TBA’s 45th Art on the Bay to Feature Over 110 Vendors | News, Sports, Jobs


Courtesy Photo Erik Johnson of Spruce poses at his stand filled with natural soaps, lotions, lip balm and many other homemade organic products that are good for the skin. This will be her first appearance at Art on the Bay.

ALPENA — It’s going to be a big weekend for Alpena.

In addition to kicking off the Michigan Brown Trout Festival, as well as the Festival of Sail and the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, the 45th Annual Art on the Bay will be held Saturday and Sunday at Bay View Park.

Sellers are excited to be back to “normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered their business for nearly two years.

All 150 booths are booked, with a waiting list, according to Clint Kendziorski, senior vice-president of the Thunder Bay Arts Council. He said some of the approximately 110 vendors used two booth spaces to display their fine arts and crafts.

The show will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Courtesy Photo Cheryl “Trouble” Carey, of Fairgrove, Michigan, works on a stained glass window in her studio. She has been coming to Art on the Bay for over a decade now.

“We bring in about 3,000 people over the weekend,” Kendziorski said, adding that on-site food concessions and live music will be offered.

Fine arts and crafts in a plethora of mediums will be available for sale in this juried art exhibition. Each vendor had to send photos and a description of their work to the Thunder Bay Arts Council to be judged in the exhibit, Kendziorski said.

Erik Johnson of Spruce will be participating in Art on the Bay for the first time. He owns Svede’s and manufactures natural organic bath and body products including solid lotions, balms, soaps, lip balms and more.

“I go out of my way to use organic or natural ingredients,” said Johnson, who started making her products three years ago.

He had dry, cracked hands and needed something that worked to take care of them. So he decided to make his own remedy, starting with the hard lotion bar.

Courtesy photo Pictured are woven cotton rugs made by Warren and Barbara Geiger, of Harbor Beach, Michigan. The Geigers have been making the rugs for over 25 years and will have a sale as they head into retirement.

“The first time I made it, I was just using shea butter, then I accidentally ordered organic shea butter, and the difference between the two is just day and night,” said said Johnson, noting that the organic ingredients are of much higher quality. . “So I just decided then that I was going to start using the organic ingredients.”

Since using the hard lotion bar, he has had no more issues with cracking and splitting his hands.

“I’m a postman, and in the winter my hands would crack endlessly, and I hate greasy liquid lotions, so I decided to do a lotion bar, because then it’s just concentrated – there’s no water or alcohol in it,” Johnson said. “I love herbs and I know the power of comfrey. Comfrey is really good for the skin.

He said that since comfrey helps recovery, he added it to the lotion bar.

“Three years in a row, and I haven’t had a split on my hands yet,” he said.

Courtesy Photo Katy Jo South, of Somerville, Ohio, will exhibit her oil paintings and sell them at Art on the Bay.

Johnson and his cohort Kaylee Almas are happy to be a part of Art on the Bay this weekend.

“We’re really excited to do Art on the Bay,” Johnson said. “It’s our home base, and we’re excited to do it.”

He said that especially after the pandemic and various supply chain issues, he’s probably not the only supplier happy to be back in the market.

Cheryl “Trouble” Carey, of Fairgrove, Michigan, will be selling her stained glass. She has been coming to Art on the Bay for nearly 15 years. She said it’s a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, well organized, and always ends up being a profitable show for her.

She got her nickname, “Trouble”, at a fine art show in Tawas, and it stuck.

Photo courtesy This sign painted by Paige Sumerix of Lachine is an example of some of her handmade items that will be on display and for sale at Art on the Bay.

“I have a reputation for being a problem,” she said with a laugh. “Not in a bad way; in a humorous way… more like funny problems.

She has been creating stained glass suncatchers, spinners, lamps and hanging decorations for nearly 30 years.

“As the Lord wanted it to work, I had to keep my hands moving,” Carey said, explaining that she had developed rheumatoid arthritis.

“It’s in my hands and in my feet,” she said. “But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t know I was doing a quality job… I don’t know how much longer I will do it, but then again, as the Lord permits, I will do this.”

Carey enjoys performing and interacting with people who admire her work. She keeps coming back to Art on the Bay because it’s fun and profitable.

“I love Alpena,” she said. “They usually have a good turnout, as far as the vendors go, so it’s going to be a good show… I’m generally doing pretty well there, and the camaraderie of the vendors is really good.”

Warren and Barbara Geiger own Geiger Rugs and More. The couple, originally from Harbor Beach, Michigan, have been coming to Art on the Bay for 10 years. They have been making rugs for 20 years and are nearing retirement, but they still have 2,100 rugs and placemats to sell before they stop. They enjoyed making the cotton rugs using looms and selling them at craft shows.

“We would like to move as many of them as possible,” Warren Geiger said of the rugs and placemats, adding that they will be reduced at the show.

Over the past two decades, Warren said he made 14,000 rugs, using leftover cotton from factories, mostly in Pennsylvania.

They got into the loom when Warren Geiger’s sister had been making rugs on a loom for a few years.

“My wife told me she thought it was a good idea,” he said. “I thought she was crazy. Until I got a loom and tried it.

It’s a good thing.

“It’s a lot of work, but the work pays off,” Geiger said. “It made us money.”

They love coming to Art on the Bay.

“It was a really good show for us,” Geiger said of Art on the Bay. “We keep coming back to the good ones.”

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