Way back in 1995, a group of talented artisans from Leelanau County gave birth to the Leelanau Furniture Show (LFS). It was a stunning debut for a fall event that ran for many years, showcasing dazzling displays of original art and fine crafts — the kind of work you’d only find at the big shows on both coasts, always held on Columbus Day weekend.
The cool news is that many of the same award-winning artists have been putting on a similar, but bigger and better, event — the M22 Art2Art Fall Tour — on that same October weekend. Now in its fourth season, The M22 is not only about furniture; it includes the works of painters, ceramicists, fiber artists, sculptors, and other artisans in four themed spots along the highway that winds through the glorious Leelanau Peninsula.
Sleeping Bear Twig Furniture maker Bill Perkins, one of the directors of the M22 and among the LFS’ founders, says this year’s show will be the best ever. “Columbus Day weekend is the busiest weekend, the wineries tell us, for wine sales. People are up here driving around going to wineries and looking at colors,” he says.
“The artists are so ready to get out there,” says another LFS founder and M22 director, Donna Popke of Dream Covers furnishings in Suttons Bay. She looks forward to great attendance. “People are hungry to get out there and hungry to shop,” she asserts.
“The painting show in Glen Arbor Township Hall is more of a gallery/museum,” Perkins adds. “We asked just nine painters (and gave them) lots of wall space to hang their paintings, (as well as) lighting.”
Among the participants is Kaye Krapohl, whose ethereal landscapes capture Leelanau’s magic. “Through my work I hope to bring the power of nature into people’s inside environments,” Krapohl says.
Perkins says he expects that Northport’s Village Arts Building, this year’s furniture venue, will be bustling. “We jam it full of furniture and sculpture, so people have lots of stuff to look at,” he says.
Familiar names to look for include Larry Fox, another LFS founder, with his modern wall pieces; Fred Rehak, with his reclaimed industrial-chic tables and benches; Peter Czuk, with live-edge and sleek wall art and benches; and Perkins, with his intricate twig furnishings.
In Cedar’s Cleveland Township Hall, the ceramics show will feature stunning functional porcelain pieces. Check out Stephen Kostyshyn’s intricately woven works that combine fiber, clay, and wood, and wife Julie Kradel’s clay sculptures.
“We both have such a passion for what we do,” Kradel says. “Then, to know that someone buys it for their home and comes back again the next year, is so wonderful.”
The M22 Art2Art Fall Tour, sponsored by the nonprofit Suttons Bay Art Festival committee, runs Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. m22art2art.com.