Frostic Printing Press
In Northern Michigan lies a hidden sanctuary. It's a place where the serenity of nature comes to life in a form unlike any other. A studio made of stone, glass and wood brings the outdoors in featuring elements of water and fire. Display rooms are filled with shelf after shelf of creativity and inspiration. One can watch as twelve Heidelberg presses print, and an afternoon easily slips away while browsing each and every unique design. This structure I am describing belonged to world renowned artist Gwen Frostic.
Though no longer alive, Gwen was a well-known author who passionately shared her observations of the universe. She was also the owner and president of Presscraft Papers, Gwen Frostic Prints, of Benzonia. And more recently, she even had a day dedicated to her very being. May 23rd is observed as Gwen Frostic Day in Michigan, and in 1986 she was inducted into the Michigan Woman's Hall of Fame.
Long before her death she wrote her epitaph: "Here lies one doubly blessed. She was happy and she knew it."
In September 2017, I visited this wondrous place for the second time in my life, and I certainly hope it was not the last. A feast for the eyes indeed, one would expect influences of Michigan's great outdoors to be portrayed in Gwen's work. Sketches of flowers, birds, trees, grasses and other wild, woodland critters have each been cut by hand into linoleum block to share with the world.
On this trip, much to my delight, I spotted something I hadn't seen before from Gwen - desert landscapes. Cacti prints abound! My heart sang as I recall feeling right at home. But suddenly, and silently, I wondered to myself, "Could this be home after all?"
Framed is my favorite Gwen Frostic print, a postcard of the Great Lakes covering our earth.