MANISTIQUE — For many living in small towns in the Upper Peninsula, a means to promote local art, whether that is physical or presentational, is often lacking. A one year-old business in Manistique is a great example of people working tirelessly to change that stigma.

Recently, an award winning artist hailing from Iron Mountain, Mia Tavonatti, traveled around to different UP cities, and created murals that embodied the spirit and future of those communities using one word. ‘Discover’ was chosen to sum up Manistique.

Local business, Blue Mystique, is taking that word as a challenge, and has worked to grow the area artistically, while also showing off the area’s natural beauty.

“At Blue mystique we offer art classes all throughout the summer months, and we offer them inside or outside, so no matter the weather, we can enjoy sunny, warm weather, or nice cool days by the river,” said Art Teacher, Val Mackie. “We have art classes around noon – it’s absolutely beautiful out here.”

The canoe and kayak rental facility, also equipped with their own shop, is encouraging locals and others to discover their inner creativity, while enjoying the calm, peaceful waters of the Manistique Harbor. Today, the business played host, as an art project in their gallery was underway. Artists of all ages were crafting ships made entirely out of cardboard and other reusable materials.

The boats were then commissioned to set sail to the best of their abilities. It may seem like a simple craft, but Blue Mystique believes these projects bring new attention to art in the Manistique area.

“We are promoting art in the area. We see that this area is beautiful, it has amazing people,” continued Mackie. “Our art classes are here to help you come and relax, enjoy the area, enjoy the area, and ‘discover’ Manistique.”

Of course there are still a few chances to enjoy some time on the river – the season ends soon, but for the time being, Blue Mystique is offering half off on their rentals, and art classes are ongoing.