Category Archives: Inspiring Women

International Women’s Day

Happy Women’s Day

I have fond memories of this event aka MDZ from former Czechoslovakia. On this day in history, we received flowers and/or pantyhose to celebrate our womanhood. The celebration mainly honored women as mothers and workers for the common good. It felt good to be recognized for something that is natural to all women in the world.

The Inspiring Women series is dedicated to all the women around the globe for their day to day efforts.

Inspiring Women- Carol Briggs

Lowell Person of the Year inspires and motivates others to get things done

“Whether I work with two or 10 people, I like to share the success, and not to solely own it. It takes a myriad of people and networking effort.”

                    Carol Briggs

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – If you want to get things done, just ask Carol Briggs.

The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce has named Briggs as Person of the Year 2019 for her community involvement in multiple organizations such as the Lowell United Methodist Church, F.R.O.M., the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce and Relay for Life.

The top award came as a complete surprise to Briggs, when chamber director Liz Baker gave her a piece to proofread on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

“I found out from the chamber flyer that I was the person of the year,” Briggs said. “There were friends waiting for me at the chamber to congratulate me.”

Briggs is passionate about the Lowell community, and she radiates and spreads that passion around her.

“My personal motive is to help our Lowell community to be vibrant, inviting and fun for those who live here, as well as for those who may stop by for an event,” Briggs said in her acceptance speech at the Annual Membership Gathering at Deer Run.

Form a committee

And special events are her cup of tea. Briggs has a keen interest in organizational things.

“I love working with a group of people with the same interests toward results that are both educational and enjoyable,” she said.

Briggs enjoys the most working in committees for special events. Her most recent experience comes from organizing the 20th Anniversary of F.R.O.M. last summer.

“I like when everyone takes their piece and follows through,” she said.

She attributes the huge success of the F.R.O.M. event, held at Witt’s Inn and attended by 140 people, mainly to being prepared. The preparations for the event started about a year ahead of time with regular monthly meetings of a committee of nine.

Be prepared, have a theme

“We started brainstorming with the theme,” she said, “having in mind the main purpose of the event, whether it’s education, awareness or celebration.”

The committee consisting of nine people picked the theme: “Roaring 20s.”

It all evolved from there; from entertainment by Roger McNaughton to catering by Miss P’s Catering and the silent auction.

“We used china plate settings from F.R.O.M. and some costumes,” she said. “Eighty-five percent of people dressed up.”

The event was complete with pictures by the vintage car provided by John Sterly.

The key to success

“The key to success is understanding the purpose of the event,” she said. “That is what does the organization want to achieve.”

Make connections

“Think about people and their connections in the area,” she said. “It’s about finding those connections in the community and expecting people to follow through.”

Challenges & fears

Briggs advises to face challenges by not feeling overwhelmed with an upcoming event.

“You work through it and you have to be flexible,” she said. “Sometimes I woke up at 3 a.m.”

Briggs likes to break down complex tasks into steps and she definitely makes lists.

“If I have a lot going on, I have a lot of lists and a lot of folders,” she said.

Budget

Some funds for the event were directed from the proceeds of the Food Fight, while others were in kind gifts.

Visualization

“I am a visual learner,” she said. “I like to see things first, and then the mind absorbs it. I like to see my task or I can’t sleep.”

Success and accomplishments

“I like to share the success, whether I work with two people or 10,” she said. “I am not the only one who made this happen. I try to practice humility.”

Motivation

“A person who has his or her fingers in many pots must have a motive,” she said. “My personal motive is to help our Lowell community.”

Inspiration

Briggs offers tips and advise for other women in terms of everyday goals, as well as long term goals:

“I try to find good in every day in whatever comes my way,” she said. “I try to decide how to respond not to react.”

Her mantra is acceptance.

“I am accepting of others and their lives,” she said.

In response to what makes her feel good about herself, Briggs said: “It’s mainly family and close friends, if they are supportive you can do so much more.”

And you can always do a lot more than you think you can, according to Briggs.

“Don’t let other people’s comments or your own inhibitions hold you back,” she said. “Ask for an opinion from a trusted friend, we don’t have all the answers. We’re all in this together.”

