Spend a rainy afternoon poking in and out of local art galleries. Recall your own hike up Pyramid Point as you pick up a bright tile from Spork Tile-Art in Fishtown or a Sunday drive on Jelinick as you gaze at a Gene Rantz oil. From landscapes on canvas to beach glass jewelry, you can spend hours browsing artwork, made and inspired by the Northern Michigan life, in Leelanau County.
Artist demos by glassblowers, blacksmiths, jewelers and more are good reasons to visit the airy Sleeping Bear Gallery (sleepingbeargallery.com), a block west of M-22 in the Empire Clipper Building. Find art and handcrafts from Michigan and nationwide at the Secret Garden (secretgardenempire.com).
Weekly art exhibits add to the pottery, metalwork and other offerings at Lake Street Studios (lakestreetstudiosglenarbor.com); Ruth Conklin’s Gallery boasts the Midwest’s largest collection of Sticks Furniture and various interpretations of nature (ruthconklingallery.com). You’ll find an art fair’s worth of variety in fine art landscapes, sculpture and more at Synchronicity (synchronicitygallery.com), and art inspired by the plant world at Glen Arbor Botanicals, where three red pines grow through the roof. (glenarborwest.com).
Serendipitous beach finds and the area’s maritime history inspire the stunning work of the Aurora Borealis Designs Studio, featuring beach glass jewelry and silver tug necklaces (lelandbeachglass.com). Becky Thatcher Designs sells designs pairing local stones with rarer gemstones from far-flung places (she also has a gallery in Glen Arbor). Pottery is a real find, bothat Benjamin Maier Ceramics, featuring functional art objects like cups and vases (banjaminmaier.com) and Fishtown-based Sporck Tileart, where colorful tiles show images of regional icons. Find sophisticated art of all kinds behind the giant giraffes at Main Street Gallery (mainstreetgalleryleland.com).