We have new artists displaying their work at the Raven. In addition, we have purchased a few new thought-provoking prints centered on social commentary. I have also pulled a few of my old dusty peaches out of the archive to hang. For me, art is like a child: I create it, I love it and then I send it out to the world.
As an ambitious young pup I was fortunate enough to be aided by members of the community to get my work out there and sold. This kindness has stayed with me and now, as a business owner with lots of expendable wall space, I love to have original art up. To pay it forward, when an artist sells work at the Raven the business does not take a commission. Only 10% goes to the employee who facilitates the selling of the piece, the rest goes to the artist.
Artists currently showing work in our Café include:
Warren Doss – Painter, welder, musician… a real renaissance man!
Carol Mason (MASON MADE) – A resident of Croswell who makes all sorts of arts and crafts (often aided by her handy husband Dean Mason), including decorated wooden boxes, candles, jewelry, wearables and so much more.
Cecil Williams – The Blue Water Area’s crown prince of stained glass, Cecil has pencil drawings on display as well. He has entire series hanging in the Raven’s upper-level balcony . The current series illustrates seminal Detroit rockers the MC5 in saint-like depiction.
Joanie Parmann Roehl – Marysville High School art teacher and resident, Joanie has been making art for many years. She along with her students are responsible for many of the gorgeous murals at Marysville High.
Lee Hillis – Marysville resident and stained glass enthusiast. Lee has been dabbling in art since high school. Over a year ago she apprenticed under Cecil Williams at Studio 1219 and fell in love with the stained glass medium.
John Henry – An AMAZING artist, and dear friend of ours, John recently passed away and gifted us a few Poe-inspired pieces before he died. He has an posthumous art show coming up July 5 – 29, 2016 at Studio 1219.
Jody Parmann (me) – Port Huron resident, co-owner of the Raven and Marketing Specialist. I’ve been making art since I can remember. I work in many mediums and many styles. It’s just fun to get messy, and sometimes I make cool stuff in the process.
Technically it’s not missing, per se, we’re getting a new one! The old girl was up there for many years doing us proud, but she needed to be put out to roost, so to speak.
We’re having local blacksmith/wood carving artist Rick Russel create a new one for us. You’ve probably seen his work around town and didn’t know it. He’s one of the artists responsible for the gorgeous leafy railings in front of Studio 1219, the art gallery just down the road from the Raven.
Originally from Marysville, Michigan, Rick has traveled the northwest as a young man and apprenticed under a prolific metal smith in Oregon. He is currently the VP at a fencing and fabrication company in Warren. He’s a busy guy, as you can imagine, so he only occasionally gets to indulge in fine arts projects such as this. The projects that excite him are the ones that beautify his hometown and present unique challenges for him as an artist.
Stay tuned – we’ll keep you updated as our new raven nears completion.
Recently when I came into work and saw a beat-up box with a note saying “scrapbook coming soon for these”, I couldn’t help but take some time to look at what was inside. In the box were pictures and post cards either from Michigan or being sent to Michigan. I couldn’t contain my excitement looking through the large pile knowing that I would to be the first to see them, read their messages and have the privilege to assemble them into a book.
The photo album cover says “Life Is Meant to be Shared” and the cards fit perfectly in it. Between the old, yet elegant, pictures ranging from portraits to ships to scenery, I became nostalgic for bygone times, and I have no doubt that our patrons will feel the same. The pictures are simply breathtaking! One that caught my immediate attention was of Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. What a sight! Every man was wearing a suit and the women were decked out in elegant dresses. The greenery stood tall and proud as if it were straight out of a Robert Frost poem.
I can’t wait to add this to the library and see the impact it has on the Raven’s customers. It will be kept on the shelf for over-sized books located on the upper level balcony. I would love to see our patrons scroll through these magical pages and find that the pictures tickle their insides as they did mine.
Plus, there are about twelve postcards of kittens, from the Port Huron area nonetheless. Honestly, who could resist that?!
P.S. Postcards were donated to us by the Salvation Army located at 729 Howard St., Port Huron, Michigan.
ARE WE NOT LIKE TWO VOLUMES OF ONE BOOK? The Raven Cafe has partnered with Literacy and Beyond to help their vision.
Literacy and Beyond is an organization focused on improving the reading skills and educational outcomes of at-risk children and their families whilst addressing the non-academic barriers that hinder their success.
This organization gives away over 7,500 books EVERY YEAR to students in the Port Huron area who are working hard to improve their reading skill…s. (WOW! Talk about improving the community!)
Showing your support of Literacy and Beyond’s mission is as easy as 1, 2,3!
- Take a blank bookmark from one of the mugs throughout our cafe.
- Draw, color, doodle, or write inspirational messages. Whatever your creative mind can muster!
- When you are done simply put your finished art back into the mug.
The bookmarks are collected and distributed to local students by Literacy and Beyond.
This is truly a match made in heaven for us here at the Raven Cafe, and we look forward to the support and art that our patrons provide!
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
A new family-friendly addition to the Raven Cafe has finally arrived! If you have a little one presently (or one on the way) you’ll be as excited as me.
Here’s the plight of mothers these days: you’re out to dinner with your husband, and the wee one needs a diaper change. In this modern day many fathers are taking a hands-on approach when it comes to parenting, and if yours is one of the good ones (like mine) he’ll offer to change the baby while you sip your coffee. He walks off only to return with still-soiled baby because, like many public establishments, there is no changing station in the men’s room. It gets trickier and even more inconvenient in a scenario with two male parents.
In the interest of being progressive, the Raven has finally installed a baby changing station in our unisex restroom (the one on the ground level). Now mothers can take that much-needed moment and drink their tasty beverage while dad cleans up the doodie! We hope to lead by example and encourage other businesses to accommodate awesome fathers (we know at least Casey’s Pizza caters to daddy diaper duty). If you’d like to join the revolution, consider sending a letter to the Times Herald’s Talk Back. Wouldn’t it be great if all downtown Port Huron restaurants got on this bandwagon? It could be another awesome perk that sets us apart from the big box chain restaurants.
As the mother of a busy 3-year old I rarely get time to sit down with a good book. Even though we have an entire section devoted to Edgar Allan Poe at the Raven, I don’t have the leisure time to peruse it. These days I’m a big fan of audio books so I can multitask. I listen to them in the car, while getting ready in the morning, working, cleaning… you get the idea. Poe’s works are public domain, so a website called Open Culture whose mission it is to create a centralized source for high quality cultural and educational media has made his works available to anyone at no charge.
Being a visual learner, I also recently purchased the Poe app collection by iClassics, who specialize in combining classic literature with interactive art and cutting edge technologies. Thus far I’ve consumed the Tell-Tale Heart, The Oval Portrait, Hop Frog, Annabel Lee and, of course, The Raven. It’s creepy, interactive, illustrative and just plain engaging. I highly recommend it and, in addition to Poe’s works, they have Charles Dickens and H.P. Lovecraft (Sadaat approves the latter).
The Raven Café was featured recently on Awesome Mitten’s blog that featured “4 Michigan Drives to Make the Most of Fall”. The Raven was mentioned as a necessary stop for hot beverages whilst travelling the Highway M-25: Lexington to Caseville route.