Door County has long had a history of artists settling here in one artist’s colony or another. Some speculate that it’s the natural beauty. Others believe there is a certain spiritual, aura, if you will, about the place. You cannot deny the isolation during the winter that gives an artist space to dig deep and express that which is within them; they ‘make visible that which is unseen’.
And then, there is Ellison Bay. Some say that it’s north of the tension line. As you drive up highway 42, you can see the landscape change, more open spaces are visible from the road. People drive a bit slower as they head north, as if the place is changing them. Those who live here believe that Ellison Bay and Gills Rock still embody the way Door County used to be: Not as refined, more in tune with nature’s rhythm, a step into the past.
Ellison Bay may have one of the last full service gas stations, has a general store whose history is Ellison Bay’s history, is home to several generous restaurants, has a long list of artists that call it home, is home to The Clearing, an adult education and retreat center and boasts a cooking school.
Ellison Bay Arts wanted to give the rest of the world a chance to see art in action, step into a little history as they walk around the little town, and invigorate their community, so it created 3 events a year to do just that. The group has established a reputation for frequently opening their studios and galleries, making it possible for the visitor to get an in depth look at working artists. There’s always something new and interesting happening in Ellison Bay all fall and winter, and many more galleries are open all winter.
The Thanksgiving Open House is not your last chance to visit and enjoy the arts in Ellison Bay, for you can do that any day. But the artists and galleries have planned many special items and refreshments just for this weekend. Take a few minutes to drive up Highway 42 to Ellison Bay, save some time for some hot soup or a great burger, take the Ellison Bay Arts tour, enter drawings for art, visit The Clearing and walk their trails, learn what you can learn there and get all your holiday shopping done, all in a relaxed and renewing kind of atmosphere. Leave the crowded malls, the frantic and frenetic pace behind you and find treasures you cannot find anywhere else in the world, here, in Ellison Bay.
Clay Bay Pottery, the first gallery you will see on Hwy 42 will have special items and great cookies to fuel your search for that unique gift.
Next: Newport House Gallery: who features Bob Guge and his bird carvings for Holiday gift giving.
Across the street is Gills Rock Stoneware and their beautiful pottery. And, perhaps, bread baking in the wood-fired oven.
Down Mink River Rd is Turtle Ridge Studio and Gallery, full of leather bags and recycled clothing.
Backtracking, now, go up Garret Bay Road to find both The Clearing and Ellison Bay Pottery.
The Clearing, an adult education and retreat center will have special hours and refreshments.
Ellison Bay Pottery will have hot cider and nibbles along with special pit fired lanterns, to be revealed the weekend before in Milwaukee and then Thanksgiving weekend. Also, ikebanas,Ikebana
casseroles (very popular for gifts).
Only at Ellison Bay Pottery will you find a Door County Resident discount worth 10%. This is for all past, present and future residents. For those only visiting, we offer free shipping to make your holiday gift giving a little easier.
Can’t get here? Shop our etsy shop, the free shipping will be yours!
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