Streit sees the survey as a first step to a many year process. His shorter-term goal is to create greater appreciation and understanding for art in the region to help boost better gallery art sales during the region’s wintry months from October through April. Summer sales at his gallery can total $75,000 to $100,000 a month from June to September but fall to an average of $2,000 to $3,000 during winter months.
Streit also is a member of the Northwest Michigan Arts Coalition, an independent group formed last fall by five art centers — Artcenter Traverse City, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Oliver Art Center in Frankfort, Crooked Tree Art Center in Petoskey, and an art group in Manistee. It will host a one-day meeting in early October to begin planning for broader regional focus, he said, and later expand to include additional groups.
“If Northwest Michigan did become the Santa Fe of the Upper Midwest, it would bring more people here and more attention to the visual arts,” Streit said. “These are not things that will change easily, but they will hopefully change over a longer time period of time.”
Spring and summer Artcenter activities
• Downtown Traverse City Art Walk, May 3
• Plein Air painting class and "paint out," May 16-18; a public art installation of six carhoods, donated by auto dealer Bill Marsh and painted by well-known local artists, at the Hardy Parking Deck
• Lecture on the development of Broad Art Museum at MSU and its design, May 13
• Month-long May invitational exhibit at the City Opera House by Artcenter members Lisa Perrine Brown, Charles Perry Jones and Connie McKinney
• 2013 Michigan Water Color Traveling Exhibition at The Art and Design Studio,1207 Woodmere Ave., July 13
• Invitational art show at 630 Mercato in August
• Art & the Garden Show at 630 Mercato in September
• The organization also annually prints 40,000 Arts & Craft Trails brochures that list arts events in northwest Lower Michigan, for state-operated Visitor Centers in Michigan