El Sueño Americano: Images of the confiscated possessions of migrants seeking the American dream

el sueno americano

This October, Saugatuck Center for the Arts will host an exhibition of thought-provoking photographs titled “El Sueño Americano”—or “The American Dream”—by photographer Tom Kiefer.  You can attend the exhibition’s opening reception on October 25, 2018. The images will remain on view through December 22, 2018. Learn all about the exhibition below.

El Sueno Americano
El Sueno Americano
El Sueno Americano
Images: Tom Kiefer

Tom Kiefer’s “El Sueño Americano” comes to Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Separating an object from its context can obscure its meaning, eliminating any sense of certainty you might have had about it. In its place sprout questions like “Whose was this?” and “How was this used?” and “What is it doing here?” The decontextualized object takes on a life of its own, becoming a kind of ghost of its former owner, replete with mystery.

This is the feeling Tom Kiefer’s series of more than 100 photographs titled “El Sueño Americano” inspires. The photos will be on view at Saugatuck Center for the Arts from October 25-December 22, 2018 in what will be Kiefer’s first major solo exhibition.

“I saw Tom’s work at Art Prize last year,” said Whitney Valentine, the education and exhibitions manager at Saugatuck Center for the Arts. “With our Growing Young Artists program still at the forefront of my mind, I was incredibly moved by his images and knew that our West Michigan community would benefit greatly from seeing his works.”

She reached out to Kiefer and secured this October’s exhibition featuring new work. In the time that has passed since, the exhibition has received a flurry of national attention.

“While the aesthetics of the images alone are striking, the work reminds us of the game-changer that is context. The stories behind these objects, especially the mysteries, are what give the work its real power,” Valentine said.

The extraordinary ordinary

The objects within Kiefer’s photographs once belonged to migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. When Border Patrol officials apprehend undocumented migrants, they confiscate “nonessential” possessions and discard them. Kiefer worked as a janitor for a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility in Arizona for 12 years, and it was during this time that he began collecting these items from the trash. At first, he sought packaged food to donate to a local food pantry. But the more he dug, the more items he discovered, and the more questions he had. He began to collect and photograph the objects, and “El Sueño Americano” was born.

“Tom’s images remind us how extraordinary ordinary items can be,” Valentine said.

Stuffed animals soiled in the spots where children once held them. Plastic water jugs insulated by torn clothing. Toothbrushes, shoelaces, and rosaries—all labeled “potentially lethal” by Border Patrol. These are the objects in Kiefer’s bright photos.

The images’ effect on viewers can be destabilizing. Curator Tori Pelz said the exhibition reminds her of a variously attributed quote on the role of art, which is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

“I think the best art wakes us, calls us to attention, and offers a new perspective on the familiar,” Pelz said. “Tom’s photos possess both a commanding visual presence and a powerful human message.”

Immigration is a divisive political topic. Tom’s work, Valentine said, brings a necessary element of humanity back into the discussion.

“The photographs of the migrant’s personal objects remind us that at the heart of this issue is people—children who treasure their teddy bears, people trying to feed themselves and their families, and those who can’t imagine taking a trip without brushing their teeth,” Valentine said.

Experience “El Sueño Americano” and meet the artist

October 25 marks the exhibition’s opening. It kicks off with “Tacos, Tequila, and Tom”—a themed party featuring the alliterative trio in its title. One $15 VIP ticket gets you two tacos, a tequila-based cocktail (or another drink of your choice), and a guided tour of the exhibition with Kiefer and Pelz. This portion of the opening reception takes place from 5-6 p.m. If you are unable to make it at that time, you can still enjoy tacos, cocktails, and mingling with the artist during the public portion of the reception from 6:30-8 p.m.

“This is Tom’s first major solo exhibition, but since we’ve announced it, he’s received a dizzying amount of national press, and this exhibition is now booked for the next two years,” Pelz said. “In short, he’s kind of a big deal. And he’s eager to speak to what this work means to him, personally.”

