Ellison Bay Art Crawl This Weekend

The tourist crowds are trickling out, but there are still great arts events to check out, including Ellison Bay’s annual Fall Art Crawl. Set for Oct. 22-23, 10 am – 5 pm, it comprises six artist studios/galleries and two libations stops. Here’s your guide:

Clay Bay Pottery & Gallery

11650 Hwy 42

After 46 years of running Clay Bay Pottery, it’s clear that owners David and Jeanne Aurelius work well together – and so do their distinctive art styles. Jeanne’s whimsical-yet-functional works incorporate her love of nature into everyday objects such as bowls and coffee cups, while David’s vases, tiles and other decorations showcase his more abstract flair. Their two styles form a dynamic duo that pairs well with the other art they feature in their gallery, from prints to jewelry to children’s books.

David and Jeanne Aurelius.

Gills Rock Pottery

12020 Lakeview Road

Co-owner Larry Thoreson discovered his passion for pottery during college, and he’s been honing his skill alongside his wife, Judy, since then. Together at Gills Rock Pottery – named for its original location in Gills Rock – they create distinctive ceramic products, from bird baths to teapots to serving ware.

Larry and Judy Thoreson Gills Rock Pottery. Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Turtle Ridge Gallery

11736 Mink River Road

Take your favorite art pieces on the go with Turtle Ridge Gallery’s wearable art. Cozy up with a warm cashmere shawl, accessorize with a brightly printed scarf, or snag a bag that’ll stick around for many fall seasons to come. Handmade with durable leather, the bags are built to last and retain their vibrancy over time. In addition to clothing, Turtle Ridge Gallery features mixed-media paintings, encaustics and etchings by owner Mary Ellen Sisulak. 

Mary Elllen Sisulak, Turtle Ridge Gallery. Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Island Orchard Cider

12040 Garrett Bay Road

When you think “art crawl,” you probably think paintings, jewelry and sculptures, but the inclusion of Island Orchard Cider and Kick Ash Coffee in this year’s Fall Art Crawl is a reminder that the culinary arts are just as important. At Island Orchard, enjoy a glass (or a flight, or a bottle) of cider, made with fruit from Washington Island and fermented in Ellison Bay. Its newest release, Kingston Black, is a full-bodied, semi-dry cider made exclusively with Kingston Black apples from row 25 of the cidery’s Washington Island orchard.

The Clearing Folk School

12171 Garrett Bay Road

Need a break from the hustle and bustle? That’s what The Clearing is designed for. Best known for its art classes and retreats – which cover a wide spectrum that includes furniture making, metalwork, philosophy and much more – the folk school will be open to visitors during the art crawl. Check out a bit of the historical, 128-acre property, or at least stop by the visitor center’s bookstore and gift shop.

The Clearing.

Rob Williams Studio/Gallery

753 Isle View Road

With a gallery located on seven miles of Door County woodland, it’s no surprise that oil painter and watercolorist Rob Williams takes inspiration from his surroundings. But rather than translating exactly what he sees onto the canvas, Williams uses bright colors and abstract shapes to express the “mood” of the area he’s painting. The result is vibrant landscapes that fall partway between abstraction and realism.

Rob Williams. Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Kick Ash Coffee

12001 Mink River Road

Good coffee is a work of art, and Kick Ash Coffee has a wide selection to choose from. In addition to offering blends from Peru, the Congo, Guatemala and other international producers, Kick Ash makes gluten-free baked goods and sells Door County Love granola.

Ellison Bay Pottery

12156 Garrett Bay Road

Husband-and-wife duo John Dietrich and Diane McNeil have been throwing, firing, glazing and selling ceramics out of their 1934 apple-barn-turned-pottery-studio since 1974. From baking dishes to vases to lanterns, each piece is built to last and made with both practicality and beauty in mind.

John Dietrich. Photo by Len Villano.

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