Art Attack takes over Harbor Country

Published 2:10 pm Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kristy Putnam, owner of the new Peacock Place Gallery and Gifts, works on a shower pan she is creating using Michigan beach pebbles. (Submitted photos)

Kristy Putnam, owner of the new Peacock Place Gallery and Gifts, works on a shower pan she is creating using Michigan beach pebbles. (Submitted photos)

HARBOR COUNTRY — Once again, businesses throughout Harbor Country will be opening their doors to welcome both artists and art lovers during the annual Art Attack weekend.

“We’ve always found that it is a great event for us,” said Laura Cochran, who owns Local Color Gallery with her sister, Rita. “It brings a lot of people into the area, and it serves as a great kick-off for the art season in Harbor Country.”

While Jennifer noted that Art Attack was originally the idea of artist Liz Thomas and the people behind the now-defunct Red Arrow Ride, the Cochran sisters have been organizing Art Attack for approximately 15 years.

“It seems like we’ve been doing it forever,” Laura said. “The main thing is trying to get as many people to have some kind of art in their business.”

Judging by this year’s brochure, which is available to download at, the sisters have been very successful at meeting that goal. Events are scheduled to take place from April 25 through 27 at businesses located in New Buffalo, Three Oaks, Union Pier, Harbert, Sawyer and Lakeside.

Unlike many other such community-based art festivals, a wide variety of businesses — not only those typically associated with art — will be involved in Art Attack.

“Indian Summer Boutique is going to have a trunk show, and Catherine Doll is also doing something,” Jennifer said. “There will also be free dog sketches at Beach Tails in the Shops at Michigan Thyme.”

One of the big highlights of the weekend will be the annual Ad Fest and Feast, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks.

That event will feature a screening of the 2013 award winners from the New York Festival of International Commer-cials, made possible by rights-holder Jim Smith.

“They are commercials from all over the world,” Jennifer said. “They’ll show all the winners from a wide variety of different categories.”

Along with the screening, samples of some favorite dishes will be served by Harbor Country restaurants, including Capozio’s, Dave’s Delicatessen, Fitzgerald’s, the Journeyman Distillery, St. Julian, Timothy’s, and Milda’s Corner Market.

“Something that’s new, and that we’re very excited about, is that Green Sprit Farms will be participating,” Jennifer said. “I’m sure they bring something very fresh and exciting.”

During the course of the evening, organizers will also be presenting a scholarship to a New Buffalo senior who plans to continue in the study of any of the arts. Proceeds for the evening’s $40 ticket sales will go towards funding that scholarship as well as defraying the cost of organizing next year’s Art Attack. Reservations can be made by calling the Acorn Theater at (269) 756-3879.

Another highly anticipated event will be the opening of a new art gallery and gift shop, Peacock Place, located at 13436 Red Arrow Hwy. in Harbert. Art Attack hours for the new gallery will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

However, a grand opening artists’ reception will be held there on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres with featured artists William Anderson and Cathy Tapia as well as with gallery owner and artist, Kristy Putnam.

“We feature all local artists by preference,” Putnam said. Quoting William Anderson, she added, “We’re not famous, but we’re fun!”

While Anderson is known for creating works in a variety of media, including the large kaleidoscope in Three Oaks, Peacock Place will be featuring his fused glass pieces. Pottery, impressed with grape vines from Lemon Creek Winery by ceramic artist Cathy Tapia will also be on display.

A variety of Putnam’s creations will also be available for purchase, including her all-recycled necktie fashions, custom ceramic tile murals and the pebble mosaics that she creates for both walls and floors.

“I love going to the beach and getting rocks. I’m currently making a shower pan out of pebbles,” Putnam explained. “I also like to use recycled tiles from the Harbor Habitat ReStore. They give me the ingredients to create balanced, asymmetrical patterns.”

With so much going on in Harbor Country on the last weekend of April, it seems certain that even the most insatiable art-lover will be satisfied by the offerings that the Cochran sisters have organized with help from all of the communities involved.