About us

logo.jpgIn 1983, a group of people interested in promoting arts and crafts in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan purchased a 100-year-old building to serve as a center for meeting and to display artwork created by those living in and around the village of Garden. In 1985, Village Artisans of Garden opened the Garden Gallery.  


The Village Artisans, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1983 in Garden, Michigan, to bring together artists and art enthusiasts in our community. Throughout its history the organization has sponsored art classes, workshops, music and drama productions, lectures, demonstrations, and adult enrichment programs. The Village Artisans hold a yearly raffle -- and in recent years a salad luncheon and tours -- a Holiday Silent Auction-- to raise funds to provide classes for the community's children and adults and to maintain their building. 

The Village Artisans is located between Escanaba and Manistique, eight miles south of US2. Turn south at Garden Corners on highway M183. Tax deductible contributions can be sent to the Village Artisans, Inc., P.O. Box 81, Garden, MI 49835.

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In 1985 the Village Artisans created the Garden Gallery to display the works of the many artists in the area. In the Gallery, the public may appreciate and purchase art and craft pieces. Fine examples of painting, photography, jewelry, pottery, weaving, metal work, candle making, wood turning, fabric creations, woodcarving, glass blowing, stained glass, and basketry are on display. 

1991%20building.jpgIn 1991, the 100-year-old building which had served the Village Artisans since its inception was demolished and a replica was constructed in its place. 

The Garden Gallery is open Memorial Day weekend through mid October, Mondays through Saturdays 10:00am to 5:00pm, and Sundays noon to 5:00pm. New consignors in the region are welcome.  Contact the Gallery at 906-644-2025.


The Village Artisans, Inc. in 1991 incorporated as a non-profit corporation operating exclusively for charitable  and educational puroses.  The Village Artisans is organized upon a directorship basis.  The current  volunteer directors on the Board are: Sara Bagley,  Ruth Craig, Janet Feenstra-Daasch, Mary Kennedy, Marlene Winter-Johnson, Annette Mantas, Linda Ranguette, Ginny Smith, Lael Thelander, Lois Willet, and Pat Yaeger.  Pat Rasmussen and Nancy Komu are honorary Board Members with years of service to the organization.

For Ginny Smith, the Village Artisans has been an important part of her life since she co-founded the organization with Margo House in 1983. Ginny served as Treasurer of the Garden Gallery until 2002 and the Village Artisans until 2009. Ginny states that it has been an amazing experience to see both organizations grow and be such a positive influence on the Garden Peninsula. Ginny and her husband, Doug, have lived on the Garden Peninsula since 1974. They have two married children and 4 grandchildren. Ginny taught German at Manistique High School and retired in 1999. Now she enjoys traveling in the winter and gardening in the summer.


 Pat yaeger is a retired R.N. who moved to the Garden area in 2004.  She enjoys the lake at her home near Portage Bay Campgrounds as does her husband, Clarence who spends his time hunting and golfing. She has a son and daughter and five grandchldren.  She is an avid reader and enjoys her flower garden in the midst of a deer infested forest. Pat enjoys walking and biking and spending time with the grandchildren. She is the past Vice President of the Village Artisans and is head of the building committee of the Village Artisans.

Janet Feenstra Daasch is sister to Pat Yaeger. She also loves her spot on Lake Michigan near Portage Bay Campgrounds.  She is mother of two daughters, has three grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a retired teacher and therapist.  Just recently she and her spouse Larry sold their house in St. Paul and are making Garden their permanent residence.  She is the past President of the Village Artisans, and is currently website and newsletter chairperson.

Marlene Winter-Johnson, born and raised in Garden, retired here with her husband Larry an editor and author.  Marlene spent over 40 years in the educational field. They have one daughter and two grand daughters. Marlene is currently Secretary of the Village Artisans.

Sara Bagely has taught art at both the elementary and secondary levels in public schools in southern Michigan.  She has also enjoyed showing and selling her work in galleries, competions, and art fairs.  Volunteering continues to be an integral part of her life today as she and her husband retire on  the beautiful Garden peninsula.

Ruth Craig is a happy newcomer to the Garden Peninsula. She and her husband, Stuart, are year-round residents of this lovely area. One of her greatest joys was to discover the great abundance of talented artisans of all media in the Upper Peninsula. Ruth's background is in education, but she has been surrounded by art her entire life, having come from a family of artists and having daughters who are artists, so she feels fortunate to still be surrounded by art through the Village Artisans.  Ruth enjoys traveling with her husband, baking, hiking, drawing, knitting, reading, nature and sharing all the joys of life with her wonderful grandchildren as often as she can.

Lael (Rasmussen) Thelander grew up in Garden, attending grade school, graduating from Big Bay de Noc High School and from Suomi College.  A year after being married, Lael moved to Indiana because of her husband's (Charlie) work for Enbridge Pipeline.  Six moves within four states and 33 years later, Charlie retired and Lael is now back "home".  She has two children: Heather (also a consignor with the Garden Gallery), who is married and has 3 boys.  Chad, who spent 10 years in the Air Force is now engaged. Working with fabrics has always been a part of Lael's life from the day her Mother taught her to sew and her Grandmother taught her to knit and crochet.  She was a 4-H member through school and taught 4-H when her kids were members.  She has done alterations, custom sewing, quilting, and freelance sewing for American Girl as well as knitting and crocheting items to donate to organizations.  If not working with fabrics, she works with stained glass, ceramics, basket weaving, and wheat weaving.  For the present, you will find her sewing or working with stained glass. She has been a consignor with the Garden Gallery since they opened their doors. Now that she and Charlie are back on the Garden Peninsula, she is the Manager of the Gallery.

Pat Rasmussen graduated from Cooks High School in 1949 and attended Englewood School of Nursing in Chicago, IL for one year.  She married in 1952 and discontinued her education to raise a family.  When all the children were all in school, she started college and received a bachelors degree in education in 1973 and before she retired she earned a masters degree in education.  Pat is interested in promoting the arts in many different forms and  enjoys promoting the uniqueness of this wonderful Garden Peninsula.  She enjoys quilting and other forms of needlework.  She likes to travel and has traveled to most of the states in the United States and traveled to Europe twice. Raising a family has been her longest held and most rewarding job.  She says "I believe that the results are shown in my five children, 14 grandchildren and 10 great grand children.  She also taught elementary school for 20 years. She is on the board of the Artisans and the Historical Society.  She also belongs to MARSP, Kates Bay Home Ec and is a member of the Garden Congregational Church.