Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Settler's Depot Gallery to feature artist's work


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Bruce Crossing - Beginning this week, Bill Waters will have the honor of being the first of many artists specially featured at the Settler's Depot Gallery in Bruce Crossing. When a visitor enters the depot, they will see Waters' birch bark canoes displayed front and center.

Waters is a retired Northern Michigan University Criminal Justice professor. He has an abiding passion for the north country with a particular fascination for its Voyageur and The Hudson Bay Company history.

As a physical reflection of this love, he handcrafts model birch bark canoes from the bark of fallen trees since he considers the living birch to be state and national treasures.

His goal is to achieve historical authenticity in his models.

Bill's talents also take a purposeful direction. In his travels as a clown with the famous Dr. Patch Adams of movie fame, he has been provided with the opportunity to present his canoes as gifts to well known people from China, Russia, Mexico, Italy, Cuba, Tanzania, Romania and South Africa.

The gallery will continue to showcase a different artist each week, one of which is woodworker Gary Brown from Bruce Crossing.

For purchase at the gallery are Gary's crafted birds-eye maple rolling pins, cherry and maple wood boxes and bowls, and sycamore salt and pepper grinders.

Gary's attraction to woodworking began as he grew up on a small farm in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. His early training with woodworking equipment, concepts and techniques took place during high school classes and throughout the years he has spent countless hours honing his skills.

Since he joined the Settler's Depot Gallery, he has been a featured artist at depot events, demonstrating his wood working techniques.

Established in 1990, the Settler's Depot Gallery is a dynamic working member co-operative of Upper Peninsula artists and artisans.

It is located just east of the U.S. 45 and M-28 intersection in the historic Bruce Crossing Railroad Depot.

It's mission is to promote Ontonagon County and its residents by showcasing the work of local artists and artisans and develop a local market as well as attracting a tourist market for their one-of-a-kind merchandise and to assist in supporting community activities and nonprofit organizations.

Each member of the gallery contributes to the running of the operation and receives a percentage of their sales with the other percentage going towards operating costs.

The Depot Gallery is open daily 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. June through September.

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