Married couple lives life through local art gallery
Danville, Mich., resident Kermit Johnson looks at “Paintings from Up North” on Feb. 22, 2013, at Mackerel Sky Gallery of Contemporary Craft. The collection is a series of landscapes by Michigan artist Kris Love. Julia Nagy/The State News
For many people, opening a business mostly is a means of making money. For Mackerel Sky Gallery of Contemporary Craft co-owner Linda Dufelmeier, it’s about connecting with the people.
“The things that we sell (to people) impact their lives,” Dufelmeier said. “It gives them quality objects that they enjoy everyday.”
Tom and Linda Dufelmeier opened Mackerel Sky in 1990. Originally working as leatherworkers from 1976 until 1988, the husband-wife team’s love of art led them to start the business.
“We love the work ourselves,” Tom Dufelmeier said. “We love pottery, we love cool clothing, and we have a saying with our business saying ‘Mackerel Sky: bringing art to articles of everyday life.’”
There are two parts of Mackerel Sky. The first consists of the fine crafts gallery, displaying crafts by artists from the United States, Canada, South America, Central America and Europe.
The second part is the exhibit gallery. Mackerel Sky hosts six-week exhibits showcasing work by local artists, with the current display being Kris Love’s “Paintings from Up North” collection. Several notable local artists who showcased their work are ceramic sculptor Mark Chatterley and photographer Kim Kauffman.
“Instead of using a camera, (Kauffman) uses a flatbed scanner for images, and then she assembles photo collages in Photoshop and Illustrator,” Tom said. “That’s one we do on a pretty regular basis and that the audience enjoys.”
Kauffman, who has done business with Mackerel Sky as long as they’ve been in existence, said the partnership is a good fit for her.
“They’re part of my local community, which is important,” Kauffman said. “And they appeal to a wide variety of art collectors. All of the work they represent is really high quality. They love the work that they show, and that means a lot.”
Linda spoke about the power of art, saying it reminds her to be more aware of the world around her. For Linda, art is a way of bringing the foreign and unknown closer.
“You can sit in a tight little apartment on Manhattan and have your own little vase with flowers that you couldn’t grow out in your garden, because you don’t have one,” she said. “It just is a reminder of how beautiful things can be.”
Tom said he believes today’s society tends not to appreciate the things around us.
“In this throwaway society we have now, we find it better to find one or two really good coffee mugs and just use them until you break them, and then get another one,” he said. “That’s what keeps potters in business. But if you surround yourself with things that you really like, I think you can enjoy life better.”