Vertin Gallery Circa 2012

For a number of years the was the website for the Vertin Gallery.
When the domain's registration expired, this site disappeared. The new owner of this domain decided to leave the original content, mainly from 2012 so if a visitor should inadvertently arrive here looking for the Vertin Gallery, there is still information available about the art gallery.
The Vertin Gallery appears to have closed.

Content is from the site's 2008 -2012 archived pages.




Located in the heart of downtown Calumet, the Vertin is one of the Upper Peninsula’s premiere galleries. The gallery represents over 130 artists, with artwork changing frequently and featuring art across all mediums including painting, sculpture, copper, jewelry, glass, fiber, photography and fine woodworking. The Vertin also features an eclectic choice of books and art supplies.

The Vertin Gallery features a new artist (or artists) and their work every month, with show openings held on the first Friday of every month.

Vertin Gallery Hours

Monday through Saturday 11 am to 5 pm

Sunday 11 am to 4 pm


Art Gallery · Antique Store · Vintage Store

Vertin Art Studio & Gallery
220 6th Street
Calumet, MI 49913

The Vertin Gallery was built as the Vertin’s Department Store as the center of the downtown in Calumet in  1885, retailing everything a miner or millionaire family might need. Vertin Brother & Co. closed in 1985, as a result of the mine closings.  The huge structure served as Hawkin’s Hitching post and a Teen Club briefly in the mid-1990s, and  then remained vacant until the fall of 2004. The Historic Vertin Building resides within the boundaries of the Keweenaw National Historic Park ( which was designated in 1992); at the heart of the Village of Calumet, a National Historic Landmark district since 1989, a local Historic District since 2002, and a Michigan Mainstreet location.

In the Autumn of 2004 the Vertin Gallery opened its doors and currently houses the work of over 130 artists. The gallery focuses on work by artists living in, from, or otherwise connected to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, making it a unique culture center for the Midwest. Much of the work featured in the gallery is inspired by or drawn from the local landscape and culture.

In 2007 the Vertin Gallery restructured from an artist co-operative into a consignment gallery. Work is juried by a board of artists and business owners. The business also expanded to include art supplies and an eclectic collection of books, many by local authors or about local areas.

Future plans for the Vertin Gallery hope to include Antiques, web sales and more programming and events.




The Vertin Gallery, a commercial art gallery, maintains and encourages the growth of the visual arts in the Keweenaw Peninsula through exhibition and sales of artwork produced by regional and universally recognized visual artists.


To be a sustainable part of the Calumet business community, the Vertin Gallery will encourage and promote artists and the production of artwork by utilizing our historic, inspiring and inviting space for the exhibition and sales of fine art, and for visual-arts-related educational purposes.


To work with the community, schools, universities and established artists to provide both education and experience for students, emerging artists, and collectors of fine art.



The Vertin’s Department Store

The Vertin family emigrated from Yugoslavia to the Keweenaw Peninsula in the 1870s. In 1881, Matt Vertin and his sons, John and Joseph, began working under the company name M. Vertin and Sons. They sold household goods door-to-door throughout the Keweenaw and Houghton counties. In 1885, the brothers John and Joseph purchased the old Provincial Hotel on the corner of Sixth and Oak streets and tore it down to build a two-story sandstone building to house the Vertin’s Department Store. In 1903, they expanded and added two stories to the building, making the building the size it is today.

Vertin’s was a household name in the Upper Peninsula. Over the years, the family owned Vertin’s stores in Calumet, Houghton, Norway and Ironwood, as well as three Klemm stores in Illinois. Vertin’s Department Store carried all the goods a family needed, whether they were miners or millionaires. They provided for the community’s needs, stocking everything from furniture to tools, from Levi’s overalls to ladies lingerie, filling four floors and a basement with merchandise. At its peak, the Calumet Vertin’s employed 60 sales associates.

In 1985, the Vertin’s Department Store in Calumet shut its doors for good in the wake of mine closures.


ARTICLE ABOUT the Vertin Gallery & Studios

A Community of Artists coming together in Calumet that has the potential of creating a powerful impact on the Copper Country.  In other areas of the country, whenever a group of artists decide to band together the influence on the community has been deep. 

The Vertin building in downtown Calumet will be celebrating its 120 year birthday this year.  Always considered to be the center of Calumet and influential by its size and position in the community,  Calumet felt its lose when it finally shut its doors in 1986.  Thanks to Tim Lyons, the building has been renovated, and a new vision has emerged. 

