Judy Porter remembers coming to Lake Erie as a child with her family.
The beauty of the lake and atmosphere of Port Clinton always enchanted her and left lifelong memories of family vacations.
Several decades later, Porter now lives in Port Clinton and recently opened an art gallery, where she displays artwork of the lake by local and Ohio artists.
Distinct Ohio Creations, 136 Madison St., includes pottery, jewelry, stained glass, woodworking and paintings.
"There's already beauty here with the lake," Porter said. "We just wanted to bring additional beauty to our area."
Porter and her husband, Dave Porter, opened the gallery in late November and expect it will attract an abundance of Ohio and Ottawa County artists.
Jim Siemer, of Columbus, displayed several art pieces Friday including several images from his childhood.
Siemer painted a sailboat going under the drawbridge spanning the Portage River because it captures what he feels is the essence of Port Clinton.
"This is the vacation spot of Ohio, and I as an artist feel compelled to capture that beauty," Siemer said. "For an artist, it's very exciting."
Aside from displaying art, Porter said she wants to create a passion for art among people.
One way she plans to do that is holding classes taught by professional artists.
"It's unique. A lot of art galleries don't offer classes," said Siemer, who has already signed up to teach a class. "There are many people out there who are creative who want to express their artistic side. It could be the beginning of something."
The Porters bought an upstairs studio, 128 Madison St., where local artists will teach the classes beginning in January.
The first class is watercolor for beginners taught by David Smith, president of the Toledo Artists Club.
Distinct Ohio Creations is the most recent art gallery to open after Gallery on the Lake closed Memorial Day after 21 years in business.
"I think that the town could really use it," Porter said. "I think there already is a lot of interest in art in the area. We're just trying to help it along."
What - Distinct Ohio Creations
Where - 136 Madison St.
Hours - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; and closed Sunday and Wednesday
Phone - 419-734-0500