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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Door County’s Summertime Art

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When the fireworks fade from the skies in early July, the visual art in Door County will continue to sparkle. This holiday weekend sees a round of art events and gallery openings on the peninsula that will last through the end of summer.

In an extravaganza that takes place throughout the area, the Peninsula School of Art holds the Door County Plein Air Festival from July 19 to Aug. 1. Visitors may view 40 internationally juried artists painting in the open air, with a free trolley touring the work areas on July 23. On the evening of July 24, finished paintings will be exhibited at a gala and auction, including those of Milwaukee's Tom Nachreiner and Shelby Keefe, winners from last year's competition. Sales of artwork from the event will benefit the Peninsula School of Art, to help secure Door County's creative future.

Fine Line Designs in Ephraim maintains a gallery and sculpture garden featuring national artists, several of whom will be present at receptions from 4 to 8 p.m. on July 9 and Aug. 6. Enjoy the ceramic sculptures of Stephanie Evans, featuring her three-dimensional dresses with distinct personality, and Leonard Fieber's functional wood furniture, unique pieces carved from aspen, maple and pine.

Viva La Cottage, just south of Sister Bay, hosts its third annual Vintage Market, where artisans rely on antique materials and found objects to fashion their unique artwork, on July 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For 40 years, Fish Creek's Edgewood Orchard Galleries has enchanted visitors, and now it's home to a new sculpture garden. Edgewood Orchard hosts two openings, July 18 and Sept. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. The first reception features glass artists George Bucquet and Mark Peiser with local artist Jim Rose, among others. Rose, whose work has been collected by the Smithsonian Institution, showcases his metal furniture. He marks the 100th anniversary of Peninsula State Park by incorporating vintage signage into the door panels.

Mr. Helsinki, a second-story wine bar above the Fish Creek Market, provides imaginative cuisine along with changing art exhibitions each month. In July, view a combination of pastel portraits and abstract oils by Emmett Johns; in August, Pamela Murphy showcases her evocative compositions. Using remnants of old photographs, Murphy layers paint, gold leaf and iron powder to texture the canvas and produce evocative images relating to memories.

All summer long, you can visit Leroy's Water Street Coffee in Ephraim to discover b. bausch. Contemplate his interesting assemblages and collages while savoring iced tea or a cappuccino from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Or travel a few minutes north to collect art at the Paint Box Gallery, one of the peninsula's oldest galleries. Exhibiting artists include Frannie Dickenson, with her bright Crayola-colored interiors, and Anthony Busalacchi, whose inventive assemblages delight the eye.