The Year in Art 2023

PenArt Hires New Executive Director

Adam Erickson. Submitted.

Peninsula School of Art (PenArt) in Fish Creek selected Adam Erickson as its new executive director, following a national search led by Ford Webb Associates. He’ll begin his tenure May 1. 

Most recently, Erickson served as adviser to the president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and he directed partnerships including the college’s corporate, foundation and government relations.

Erickson filled the vacancy left by Cathy Hoke, who stepped down to pursue after leading PenArt for 20 years.

Plum Bottom Opens Fourth Location

Plum Bottom Gallery owners Chad Luberger and Angela Olson Luberger (second and third from left) prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open their new Plum Bottom Gallery location on Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. Sturgeon Bay officials (Mayor David Ward is on the right), employees and community members were present to help mark the Sept. 29 occasion. File photo by Rachel Lukas.

Chad Luberger and Angela Olson Luberger opened their fourth Plum Bottom Gallery location this year, this one at 231 N. 3rd Ave. in Sturgeon Bay in space renovated by Shirley Weese Young into a gallery that has been used by artists and musicians on short-term rentals in recent years (part of the building is used by Third Avenue Playworks, and the second floor has apartments). The couple’s other galleries are located in Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and the couple’s original location on 20 acres on Plum Bottom Road, a mile north of Carlsville.

High Praise for Edgewood Sculpture Garden

Edgewood Sculpture Garden. Photo by Rachel Lukas.

The sculpture garden at Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek was featured this year in a Saturday Evening Post article about “America’s Most Stunning Outdoor Art Galleries.”

Post writer Bill Newcott described it as “a true art space, albeit one defined by forest, ground, and sky…Narrow, tree-lined hallways wind ahead of me, with each bend creating a setting for a piece of art: whimsical, contemplative, or boldly abstract.”

Inside Woodwalk’s “Repurposed” Exhibit

Woodwalk Gallery. File photo by Rachel Lukas.

We took an in-depth look at Woodwalk Gallery’s “Repurposed” exhibit that showcased previously loved or forgotten materials. Joslyn Villalpando, owner of the Egg Harbor gallery, said she curated the collection by selecting artists who use found materials to create collages and assemblages. 

Miller Announces Award Winners

Ellison Bay artist Mary Ellen Sisulak was awarded the $500 Gerhard CF Miller Award of Excellence for this work, “Artifact.” Photo courtesy of Miller Art Museum.

The Miller Art Museum unveiled its 48th Juried Annual, a survey and celebration of 73 contemporary, two-dimensional works by Wisconsin visual artists, to over 200 attendees on Sept. 16. Eight regional visual artists were recognized during the awards ceremony for experimental works that exuded excellence and originality. Among those were three artists from Door County: Thomas Jordan of Sturgeon Bay, Mary Ellen Sisulak of Ellison Bay and Arlene Stanger of Baileys Harbor.

Two Art Crawls, One Weekend

For the first time in the history of Door County’s established art crawls, both were held the same weekend – the third week in October. That was the traditional date for the Ellison Bay Art Crawl. The Sturgeon Bay Art Crawl also selected that date this year – not realizing it was also the date for Ellison Bay’s event – to get away from the busy holiday season (it used to be held the week before Thanksgiving). 

John Dietrich, Diane Mcneil Enter Semi-Retirement

An artist’s depiction of John Dietrich at his potter’s wheel. Submitted.

Word came late this year that potter John Dietrich, and his wife, Diane McNeil, would no longer be operating their gallery, Ellison Bay Pottery.

After being part of the Door County arts community for almost 50 years, the pair is planning to sell the barn that is now home to their gallery at 12156 Garrett Bay Rd. in Ellison Bay.