2018-07-07 / News

Murray Hotel Gallery Features Local Artists

By Marley Tucker

Pat Pulte with one of his more recent works hanging in the Murray Hotel foyer. His piece, “Forest XVI” is oil on canvas. Pat Pulte with one of his more recent works hanging in the Murray Hotel foyer. His piece, “Forest XVI” is oil on canvas. The Murray Hotel houses the Mackinac Island Art Gallery, which features Island artworks by local artists, including Patrick Pulte, one of the hotel’s owners, and Nicki Griffith.

They are members of Mackinac 7, a group of residents who have been painting together since the early 1990s. They learn from each other, and promote art, and inspire others to appreciate nature throughout the Island.

“I think over the years we all evolved into our distinct style, and it challenges us to do better,” said Ms. Griffith.

Mr. Pulte didn’t seriously take up painting until he was 63 years old. He had grown too old for some of his younger hobbies, so he tried to find a new outlet, which eventually became painting. He mainly paints abstract subjects on canvas these days.

“Abstract painting isn’t fun to me because there’s nothing to start from. You have to dream it all up, with no reference point,” said Mr. Pulte. “It is rewarding when you’re done, though. Fun is when you’re riding a Ferris wheel. This isn’t like that.”

When picking a color palette for an art piece that he is creating, Mr. Pulte said, he just follows the moment and will paint with whatever color captures his vision well enough.

He tries to paint every day.

Mr. Griffith paints mostly plants and flowers as is featured in a couple of art galleries here and in her hometown of Ann Arbor.

She has been painting most of her life and thinks of it as a response to the beauty of nature that surrounds us all. Currently she is working in ink and gouache on heavy watercolor paper, focusing on color and line. In regard to her art she believes that she is more process than product oriented and paints primarily for the joy of expressing herself. She wants to explore relationships of colors, textures and shapes or express inner thoughts or imaginary scenes in her art for others to see.

Ms. Griffith has been a summer resident of Mackinac Island for 31 years and is a member of the Ann Arbor Women Artists, which seeks to stimulate creative expression and sharing among its members to improve the quality of their craft. Run as a volunteer organization, members exhibit their work in several juried and non-juried exhibitions throughout the year. The organization also offers workshops and monthly events in Ann Arbor.

The art gallery at the Murray Hotel is in the basement through the end of August.

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