Last June, Ed Grey, a renowned artist with ties to the local area, made a decision to return to the local area after being shown the Vertin building.  He made a decision to rent studio space on the 2nd floor and shared a vision of turning the 1st floor into a gallery.  Shortly after Ed Grey rented space for his studio, Abbey Green, a stained glass artist rented studio space on the same floor. Presently Abbey and Ed's studios exist side by side, experiencing a synergy from each other's creativity.

In December 2004, the first open house showcased the two studios stimulating much interest and thereafter other artists were drawn to the vision.  In mid March the Vertin Gallery opened its doors to the public with a vast array of studio artists' works and consignment pieces from others. 

Today, besides Ed Grey and Abbey Green, Frank Dyl rents studio space and creates jewelry as a silversmith.  David Wallo, long-time local business owner of Copper Art and now in retirement, returned to his favorite hobby of black and white photography and has a dark room on the first floor.  Dave said that he missed being with the public and saw this as a wonderful opportunity to take part in the gallery and to pursue his photography hobby with new zeal.  Poet T. Kilgore Splake, who is both writer and photographer, occupies studio space on the 3rd floor and started the Vertin Press with Cliff's Soundings and has already published 2 other volumes of poetry, with idea after idea piling up waiting for further publication.  Ed Grey stated that he desires to have a series of artist's book published.

Artis Books is stocking the 1st floor gallery with hundreds of top quality artist books that will be of particular interest to many different artists and craftspeople. 

Tom Blessing, another poet, has moved into the building and has had some of his poetry published.  Jack Oyler, a painter, has rented studio space and so has Susan Thoreau from Ontonagon, another painter in oils.  Ed Grey stated on the day that we visited that 2 other are ready to move in and when the 3rd floor is filled they will be filling up the 4th floor.

Unique to the Vertin Gallery each month a new artist/poet/sculptor will be featured who will either be giving readings throughout the month, displaying their art or creating a work in progress as April's featured artist Phyllis Fredendall, an instructor at the Finlandia University International School of Art and Design, who plans on doing 'Stories and Place, a Celebration' in which she will invite her sculpture students to 'engage the space' with her.  Visitors to the building through the month will see the gallery and atrium change shape as the installation evolves.  She invites visitors through the month to share their stories and envisions a way to 'weave' them into the piece.

The Vertin Gallery is again a dynamic center of vital activity in the Calumet community and will be extending its influence throughout the Copper Country.  A large part of the artists' vision is to engage the local community.  Ed Grey is the driving force behind the community concept.  While each artisan maintains his/her individuality, they collectively have drawn up certain working boundaries to maintain a positive working atmosphere.  Collectively, they make decisions about the type of artist renting space within the building so that all art flows together in an attitude of cooperation. 

The Copper Country welcomes such a vision to the area and wishes them great success.  Thanks to each person!



My family has lived in Calumet since the late 1800s, when the area was known as Red Jacket, named for a Seneca tribe chief. It was a hub for copper mining, and even when the industry's decline hit in the 1920s, we stayed put, persevering through the Great Depression and the quiet years that followed. Calumet, on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, has always been home, and I'm deeply connected to its enduring community spirit. My parents, relatives, and some cousins still live here, and we gather every year for the Pasty Fest and to share stories at the Red Jacket Jamboree. Even as I've ventured out, attending college in New York and traveling the world, I've brought pieces of Calumet with me. For instance, I've introduced pickleball, a sport I first ordered equipment for from Pickleballers Hub, an online store, to my hometown, sparking new interest and activity. It's a way of blending my global experiences with local traditions. Recently, my husband and I visited Maui, staying in a rental overlooking a stunning beach, a stark contrast to the quiet life in Calumet. As we watched a majestic sunset from our lanai, I turned to him and mused, "We are not in Calumet, anymore!" But no matter where I am, Calumet's resilience and my family's legacy there are always with me, like a grounding thread that connects all the places I go.