“Mercury in Retrograde” premieres in Michigan at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

mercury in retrograde

Saugatuck Center for the Arts is hosting the Michigan premiere of Michael Glover Smith’s film “Mercury in Retrograde.” Filmed in Saugatuck and Fennville, “Mercury in Retrograde” tells the story of three Chicago couples at various stages in their relationships who convene for a weekend in a West Michigan cabin in the woods. On Friday, September 21, head to Saugatuck Center for the Arts and watch as the characters play disc golf, swim in Lake Michigan, and explore our region’s one-of-a-kind landscape.

Mercury in Retrograde: An exploration of relationships and communication between men and women

“Mercury in Retrograde” explores the way men and women communicate, and miscommunicate, with one another. The film’s three couples each occupy the space between falling in and out of love. Throughout the weekend vacation, tensions arise, secrets are revealed, and the characters explore new territory within their relationships. The film has been lauded as a compelling depiction of modern love, and Saugatuck’s unique landscape provides a beautiful backdrop.

See the Michigan Premiere of Mercury in Retrograde

Tickets for the premiere, which takes place September 21, 2018 at 7 p.m., are $13 for adults and $7 for students with ID. Director Michael Glover Smith and actor/producer Shane Simmons will be present after the screening for questions and discussion.

Purchase a VIP Preview Party ticket to catch previews of the film on the night before the premiere. The party will take place in the cottage where Mercury in Retrograde was filmed and will feature a cash bar with craft drinks and food provided by The Kirby. Director Michael Glover Smith and actor/producer Shane Simmons will be in attendance to answer all your questions about what filming in Saugatuck was like. Ticket cost includes one complimentary drink, fresh plates from The Kirby, and a reserved ticket for Friday’s 7 p.m. premiere screening of the film at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

Great art in Saugatuck you can’t miss this May

art in saugatuck

Summer’s closing in on us. You can feel the buzz in the air here in Saugatuck. We’re shaking off that brief winter relapse and gearing up for gorgeous season on the Art Coast.  A Saugatuck summer wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some of the beautiful and thought-provoking artwork available in galleries throughout the area. There are already a number of great events and exhibitions lined up throughout the entire month of May. Check them out below and kick off your summer with a month full of art in Saugatuck.

Kick off a summer full of art in Saugatuck this May

May 1-26

Moving through the Unimaginable

Daily, Free

This Saugatuck Center for the Arts exhibition is an effort to explore the process of healing. It celebrates community members who have fought through unimaginable hardships while cultivating hope, grace and charity in their lives. Featuring portraiture, sculpture, installation, community outreach, and viewer participation, this exhibition is on view at Saugatuck Center for the Arts through May 26.

May 5

Douglas Art on Center

6 p.m., Free

This monthly event is a collaboration between seven local galleries to display art in the area. Stroll down Center St. to see works from Button Gallery, Water Street Gallery, LaFontsee Galleries, Mixed Media Gallery, LebenArt Gallery, Mr. Miller’s Art Emporium and The Palette.

Button Gallery Opening Reception Debut

6 p.m., Free

Visit Button Gallery’s opening reception to see work from artists new to the gallery, including Michele Gort, Machelle Knochenhauer, Adriano Farinella and Dana Tindell.

May 12

Saugatuck Douglas Antique and Artisan Market

Beery Field, 9 a.m.-4 pm., $2 admission

Shop antiques and crafts at the third annual Saugatuck Douglas Antique and Artisan Market. This event will be held rain or shine, and admission supports different local charities.

Artz & Gardenz Studio Tour

10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Free

Five professional artists and one lavender farm open their doors for the second annual Mother’s Day Studio Tour hosted by Artz & Gardenz. This event is a relaxing opportunity to take in local art and spend time with your mom.

May 18

Chris Stoffel Overvoorde Opening

Armstrong DeGraaf International Fine Arts Gallery, 4 p.m., Free

This opening will feature artist Chris Stoffel Overvoorde’s biblical woodcuts. Born in the Netherlands, Overvoorde was trained as a metal worker and diesel mechanic before  came to the United States in 1957. He studied art at Kendall School of Design and University of Michigan. He teaches painting, printmaking, graphics, photography, drawing and the history of Dutch art.

