TBAC Gallery features grandfather/grandson artists

Thunder Bay Arts Council Gallery currently is featuring the art of grandfather/grandson duo Jim Shaffer and James Manning. While the two share a special appreciation for the world around them, Shaffer depicts it with watercolor and pastels, and Manning with his camera.

An open house will be held in their honor Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the gallery, located at 127 W. Chisholm. The event is free and open to the public.

Before being introduced to painting by his daughter Bethany, Shaffer said he couldn’t even color within the lines of a coloring book. Since then he has taken several workshops in different media, his first an oils class with Nan Katzenburger. His focus is now on using chalk pastels because retirement doesn’t allow him the luxury of time that watercolors require. Like his grandson he strives to capture the essence, often whimsical, of what a scene means to him.

Included in Shaffer’s exhibit are hand-carved wooden spoons and spatulas.

Manning’s love of nature began long before he got his first camera. As a boy he roamed the fields and forests around his home. When he was 9 he accompanied his granddad on the first of many back-packing trips with Alpena High School’s Bike and Boot Club, which ranged from the Appalachian Trail to the Rockies.

At 11, Manning got his first camera from his dad and began focusing on photographs of wildflowers, following in the footsteps of great grandfather Harry C. Lund, author of “Michigan Wildflowers.”

Fifteen years and six cameras later Manning’s work has taken on new meaning. It is his hope that he can inspire folks to enjoy and protect Michigan’s wild places. To do this he uses some unusual techniques. His latest landscape photo, for example, features a sunset over the Jordan River Valley that could be taken only from the top of a tall tree. He has mounted this within an old multi-paned window and hopes it will encourage viewers to explore what is outside their own windows.

This is Manning’s first formal exhibit.

Thunder Bay Arts Council and the TBAC Gallery present a Shaffer and Manning as artists in-residence for the month of October. Formore information, contact the TBAC office at 356-6678.