to Kids Food Baskets, through events such as a school store. “The students have been inspired by […]

Picnic Pops opens with ‘Classical Fireworks’ best-of edition

July 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

The 18th annual D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops promises to provide some of the best summer entertainment in West Michigan, served family style in a relaxed, natural setting. The series opens with perennial audience favorite “Classical Fireworks.” Two performances, led by Music Director David Lockington, will be presented at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 12-13 at Cannonsburg Ski Area. “Classical Fireworks” traditionally features dramatic, instantly recognizable musical works with a fireworks grand finale. This summer’s program is no different; however, the line-up reflects the best of “Classical Fireworks” programs from the concert series’ nearly two-decade history, including those works that have garnered some of the greatest audience response. “Every year we pick our favorite orchestral pieces that first got us excited about orchestral music,” said Lockington. “They happen to still have broad appeal and we particularly want young people to grow up loving them as well.” Audiences will hear Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Rossini’s Overture to “William Tell,” Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” the finale from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Mozart’s Overture to “Marriage of Figaro” and selections from John Williams’ “Star Wars.” In a special appearance, 14-year-old violinist Adé Williams will grace the stage with her interpretation of Vivaldi’s “Summer” from “The Four Seasons.” Williams is the first-place laureate of the Junior Division of the 2012 Sphinx Competition. The Detroit-based Sphinx organization is a national nonprofit organization committed to building diversity in classical music through year-round programming in arts education, awareness and presentation. “Classical Fireworks” has become known for its finale that features Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and a spectacular fireworks display. Trident Pyrotechnic Display has worked with the Symphony since 1983, and they plan to intensify the performance this year. Trident will launch a total of 3,718 aerial fireworks within a five- to six-minute period. Trident President Jack Stutting attributes his inspiration to Disney fireworks where several fireworks are launched together. “In our line of business we have a saying: ‘The last impression is the best impression, the last seen is the last remembered,’” said Stutting. “I am doing something a bit different in the finale this year. It is going to be very dramatic.” The grounds open each night at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking, pre-concert entertainment and free children’s activities. The […]

Beyond The Rock crew runs video production at Big Ticket Festival

July 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

by KRIS DEYOUNG Loud music, famous bands, world-renowned speakers, thousands of fans and, most importantly, elephant ears are all part of this year’s Big Ticket Festival, which took place at Allegan County Fairgrounds June 14-16. The Big Ticket Festival is one of the largest Christian music festivals in the state of Michigan. It is a ministry run by the nonprofit Free Spirit Ministries and sponsored by many different entities including Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. Each year upwards of 8,000 people come out each day for this family event, which truly has something for everyone. Each year some of the biggest names in Christian music hit one of three stages, impressing the crowds with their high energy and faith-filled performances. This year over 90 different artists performed, including hit artists such as Newsboys, Chris Tomlin, Brandon Heath, Sidewalk Prophets, Shane and Shane, and many more. While taking in all the shows, families are also drawn to the multitude of other events and opportunities. Whether it is watching the Strongman team bend metal bars around their necks and rip phonebooks in half, or checking out the motocross dirt bikes defy gravity as they float back flips high above the crowd, it is three days of nonstop entertainment. There is even a special place for the younger kids (and the occasional adult) in the Kid Zone, which has every inflatable game you can imagine. At the heart of the festival are the ministries that seek to serve others, help those in need, and share the message of their faith. From toddlers to senior citizens, and everyone in between, the grounds are sprinkled with people who want to make a difference. The ministry of Operation Christmas Child, for example, allows festival fans to help stuff boxes filled with gifts and basic necessities to benefit kids in need around Christmas time. Many walk through the various tents like this one to see how they can play a part in helping someone in some way. It is love in action—truly a festival of fun, family, and a higher calling. “I learned that there is way more to a person than what meets the eye,” commented Beyond The Rock student producer Lynsey Bettig. This year Rockford High School (RHS) students, like […]

Rockford Start of Summer Celebration

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

Squire thanks friends for float The Rockford Squire staff would like to thank those who contributed to their Start of Summer Celebration parade float. Thank you to Ed Koehn Chevrolet for lending the truck, Post Berry Farms for the bushel baskets and crates, Rockford Ace Hardware for the beautiful plants, Pegasus Sports for the quick printing of t-shirts, and to Buckley Farms for the sturdy trailer. The Squire received many wonderful compliments from the community along the parade route. The Squire also thanks their many loyal readers and advertisers, and hope they continue to “Grow With Us!”            

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