Each season in Petoskey Area is a season of discovery or emergence. There is no greater time than the present to view all of the outdoor art – statues, murals, and sculptures – in the Petoskey Area.

There are murals in Petoskey and sculptures dotted throughout Boyne City, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and nearby in a variety of public places. While you’re out shopping or visiting our wineries and breweries, be sure to check out these stops:

Murals

Mural of storefronts on the side of a building in a back parking lot of Downtown Petoskey, car and truck parked in front of the mural.

Photo Credit: Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau

Flowers From Sky’s the Limit – 413 Michigan Street, Petoskey – Expansive and detailed town scene incorporating several real locations from Petoskey.

Mural depicts store three storefronts, arching red sign to 'Bayfront Park', gas light lamps, and various people walking about

Photo Credit: Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau

Grandpa Shorter’s – 301 East Lake Street, Petoskey (at the back side off Howard Street) – Family figures from this multi-generational downtown jewel show glimpses into the history of Petoskey.

D & W Fresh Market – 1163 N Hwy 31, Petoskey (on the back of the building) – Running parallel to the nearby Little Traverse Wheelway, this mural shows the development of the beloved bike trail.

‘Bay Life’– 1038 Bay View Rd, Petoskey (on the back of the building next to Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen) This mural was dedicated to the City of Petoskey on July 26, 2016. The mural was completed by Crooked Tree Arts Center students taking a class titled ‘The Mural Project’ under the direction of teacher, Abby Kent. Designed by Abby Kent. Painted by Kaitlyn Smith, Molly Malec, and Abby Dewhirst.

Former Petoskey News Building – 319 State Street, Petoskey (across from the post office on the side of the building) – This painting commemorates one of our country’s founding fathers, statesman and inventor, Ben Franklin.

Terry L. Dickinson first painted the Sky’s the Limit mural and then went on to do the other three.

In Reid’s Alley just next to High Five Spirits in Downtown Petoskey are these butterfly wings by Haley Esford. A fun little photo-op along your travels downtown to show your inner Gypsy Spirit after trying Gypsy Vodka, Petoskey Stone Gin, or Mackinac Island Rum.

Photo credit: Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau; Art by Haley Esford

In 2023, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council contracted with artist Sarah Landstrom under grants from the Oleson Foundation and the Petoskey Harbor Springs Community Foundation to create an Interactive Rain Garden Mural.

Extending across the East side of their building with integrated QR codes, the mural depicts the native Michigan species that live in and benefit from rain gardens. Rain gardens use native plants to help manage stormwater runoff while providing habitat for pollinators and other small species like birds, frogs, and turtles. Stop by the Tip of the Mitt Watershed office at 426 Bay Street to take a self-guided tour of the mural and learn more about how rain gardens work. Scan species QR codes with your phone camera or pick up a printed guide to learn more.

Photo provided by Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and mural by Sarah Landstrom.

 

Statues/Sculptures

Last River Draw Sculpture – In Old City Park, 95 N East Street, Boyne City – Lifesize and so lifelike you may want to call out to the “river rat” moving logs down the Boyne River. The sculpture celebrates Boyne City’s heritage as a lumbering community. Martha Sulfridge, artist.

 

Young Ernest Hemingway – in Pennsylvania Park, East Lake Street, Petoskey – Dedicated on July 21 (Hemingway’s birthday) in 2017, the statue depicts young Ernie as shown in a 1920 photo. One noticeable difference between the sculpture and the photo? A book takes the place of a flask tucked in the author’s pocket. Andy Sackrider, artist.

“The Old Man and the Cat” (Ernest Hemingway)– In Village Green Park, Walloon Lake– An older Ernest Hemingway is shown here sitting down with his fishing pole. Probably thinking about the next big catch. George Lundeen, artist.

Chief Petosega – Lewis Street behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Petoskey – Erected in 2005, this lifesize sculpture honors Chief Ignatius Petosegay (Petoskey), a local businessman and chief of the local Odawa Native American tribe for whom Petoskey is named. Pietro Vinotti, artist.

“Ring of Bright Water II” – Oden State Fish Hatchery, 3377 U.S. 31, Oden – A playful sculpture of otters just having a good time. Kent Ullberg, artist.

 

Harris Gardens – North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey – The area’s largest collection of outdoor art came to fruition through the generosity of retired businessman, Jack Harris. 26 unique sculptures offer you the chance to wander in the college courtyard and use your cell phone to find out more about each piece.

There is more to be found in the Petoskey Area in terms of outdoor art. Don’t forget to check out the area’s share of indoor art galleries, collections, shops, and jewelry too to get a glimpse at the entirety of it all.

About the Author

Ellen Auten is a native of the area, and a lover of hiking, snowboarding, foraging, and a great meal. She enjoys promoting the next fun thing to do in the Petoskey Area – but also likes to recommend local favorites and learning opportunities for all. She hopes to help in your planning process for your next trip to the Petoskey Area of northern Lower Michigan.