Secrets

If Briggs has any secrets, we’re not going to find out about them from her.

Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Young Entrepreneurs

Little Dreamers Sleepovers

A dream come true for Hastings woman

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Grand Rapids, MI- Maranda Palova chatted about her business “Little Dreamers Sleepovers” with Fox 17 Morning Mix co-host LeighAnn Towne on Tuesday morning.

Inspired by her French niece Ella’s request for a sleepover at her Hastings home, Palova designed a kids’ birthday party line.

“My daughter Josephine and Ella enjoyed it so much that I thought why not let everyone enjoy a sleepover party,” said Palova.

The path from idea to the final product- a themed tent set-up- at clients’ home entailed a mix of hard work, innovation spiced with passion and creativity.

“I love kids,” said Palova. “It’s very rewarding. “

The most popular themes include: Unicorns, mermaids and minecraft.

Palova comes to a client’s home two hours or earlier before the party to set up the sleepover scene complete with tents and all the party bells and whistles.

The next morning she tears down the tents leaving behind only precious memories.

“It’s coming of age thing,” Palova said. “It’s heart warming. “

Palova loves changing the colors in different themes. She encourages early bookings. Her coverage area is within 60 miles radius of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo or Hastings.

For booking and more info go to:

Little Dreamers Sleepovers on http://littledreamerssleepovers.com

Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Voices 2018

Let your voice be heard

“It struck me that as writers, we have a unique opportunity – a responsibility, even- to voice our own truth and to help others do the same.”

                                                            Writer’s Digest editor-in-chief Tyler Moss

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI -I got an e-mail today from the BlogHer 18 Creators Summit seeking nominations for Voices of the Year. The deadline to nominate an inspiring woman influencer is May 31. The tradition of celebrating women’s voices has been around for 11 years in the ever-changing world of blogging.

Just a few minutes ago, I happily removed the metal stakes designating the driveway for snowplowing and stored away the snow shovel. Only our famous blade for the Jeep reminds me of a winter gone by. It’s too heavy for me to lift it.

I picked up my Fleet Street Missy spring coat yesterday at J.C. Penney in Greenville. I hope I won’t need it until late fall.

I ran into a fisherman at my favorite hideaway at the tip of the horseshoe-shaped lake three miles away.

“I am just poking for bass and pike before I get my boat out,” he said.

“Yes, it’s a very nice lake that gets really busy on weekends,” I said.

“Sure, that’s why I come out on weekday mornings,” the fisherman said.

Me too; I always come out to the lake in the morning seeking inspiration in its calm waters. Today, I also discovered my Lenten Rose poking its purple head out of the thawing ground.

Earlier in the week, I had an interesting interview with a writer for the Grand Rapids Magazine about me and my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories. My husband Ludek wished me good luck, as I assured him that I am equally comfortable on both sides of the interview.

I absolutely loved the question that Lauren had asked me during the interview at Jamnbean Coffee Co. in Ada.

“How do you want your readers to feel after they are done reading the book?” she asked.

I had to get to the right answer with a lot of prelude. Finally, I responded.

“Transformed and maybe bewildered,” I said, “because that’s how I feel when I am done writing them.”

The article  will come out in the print version of the Grand Rapids Magazine in July.

The interview was also an opportunity to list my forthcoming author’s events. I realized I wasn’t a great planner, by not being able to look that far ahead.

But, after reading “Roar,” a profile of emerging and groundbreaking authors in the Writer’s Digest, I realized something very important. And I quote:

“It struck me that as writers, we have a unique opportunity – a responsibility, even- to voice our own truth and to help others do the same.”

Editor-in-Chief Tyler Moss

Don’t Fret your own voice. It will shape your destiny.

As an author, blogger, screenwriter, journalist, short story writer and a novelist, I really have a unique opportunity to “Seize the day” or “Carpe Diem.”

Book me for your events in the physical world or on the web today.  Don’t wait another 100 years.

Following are the topics that I will be addressing in the upcoming months:

Creating an author’s platform & following

How to create your author’s platform using WordPress blog/website plus social media.

Writing your life story/memoir

Memoir writing does require an outline or a timeline with important milestones pertaining to your story. It should be chronological, but you can open each chapter with the most interesting episode/scene.

