Tag Archives: michigan

Hometown Art Show

Walker Public Library

They say you can’t go home again. Who’s they? I don’t know… Faulkner? Thomas Wolfe? Somebody like that, probably. Then again, I think Dylan (Bob, not Thomas) said “Whattaya mean ya can’t? Of course ya can,” though I don’t see him hanging around Hibbing, Minnesota very much.

Anyways (as they say on “Deadwood,” repeatedly), I went back earlier this month to the place I lived till I was 18; my hometown, North Muskegon, Michigan, population 3,901. August – especially a hot, sooty New York August – is reason enough to visit the west coast of Michigan (the big lake was running a temp of 75 degrees all month, making for perfect dippin’), but I had another: an art show at the Walker Memorial Library, where I had probably checked out a couple hundred books in my day (“Periwinkle Jones” and “Mr. Mergatroid” stand out as faves).

What’s with all the parentheses?? I’ll cool it for a while, I promise. My mind is like a Habitrail © of diverting thoughts today.

Okay, so: I “went home again” for a show earlier this month. Shipped a few paintings in early, and brought a few on the plane. Installed the show on the 10th with help from my wife Colleen and my sister Tracy. Opening night was Friday the 13th, the very same evening as the Taste of the Northside, out in the park, and a classic car show on Ruddiman Drive, in front of the library. A busy night in NM.

Colleen, Tracy, tools

As with all shows, there’s a period of anxiety leading up to the opening. Artists are often a worrisome, self-critical lot, and I guess I’m not different. Will anyone show up?, Is my stuff any good?, etc. Well, people did show, and for that I’m grateful. Thanks to a well-written article in the Muskegon Chronicle by my NM classmate and friend Mollie Vento and some help from other dear friends, we had a good little crowd. Among the visitors: my dad’s old tennis buddy, my third grade teacher, my oldest friend’s dad and wife, a bunch of classmates, other teachers, and even my old principal, who summers in the area. It was a reunion. It was nice to be home again.

Lots o' kids, appropriate since the show was in the children's book section

With Lee Hiller, Jeff Kessler, John Campione

with Barbara Beaton, visiting from Ann Arbor

With Lee, Amy Conn Tenney and Colleen

Big 'cat hats,' big red dog

Connoisseurs of Fine Art

Colleen's "Wish Painting" was unveiled at the show

At my mom's memorial gazebo the next day

With new painting called "home", featuring North Muskegon in the heart


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Filed under Art Shows, original art

“That 70’s Brew (Stroh’s)”: a Very Special Installment of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Stroh's – that '70s Brew"

The night before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Eve, if you will), is reputed to be the biggest bar night in the U. S. of A.* Bigger than New Year’s, bigger than the night before I got married. Okay, Vernor’s (ginger ale) sold already. That was a Michigan favorite. I’m a Michigan boy. I’ve got another Great Lakes State favorite right here. And this time, it’s not 5″ by 7″. It’s [relatively] ginormous: 16″ by 20″. HUUUUUUGE!!!

STROH’S. It was once only available in Michigan, sort of like how you could only get Coor’s out west. As if it was all exclusive. Why, I don’t know. Obscure liquor laws left over from the Coolidge era? (“Calvin Coolidge” what was what known as a “President” in the “1920s,.” Read about him “here.”) Something having to do with West Michigan Calvinist Reformed Christians? I don’t know. All I know is that it was VERY, VERY IMPORTANT to keep Stroh’s away from the rest of America. Not anymore. Not now. I present Stroh’s for the people. VINTAGE Stroh’s, from the’70s. And still only, $99, for a giant painting (relative to those pipsqueaks I’ve been doing). And it’s on CANVAS, stretched and ready to hang. Click here to purchase.

I’m doing a painting each day this month. 30 paintings in 30 days. Being November, the Month of the Feast, the theme is Things We Love to Eat and Drink.

A painting a day, and yes, they’re for sale. And they’re affordable: $99, which includes free first-class shipping (except this one with is, as I’ve explained [relatively] huge, so I’m charging a nominal fee for shipping). You can order on my Etsy store by clicking here. Check this blog every day (or the Etsy store) to see the new painting du jour. Each one will be 5″ by 7″ on sturdy illustration board.

I’ll need some content, folks, so if you have any suggestions for good subjects, leave a comment or write to me at john@tebeau.com. What goodies would you like to see memorialized as art? What’s your favorite comfort food? Your most-loved childhood treat? The hometown food you miss most? If you moved away tomorrow, what local specialty would you long for? And, looking ahead, what other themes would you suggest?

Tip o’ the day: Check out EatingtheRoad.com. The flow-charts alone are worth the trip.

Coming soon: Wisconsin’s Pride: cheese & summer sausage, a deconstructed Blimpy Burger, Cafe Du Monde beignets & café au lait, and a few holiday favorites.

Tomorrow’s painting: sweet and creamy.

Thanks, too, to Michael Stern of RoadFood.com for his mention here.

*Drunks of America Assn., 1998

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Filed under 30 paintings in 30 days, drink, original art, pop art

Remember the Del Rio?

Del Rio: R.I.P.

Del Rio: R.I.P.

Way back in 1997 I drew a cartoon based on observations I made while hanging out at the Del Rio restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a fun project, and people enjoyed it, mostly I assume because of their love of the place, which closed in 2004. A damn shame, because the place had heart, soul, good music and the best freakin’ pizza in town. Not to mention the last wisps of Ann Arbor’s mythical 1970s funk factor.

I recently found my notes and initial sketches that preceded the cartoon, and I’ve posted them below, with the final product. Hope you enjoy a trip down Memory Lane, all you folks fortunate enough to remember this place.

What favorite establishments would YOU like to see get a similar cartoon treatment?


Dinner at the Del Rio, as it ran in Current Magazine

Dinner at the Del Rio, as it ran in Current Magazine

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Filed under cartoon art, original art, SOLD