Maritime exhibit to launch at arts center.

December 1, 2014

LUDINGTON — The Ludington Area Center for the Arts and Mason County Historical Society are jointly sponsoring a new gallery exhibit called the “Maritime Heritage Exhibition.” This exhibit will open on Friday, December 5, 2014 beginning at 5 p.m. as part of Ludington’s First Friday Art Walk.

The exhibition will feature parts of two new maritime collections that have been donated to the Mason County Historical Society for inclusion in the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, which includes the historic Coast Guard Station being developed as a maritime museum, the future Fish Market Museum and Charter Fishing and Coast Guard Rescue Museum.

The society is now in the public phase of its fundraising campaign to finance the new museum.  In its public appeal, MCHS is offering an opportunity to contribute $100 to be part of the Charter Friends, which qualifies contributors to have free admission for the first year of operation, receive a quarterly newsletter and be recognized on a donor’s plaque.  To date there are 125 Charter Friends.

The exhibit will also display maritime photography from Todd and Brad Reed, several original pieces created by Mason County resident and artist David Sulewski, and pictorial pieces on loan from Lake Michigan Carferry, Inc.

The ship models were handcrafted by Houghton C. Smith, Jr. of Royal Oak, Michigan. Mr. Smith was a naval officer during World War II and spent his civilian career serve as a professional engineer. Eleven of the models will be on display, including a model of the Niagara, Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship during the U.S victory over the British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

Paul and Iris Kamradt, residents of Jenison, Michigan, are the donors of 200 model lighthouses, of which a considerable number will be displayed in this gallery exhibition.  The Kamradts have served as volunteer lighthouse keepers at Big Sable Point lighthouse, and Iris Kamradt grew up in a maritime family, as her father retired from a career in the Coast Guard.

A short program will be held at 6 p.m. to honor the donors and a presentation will be made about the progress being made in the development of the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.  Light refreshments will be served.


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