EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Gaye Plansky (left) and Tina Hemr, look at a photograph for sale by Jim Planksy at the By the Bay Gallery & Gifts Shop. The three partners opened the shop recently on 105 10th Ave in Menominee.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Gaye Plansky (left) and Tina Hemr, look at a photograph for sale by Jim Planksy at the By the Bay Gallery & Gifts Shop. The three partners opened the shop recently on 105 10th Ave in Menominee.

MENOMINEE — As of March 1, By the Bay Gallery and Gifts is officially open for business on 10th Avenue, just across the street from the Downtown Sandwich & Ice Cream Shoppe.

Co-owners Jim Plansky and Tina Hemr were both members of a different gallery when their new store’s space at 105 10th Ave became available. “It took us about a month to decide that we needed to check it out,” Plansky said. “One day we both decided we were going to look at it. We met here and didn’t know before then that we were doing this. We each individually decided we were going to look in the windows.”

“I drove by and saw him and said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said he was looking in the window and I said, ‘I’m driving by to look too!’” Hemr said.

“We went up and signed the lease, I think the same day,” Plansky said.

“It happened really fast,” Hemr said.

Plansky said he and Hemr have been doing their personal work for a very long time. Plansky specializes in photography, and Hemr specializes in jewelry. “I’ve been making jewelry for nine years, and I’m a self-taught bead-weaver,” Hemr said. “It ruins your eyesight but I love it.”

Plansky’s wife, Gaye Plansky, said that though her husband has been doing photography for most of his life, his love of photography really took off after their first granddaughter was born. “We got her baby pictures done at a store, and Jim took one look at the pictures and the price and said, ‘You know what? I can’t do this.’ He went out and bought a big camera, and he decided he would babysit. We’d come home and have all of these beautiful pictures of our granddaughter, and from then on we had pictures of everything and anything. He had books made of her and then he started doing weddings, and from then on it was everything else,” she said.

“Everything that we have in here is hand-made. They’re all one-of-a-kind items, and we’re trying to gear things towards upper Michigan or Menominee,” Plansky said. “The Lighthouse is Menominee, and there’s a lot of local barns, so we’re trying to get that type of art in here so we can draw the tourists that want something from the area.”

He said the gallery is open to any local artist who wants to display and sell their art, no matter what the medium is. He said that, even though they want to highlight more local art, there are some artists from out of town and even out of the state that, come summer, will have art displayed and sold as well. A lot are from Green Bay, but Hemr said that another jeweler from California, a soap-maker from Hawaii and a candy-maker from Pennsylvania will all be selling their work through the gallery.

“We’re both developing different skills,” Plansky said, “I’ve been making driftwood crosses, I made a cross out of horseshoe nails; I also do matting and restoring of old pictures, so if you’ve got an old family picture with cracks or bends in it, I fix them up and put them in a digital medium.”

Plansky said business has been picking up now that the weather’s getting better and more people are out downtown, so he and Hemr are hoping that more Menominee and Marinette residents will come by.