For example: When daughters write about mothers, their complex relationship does not necessarily end with the parent’s death.

When writing about a business that has been handed down from generation to generation, start with the generation that has made the most profound impact or the generation that has pulled the business through a major crisis or to new heights.

When capturing a segment of your life, focus on how has a certain experience changed you and why.

Researching your roots, ancestry. Why does it matter and to whom?

Getting audio/visual

Book trailers, video productions and podcasts are a must in an increasingly visual society. Always script everything you’re going to say. Create an audio version of your book.

Publicity

How to write an effective press release to get media interviews and publicity.

Have an email list of useful contacts. Inform your contacts on regular basis about your progress in a newsletter.

From idea to final

How to take the initial inspiration on a journey to the final product; whether it be a book, a screenplay, a movie or a video production.

You find yourself one lovely afternoon struck by a fast-fleeting thought that will soon disappear along with others into the imagination swamp.

How do you make it stay or how do you rescue your idea from the swamp?

Test and explore your inspiration.

What genre to pick, and what format to use?

Depending on your topic and how you treat it, it will land you with a certain format within a genre.

This may be a novel, novella, a short story, a play or a screenplay.

Don’t just go by what’s big now, because it could be little tomorrow.

By that, I specifically mean the current phenomenon of historical fiction.

Women’s fiction

Women’s fiction involves a transformation of the hero with a bit of romance, but not as the major plot.

Non-fiction writing

Pick something you know well, but give it a new angle. Pick the right market/audience from Writer’s Market.

Know how and when to pitch the right editors.

Become an expert in a certain area.

Don’t be afraid to stand out with a unique opinion a new perspective.

Copyright © 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Happy International Women’s Day

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme is #PressforProgress which calls for action to press forward and progress gender parity.

Now, more than ever it takes on a new meaning in light of the recent events not just exclusive to Hollywood and the politicians.

The campaign gives us five options of positive behaviours toward gender equality starting with maintaining a gender parity mindset all the way to celebrating women’s achievements.

I have chosen all five. But long before this campaign I had the positive influence of celebrating womanhood in the old country.  The socialist government encouraged the celebration of IWD.

One of my favorite memories from the former socialist Czechoslovakia is the celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), both at work and at home.

The country very much valued its female population to the point that women could stay on a maternity leave for up to three years without losing their job. They received 60 percent of their salary for the first two years of their maternity leave with full salary for the first six months.

The nurseries were free as well as other preschool child-care establishments. While capitalism swiped all that away, the country did manage to keep all its old holidays along with the new ones. The country doubled up on fun when they picked back up Mother’s Day with the advance of the free market economy, and retained International Women’s Day from the past.

I still see well wishes to women from my Czech friends on Facebook on this day. Now, that warms my heart; the fact that both systems acknowledge a woman’s place in the society and in the workplace.

We used to get flowers or pantyhose at work, or the other way around at home. Even though now I don’t get either for this day, I still dedicate a memory, a post, or a wish to all the women in the world.

Inspired by the IWD tradition, I started my most popular story series, “Inspiring Women” in the winter of 2014. The series features women that are making a difference in their communities.

Since then, I have featured women from all walks of life: small town politicians, businesswomen, sportswomen, nuns, artists, doctors, herbalists, bloggers and many more. Each woman told her own story, and they were all inspiring. They are the
Fabric of their families and communities.

Just to name a few: Gail Lowe, Liz Baker, Betty Dickinson, Sharon Ellison, Betty Morlock, Mary Dailey Brown, Kathleen Mooney and most recently Betsy Davidson.

If you run into them, say thank you. Nominate a woman who has inspired you for a story.

Link to IWD is: https://internationalwomensday.com

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Inspiring Women- Betsy Davidson

About the Inspiring Women series

This feature series is dedicated to all women who are making a difference in their communities. They work to improve other people’s lives, as well as their own.  They give  Profusely of themselves. In putting together this feature series, I was inspired by several moments in my life that in particular stand out.