Film: The Untold Story of Armistead Maupin

Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 7 p.m., $5 Members/$7 Non-Members.

This documentary celebrates one of the world’s most beloved storytellers and the creator of Tales of the City. The likes of Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan help their friend Maupin tell his incredible story in this film, which you can catch at Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

May 26

Ruth Crowe Studio Sale 

Water Street Gallery, 12 p.m., Free

Artist Ruth Crowe is featured in this sale at Water Street Gallery. Crowe’s work is described as “encaustic creations use dream like vintage images and other materials to enhance the depth and translucent qualities layered under the wax.” See them for yourself and talk with the artist herself during this event.

Let’s Jump In

LaFontsee Galleries, 5-8 p.m., Free

Celebrate the beginning of summer with the opening of LaFontsee Galleries’ first group show of the season.

Featured Image: ByDuncan.com

 

Afternoon in Saugatuck: What to do

After your restorative morning filled with yoga, breakfast, and taking it slow, you’ll have the energy you need to take on an afternoon of fun in the sun. Summer is the best time to take advantage of Saugatuck’s natural assets, from its beautiful parks to its sprawling sandy beaches. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find something fun to do in the afternoon in Saugatuck. Nature, culture, and the refreshing beauty of Lake Michigan await.

How to spend the afternoon in Saugatuck

afternoon in saugatuckExplore one of Saugatuck’s parks

While Saugatuck is known for its glorious beaches, its natural areas are just as beautiful. An afternoon hike in the shade of the forest trees is a delightful way to get in touch with the nature. Saugatuck Dunes State Park boasts miles and miles of trails, rare and endangered plant species to observe, and access to a beautiful stretch of beach. For a less intense hike or a picnic with a woodland view, visit River Bluff Park. Shore Acres Park offers a 23-hole disc golf course that could make for a fun, active day.

Rent equipment to explore streets and waterways

There’s no need to pack your car full of equipment when you come to visit Saugatuck. Gear for a fun day on the water can be rented from a number of locations in town. Rent bikes, paddle boards, and more at Just Add Water afternoon in saugatucklocated right in Douglas. For a relaxing kayaking trip on the Kalamazoo River, stop by Wades Bayou.

Make a day of art exploration

Saugatuck is affectionately nicknamed “The Art Coast” for its rich history as an artists’ retreat. As a result, there are no shortage of places to admire and purchase beautiful art. Explore the galleries in town or attend one of the many events and workshops hosted by Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

Grab lunch in town

After all that activity, you’re going to be hungry. You can’t go wrong with a sandwich or selection of salads from Farmhouse Deli. If you’re in the mood for a hearty burger and a beer, stop at Phil’s Bar & Grille. For a classy waterfront meal of seafood, visit the Mermaid.

afternoon in saugatuckVisit a U-Pick orchard

Michigan’s west coast is full of great orchards, and fruit picking can make for a great day of sunshine and exploration. Visit Crane’s U-Pick for a seasonal selection of fruits. Or check out this comprehensive list of pick-your-own fruit orchards in the area to find your fruit of choice.

 

What to do next time in Saugatuck

what to do next time in saugatuck

There are a few things that everyone does their first time in Saugatuck–and for good reason. Favorite activities like the Dune Rides are quintessential Saugatuck experiences that are perennially popular because they’re good, and they make for great traditions. But for your next time in Saugatuck, we invite you to consider shaking things up.

To help spice up your next visit to Saugatuck, we’ve compiled a list of activities, places, and restaurants that’ll show you just how multifaceted this town is.

