Discerning Eye Blog Dr. Leslie Hammond

09/11/12 - The Arts in Door County, Wisconsin

Back in full swing in the states and body clock adjusted; this past week I was in Door County, Wisconsin; a peninsula flanked by Green Bay and Lake Michigan. As in Florida, I love being surrounded by bodies of water.

The mission of the trip was to inventory a large collection of Native American Plateau Cornhusk bags. These bags were typically used as a type of saddle bag to carry foodstuffs and smaller ones were designed as pouches and handbags.

Certainly the focus of my trip was work but I was still excited to experience a bit of Door County which is known as an enclave of cultural offerings in the visual and performing arts.  Although brief, exposure to the sights, sounds, and tastes of the area certainly whetted my appetite for a return to explore further.

A few highlights included the Fine Line Designs Gallery and Sculpture Garden in North Ephraim and in Fish Creek I took in visits to the Peninsula School of Art, the Edgewood Orchard Galleries, and a tour of the Peninsula Players Theater in a Garden.

The most memorable impressions included the installation “Primordial Shift” by Michael Meilahn at the Peninsula School of Art. Meilahn’s work consists of 32 giant, hand-blown glass and bronze ears of corn. With a video projected behind, these ears of corn seem to gently sway in the fields.

Another bright spot in an otherwise rainy day was exploring in and around the Edgewood Orchard Galleries. Not only were the gallery spaces eclectically displayed with a variety of media and styles for a diversity of personal tastes; the owners were warmly welcoming and the sculpture walk was inviting despite the weather. I especially loved the encouragement to participate within the sculpture walk environment were local stones were set out for impromptu sculpture construction. 

No trip to Wisconsin would be complete without dairy farms dotting the rolling landscape. While Marion County, FL has its horse farms, Wisconsin’s fields are filled with the black and whites that supply us with that tasty treat that makes one smile and just say “CHEESE.”

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