Let us now praise our wonderful hosts for our #GHArtWalk2013 kickoff party at Baker & Sons Lumber. One might believe that a lumberyard is an unlikely choice for a gala, and five minutes at Baker's corrects that opinion. The Baker Family's newly constructed building evokes the work baronial, as in lumber baron. The high ceilings are complimented by a wraparound second floor deck constructed of a beautiful wood I had heard called cedar, and the spacious cathedral interior glows with sunlight admitted by banks of high, clerestory windows. There's talk of listing the property in the wedding planner databases because this floor will be a perfect place for a bride to throw a bouquet to her hopefuls below.
The hall shone Wednesday night thanks to a row of Chinese light orbs hung from a center line from front to back. Chris Weiser filled that cathedral to can-do and home building possibility from a stage set up in the middle, rocking out before a photowall honoring ArtWalk sponsors Preferred Automotive Group, School Zone Publishing and JSJ Corporation. Kathleen Harrigan was gratified to learn that her painted purple cow had been recovered from last October, and stood inside near to Weiser's frenetic stageshow. The acoustics carried the songs out onto the cement pad out front where a Harbor Restaurants bartender named Zac served wine, whiskey and microbrew from an open bar and Steve Loftis showed off his burger bar capabilities by having his team charcoal broil hamburgers out front.
A lumber yard as good as Baker's has a wide range of wood awaiting projects, and shelves of pine, cedar, redwood, black walnut and oak added a fine fragrance to the September night air, an incense that made the evening unforgettable.
Let us now talk with praise of our lumber baron, Bruce Baker, in terms of a Renaissance man. Members of the thespian community know that his support helps theaters thirty miles apart produce impressive seasons, the Howmet Theater of Whitehall, and the Central Park Players of Grand Haven. More, when Tony Gant of Knox College built an art installation in the snow before the Grand Rapids Art Museum, he constructed with planks donated and painted by volunteers led by Bruce Baker. We are glad the Bruce Baker and his family are on the Grand Haven ArtWalk team.