By Pat Dillon
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
As one of Wisconsin’s top spots for art, Door County invites visitors to cherry-pick their taste in paintings, pottery, blown glass, textiles, jewelry and more from scores of galleries and studios. Artists from around the country flock there to be represented, own a gallery or set up a studio, while others just come with an easel and palette for a few days.
Take a class, browse exhibits or go shopping for treasures. Here are a few options from the bottom of the peninsula on up.
Gerhard Miller was a celebrated water color and egg tempura painter who opened an art museum in 1974 just blocks from Sturgeon Bay’s Green Bay.
Dedicated to local, regional and national talent, the Miller Art Museum is a non-profit with four galleries that offer seven changing exhibits a year, with one showcasing the work of Door County high school students from five area schools. The exhibits are juried, which means only quality work dons their walls.
A bit off the beaten path, but worth the short trek, is Woodwalk Gallery, featuring local and regional artists in watercolor, oils, encaustics, metal work, wood, glass and pottery. Located in a historic barn, Woodwalk Gallery also is famous for its Friday night concert series featuring music that ranges from bluegrass to a solo celloist.
Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek is an unparalleled one-stop shop for some of Wisconsin’s most respected artists, and many from around the country. There’s an artful experience awaiting inside the stone walls of a century-old fruit barn and throughout the 80-acre orchard.
Walk the two-story gallery, sit in its bricked courtyard patio surrounded by natural beauty or walk its innovative outdoor sculpture garden.
David Aurelis’s background in landscape painting is all over his charming pottery thrown at Clay Bay Pottery and Gallery, a studio-gallery he owns with his wife Jean. She puts out the charm, too. Collectively their pieces reflect Door County landscape with sculpted scenes such as cherry blossoms and birch trees against a backdrop of bright blue Lake Michigan waters.
Other pottery pieces shown at Clay Bay share the Aurelis’s affinity for charm, like hand-formed lady vases and more pots with lively depictions of natural outdoor scenes.
Cross the mainland on the Washington Island Ferry, and more art can be found at the Washington Island Art and Nature Center.
This gallery is dedicated to featuring the work of island artists in a number of media, plus it hosts three exhibits throughout the tourism season. You can even take art classes or nature programs with a trained naturalist.
While you’re on Washington Island, you can take a class in a wide range of fiber media at Sievers School of Fiber Arts. Located on the island since 1975, this is school has mastered how to augment your summer vacation with a classes on basketweaving, quilting, bookmaking and more.
If you're looking for more to do in Door County, try these top tranquil escapes on the quiet side. You can also browse more cultural attractions in our directory, or try our visual arts tour of Wisconsin's east coast!