Art to Watch Out For

During the 2023 Ellison Bay Spring Art Crawl

The Ellison Bay Spring Arts Crawl has been a fixture in Northern Door for more than two decades – a time each year when participating organizations display new works, from paintings and pottery to wearable and edible art. This year’s art crawl – set for May 20 and 21, 10-5 pm – is no exception. 

We asked proprietors of businesses and galleries involved in the crawl about what kinds of new offerings visitors should look for this year, and here’s what they said. Responses have been edited for clarity. 

Goat art by Kris Franzke at Clay Bay Pottery. Submitted.


Clay Bay Pottery 

11650 Hwy 42

What the gallery features: Co-owners David and Jeanne Aurelius create hand-thrown pottery and tiles that reflect their love of nature. Their gallery also carries original paintings, woodcuts and pottery, including vases, bowls and pots.

What to look for: Spunky, goat-shaped pots by Kris Franzke, a new artist at Clay Bay. 

The Clearing Folk School

12171 Garrett Bay Road

What the venue features: Art, humanities and science classes for adults. 

What to look for: A docent-led tour of the wooded waterside property, through which guests can learn about the rich history of the organization. The tour leaves at 1pm.

Ellison Bay Pottery

12156 Garrett Bay Road

What the gallery features: Stoneware and raku pottery, created in small batches by co-owners John Dietrich and Diane McNeil, along with paintings by Thomas and Margaret Dietrich. 

What to look for: The gallery is focusing on John Dietrich’s early works, putting them up for sale for the first time. He’s been creating pottery for 56 years, “so there are some real treasures in there,” McNeil said.

A vase from Gills Rock Pottery. Submitted.
A vase from Gills Rock Pottery. Submitted.

Gills Rock Pottery

12020 Lakeview Road

What the gallery features: Thor and Judy Thoreson create hand-thrown pots and feature artisan table linens and woodenware alongside their pottery. 

What to look for: One-of-a-kind, spring-themed pieces featuring flowers, scenic landscapes and birds returning to Door County for the summer.

Turtle Ridge Gallery

11736 Mink River Road

What the gallery features: Mixed-media paintings, encaustics and etchings by artist Mary Ellen Sisulak, as well as wearable art such as artisan jewelry, handmade leather bags and designer clothing.

What to look for: New styles and colors of purses, as well as art demonstrations by gallery owner Mary Ellen Sisulak.

Oil painting by Rob Williams. Submitted.

Rob Williams Studio/Gallery

753 Isle View Road

What the gallery features: Colorful watercolor and oil landscapes, paired with photographs.

What to look for: The new studio, nestled in the woods around the main gallery, which will host an open house during the art crawl. Plus, enter a raffle to win a free painting by gallery owner Rob Williams.


Kick Ash Coffee

12001 Mink River Road

What the café features: House-roasted coffee, housemade granola and gluten-free treats.

What to look for: Sweet treats from snickerdoodles to scones to cinnamon-roll muffins.

Island Orchard Cider

12040 Garrett Bay Road

What the taproom features: Flights, pours and bottles to go, all made from Washington Island fruit and fermented in Ellison Bay.

What to look for: Look for a sip that tastes like spring – perhaps a semisweet pear cider or a floral apple-lavender cider?


Related Organizations