Orchids in full bloom
Enigmatic orchids

No.1  A dedication of a Relax, mind, body & soul book by Barbara Heller from my son Jake: “I dedicate this to my inspiring and motivational mother.” Kuba

No. 2  While on a story prior to Mother’s Day, I dropped in at Ace Bernard Hardware to talk about the prizes with owner Charlie Bernard. We talked also about the Lowell Area Chamber and its director Liz Baker.

“You know what I like about Liz, she keeps re-inventing herself,” Bernard said.

No. 3 Again on a story prior to the International Women’s Day on March 8, I talked to Sow Hope president Mary Dailey Brown.

“If you want to make a difference in this world, seriously consider helping impoverished women. Helping women is the key to unlocking poverty.”

No. 4  At a parents teacher conference at Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell in the mid 1990s, I spoke with my son’s teacher, Karen Latva:

“Mrs. Pala, we do not give up,” she said.

This series is geared toward the International Women’s Day on March 8. Nominate a woman who has inspired you. Contact Emma at emmapalova@yahoo.com with subject Inspiring Women.

There is a parallel series “Inspiring Communities” where you can nominate both men and women, year round.

Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce names Betsy Davidson  Person of the Year 2018

IW betsy
Addorio owner Betsy Davidson

“Find something that you are passionate about and jump in with both feet.”
Betsy Davidson

Lowell, MI- Betsy Davidson, owner of Addorio Technologies, is the recipient of the 2018 Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Award.
She will accept the prestigious award at the winter gathering of the chamber membership on Feb. 15.
The award came as a total surprise to Davidson, who found out about the honor at the ambassador breakfast club. “It’s very humbling,” she said. “My customers have been congratulating me. I am very happy.”
Davidson has been the owner of Addorio Technologies since 2000. She started the company when her former employer Creative Handling of Hudsonville went out of business.
Her first job was at Deer Run Golf Course, and her first car was a blue Renault.

How does she gets things done

Davidson described herself as a dedicated and persistent individual. In preparation for a big project as in building a website or a server/network upgrade, Davidson first meets with the customer to make sure expectations are met and details are communicated.
The major challenge in the technology business, according to Davidson, is keeping up with constant changes in IT. That means attending trainings, workshops, webinars and on the job training.
For inspiration, Davidson looks up to fellow business owners. Her role model is chamber executive director Liz Baker.
“She has so much energy,” she said. “I can’t keep up with her.”
There was another reason why Davidson wanted her own business, since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Positive thinking

“Positive thinking has always kept me going,” she said, “my family, my husband Matt and my friends.”
She has never wanted to quit her job.
“I get more excited as I grow my business,” she said. “I keep moving forward.”
A lot of Davidson’s business is in the greater Lowell area.
In response to a question about fear in both professional and personal lives, Davidson said the only fear she has in business is disappointing customers.
However, in personal life Davidson said she’s afraid she could miss out on spending time with the family and friends.

Accomplishments

Her biggest professional accomplishment is receiving the 2018 Person of the Year award.
Also, last year, Davidson was presented with an award for raising $50,000 for the MS Society.
“We were among the top 10 for a “do it yourself fundraiser” for the state of Michigan.
Davidson and her family have been doing this fundraiser for the last 16 years.
On the theme of success, Davidson attributed her achievements to her determination.
“I am kind of stubborn, and I keep going,” she laughed. “I don’t stop.”
Among her goals is to continue to do 5k runs, and a 10k run tentatively in 2018. She does the 5/3 Fifth Third Run, Ionia Parks run and Alpha Women’s Center run.
Her interests include travel. She plans to visit her grandma Annette Addorio, 103, in Maine. She named her business, Addorio Technologies after her grandmother.

Volunteerism

Davidson is an active volunteer with the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and the Lowell Area Trails network. Between the three organizations, Davidson spends approximately five to 10 hours volunteering a week on top of her 50 to 60 hours a week work schedule.
She offered the following tips and advice to other women:
“Number one is balance,” she said. “It’s hard to squeeze time out of the day, but I have a passion for what I am doing.”Also, Davidson advises not to be afraid to ask other people for help.
“Find out who else is passionate about the same thing, and it will strengthen the project,” she said.
In face of negativity, Davidson always focuses on positivity.
“There is a lot of negativity, try to focus on the positive,” she said.
The Person of the Year Award annually honors people who make contributions in the greater Lowell community above their regular work.
“It is a huge honor to receive the award,” Davidson said. “It’s all-encompassing. I wouldn’t have received this award, if it weren’t for the help of the people I work with.”
Davidson hopes to continue to do all this and more into the future.

