WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTO | STONEHEDGE GALLERY
After five years of retirement, Jean Lamphier realized that it was not the life for her. With a strong background in art, she had always wanted to have her own gallery. When she spotted some property for sale, it seemed to be the perfect place and time to bring her dream to life.
For the first few years, Lamphier operated Stonehedge as a traditional art gallery, with new original art on the first floor and gently used artwork on the second floor. Gradually, as the wants and needs of her clientele changed, so did the gallery. She began taking in artwork, including all styles of home décor, on consignment. Now, the entire gallery is consignment and continues to grow. In addition to the main house gallery, Lamphier opened the stone cottage along with the small garage at the rear of the home, lovingly known as Junk & Disorderly.
Stonehedge Gallery has an extensive array of art across all mediums. There is something for everyone. Sculpture, pottery, blown glass, furniture, dinnerware, papier-mâché, oil and watercolor paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, and handmade greeting cards that are each a work of art in their own right, are spread out over each floor of the building. Lamphier says that the more eccentric a piece is, the more people are drawn to it. Bright, bold colors and interesting subject matter that evoke a conversation are a big hit. Rehabbed furniture pieces are also in big demand. Dressers, game tables, and desks top the list.
A few years ago, while attending Experience Art Rapids, an idea was planted in Lamphier’s head. She decided that forming a creative artists group would be a great way to bring local artists together and soon launched Creative Minds. The group’s 18 members meet monthly to pull a focus word from a hat. Each artist takes the next month to interpret that word in their own medium, be it fabric, poetry, watercolor, oil, Japanese ink, songwriting, photography, or papier-mâché. At the next meeting, each artist shares their creation and explains what it means to them. Some choose to keep their piece; others leave their item at the gallery for sale. Past inspirational words include power, quiet, reflection, and, most recently, perfection. When the word was “quiet,” for example, the group’s papier-mâché artist chose to create a mouse to signify “quiet as a mouse.” The group has been a big hit and is almost at capacity. Lamphier hopes that other local artists or teachers might form their own Creative Minds group.
Visit Stonehedge Gallery on Facebook to see what’s new and check current season hours.
914 US Highway 31, Elk Rapids MI 49629