Renn Cheadle grew up exploring the forests, lakes and streams near the small town of Omena, MI (Omena was originally called New Mission when it was founded in 1852).
Renn has spent the past 15 years living in New York City, capital of the art world. And while he admits there is no place like New York City for experiencing art, he also insists there is no better place to be inspired to make art than his first home, Leelanau County.
Renn received a BFA from The Savannah College of Art & Design and continued his studies at the School of Visual Arts and New York Academy of Art in New York City.
Finding true inspiration from the place he was raised, he returned to Leelanau County in 2013 and founded New Mission Gallery. His paintings reflect the true spirit of the area, where the Petoskey Stone has become his muse.
The Petoskey Stone
Over 350 million years ago during the Devonian period, well before dinosaurs roamed the earth, the land we know as Michigan was located near the equator. Covered by a warm, shallow, saltwater sea, the colonial coral Hexagonaria Percarinata thrived with other marine life in tropical reefs.
The earth’s plates moved and pushed Michigan north to the 45th parallel and above sea level, which created dry land formations. About two million years ago, glaciers scraped the earth and spread the fossils across the northern Lower Peninsula, depositing major concentrations in the Leelanau Peninsula. The prehistoric fossil is called the Petoskey Stone and in 1965 was named Michigan's State Stone.