The Artists in Residence at Cordia

The Members of Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons will enjoy an abundance of amenities living on site. Among those includes easy accessibility and classroom instruction from three local ‘Artists in Residence.’ Mary Kay Burbee, Mark Meyer and Shanny Schmidt were recently selected from a group of talented applicants to be the 2015 Artists in Residence within Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMary Kay Burbee is an experienced mixed-media artist with works ranging from drawing and painting to handmade jewelry. She has taught classes before and looks forward to the opportunity to do so again for the residents at Cordia.

“My students teach me as much as I teach them,” reflects Mary Kay, “I’m excited to teach and inspire the members at Cordia and their influence will motivate me to refresh and renew my work.” 

Each Artist in Residence will teach a number of organized classes to the Members at Cordia. In addition the artists will have open studio space of their own, where residents can stop in for inspiration or ask for help and advice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark Meyer is an Architect by trade and though he’s only been painting for 2 years his incredible talents are evident. Mark’s early years as an architect included drafting by hand, so perspective has long been an interest of his and he expects it to be an emphasis of one of the classes he’ll teach. For the last two years Mark continues to work as an architect by day and paints in his Dining Room on days off.

“I’m looking forward to the studio space,” says Mark, “I hoping to teach a few classes on shapes and shading, perspective and even painting outdoors to take advantage of our perfect setting.”

Members will certainly influence the types of classes that are taught based on interest and technique, but the three Artists in Residence have already begun brainstorming the types of classes they’d like to teach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShanny Schmidt’s most well-known work captures the character and personalities of “man’s best friend.” Her pet portraits are unique and fun, and she’s been painting people lately too. Shanny is excited for the opportunity to teach a self-portrait class among others with the members of Cordia.

“The first thing I do is paint the eyes,” says Shanny, “its the key to showing the personality of your subject.”

Find more information about Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons here!


Faces & Spaces: Paul Boel

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is considered home to many interesting people. Their unique experiences & living spaces help tell the story of what makes the Village a community…

Few people choose to water ski in their fifties, even fewer would attempt it after turning seventy-five, but Paul Boel continued to water ski into his nineties.  Today at 91 years old, Paul is a living example that proves age is just a number. Read more


Compete for the Bocce Cup!

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Faces & Spaces: Evelyn Shelagowski

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is considered home to many interesting people. Their unique experiences & living spaces help tell the story of what makes the Village a community…

Evelyn Shelagowski has spent nearly a full decade as a resident of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. She was the first person to live in these renovated halls and if given the chance, she would have moved in as soon as Ray Minervini purchased the property. Evelyn is an artist who studied architecture for her own personal interests and to strengthen her skills in perspective. The minute she heard about the gorgeous structure, how it would be saved, and ‘The Village’ it would become, she knew she wanted to live here. Read more

Red Drive

Red Drive is Back!

When the gravel streets of the Traverse City State Hospital were first given their name, careful thought was put into who would be navigating these roads. Its our understanding that literacy was the factor under consideration, and with a wide range of education levels the streets were given the names of colors with a corresponding colored sign. Read more


The History behind Kirkbride Hall

The newly restored Kirkbride Hall is brimming with rich history in both place and name. The structure was originally built between 1883 and 1885 as the Chapel of the former Northern Michigan Asylum. The central Chapel Building, occasionally referred to as a Lecture Room, is characteristic of a Kirkbride Asylum, or those based on a standardized design and construction for mental health treatment known as the Kirkbride Plan. This concept originated with Pennsylvania physician Thomas Story Kirkbride in the mid-19th century.  As a pioneer of the moral treatment of the mentally ill, Dr. Kirkbride intended for these grand structures to be the ideal sanctuary for the mentally ill and act as a participant in their recovery. Read more


Traverse Symphony Orchestra: July 19th 2014

Close your eyes and imagine the resonant sound of the symphony. The historic front lawn is vibrant with activity and musicians play under a spectacular structure akin to an ethereal amphitheater. The laughter & conversation with friends adds another element of music to your ears and the comforts of the setting bring the beautiful peninsulas close enough to touch. Read more


Faces & Spaces: Christine Krzyszton

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is considered home to many interesting people. Their unique experiences & living spaces help tell the story of what makes the Village a community…

Walking through the doorway into Christine Krzyszton’s living room, you’ll take notice of the bold and bright colors, beaming from the abstract paintings that adorn every wall. Christine, among many things, is an Artist and her work can be characterized by the cheerful primary colors she paints with; reminiscent of youthful energy & the happiness of childhood. “My place is full of my art in every corner,” says Christine, “Each piece was created in this room.” Read more


Announcing Kirkbride Hall

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