Arts & Culture: Local Art Scene
This is the place where inspiration meets the inspired, where artists live and breathe amidst a landscape so beguiling it is the basis for endless interpretations in color, craft and creation.
But we’re not the first ones to take note of the area’s richness in talent. For decades, Northern Michigan has lured a palette of the poetic, those who translate their visions on to canvas, pottery, jewelry, photography, blown glass, fabrics, metal, wood, even taking humble Petoskey stones and incorporating them into eccentric keepsakes and treasures.
“The cultural environment in Northern Michigan provides visitors and residents the opportunity to actually meet the artists and musicians of our area,” said Liz Ahrens, executive director of the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, the hub of the local art scene. The arts center coordinates world-class exhibits and local juried shows in its dual galleries, promotes performances and supports regional artists through a variety of events, such as a summertime Gallery Walk and D’Art for Art fundraiser in July.
A burgeoning arts scene is taking shape in nearby Boyne City, where locals have dubbed a stretch of town “SoBo” (South Boyne) for its inclusiveness and support of local artists and their work. And nearby Charlevoix, an upscale lakeside resort town, is following suit with its Charlevoix Circle of Arts, a nonprofit organization with the mission to promote Charlevoix as a cultural arts hub by providing community enrichment and support of the arts. Both towns are within a 20-minute drive from Petoskey.
In postcard-perfect Harbor Springs, a spacious performing arts center serves not only students, but it invites professional groups and nonprofits to stage shows such as the Young Americans and the Northern Michigan Chorale.
The north country art community is enriched further by long-established potters such as those at Bier Art Gallery in Charlevoix, Otis Pottery in East Jordan and Sturgeon River Pottery in Petoskey, the intricate glassblowing by Boyer, Jordan Valley and Good Hart glassworks, and prominent painters like Mary Hramiec Hoffman, Pierre Bittar, Valerie and Trisha Witty, who capture vibrant vistas in their own signature styles. Even in tiny Cross Village, artisans at Three Pines Studio and Cross Village Rug Works showcase their unmatched skills in pottery, fiber art, jewelry, worked wood, paintings, glass, quill boxes, totem poles, weaving and many other interesting objects.
Combined across mediums and modes, they all paint a picture of Little Traverse Bay as a place where art really does imitate life. ML
Local Artists and Galleries
For a complete listing of local artists and galleries around Northwest Michigan,
go online to The Summer Guide, www.miseasons.com/summerguide
• Crooked Tree Arts Center, www.crookedtree.org
• Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center, www.harborps.org/PAC/pac.htm
• Little Traverse Civic Theatre, www.ltct.org
• Northern Michigan Artists Market, www.nmam.us
Motorcoach Living » Arts & Culture: Local Art Scene