Thursday, August 11, 2011

gwen frostic's old print studio

      Gwen Frostic was an artist, author, and Michigan Women's Hall of Fame inductee. She was born in Sandusky, Michigan to Sara and Fred Frostic. When she was 8 months old she suffered from an unknown illness that left her with lifelong symptoms similar to cerebral-palsy. Despite physical difficulties, Gwen showed an early interest and aptitude for art. In June 1924 she graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, where she was known for using a band saw to create event posters for her school. She continued her studies at Eastern Michigan University earning her teacher's certificate and gaining membership in Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. In 1926 she transferred to Western Michigan University and left in 1927 without completing her degree.
      She continued her artistic endeavors in metal and plastic and taught an occasional class as well. Because metal shortages during the war, Gwen decided to print from carved linoleum blocks. She developed many designs for stationery goods, calendars and prints in order to develop product for her printing company, Presscraft Papers. In the early 1950s she opened her own shop where she sold her prints, books, and other items in Frankfort. In 1960 she bought 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land in Benzonia and on April 26, 1964 she opened her new studio and home to her customers. Frostic lived there until her death in 2001.
      Gwen Frostic was granted several honorary doctorates from Alma College, Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Ferris State University. In 1978 the governor of Michigan declared May 23 as Gwen Frostic Day in Michigan. In 1986 she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. Western Michigan University named its school of art after her in 2007, after her 13 million dollar bequest to the University in 2001.: the Gwen Frostic School of Art. While given as an unrestricted bequest, the funds have primarily been used for scholarships for students, and for the benefit of the arts and creative writing departments in particular, in respect to her lifelong pursuits.
        Teachers may use the following photographs for the development of educational materials. I will soon include several art lesson plans about Gwen Frostic on this blog and it is likely my visitors will need the photographs for Power Point presentations. I snapped these photos of Frostic's studio and home during one of my many family vacations near Lake Michigan.
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The front entrance to Gwen Frostic's studio and home.
There is a little indoor pond just inside the front entrance to her studio.
Children love to watch the gold fish in the pond.
This is her library. It is full of very old books.
The Frostic studio still operates some marvelous old printing presses in the basement area of her home.
The public may purchase Gwen's poetry books in the shop. I just bought my first copy this summer, but my sister in-law has quite a few!
Here are the page samples of this year's calendar. Although Gwen passed away several years ago, she still has many friends who publish her work out of the old studio.
I  love this owl made from a pine cone.
Here is another shot of her old presses. These are fascinating to watch while they are in use.
Above the window visitors can see one of the carved linoleum blocks by Gwen Frostic.
More merchandise. The walls in her studio are made from giant boulders!
On the far left, you can see my younger child shopping for stationary, watch out! When she shops move over buddy!
One of the large ramps leading to the giant round hearth room at Gwen's old studio.
The giant round hearth room.
Print for sale.
A wall of glass where Gwen used to view the local wildlife from the comfort of her own home.

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