Enlivening spaces: one of a kind finds

Looking to brighten and personalize your cottage retreat? There’s no shortage of creative outlets brimming with regional artistry inspired by Michigan’s diverse Great Lake terrain.
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Live for Art Gallery Beulah
Live for Art Gallery features creations that share ties to the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are the theme at Live for Art Gallery, situated near the shores of Crystal Lake in downtown Beulah. Mixed media, paintings, photography and pottery from artists with a connection to the Great Lakes are showcased. Engaging videos of each artist accompany exhibits to help visitors understand their individual intentions and creative process (liveforartgallery.com).

Based in Port Huron, Studio 1219 is the largest public art facility in Michigan’s Thumb region. With more than 8,000 square feet in a renovated building that had housed a furniture store since 1882, it features a fine art gallery, pottery studio, gallery gift shop, solo artist gallery and open space for classes, community functions, private parties and small arts-related businesses. More than 100 local artists display and sell their work here, with rotating shows monthly and a featured solo artist in the Van Gogh gallery every six weeks (studio1219.com).

Louise Hopson’s Daisy platter can be picked up at Art Cats Gallery
Louise Hopson’s Daisy platter can be picked up at Art Cats Gallery

Art Cats Gallery, located in Muskegon’s historic Lakeside District, showcases the work of more than 40 artists and artisans. Handmade jewelry, fun and functional pottery, blown and kiln-fired glass, sculpture, furniture, prints, paintings and a medley of accessories and other artful objects are available here for sale. Originally opened as a showroom for artist/owner Louise Hopson’s fanciful, bright clay pieces, the gallery also continues to feature Hopson’s works. Art Cats Gallery now has a second location in Petoskey, too (artcatsgallery.com).

The Crooked Tree Arts Center is the epicenter of the arts and cultural scene in and around Petoskey. Its exhibits, concerts, classes, lectures and full slate of special events and other activities draw locals and visitors alike. During the summer of 2013, Crooked Tree hosts the Oil Painters of America’s first-ever Summer Salon: More than 400 paintings representing the best of oil painting in the U.S. will be displayed as the center is transformed into a salon-style exhibition space with lectures, workshops and associated events (crookedtree.org).

Live for Art Gallery Beulah glassworkThe Berrien Artist Guild, Inc. converted the historic Williams Brothers Paper Box Manufacturing building in 1995 into a multi-use facility that celebrates the arts in the intriguing Great Lake community of St. Joseph. The Box Factory for the Arts’ three galleries feature work by guild members as well as invited artists. Exhibits change every six weeks, starting with a reception that’s free to the public (boxfactoryforthe
arts.org).

electric midnight moon pic
Electric Midnight Moon – Courtesy Art Cats Gallery

Nationally-known artist Greg Jaris invites patrons to unleash themselves and visit his Trick Dog Gallery nestled in the Lake Michigan dunes overlooking Betsie Bay. Exclusively featuring Jaris’ own paintings, prints, sculptures and furniture, the gallery also carries Trick Dog merchandise, eclectic gifts, housewares, dog products and unique toys. The building itself is a study in art, with three Michigan Ironwood trees actually serving as supports inside the building, mosaics and other custom and whimsical touches. An expansive porch also offers respite and relaxation after touring the venue (trickdoggallery.com).

Crooked Tree Arts Center exterior
The Crooked Tree Arts Center mixes exhibits with concerts, classes and special events.

The picturesque bayside village of Elk Rapids north of Traverse City is home to Twisted Fish Gallery & Sculpture Garden and Blue Heron Gallery. Twisted Fish offers changeable collections of sculpture, fine oils, watercolors, pottery, wood, metalwork, glass, jewelry and kaleidoscopes. A special collection of large-format oils and watercolors by Northern Michigan artists is featured in its Cottage Gallery. Nearby Blue Heron Gallery presents works by artists from the area as well as statewide. Watch co-owner Dan Reszka at work in his studio and view the colorful display in Pat’s Gardens (twistedfishgallery.com; blueherongallery-er.com).

— Kathy Buzzelli, Michigan BLUE Magazine. 

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