About Betsy

Name: Betsy Davidson

Residence: Lowell

Occupation: Business owner of Addorio Technologies

Education: Central Michigan University

Family: husband Matt

Hobbies & Interests: walking, running, travel and spending time with family

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Be Bold For Change

International Women’s Day theme 2017 encourages to Be Bold For Change

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Hastings, MI- The screen on all my devices says Wednesday, March 8. Today is International Women’s Day.  Every year on this day, I think about the women in this world, both privileged and underprivileged.

I think about the progress we have made since the suffragist movement for the women’s right to vote in the early 1900s. I also think about the progress we have yet to make.

Yes, in modern societies we get equal education like men in any given field, at any given time. The difference is in what happens after schooling, regardless the continent we live on.

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Annie Conboy with daughter Erin blogs for a better world for her daughter.

I am not a feminist by any stretch of imagination, but I do have to admit after years in the labor market, I have to say:

“It is still a man’s world.”

Years ago, the pretty blonde character Amanda from the TV series “Melrose Place,” said it the best, as she was in vain climbing the company ladder.

“The big boys will let us go only so far.”

That is not to say that I haven’t met women in top positions as editors, publishers and business owners. I am an Internet entrepreneur with a big love for the free business spirit. And I know other women who own businesses like Nancy DeBoer, owner of Station Salon in Lowell.

But, even then, there is a missing fraction of an inch, that missing gap why Hillary Clinton didn’t become the first female president of the USA last year.

The movement for women’s rights is not always just about money and equal opportunities. It’s more about a woman’s positioning in the society.

Maybe, it’s because our primary role is to take care of our families; at first children and then aging parents or grandparents.

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The hand and nails of a 76-year old woman

“What do you like about being a woman?” I asked babysitter Heather before I left for a meeting on this very windy morning.

“Being a mom,” she said laughing, “a man can’t say that.”

And yes, I braved the 50-mile winds to drive 40 miles to a meeting, only to find out there was no power. There was no meeting and tree limbs blocked the roads. I ventured into the local KDL library in hometown Lowell to finish writing this International Women’s Day post because I couldn’t get home due to a fallen tree in the road.

No matter how brave we are, at any given stage in life, we will always be the primary caregivers. The society relies on us in any country around the world to take care of what really matters, at a time when it matters.

On daily basis we drive cars, buses, use public transportation, order food in restaurants, pay for it, pound the keyboards, stand in front of cameras and lead in meetings and speeches.

We are teachers, nurses, doctors, babysitters, high-lo drivers and construction workers.

But, first and foremost, we are moms, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and girlfriends looking out for each other in a fellowship.

This global fellowship is called womanhood.

As I have recently and gratefully found out, we also have to take care of each other. If we don’t do that, no one else will do that for us. We get together, whether in knitting or gardening clubs, to encourage each other.

So in essence, the 2017 theme “Be Bold For Change” has always been with us for the last 100 years since the Soviet Revolution.

A prologue quote to one novel says:

“May you live in changing times.”

In the popular winter series “Inspiring Women” on EW Emma’s Writings that leads up to the International Women’s Day, I have written about women from all walks of life. They have always stood boldly in the face of adversity, without expecting any rewards.

Hiker Babe Gail Lowe walked in memory of her daughter Becka 4,600 miles on the North Country Trail (NCT) to commemorate her life in 2014.

Hiker Babe
Gail Lowe on a mission walk in memory of daughter.

Since the establishment of NCT in 1980, only five men have completed a thru hike of the trail and Lowe was the sixth person, and the only woman in the USA.

NCTA executive director Bruce Matthews said Lowe’s hike elevates the awareness of the North Country Trail.

“It fires people’s imagination and makes the trail more accessible to women,” he said. “It expands the horizon. It is unusual to complete it in one season.”

Matthews said solitude is part of the trail experience.

“We hope it inspires others to hike the trail,” he said.

