It’s kind of surreal when one of your oldest and dearest friends grows up to be a major big deal in the art world. I’ve known Sally Rogers (the artist, not the musician) for about 45 years. That’s a long time.
Even though we’ve lived in different parts of the country for much of that time, Sally and I always managed to keep in touch. To this day, we meet for breakfast at the Omelette Shoppe about twice a year when she’s in town. You might know her mom, local activist and NMEAC board member Ann Rogers.
Sally – now a nationally recognized artist and sculptor – and I met when we were both in orchestra in middle school (known then as East Junior High). All the way through those school years until we graduated, she played bass and I played violin. That’s a lot of concerts, musicals, class trips and practice sessions. And of course, we had other classes together, and were also recruited to play in the Traverse Symphony Orchestra during high school.
Somewhere along the way, Sally started working on my family’s farm during the summer months. First, we sorted cherries together, skimming leaves, twigs and sometimes frogs out of tanks on the back of the cherry shaker. Here’s the proof, a photo taken by my mom sometime in the mid-1970s.
Eventually, Sally and I both got promoted to forklift driver. She had the unfortunate luck to end up driving a Massey Ferguson we nicknamed “Lurch” because of its reputation of making abrupt and uncontrolled movements while driving through the orchard. That’s especially interesting when you’re navigating hilly orchards like we have on Johnson Farms. I like to think that those early days of driving Lurch gave Sally the necessary skills to navigate life’s ups and downs.
And that, she has done really well. It’s not easy making a living as an artist, and Sally has stayed the course since graduating from college. She currently has an exhibit at the Dennos Museum, located on the NMC campus in Traverse City. Tim and I stopped by to see her sculptures, which incorporate a mix of cast glass, pate de verre, steel, stainless steel, stone, wood and bronze. They’re seriously beautiful and thought-provoking.
I also love that those sculptures at the Dennos Museum remind me of the drawings she used to do back when we sketched horses together in a corner of the library at Traverse City Central High School.
The exhibit – “Myths and Mortals: The Mixed Media Sulpture of Sally Rogers” – runs through September 9, 2017. Click here to read more about it, and check out Sally’s website here. Museum hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Well done, friend! Take a look at a few photos of Sally’s exhibit…