Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery

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Sunlight streams through the windows of Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery, filling the room with bright, spring light. The hardwood floors glisten, and the artwork is illuminated and brought to life. Glimpses of a lake peek through tree branches and in the tranquility, chirping birds can be heard.

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery, located in downtown Michigamme, Michigan is in its 14th year of existence, nestled in the small community of about 300 people. What was once a tiny mining home has been renovated into two sections: the spacious, light-filled art gallery and the additional living space for husband and wife gallery owners, Jerry and Friederike Roach.

The handicapped accessible gallery features 40 artists who use a variety of mediums – oil painting, watercolor, acrylic, welding and metal work, and more.

“I think we have some of the finest art in the U.P.,” said Friederike Roach. “The decision was made early on to feature high-quality, original art, and all these artists are very professional.”

The majority of the artists featured in the gallery draw inspiration for their work from the U.P. and its natural beauty. Everything from trees, lakes, moose, and even the minerals in the ground make it into the artwork.

As the business name states, the gallery features fine art, which may leave some to wonder – what exactly defines “art” from “fine art?”

Fine art tends to be unique and original, in a sense that each piece can stand alone and, most of the time, you can identify the artist because of the technique or style used in the artwork.

“They set up a question for themselves, like a scientist, and use art to solve that problem,” said Friederike Roach. “A fine artist will play on an emotion, and that emotion comes through in the art piece. It must shake you up in your soul – it must make you feel something.”

While large metropolitan areas may come to mind when art galleries are mentioned, both gallery owners agree that their business belongs in Michigamme.

“It’s a very personal feel,” said Jerry Roach. “We can talk to our patrons and find out exactly what they like, or talk with our artists about what their painting or art piece means to them and the story behind it. I think if we moved elsewhere, we’d lose that approach.”

With regards moving, Friederike Roach, knows a thing or two about that. Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, Friederike Roach credits the city for influencing her love of art. Because she comes from a long lineage of creativity, Friederike Roach said she was always encouraged to participate in the arts. One day, when she learned that not everyone in the world painted or was involved with art, she was shocked. For this reason, Friederike Roach feels strongly about getting children involved in the arts at an early age.

“It’s so important for kids to experience art. It doesn’t matter if it’s music, theater, or physically producing pieces of art,” she said. “I think every human has artistic potential, even if it’s just appreciation for art.”

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery encourages children to visit and view the art, and groups of school children have come and toured the gallery in the past.

In addition to school groups, visitors have come from as far away as Australia, but typically, they see a mixture of half local residents and half tourists.

“One thing we notice is that when people come into the gallery for the first time, they’re just amazed with the quality and diversity. They come in the first time like, ‘Wow, I had no idea.’ We deeply appreciate that the artists bring their work here,” said Jerry Roach.

** A new art exhibit, “Spring Song”, begins May 1, 2014 and runs through July 5, 2014. An afternoon reception will be held Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 2-4PM at the gallery. **

Summer gallery hours:

Monday-Sunday: 10AM-5PM

Tuesday: By chance

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery

(906) 323-6546

136 E. Main, HC 1 Box 3477

Michigamme, MI 49861

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