What to do next time in Saugatuck

Fun for Friends and Family

If you liked the Dune Rides . . . try Harbor Duck Adventures

The Saugatuck Dune Rides are always one of the first things families do together when they visit Saugatuck. Next time, instead of getting a dose of history and scenery on the sand, try a tour on an amphibious vehicle with Harbor Duck Adventures. You’ll get even more area history, and a chance to ride on an antique, WWII-era vehicle.

retro boat rentals next time in saugatuckIf you liked the Star of Saugatuck . . . try Retro Boat Rentals

The Star of Saugatuck II is a classic way to enjoy Saugatuck’s waterways. First-time visitors often ride aboard the over-100-year-old sternwheeler to see the sights and learn about the area’s history. If you enjoyed that, next time try renting your own slightly-less-retro boat with Retro Boat Rentals. Select from a fleet of jet-age (‘50s-’60s era) runabout boats to explore the Kalamazoo River, or even make your way out to Lake Michigan.

If you liked touring art galleries . . . try making your own art at Express Yourself Art Barn

The Art Coast is filled with opportunities to view and purchase art, but maybe lesser known are opportunities to create art. Express Yourself Art Barn is a great spot for groups and families to put that artistic license to work.

saugatuck dunes state park next time in saugatuck

If you liked hiking Mount Baldhead . . . try the trails at Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Beloved Mount Baldhead is a popular place to get some exercise and catch a bird’s-eye view of the area. If you want to explore even more of the nature Saugatuck has to offer, you have to check out Saugatuck Dunes State Park. This park offers miles and miles of winding trails and access to some beautiful stretches of beach–some of which tend to be less crowded in the summer.

Beach Bumming

If you liked Oval Beach . . . try West Side County Park

Oval Beach is world-famous for its quality. Its wide stretch of soft sands means it can host lots of visitors, and the added bonus of changing rooms and a concession stand sweetens the deal. If you liked Oval Beach, but want to avoid the crowds this time around, try West Side County Park. Located just a 12-minute drive south of downtown Saugatuck, West Side County Park features a playground, a gazebo overlooking the bluff, and a wheelchair accessible ramp down to the beach.

just add water next time in saugatuckIf you liked swimming and sunbathing . . . try renting a SUP board at Just Add Water

Taking a dip in Lake Michigan is always refreshing and fun, but you can take playing in the water to the next level with a beach rental from Just Add Water. Try paddle boarding along the shore. Or just take your beach bumming to the next level with an umbrella or beach chair rental.

Wining and Dining

If you liked a wine tour . . . try a cider mill tour

The Saugatuck area features some great wineries, and wine tours are an exceedingly popular way to get a taste of the local culture. But wine isn’t all Saugatuck has to offer! Next time you visit, try touring Virtue Cider’s farm and learn all about the cider-making process.

If you liked Phil’s Bar and Grille . . . try Hercules Bar and Grill

Phil’s Bar and Grille is a favorite first stop when you first explore Saugatuck’s culinary scene. It’s a great example of the area’s delicious offerings. If you liked that, next time try Hercules! If you like steaks, seafood and chops, you’ll like Hercules. Be sure to try their delicious housemade cocktails, too.

Nightlife

If you liked Wally’s Bar & Grill . . . try The Corner Bar

Wally’s is a super popular spot to enjoy drinks with friends and see favorite local music acts. If you enjoyed that your last time here, next time, try The Corner Bar. A local favorite, it’s another great spot to grab a drink and catch entertainment.

Your Guide to the Best Fall Festivals in Michigan

michigan fall colors

With autumn approaching, there’s a lot to look forward to: crisp air, leaves changing, football, and fall festivals. Fall festivals in Michigan are the best way to celebrate the season. Pumpkins, stunning scenery, family fun, and much more are all on the schedule when autumn comes to the Great Lakes State.

Fall festivals in Michigan are a fantastic way to experience Michigan culture. We’ve got your guide to the best fall festivals in Michigan, from the Art Coast to the Upper Peninsula.

