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Cultivating creativity

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By Jill Tatge-Rozell

Four years ago, Cindy Garwood had a dream to connect people with one-of-a-kind pieces of art — from pottery and crystal jewelry to photography and original paintings — while supporting the artists who create it.

Determined, she bought a two-story home in the heart of a rural town near the border of Wisconsin and Illinois and opened Wilmot Artisan Market. Each room of the home, at 30723 113th St., provides distinct gallery space.

“I want people to have a connection with the local artists in the gallery,” she said. “It makes a difference when you can buy a piece of art and learn information about the person who made (it).”

Since opening in 2010, the number of artists whose pieces can be found in the gallery and the diversity of their talents has grown. Garwood, a photographer, has her pieces on display and for sale, along with 13 other artists (some of them couples).

“Everybody works about one day per month,” Garwood said. “It is working out well. Every year we seem to get busier.”

Several gallery events are held throughout the year, giving visitors the opportunity to visit with the artisans, see them at work and learn about the creative processes that transform their ideas into works of art. The next such event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18.

Garwood and fellow photographer Cheri Puchalski both work in nature photography. For Garwood, it is a passion that started when she was a teenager.

“My grandfather was into photography,” Garwood said. “He always had a National Geographic magazine around and I remember being drawn to the nature photography.”

In addition to shooting local landscapes, Garwood has traveled throughout the Unites States, to island settings and to Europe with her camera (and with her husband, Dwayne, who helps haul the gear). In the United States, her favorite photographic setting is Death Valley, Calif.

“It is therapeutic walking in the woods and looking at this beautiful world God has created for us to enjoy,” she said.

Garwood will be the featured artist at the Pollard Gallery, 514 56th St. in Kenosha, during July and August. She took first place in the gallery’s sixth annual photography contest with a rural photo on canvas of a red barn set against a wintry landscape.

Artists Patti Seiden and Penni Lee, owners of Gemini Crystals, from Lake Villa and Antioch, Ill., have had their work at Wilmot Artisan Market since it opened. The sisters primarily had been selling their original crystal jewelry at house parties before joining the co-op gallery.

Several artists, including David and Kathy Bradley, George Evanson and Steven Mizener Sr., work with wood, creating beautifully turned pieces, carved art and furniture.

Paintings and mixed media pieces from Bonnie Evanson, Suzanne Hallett, Jesica Ward-Schmidt and Mari Weikel also are on display. “Quirky Crochet and Such,” from Lisa Jacobsen; Raku and Sgraffito pottery by Jim Whitt and Liz Liles from CrackPotz Pottery; pencil portraits by Greg Cordell; and soy candles from Janet Johnson, provide for a diverse selection of handcrafted pieces.

Wilmot Artisan Market

Address: 30723 113th St., Wilmot

Phone: 262-862-2345


Hours: September through April from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

May through August and December from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday