461 E. Mitchell, Petoskey, MI 49770
After breakfast the next morning, we walked to a place everyone in town was telling me I had to see. It’s called Crooked Tree Art Center, and not only is the building unusually beautiful, what I saw inside was absolutely amazing. The art center, which is in a renovated formerly Methodist church originally constructed in 1890, brings thousands of visitors to the area every year.
Inside are thousands of incredible pieces of all kinds of art from some of Michigan’s most talented artists. I honestly saw some of the most creative stuff I’ve seen in years.
Liz Ahrens is the executive director at Crooked Tree, and her endless energy and passion for art was completely contagious. She helps orchestrate everything from year-round art exhibits to performance theater and classes in music, pottery and dance and other educational programs.
Liz took us on a guided tour of the center. This is where I first discovered the U.P.’s incredibly talented found-object artist, Ritch Branstrom. His whimsical tin can fish were on display, and they were very creative and very cool.
The Crooked Tree Art Center really is one of those inspirational places that make you proud to be from Michigan. You might never think to visit a place like this when you’re on vacation, but checking out local art can be a blast, and it really gives you a great community perspective.
Next we discovered a great Michigan success story. It’s the story of two guys who took advantage of Michigan’s tremendous resources and are now literally enjoying the fruits of their labor.