This morning, Crooked Tree Arts Center is closed — all is quiet at 322 Sixth St.

After Merry Makers Marketplace, and having created a Lite-Brite-esque float for the Downtown Traverse City Light Parade, staff is thankful for a little break.

It’s also nice to have additional time to recoup from the holiday. Turkey Day, as fun as it is, requires a lot of work and sometimes a lot of yelling at the Lions, Packers, or whoever their opponents happen to be — a day of rest to further digest and soothe sore throats is much appreciated. But now, with Thanksgiving safely behind us, it’s fair game to look to what most people set their sights on before Halloween even gets a chance to creep or crawl.

Upon feeling the first wave of crisp air, people begin thinking about twinkling lights and snowball fights and start humming carols under their breath. While many are now eagerly setting up Christmas, CTAC staff will begin dismantling the galleries next week, packing up “The Shop” and tucking away all traces of the Arts Center, front desk and all — the sign on the building’s exterior being the one exception.

It’s time for the Festival of Trains to move into the space. As the rest of Northern Michigan is bustling around, hanging garlands, putting out poinsettias, and decorating evergreens, we’re just as busy as Santa’s elves, making way for the annual, magical train event that excites locomotive aficionados of all ages.

Kind of the opposite of what usually happens at a gallery or business in the lead-up to the holidays, right? Instead of hanging strings of lights, assembling artificial trees, pumping seasonal songs throughout the space, and ramping up inventory, Crooked Tree moves out to provide our end-of-the-year cohabitant with ample space for their displays, dioramas, and hands-on activities. We share the space with another organization — what a great way to promote goodwill toward men during the ebbing weeks of the year, wouldn’t you agree?

As a heads-up to our faithful patrons, Crooked Tree is not open tomorrow, and hours will vary next week. The Festival of Trains will be on location with train horns whistling and engines whirling around tracks from Dec. 14 — 30. The next exhibit in the works is CTAC’s Annual Youth Art Show, which will open early February 2020.

So even though you may not see CTAC faces for a bit, know we’re working behind-the-scenes and from home, planning for 2020 and answering all your calls and emails. We’re grateful to have this time to focus on new classes, exciting exhibits, the third Paint Grand Traverse, and so much more. We move back into the galleries on Jan. 6, and officially re-open on Jan. 11. Until then, stay warm, be cozy, and check out our cool winter class lineup — registration is open now.

Alex Dailey is the Public Relations Specialist at Crooked Tree Arts Center-Petoskey. She can be reached at For more information about CTAC please visit

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