Kathy Hemker, venue hostess

LANDSCAPING IN THE GARDEN IS MY ARTISTIC MENTAL ESCAPE: THAT PLACE WHERE MY MIND NATURALLY DRIFTS WHEN MY THOUGHTS ARE FREE TO WANDER AS THEY WANT. For over 30 years I pursued my passion in residential landscape architecture, design and art. During this same time, I raised three very active children and created this garden, nurturing the beauty which was here long before any of us. I love creating loose order in the landscape and cooperating with nature, intentionally creating an artistic escape which looks as if it naturally grew back here -- without any help from me.


In 2001 I realized we never enjoyed the Island.
What could I create to help us want to go down there?
And how could we then share it with our family and friends, too?
I imagined a large fairy-tale-like simple gazebo smothered beneath a climbing vine canopy
and surrounded by continuously blooming flowerbeds under which our entire family
could relax while enjoying the lake view and escape from the hot summer sun.

The small gazebo was a gift to my husband for our 25th Wedding Anniversary;
we located it where the pines and lake would serve as its backdrop,
where we could enjoy amazing late afternoon sunsets,
winding down our busy summer evenings.

Eventually I thought of sharing our hidden away dream escape with others for weddings.
It took an entire decade, with thousands of hours and dollars,
to grow lush enough, before I could say, "It's now ready!"

"My Garden Is My Most Beautiful Masterpiece"

-- Claude Monet
I have spent my entire life creating art of one form or another.
With this venue, I have found my ministry and purpose in life
-- now I artistically create season-long backdrops for one the best days of your life,
worthy of the highest photographic expectations which will live on into each families future generations.

After a lifetime of pursuit, this venue has been my "10 years of silence":

Why the name artistreEscapes?
(pronounced 'artistry' Escapes)
I have been trained in all areas of horticulture and landscape architecture,
sharing an immense love and respect for artistic design and plant material.
Combined together, it occured to me that this Island's development
has been my quarter-of-a-century-long venture of artistically enhancing my unique escape,
complimentary to this gorgeous property I have been entrusted,
honing my skills while waiting for plantings to mature to their full beauty.

The "tree" in the center of the name tributes our property's many majestic giants.
artis'tree' escapes best describes my satisfaction enjoying this exceptional property.