Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and the idea guy who came up with Rockford’s Art Capsule event, said more people voted on the 30 local art displays in 2011 than in the first year. “We had a thousand votes, which was more than last year,” Lewis said. This year’s event, designed with the theme of Rockford for the art submissions, culminated on Saturday, August 8 with voting and sampling fare from Rockford restaurants in the second annual Taste of Rockford. Art Capsule voting also took place all week long with art offered in a variety of categories and venues all around downtown. Ten restaurants took part in the Taste event, with all money going to RAAC. A total of $1,300 was raised. Local restaurants participated by offering samples from spring rolls to sliders and tasty treats to top off the edible tour of downtown. Lewis said the restaurants were very generous, providing quality and quantity of impressive proportions for just a dollar or two per sample. Art Capsule was also a popular success. Best of Show was taken by Connie Kuhnle for her “Faces of Rockford.” Best Two-Dimensional Art went to local painter Linda Bassford, who presented “Watermelon Kids.” Best Three-Dimensional Art was won by Lois Carpenter with “The Dam Fish.” Best Photography was a tie between Dan DeWard with “Dream, Believe, Perform, Achieve” and Stacy Niedzwiecki with her work “Wash – Rinse – Repeat.” “It wasn’t bad for a wet, rainy day,” said Lewis.
When classic tall sailing ships gathered in Bay City, Mich. for the annual Tall Ships Celebration in mid-July, photographer Stacy Niedzwiecki of Rockford jumped at the opportunity to travel through the Great Lakes via an historic form of transportation. This trip of a lifetime was the inspiration for her 2010 ArtPrize entry, “Great Lakes – Great Ships – Great Concerns,” at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. Niedzwiecki’s photography pieces combine a strong message of freshwater conservation and protection—the same message carried by the tall ships as they traveled from port to port through the Lakes this summer. Niedzwiecki served as a photo journalist throughout the summer, covering a variety of sailing events, starting with the Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City. Following the celebration, she boarded the sailing vessel S/V Denis Sullivan, an educational schooner based out of Milwaukee, Wis. The Denis Sullivan served as the flagship for the Great Lakes United Tall Ships Challenge 2010, and became Niedzwiecki’s floating residence over the next two weeks through Lakes Huron and Superior. Niedzwiecki traveled alongside a group of 11 high school students from three states who were participating in a summer youth program through Michigan Technological University. Niedzwiecki captured scenes of the students’ sailing adventures, along with the day-to-day life of the Sullivan’s professional crew and sail-training volunteers. Carefully skirting a large storm system across Lake Superior, the ship arrived in Duluth, Minn. on July 29, 2010. Niedzwiecki also photographed the arrival of the tall ships Europa and Roald Amundsen to Muskegon Lake. She concluded her photo project in Chicago aboard the Privateer Lynx during the glorious Parade of Sail around Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. “Upon my return, naturally I had folks asking me how my summer cruise was,” laughed Niedzwiecki. “This wasn’t your typical pleasure cruise featuring umbrella-style drinks. The sailing crew worked arduous hours, and it was the responsibility of the rest of us on board to support in the sailing operations. Often, this meant working on very little sleep, in hot, humid conditions without showers.” Niedzwiecki, who had no prior sailing experience, assisted with classroom materials, memorized various lines and sails, attempted knot-tying, charted the ship’s position and performed ship inspections. “Of course, there was plenty of dish washing in the […]
Crossing the back roads, beaches, and many of Michigan’s best kept secrets, Rockford resident and photographer Stacy Niedzwiecki snapped pictures. Lots of pictures, pictures of nature and peaceful places, pictures designed in her words to offer a “relaxing respite from a busy day.” As Niedzwiecki’s gallery grew, so did her following. She began selling her works throughout Michigan, and through one local suppler, she was introduced to a cancer survivor who thought the images would be very emotionally and mentally calming for others during their treatment. Niedzwiecki was then introduced to the art committee at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion and commissioned to supply 62 images for hanging throughout the Pavilion. Fast forward toward two years, and now the tranquil, reflective, healing nature of Niedzwiecki’s work has been extended beyond the walls of the Cancer Pavilion. In March 2010, the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion and Niedzwiecki co-published Healing Images, featuring all 62 of her photos from the Pavilion. There are incredible color images of gardens, beaches, light houses, bridges, farms, foliage…many from throughout West Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Lowell, Cannon and Spencer Townships, East Grand Rapids, Ada, Grand Haven, and Holland. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinaw and points in between are also featured.Niedzwiecki notes: “You won’t find images with people in them. This allows the viewer to place themselves into the photo without identifying with someone else. It allows the art to be more personal.” On Thursday, April 22, Niedzwiecki will be at Reds on the River in Rockford from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to meet guests and sign copies of Healing Images and Pure Michigan – Spring, a second recently-released book featuring many of her photographs. Reds is located on the banks of the Rogue River in picturesque Rockford—and has been the subject of her lens on more than one occasion. For additional information on the artist and both book, check out www.StacyN.com. Healing Images is also available at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion Specialty Shop in Grand Rapids.