Fellowship with women at home and around the world is the key to overall well-being and peace.

Helping women in the Third World countries is the primary mission of the SowHope organization based in Grand Rapids.

“If you want to make a difference in this world, seriously consider helping impoverished women. Helping women is the key to unlocking poverty,” said SowHope director Mary Dailey Brown.

On this day, women are also gathering around the world to protest the status quo of inequality and the violation of women’s rights to decide about their own health.

For more info go to:

 For more posts about Inspiring Women go to:

Hiker Babe walks 4,600 miles in memory of daughter

https://emmapalova.com/2015/02/28/iw-hiker-babe-walks-4600-miles-in-memory-of-daughter/

1001 Day Blogger Annie

http://www.annieconboy.net

Sow Hope director Mary Dailey Brown

https://emmapalova.com/tag/mary-dailey-brown/

International Women’s Day – Wikipedia

Copyright © 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

An Australian discovery

Enlightened by discovery

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- In light of the March 1, “Big Birthdays” post, I find this, “When I am 64,” by  Debra Kolkka of Brisbane, Australia post very enlightening.

And I discovered that the story behind the “Bagni di Lucca and Beyond” blog is even more inspiring. Two friends, Debra and Liz, who live in Brisbane, Australia, started blogging about their houses in Italy to inform tourists.

Much like for the rest of us, Deb’s and Liz’s blog has grown into a passion building upon their colorful careers in fashion and retail.

Watch for a story on blog discoveries around the world. Visit with Debra and Liz in Brisbane for cosmopolitan inspiration.

 

 

64 once seemed so old, but not now…

via When I’m 64 — Bagni di Lucca and Beyond

Farewell to a Lowell artist icon

Goodbye to artist Mrs. Janet Y. Johnson

Mrs. Janet Y. Johnson, 87, of Lowell passed away on Feb. 20, 2017.

Mrs. Johnson has inspired generations of artists embedded in the greater Lowell area.

Together with late David Davis and current artist Kathleen Mooney they  have created an artistic legacy.

Drawing exotic animals in a circus setting was a passion for Jan Y. Johnson.

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Miller Circus in Lowell.

Mrs. Johnson has been a staple at the Flat River Gallery & Framing in downtown Lowell with her countless exhibits of watercolor and acrylic paintings.

Mrs. Johnson studied animal drawing at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL and graduated in 1951, as well as at Kendall College of Arts & Design.

She worked for Amway as a graphic artist in the 1970s.

“It was fun to work for them back then,” she said in an interview on Jan. 31, 2017.

Her last and current exhibit at the Flat River Gallery features paintings with a circus theme with the most recent painting from the Miller Circus which performed in Lowell last summer.

Prior to Mrs. Johnson’s last exhibit, I interviewed her at her Lowell studio,  which has been home to her for more than five decades on Jan. 31.

She was perky and proud of her latest illustration of children’s book about bullying “Gertie Goose” with author Pat Markle.

“I like how I captured the angry geese,” she said.

Circus elephants by artist Jan Johnson of Lowell.
Circus elephants by artist Jan Johnson of Lowell.

Memorial services for Mrs. Janet Y. Johnson, 87, are scheduled for March 4.

Please extend sincere condolences to her children Brooke and Blake Johnson via Jan’s Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/janet.johnson.96742277

For a full story on Mrs. Janet Y. Johnson in the IW Inspiring Women series go to:

https://emmapalova.com/2017/02/03/lowell-artist-inspires-generations/

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this story or photos may be reproduced without the written permission of author Emma Palova.

Lowell artist inspires generations

IW Inspiring Women – Jan Y. Johnson

Longtime artist inspires generations embedded in Lowell area

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Note: The IW winter series, which leads up to the International Women’s Day on March 8, features women from all walks of life who continue to inspire others in our communities.

Inspiring women
Inspiring women

Their positions in the society are not measured by money or the accolades they receive, but by contributions to progress and well-being of all.

Nominate a woman who has inspired you for the series.

Lowell, MI – Artist Janet Y. Johnson, 86, is an icon. Together with artists late David Davis and current Kathleen Mooney, they have created an artistic legacy for generations embedded in the greater Lowell area.

