Art is essential. Pablo Picasso thought so: he said that “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Degas believed that making others see something essential about everyday life was an incredible feat. Kahlo painted to share her own reality with others. There’s something truly special about curating your own artistic aesthetic, whether you make art or support fine local artists who do.
The Petoskey area is jam-packed with art galleries to help you express yourself artistically. Your aesthetic could be junk art or Ralph Steadman prints. You might enjoy the soft beauty of watercolors or be seeking a plein-air painting. Or perhaps jewelry, ceramics, metalworks, fine furniture, or fiber arts are your jam. Look no further. Our galleries showcase the work of hundreds of talented local, national, and international artists. The listings below offer just a small glimpse of the immense talent available in northern Michigan. You’ll have to visit in person to experience it all!
Crooked Tree Arts Center – Petoskey
461 E Mitchell St
Come for the art, and stay for the classes and events. Crooked Tree Arts Center is a premiere Petoskey area arts destination. The airy, appealing gallery features rotating art exhibitions and speaker events with creatives from around the globe. One of Crooked Tree’s most popular fundraisers is Dart for Art, featuring paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and more donated art for auction, along with food and live music. The arts center is also home to music, drawing, painting, ceramics, culinary, and jewelry classes, among others, along with a robust series of summer and afterschool art camps.
304 E Lake St.
Random art gallery is a colorful, eclectic collection of pieces from Petoskey and around the world. Photographer and gallery owner Collin Jenks curates a collection of Fair Trade items like baskets and wood carvings, street art, signed drawings by Ralph Steadman, and recycled metal pieces. He also specializes in local, handmade Michigan items. The gallery reflects Jenks’ global travel and love for vibrant colors: “It’s kind of all over the place,” he says.
302 E Lake St.
“We represent the foremost Michigan painters, and artists from beyond our area,” says Julie Stoppel, co-owner of Somebody’s Gallery with Joel Stoppel. Their gallery carries work from over 60 artists, including jewelry, ceramics, fingerless gloves, fused glass ornaments, and other gift items. However, the biggest focus is on painting. Julie sells her own art—mostly pastels on sandpaper of local scenes—at the gallery. The pair also features classes, art demonstrations, artist events, and live music.
Sturgeon River Pottery
3031 Charlevoix Ave
Have you seen that inviting, brightly colored shop on the highway surrounded by lawn ornaments, bird houses, ceramic planters, and more? That’s Sturgeon River Pottery. Inside the shop, you’ll find loads of ceramic items—mugs, steins, cups, plates, platters, decorative tiles—and gift items for friends and family. It’s also home to ever-popular Adirondack chairs, Petoskey stones, garden and outdoor goods, and so much more.
Freshwater Art Gallery & Concert Venue
217 S Lake St.
Along with an eclectic collection from over 140 artists in northern Michigan, Freshwater Art Gallery & Concert Venue hosts a variety of performers and open mic nights. Robin Lee Berry, a musician and artist, co-owns the space with partner Anthony Williams (and assistance from daughter Ruby Williams). “We bring in a lot of seasoned national and international musicians with lots of great road stories and a real respect for the roots of folk music,” Berry explains. The gallery’s primary medium is junk art, along with a plethora of paintings, prints, pottery, jewelry, glass and bronze works, home accessories, upscale clothing, and more.
Boyne Arts Center
1 Water St., Suite 203
The Boyne Arts Center exhibits work from over 40 artists and hosts plenty of classes to spark your creativity. Join the arts center for portrait painting, watercolor, shibori ice dyeing, drawing, and other classes. Don’t miss their Fall Art Camp or annual holiday markets!
Hrameic Hoffman Gallery
The Hrameic Hoffman Gallery offers artwork by Mary Hrameic Hoffman, a prolific painter of original scenes from northern Michigan and beyond.
120 East Main St.
HANNI Gallery carries high-quality, handmade arts and crafts from over 200 regional and national artists, including pottery, jewelry, home goods, wall art, small furniture, and other mediums. “We’re not like your typical gallery that just has paintings on the wall,” explains gallery owner and metalsmith Hanni Yothers. The gallery carries pieces at a variety of price points, including Yothers’ jewelry. She describes the gallery atmosphere in downtown Harbor Springs as warm and inviting.
Elizabeth Pollie Fine Art
231 E Main St.
Elizabeth Pollie Fine Art exhibits nationally acclaimed artists in this Harbor Springs gallery. Sumptuous, vibrant paintings are on display in the airy, professional space.
Tvedten Fine Art
284 E 3rd St
Margaret Tvedten represents 30 full-time professional artists from Michigan and beyond. The gallery carries high-quality, original work—oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, sculptures, blown glass, and more—and Tvedten happily offers to deliver pieces to her clients’ homes and hang them for them. She’s been making art all her life, in mediums such as watercolor, pastel, oil, and steel, and describes her gallery as a very soothing place to be. “When my clients find that special piece of art, they’re happy, the artist is happy, and I’m happy,” she says. “I feel very fortunate.”
Ahrens Gallery and Studio
5200 W Lake St
The gallery and studio features paintings by Neil Ahrens, along with pottery and classes, exhibits, and events with talented artists.
Torch Lake Gallery
4250 Main St.
Torch Lake Gallery’s offerings are rooted in the work of Alex Kippe, a certified professional photographer with the Professional Photographers of America whose images span from macro photography to landscapes. All of the artwork is custom-created in-house, and they specialize in sublimated aluminum panels. The gallery can scale the artwork for individual needs. Kippe is often asked to take custom photos of Bay Harbor and the surrounding area. “I love to just take my camera out and take photos of anything that I find beautiful,” he says.
4221 Main Street
Amy Heuerman shares her time between Bay Harbor and a gallery in Naples, FL. As someone who’s happiest when painting, the gallery offers her the space and time to devote to her craft. “Most of the time I’m painting, so if you walk in I’ll likely be working on a ladder, paint in my hair, music blaring,” she says. “It’s a great time, and you have to find a place to welcome people who share your passion.” She describes her space as happy, serene, and uplifting; a place where she can share her paintings of abstracts, florals, a series of girls, and coastal scenes.
Three Pines Studio & Gallery
5959 W Levering Rd
Joann Condino has owned Three Pines Studio & Gallery since 2000. The colorful, vibrant venue features northern Michigan artists in all media, from sculpture to woodcarving, pottery, furniture, jewelry, photography, glass, and fairies, while also serving as an event space. Condino hosts workshops on indigo dyeing, shibori, wood block printing, open studio days, and more. For kids, she hosts fairy tea parties. Aside from the art, one of her biggest draws is studio dog Carina, who makes a fan out of anyone she meets. Condino enjoys the gallery’s atmosphere: “It’s open and accessible,” she says. “It’s colorful and isn’t stuffy at all.”
About the Author: Jen DeMoss is a newcomer to the Petoskey area and loves northern Michigan. You can catch her paddling a canoe, hiking a trail, or swimming in Lake Michigan as often as the weather cooperates. She’d love to help you make the most of your time in this paradise she now calls home.