Two new books highlighting images of West Michigan scenery as captured by local Rockford artist Stacy Niedzwiecki are now available. In a co-publishing partnership with Spectrum Health, Niedzwiecki has created a book, “Healing Images—A Selection from the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion.” The book features one of each photograph Niedzwiecki has permanently installed in the cancer center’s art collection—63 images in total. Showcasing some of the most scenic areas of West Michigan, the book makes a great gift for anyone who appreciates nature’s beauty. Copies can be purchased online at stacyn.com/wordpress, or at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion Specialty Shop, Frenz Coffee House in Rockford, and Robinette’s Apple Haus & Gift Barn in Grand Rapids. The artist’s website also lists upcoming book-signing dates and art fair events. Books ordered online can be custom-signed and shipped to any location. In another effort just released, Niedzwiecki has 12 pages of photographs from the Muskegon County area in a second book, “Pure Michigan: Abundant Natural Beauty, Authentic Destinations, Unique Experiences: Spring.” Niedzwiecki was one of 10 professional photographers who were charged with the task of capturing the vibrancy and beauty of the Great Lakes state during the spring season of 2009. The best of their efforts was compiled into a hardcover book containing more than 110 beautiful pictures. The images of people, places and landscapes are perfect for any Michigander’s coffee table. The “Pure Michigan: Spring” book can also be purchased online or by visiting Niedzwiecki at one of her upcoming events. For further information, please call the artist directly at (616) 550-8107.
Stacy Niedzwiecki, a Rockford, Michigan artist, has co-published the book “Healing Images,” a collection of her 63 nature images that are part of th permanent art collection at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion. Recognizing that art plays a key role in the healing journey, Spectrum Health selected artwork by local artists that is soothing and bright and cheerful when it opened the Pavilion in June of 2008. Since then, patients have been able to personalize the art to their own healing experience. Wanting to broaden this beyond the walls of the Pavilion, Spectrum Health teamed up with Niedzwiecki to co-publish the book as a reminder of the patient’s connection to life through the healing experience. Stacy Niedzwiecki is an award-winning artist who specialized in nature-themed photography. Her photographs depict various locations throughout the state of Michigan. In August 2009, Niedzwiecki was awarded second place in the Pure Michigan Photo Competition, a highly competitive event sponsored through Travel Michigan. Two of her works were selected to hang on display at Governor Jennifer Granholm’s personal residence in Lansing as part of the Governor’s Residence Michigan Artists Program. Her images have been featured in the “Michigan 24/7” photography book, “Whisper in the Woods Nature Journal,” The Rockford Squire newspaper, Michigan Blue and Michigan History magazines, and explorestlouis.com official visitors’ guide. The books are available at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion Specialty Shop, purchased online at www.stacyn.com – or by calling 616-550-8107.