Secret Studios of Antrim: Play Ball

Posted on August 10, 2011


Every year the Parkside Arts Council over in Bellaire sponsors the Antrim Artists Studio Tour to introduce the art-buying public to the artistic nooks and crannies of the County.  I am all about nooks and crannies, so there I was on an extremely hot Sunday in July wending my way along the back roads looking for Mary Ellen Murphy’s stained glass studio.  I like to go on these little expeditions with no particular expectations.  Ditching preconceived notions leaves room for delight.

It turns out that Mary Ellen does mostly architectural stained glass on commission.  On the day of the tour she was working out a panel she designed around a nice swirly glass.  She does formal traditional windows.  She does eye-popping contemporary windows.  And she has a playful side, yes indeed she has.  This is one of those times when I really wish I’d had Babs or Katherine or a Laidlaw or two with me, but you’ll have to make do with my snapshots.

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Ka-POW!!  That baseball just knocked me out.  No, not literally.  But I was delighted with it.  A lot of other people liked it too.  (See Ball Buster wins First Place People’s Choice award in show at Cycling Salamander.)  If you are from, or visiting, Around Here you can see the piece for yourself at the Kuhlhaus Gallery in Harbor Springs.

Mary Ellen is just finishing another playful piece.  I can hardly wait to see how that comes out.  Her son, Michael, is a photographer (Michael Murphy IV), so maybe we’ll get to see a really good shot of the new work.