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1997 Mic teamed up with like minded people to open a gallery in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fine Art Frame & Gallery featured Mic’s paintings. Since Mic has great people skills and had many connections with business owners, he was also the marketer for this new gallery.
1999 to 2001 Mic moved his showcase of paintings to Saugatuck, Michigan to be featured in the Jhon Kleyn Gallery. This gallery was detrimental in lifelong connections with very special people he met. After Jhon closed the Saugatuck Gallery, Mic had many new ventures that took his works of art to Europe.
During the Jhon Kleyn Gallery years, Mic met David Barton, who opened up a Restaurant called The White House in that city. He loved Mics paintings and ended up buying a large one of Elton John. When the Jhon Kleyn Gallery closed, David then asked Mic to display some of his works of art in his restaurant, now gallery. That wonderful gallery existed until 2013. It was during that time that Mic met Johannes Schoepf, who was visiting from Germany. They became instant friends and Jojo (Johannes) with his wonderful spiritual being, would later become Mic’s model for his Francis of Assisi sculptures. Mic had been searching for someone special who would exude the loving kindness and love for all nature and people he needed for his sculptures of Francis.
2003 Two man show with Photographer Andrea Angelucci in Assisi, Italy. (Paintings and sculptures).
2003 Mic then had a wonderful opportunity to get an office in the Waters Building in He expanded from a 6th? floor space to a first floor galley larger space which he occupied until they made it into apartments in 2014.
2003 “Everyone loves flower exhibition”. Showcasing a collection of still life oil paintings of flowers decoratively arranged in Phil Wilson pottery.
2004 Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy. Invited by Padre Coli, Father Superior September 18th – October 16th Mic was the first American sculptor to have a show there.
2005. (16 bronze statues of St. Francis). Summer long exhibition at the National Shrine of The Cross in the Woods. Indian River, Michigan.
2006 Mic Re-creates the Masters, White House Bistro and Gallery.
2013 Reverse Glass exhibition in the Waters Building down town Grand Rapids.
Pace e Bene
In 2002, Mic had an exhibit in a gallery in the center of Assisi, Italy. His charismatic paintings of Saint Francis of Assisi filled the walls of the Galleria La Loggie, Commune de Assisi. Local Italian TV hosts came in to interview Mic. There were also newspaper articles about his exhibition.
In 2003, Perugian delegates visiting Grand Rapids asked Mic if he would exhibit paintings showing Perugia and it’s Sister City Grand Rapids, Michigan for a 10 year anniversary of the Sister City bond. Mic's next step was to travel to Perugia to meet with the Vice Mayor to coordinate the exhibition. Mic created 16 oil paintings, Italian and Grand Rapids scenes and 4 bronze statues of St. Francis of Assisi for the show which was held at the Gallery Ciesa S. Maria Della Misericordia in Perugia, Italy from October 3rd through the 12th, 2003. On October 17, after the Perugia exhibit was finished, Mic had his 2nd exhibition in Assisi at Raffaele Ariante Gallery. It was at this display that Padre Enzo Fortunato, from the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, loved the bronze sculptures and inquired about Mic having an exhibition at the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi the following year. He introduced Mic to Padre Vincenzo Coli, head Prior of the Basilica. The exhibition was agreed upon for September 18 through October 16, 2004, during the feast of Francis of Assisi.
July 14th Mic unveiled a collection of his own rendering of 20 masterpieces from the famed d'Orsay Museum and the Louvre Museum. Mic is bringing Paris to Saugatuck (The White House Gallery and Bistro) in a one time summer exhibition of famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa, Whistler's Mother and other classics by Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Manet, Rembrandt, Degas and Toulouse Lautrec.
Before the commercial art market, copying a work of a master was considered a tribute, not a forgery. In the previous centuries, many painters like Rembrandt had workshops with apprentices that studied painting techniques by copying the works and style of the master.
In 2004, Mic was invited to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi for a bronze exhibition in the Cloister of Pope Sixtus IV depicting St. Francis in postures of prayer, meditation, preaching and interacting with nature. Mic was the first American artist to be bestowed with such an honor. The Basilica of St. Francis is 800 years old and is graced with the incredible frescoes of the perhaps first modern artist Giotto. Michelangelo visited the magnificent basilica to study these frescoes before painting the Sistine Chapel.
The exhibition officially opened with a press conference filled with TV and News media taking photos and video of Mic, Andrea and Padre Vincenzo Coli speaking. Mic had a translator seated next to him as he spoke. Mic and Andrea were also interviewed on Vatican Radio
http://miccarlson.com/Vatican%20interview%20AUDIO.mp3 in Rome about the exhibition. Over 30,000 people from all walks of life visited Mics St. Francis bronze exhibition, from September 18th through October 16th, 2004. Mic met the President of the Senate Marcello Pera and presented him with a painting of St. Francis.
The exhibition was also a collaboration with Italian Photographer Andrea Angelucci. His photos were placed behind the bronzes of Francis as backdrops
presenting scenes of places Francis visited in Assisi. A remarkable exhibition of true brotherhood and friendship, it would have made St. Francis proud.
The majority of these Bronze Statues Inspired by events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi, are now placed along the garden trails located at the Saint Francis of Assisi Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Storyboards sharing the life of this inspirational and much-loved saint accompany the statues in areas where you can walk, sit, breathe and enjoy in quiet reflection. Please visit http://www.instrumentsofhope.net/ for more info about the garden.