Fall Festivals in Michigan You Should Check Out

Saugatuck/Douglas

Known as the Art Coast of Michigan, Saugatuck and the towns nearby are home to some of the best fall festivals in Michigan. In October, Downtown Saugatuck hosts its Fall Fun Days events, where families can enjoy games, food, and music during this month-long celebration. In nearby Douglas, Beery Field will come alive at night during “Glow in the Park,” on October 27. Expect plenty of glow-in-the-dark fun, halloween costumes, food, music, and more. Make sure you come back for the Douglas Nighttime Halloween Parade for Adults the next evening on October 28.

If you want to see Saugatuck’s artistic side this fall, don’t miss the Blue Coast Artists Fall Tour of Studios. This free event will take place on October 7-8, and allows attendees to see the best of the area’s art.

Just ten miles away from Saugatuck is Fennville, home of the Fennville Goose Festival. This year, from October 13-15, attendees can enjoy activities like a 5k race, car parade, carnival, live music, a beer tent, and food.

Charlevoix

What’s fall without apples? Head to Charlevoix on October 13-15, 2017 to celebrate that favorite autumnal fruit at the 39th Annual Apple Fest.

Fairgrove

For seven decades, Fairgrove has been hosting one of the best fall festivals in Michigan: the Michigan Bean Festival. Expect rides, an art show, an auto show, and more, on September 1-4, 2017.

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids might be Beer City, USA, but when fall comes around, its downtown also plays host to ArtPrize, a multi-week display and celebration of art. This year, it will take place from September 20-October 8, 2017.

Hart

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes Apple & BBQ Festival in Hart, MI, will be held on September 8-9, 2017. The name says it all. Don’t miss out on one of the tastiest fall festivals in Michigan.

Marquette

Fall isn’t reserved solely for seasonal produce and hayrides (although we do love those) – it’s also a great to time to celebrate Michigan craft beer. Head to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula on September 9, 2017, for the U.P. Fall Beer Festival.

Experience Western Michigan In the Fall with Lakeshore Lodging

Year in and year out, visitors from all over come to Saugatuck for its friendly people and natural beauty. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan and home to a thriving art community, the best way to enjoy this beautiful beach town is by staying in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental. Our Saugatuck vacation homes feature the amenities and space you need to enjoy your Lake Michigan getaway. Whether you want to stay in town, or steps from Lake Michigan, we have a home for you. Contact us today to book your Michigan getaway and see why Saugatuck is more than just a place to stay.

7 art events you can’t miss in Saugatuck

Get creative in Saugatuck this August

Saugatuck is a source of artistic inspiration all year round, but this month promises some extra fun activities. Whether you’re interested in creating with your family, watching artists at work, or purchasing artwork for your home, you’ll find plenty of art events in August.

Here’s just a sample of some of the great art-related events happening this month.

Toddler Tuesday at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Every Tuesday, Saugatuck Center for the Arts hosts a themed creative session designed especially for little ones. Each 1.5-hour session includes story, yoga, music, and a healthy snack for just $20, or you can get a pass for all six in August for $100.

Aug. 12 – August Second Saturday at J. Petter Galleries

Enjoy art, wine, and music at this group art show. This one will feature nine different artists working in diverse media, including quilts, photography, pastels, and more. Take it all in with a glass of French wine and the indie jazz guitar stylings of John Otto.

Aug. 17 – Farm to Studio: SummerHouse Lavender Farm

This workshop offers a stress-free connection with nature, learning how lavender is planted, harvested, and used. Geared towards kids ages 6-14, attendees will get to explore the farm and gardens, sketch and paint the scenery, and create lavender-inspired items.

Aug. 17 – Thursday Night Market with Ox-Bow School of Art at Virtue Cider

Students from Ox-Bow School of Art are taking over the Virtue Cider farm. See what they’ve created, purchase local produce and goods, and enjoy reggae funk music at this event.

Aug. 18-20 – Michigan Fiber Festival

This annual celebration of natural fiber arts is one of the largest in the Midwest. If you avidly knit, crochet, weave, or you just appreciate a good sweater, you’ll find lots to love at this festival. Sign up for workshops to learn one of the myriad ways to work with fiber, purchase handmade pieces, and see the animals behind the yarn. This event is sure to be a fun activity for family and friends.