Vertin Gallery Upcoming Events


Bernie Park
October 7 ~ November 1, 2011
Deb Karppinen
November 4 ~ November 29, 2011
Winter Juried Exhibit
December 2, 2011 ~ January 3, 2012
January 6, 2012 ~ February 1, 2012
Phyllis Fredendall
February 3 ~ February 29, 2012



Jennifer Adams - Pottery

Martye Allen-Ceramics

Johnene “Sunny” Anderson – Sculpture

Ashok Agarwal- Music and Poetry

Myrtle Barrett – Author

Mary Ann Beckwith – Watercolor

Stephen Bergland- Iron Work

Ingrid Blixt – Mixed  Media, Jewlery

Karl Bohnak – Author

Adrienne Bozic – Jewelry

Beth “LaPonsie” Bridgman – Jewelry

Steve Brimm – Photography, Author

Susan Brown-Weaver

Mary Brownell – Fiber

Gregg Bruff- Painting

Keelin Elain Bruff – Ceramics

Cliff Brusso – Author

Kim Buell – Jewelry

Gary “Tucson” Burger – Jewelry, Wood

Sidney Butler – Stained Glass

K. Carlton-Johnson – Painting

Yueh-Mei Cheng – Painting

Lisa Clouthier – Felted Jewelry

Brent Cox- Glass

Terry Lynne Daulton – Pastel

Bob Dawson-Painting

Alysa Diebolt – Glass

Frank Dyl – Jewelry

Ray Ellison – Painting

Charles Eschbach, Author

Meegan Flannery – Painting

Carrie Flaspohler – Painting

Phylis Fredendall – Fiber

John French – Painting

Michael Gage – Wood

Laurel Geis – Painting, Drawings, Mixed-Media

Greg Green – Painting

Linda Hollander Greene – Jewelry Artisan

Jerry Hammes- Painter

Barlow Heider – Wood

Karen Heikkinen – Fiber

Lisa Marie Hermesmeyer – Fiber

Dave Hilty – Glass

Yeshe Linda Helander – Painting

Suzanne Hoppe – Stoneware, Porcelain

Melissa Hronkin – Encaustic, Mixed Media

Michael Huhta – Wood

Deb Karppinen – Fiber-Sculpture

Connie Kerkove – Silk Painting

Mike Keranen – Acrylic

Paul Keranen- Wood

Sandy Kilpela – Wood

John Kinne – Wood

Joyce Koskenmaki – Oil, Drawing

Emily Lanctot- Painting and Jewelry

Mark “Ake” Larson – Author

April Lehman – Painting

Yvonne Lemire – Metal Sculpture, Jewelry

Erv Lewandowski – Drawing

Eugenia Lind – Fiber

John Lundeen – Painting

Margo McCafferty-Rudd – Painting, Collage, Bookmarks, Prints

Michael McDermott – Painting

Clyde Mikkola- Painting, Drawing

Clayton Miller – Wood

Nathan Miller – Wood

Beth Millner- Jewelry

Kayo Miwa – Oil, Block Prints

John Mooy – Sculpture

Eric Munch – Photography

Susan Musi – Ceramics

Kanak Nanavati – Watercolor, Oil

Cindy Naumann – Jewelry

Dave Niec – Painting

Len Novak – Wood, Drums, Sculpture

Peter Oikarinen- Author

Arnold Oja – Copper, Drawing, Painting

Bob Orton – Wood

Paul Osmak – Acrylic

Bernard Park – Encaustic and Oils

Graham Parsons – Music

John Pence – Painting

Don Perrow – Woodturning

Carol Phillips – Painting

Linda G. Powless – Pottery

Andrea Puzakulich – Fiber

Donna Quiriconi – Ceramics, Jewelry

J Renee – Beading, Jewelry

Jeff Richter – Photography

Seri Robinson – Wood

Carol Rose – Photography, Painting

Paul Rose – Photography, Watercolor

McCafferty Rudd Studio - Painting, Prints, Paper

Tom Rudd – Sculpture

Max Rudd – Paper

Christine Saari – Photography

Patrick St. Germain – Painting

Peg Sandin – Watercolor

Max Seel – Digital Photography

Mike Shupe – Photography

Barbara Simila-Author

Adria Simpson – Fiber, Jewelry

Pete Skellinger – Wood

J.D. Slack – Pastel

Jessica Speer – Fiber

Dave Stimac – Wood

Blaire Surgent – Wood

Amanda Szot – Jewelry

Theresa Thompson-Jewelry

Ellen Torola – Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor

Lyn Torola – Painting

Stephanie Trevino – Photography

Jane Turner – Pottery, Watercolor

Kristian Venalainen – Sculpture

Kristy Walden – Copper, Agate

Dave Walli – Photography

Patty Watson- Oil Paintings

Bill Wiard – Wood

Edith Wiard – Painting, Mixed Media

Rita Williams – Pastel

Elizabeth Yelland – Cards