Lowell artist Janet Johnson has created a legacy.
Lowell artist Janet Johnson has created a legacy.

Johnson has been a staple at the Flat River Gallery & Framing in downtown Lowell with countless exhibits of watercolor and acrylic paintings.

The gallery will celebrate its fourth anniversary with the “Let’s celebrate” event with champagne and chocolates on Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Johnson recalls all the great years of exhibiting and painting in the Lowell area.

“They’re all realistic paintings,” said Johnson about her work.

Some of them go as far back as to the heydays of another icon, the Lowell Showboat on the Flat River in the 1950s.

“I used to sing on it, and then I painted it,” Johnson said during a recent interview at her home.

As we looked at the dark blue watercolor painting of the Showboat with strings of lights floating on the Flat River hanging in the detached studio, one could imagine the lively atmosphere on the deck.

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Iconic Lowell Showboat with windows into the past by Jan Y. Johnson

You could almost hear the voices singing:

“Here comes the Showboat.”

Circus elephants by artist Jan Johnson of Lowell.
Circus elephants by artist Jan Johnson of Lowell.

Johnson sold two paintings of the Showboat and bought one back when the owner stated, that the painting should stay in the Lowell area.

Johnson has lived in the Lowell area for 57 years.

Growing up on a farm in Alto, Johnson acquired a natural affinity to all animals.

Johnson studied animal drawing at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL and graduated in 1951.

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Miller Circus at Lowell Fairgrounds, 2016

Prior to that, she studied at the Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, and worked as a publication designer for Amway in the 70s.

“It was a wonderful place to work,” she said.

Among her favorites are vivid paintings of exotic animals in circus settings.

Work in progress by Jan Johnson.
“A friend’s boat,” work in progress by Jan Johnson.

Johnson’s most recent watercolor painting is of the Miller Circus which performed in Lowell last August after the fair. She will hang the painting of the circus at the gallery for the new February show.

According to Johnson, the circus ringmaster at the Miller Circus was connected to  the Ringlings.

Johnson spent most of 2016 illustrating the children’s book  “Gertie Goose.”

“It’s a story about bullying,” said Johnson.

Pat Markle, former teacher of Hastings Schools, wrote the book. This was the third project for the author illustrator duo during the last decade.

The book is available at the Lowell Arts and at the Flat River galleries for $15.

“Gertie Goose” was published by J-Ad Graphics of Hastings in 2016.

“They do a good job,” said Johnson.

For more info on publishing go to www.http://www.j-adgraphics.com/

It is also available on Jan’s Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/janet.johnson.96742277

Johnson’s art will be at the ArtPrize 2017 from Sept. 20 through Oct. 8.

ArtPrize: https://www.artprize.org/jan-y-johnson

For more info on the Flat River Gallery go to: http://www.flatrivergalleryandframing.com

info@flatrivergalleryandframing.com

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this story or its photos may be reproduced without the written consent of author Emma Palova. @EmmaPalova

Local women march in Washington D. C.

Women from Michigan march in Washington for Women’s Rights

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – Women from all over the USA and the UK gathered in different places to march for Women’s Rights on Saturday, just one day after the inauguration of president, Mr. Donald Trump.

Lowell resident Sharon Ellison, former mayor pro-tem for the city of Lowell, is among the many women voicing their rights in the historical march following the inauguration.

Three weeks prior to the event, the charter buses from Grand Rapids heading for the Women’s March were sold out.

Local marches are currently being held in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Ellison is representing many local women carrying a sign with their signatures.

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John Grote, editor at Discovery Communications, commented on Facebook:

“I am perplexed at the media coverage or should I say lack of as of this morning of the Women’s March,” he wrote. “I get the National Prayer service is important, but history is being made.”

Follow us as with Sharon Ellison as we go through the day, and into history.

Pictured in the feature photo are from left to right: Alice Harwood, Kathy Sainz, Maria Lara, Nancy Misner, Sharon Ellison and Shelli Otten, principal of Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell.

One of the organizers from Fountain Street Church was Rev. Jason Hubbard.

For more information go to: http://www.womensmarch.com

Follow @EmmaPalova #emmapalova #ewwriting #womenmarch

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.