Aug. 19 – Graphic • Lines • Color at Roan & Black

Attend the opening of Roan & Black Contemporary Gallery’s latest exhibition: “Graphic • Lines • Color.” The event promises bold artwork as well as great shopping, music, and refreshments.

Aug. 19 – Plein Air Affair at Water Street Gallery

Artists will be scattered throughout the area painting scenes in the forest, on the beach, and in town. Keep your eyes peeled for artists at work, and then catch their finished works available for purchase at Water Street Gallery from 6-8 p.m. This is your chance to own a one-of-a-kind, barely dry depiction of a Saugatuck landscape.

Art and history intersect at Ox-Bow School of Art

art in saugatuck

Saugatuck: An artist’s haven for more than a century

The Ox-Bow School of Art has a rich history deeply tied to that of the town of Saugatuck. Its founding in 1910 converged with the decline of major industry in the Saugatuck area. The school took root on the cusp of the town’s reinvention into a Midwestern resort community.

The history of Ox-Bow

Saugatuck became what it is today—a haven for art and leisure—in part as a result of what Frederick Fursman and Walter Marshall Clute started at Ox-Bow.

The story began when Fursman and Clute visited Saugatuck one summer and fell in love with its natural beauty. They started teaching summer painting classes on the Bandle Farm on the east bank of the Kalamazoo River. From there, the concept gained momentum.

Eventually the school moved into the Riverside Hotel, whose business had dwindled when the Kalamazoo River Channel was diverted to flow directly into Lake Michigan, cutting off the hotel from potential patrons. The hotel became lodging for artists instead of traders, and Saugatuck became a refuge for those fleeing the industrialized urban environment of Chicago.

Ox-Bow today

Image: Annie Fisher, Ox-Bow School of Art

Ox-Bow School of Art remains in the old Riverside Hotel today, and artists of all skill levels can partake in credit or noncredit courses throughout the year. The school prides itself on being a “protected place where creative processes break down, reform, and mature.”

Over a century of history as a place where artists can hone and nurture their craft has drawn many into Ox-Bow’s doors. The school boasts plenty of well known alumni, including Nick Cave, Angela Dufresne, Jim Henson and Jerry Saltz.

Check out Ox-Bow for yourself

From courses to residencies and fellowships, there are many ways to engage with art education at Ox-Bow. Take a look at the summer courses being offered now, courses to look forward to this winter, or this year’s visiting artists. Come stay in Saugatuck and experience the history for yourself! Book your Saugatuck getaway around an Ox-Bow course and get all the benefits of a Saugatuck vacation plus the opportunity to hone your craft or learn a new one.

Last image by Annie Fisher, Ox-Bow School of Art

What is There to Discover at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts?

saugatuck center for the arts

When it comes to art, the people of Saugatuck know a thing or two. After all, Saugatuck-Douglas is the “Art Coast of Michigan,” and you don’t have to walk far at all before you find one of the town’s many art galleries. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is the best place in town to experience everything art-related, from theatre to music to painting exhibits. If you want to put a finger on the pulse of Saugatuck’s thriving art community, then a trip to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts is in order. Here’s what you’ll discover!

Be sure to check out our recommendations for things to do in the Saugatuck area! With our suggestions in hand, you’ll find the very best Saugatuck experience while you’re here. At Lakeshore Lodging, we’re your Saugatuck vacation resource.

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Performances

The Center is home to excellent theatre and music performances! From July 21 to August 6 “Fully Committed” is on stage. Then, from August 18 to September 3, “It Shoulda Been You” is sure to draw an audience. On October 14, “An Evening With Paula Cole” will entice your ears. Then, on November 5, familiar face, Jeff Daniels with the Ben Daniels Band are a musical treat. A full list of shows and concerts can be found on the center’s website.

Exhibits

It’s not all about the performing arts here! Art exhibitions of varying disciplines are on display at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. A wide variety of mediums and methods make the Saugatuck Center for the Arts an ideal spot for vacationers to get to know the soul of Saugatuck.

