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Robert Ziebell: Eagle Harbor Social Aid and Pleasure Club

Eagle Harbor Social Club w

The Eagle Harbor Social Aid and Pleasure Club in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, owned by artists Liz Ward and Robert Ziebell (BFA 1979), will re-open this summer with a second season of special events and exhibitions of artwork incorporated into the historic collection of the former Eagle Harbor General Store.

The opening show features striking black-and-white photographs of Lake Superior in winter by Calumet resident Mike LaMotte. Mr. LaMotte is probably best known as co-owner of The Fitz in Eagle River, which serves some of the finest BBQ in the Upper Peninsula. But Mr. LaMotte also excels with his sharply-focussed, large-scale digital photographs of storm-ravaged Keweenaw shores. Mr. LaMotte finds quiet inspiration in the sublime beauty of Keweenaw in winter, and his distinctive images stretch the boundaries of the norm in landscape photography. 

Mike LaMottes’ show will be on view from June 23, 2017 through the rest of the summer. 

Later in July, Michigan native Jessica Halonen will install a selection of her two and three-dimensional works throughout the general store’s eclectic collection. Ms. Halonen, who has family roots in the Upper Peninsula, is a professor of art at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Her meticulously constructed works will complement and comment on the many items that have been part of the store’s collection for over 100 years. Ms. Halonen has explored topics such as genetic engineering in the pharmaceutical industry, and, most recently, the physiological and metaphorical implications of the color blue. Her researched-based work has been widely exhibited and was recently reviewed in Artforum.

Jessica Halonen’s show will be on view starting July 282017.

A musical event is also planned for the evening of July 3rd featuring the Marquette-based Mardi Gras parade band, Who Dat Brass. This 7‑piece New Orleans style band is composed of a masterful drummer, a skilled bass trombonist, an energetic trumpeter, a veteran sax player, an amazing tuba player, and a poetic vocalist, all lead by a soulful trombonist. 

Who Dat Brass will raise the roof in the store as well as on the store’s porch for a benefit concert to help fund the exhibitions at the Eagle Harbor Social Aid and Pleasure Club this summer. 

The Who Dat Brass concert will start at 7:00 PM on July 32017.

About the Eagle Harbor Social Aid & Pleasure Club

Since its founding in 1861, the former Eagle Harbor General Store was more than just a general store. It was a gathering place for the community, a music venue for local bands and musicians, a post office, and the place to get an ice cream cone in summer.

With its eclectic collection of memorabilia displayed alongside goods for sale, the store was a de facto museum as well. The odd assortment of artifacts: old toys, obsolete tools and housewares, photographs and mementos — much of it donated by local residents – became a repository for the collective memory of the town.

The Eagle Harbor General Store is now the home of the Eagle Harbor Social Aid and Pleasure Club, and, in the tradition of the Store’s colorful past, current owners and artists Liz Ward and Robert Ziebell will present a cultural program of social aid and pleasure in the summer and fall of 2017. Visitors are welcomed in to relive their own memories of the store and to participate in the creation of new ones.

The name Social Aid and Pleasure Club” has its origins in the carnival culture of Liz’s native New Orleans, and in honor of that celebratory spirit, we host live music on the porch, and contemporary art exhibitions that are integrated into the Store’s displays of historic artifacts, combining past and present in new and innovative ways.

Eagle Harbor Social Aid and Pleasure Club
181 W. North, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950