Education and Events

In addition to exhibits and live performances, the Center also hosts exciting events! Whether it’s the Creativity Revealed events, or the educational Toddler Tuesday (featuring painting, yoga, and snacks), there’s an event here for everyone. The center also hosts theatre camps,

Every Friday from late May until September 29, the Center will host a Farmers Market! Don’t miss out on the best local produce, goods, and more. The Farmers Market will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Visiting

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Saugatuck’s Source for the Best Lake Michigan Vacation Homes

What draws so many people to Saugatuck? Try beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, an inviting community, and an abundance of local dining. That’s not all, but it should be enough to grab your attention. If you’re planning on visiting one of Michigan’s most popular vacation spots, then call Lakeshore Lodging. Throughout the Saugatuck-Douglas area, we offer the best Lake Michigan vacation homes you’ll find, no matter how big or small of a house you seek. Full of great amenities and located conveniently close to the best things to do in Saugatuck, a Lakeshore Lodging vacation home is the way to experience Michigan’s Art Coast. Contact us today to start planning your Lake Michigan vacation.

This Is Why Your Kids Will Love Express Yourself Art Barn

The appreciation and creation of art aren’t restricted to adults. Sometimes, the most memorable artwork is created by the youngest among us. At Express Yourself Art Barn, children and adults alike have the freedom and tools to create whatever they want. That’s part of the beauty of art, right? The next time your kids (or you!) feel the need to create, head to Fennville, MI and enjoy an afternoon of artistic freedom.

Vacation activities like the Express Yourself Art Barn are an excellent way to engage in the culturally rich landscape of the Saugatuck area. And there’s more to discover. Here at Lakeshore Lodging, we have firsthand knowledge of our area. So, you can trust our expertise when we say, “You should try this!”

Express Yourself Art Barn

The Express Yourself Art Barn is exactly what it sounds like! Most farm structures as old as this 19th-century building are often used for events like weddings, storage, or simply as a landmark. However, this barn has found new life as an art studio. The owner, Carole, was a frequent visitor of Saugatuck, eventually moving to the area and purchasing the barn. What was once home to animals and an orchard is now a welcoming environment centered around fun and creativity!

For over a decade, people of all ages have been coming to the art barn to craft, create, and construct artwork from a variety of mediums. Kids will love the exciting options they have, whether that’s creating necklaces and bracelets, or trying out the pottery wheel. Materials to work with include wood, glass, ceramics, and silk, according to the website. Whatever you create, you’ll get to take home, too! It’s the perfect way to let your children discover new art forms, develop their sense of creativity, and have fun. Parents can join, too! Spending an afternoon crafting a new piece of art is a great way to bond.

A trip to the art barn is budget-friendly, and the average customer spends $20 between studio and project fees. You can contact Carole by calling (269) 857-5566. The Express Yourself Art Barn is located at 6459 – 130th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408.

Enjoy the Art Coast of Michigan!

If you love art, then Saugatuck and the surrounding area is for you. The town’s thriving art community is home to numerous art galleries and studios! Of course, you can’t experience art in Saugatuck without a trip to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Exhibitions, live music and theatre, art programs for kids, and more are all in store here. Make an art tour of the area by visiting the art barn, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and any of the great local galleries.

Create Your Own Adventure and Vacation in Saugatuck

Where do you go when you want Lake Michigan beauty, excellent art galleries, and great local dining? Saugatuck, MI, of course! Home to Oval Beach and an inviting, diverse community, Saugatuck makes for an unforgettable summer vacation spot. Let Lakeshore Lodging help you, with our selection of Lake Michigan vacation homes. Whether you’re looking for a lakefront house or a cozy home in town, we have a vacation rental for you. With features like fully equipped kitchens, WiFi, hot tubs, and more, you’ll be able to relax, worry-free. Plus, thanks to our convenient location, the best attractions in the area are only minutes away! Contact us today to start planning your Saugatuck getaway.