Updated: Aug 26, 2020

This year marks the 150th year of South Haven and the 61st anniversary of the South Haven Art Fair, June 29 & 30 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in Stanley Johnston Park.


The South Haven Art League held the first fine arts fair in 1958 at Stanley Johnston Park, then called Oakland Park. Known as the “Clothesline Exhibit”, 50 Michigan artists exhibited over 300 paintings on clotheslines and easels that year. In the last six decades, the art fair has expanded to a two-day juried event and evolved to include more than 120 artists and thousands of works of art.


“Art Fair is a wonderful part of the busy summer season in South Haven and we look forward to visitors coming out to see the work,” said South Haven Center for the Arts Executive Director Kerry Hagy. In the last 61 years the event has expanded to include local artists, as well as artists from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and a handful of other states, but in 2019 the fair is moving back to its roots. “This year we are proud to present the work of over 50 Michigan artists, which constitutes over half the work in the fair.” said Hagy.


This year’s fair features unique fine and functional artwork created by more than 100 talented artists working in acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastel, drawing, sculpture, photography, metal, glass, wood, clay and jewelry made from

Artist Sheri Dion of Grand Rapids, Mich. demonstrating her unusual technique of “fire painting” at art fair in 1968.

precious and non-precious materials. The SHCA awards a $500 prize for Best in Show. The second-place winner is awarded $250 and third place receives $100.


This year’s judges are sculptor Geoffrey Novelli, and watercolorist, mixed-media painter and muralist Anne Farley-Gaines. Novelli is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and composes works in marble, limestone, cast iron, sandstone, copper, glass and rubber. Gaines grew up in South Haven and now lives and works in Chicago. She creates multi-media paintings, and large-scale murals consisting of paint, mosaic and ceramic that adorn many public spaces across the U.S.


New to the art fair this year will be a family art tent featuring arts and crafts for kids of all ages. Guests can also enjoy a variety of food, including wood-fired pizza, BBQ, Italian ice, coffee drinks, smoothies, waffles on a stick and more. The Casco Band will play traditional Independence Day music on Saturday, June 29 at 2:00 p.m.


The South Haven Trolley, sponsored by the South Haven Visitor’s Bureau, will be available throughout the weekend. The trolley runs on the half hour from the South Haven High School parking lot into town with stops in between, Saturday from 7:00 a.m.-midnight and Sunday from 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Art Fair is funded in part by local businesses and corporate sponsors, including Albemarle, Meijer, LeafFilter Gutter Protection, Outdoor Adventures, Renewal by Anderson, South Haven Visitor's Bureau, Abonmarche, BER Refrigeration, Heating & Cooling of St. Joseph, Beyer Construction, Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, Whiteford Wealth Management, Hardt Insurance and Sherman's Dairy Bar.


For more information contact the South Haven Center for the Arts at (269) 637-1041 or info@southhavenartfair.org. Visit the SHCA on Facebook for art fair updates.

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

It is with great enthusiasm that I have taken on the Executive Director position at this exciting time for the Art Center. It is my greatest pleasure to work with a board of directors committed to bringing a variety of arts programming to our entire community.


Over the past several years, community support of capital improvements to the South Haven Center for the Arts has helped ensure that the South Haven community has a beautiful venue to house meaningful arts programming. By supporting this transformation of our space, donors have made a real impact on our community. We thank you!


As a result of these improvements, many longtime residents of South Haven and visitors alike have entered the Center for the first time ever in 2018. It is with great pride that we have welcomed in new artists, members, visitors, students, and volunteers into the South Haven Center for the Arts in the last year.


By equipping the building with an elevator and restoring the wood floors in both the first and second floor gallery, artists in South Haven and southwest Michigan now have an accessible and professional space in which to share their talents and creativity with our community. Our ability to exhibit high quality fine art has been further enhanced through the addition of air conditioning and an improved security and fire alarm system.


This year, with a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and matching funds from the city of South Haven as well as countless volunteer hours, the exterior east wall of the building has been repaired and the windows have been restored and painted. These improvements have stopped water leakage, improved energy efficiency and have helped maintain our building for years to come. Adding to our improved exterior, debuting in the spring of 2019, will be a new landscape design donated by the Hodgman Fund and Lawnboys. The new design will include exterior space for events and programming.


The improvements made to our space allow for expanded programming and events. Artists from around the country participated this summer in the Tales of the Sea Exhibition, produced by and unique to the South Haven Center for the Arts. The professional face of the gallery combined with our care and expertise, allowed us to present a top-notch exhibition, and artists and visitors noticed!


The South Haven Center of the Arts will go into 2019 ready to reach new heights. Our 2018 workshops and classes for adults and children have set the groundwork for expanding both the reach and quality of our adult, children, and family education programs. We are planning on new programming for artists and SHCA members, as well as community outreach programs, with the goal to engage our community in the practice, appreciation, and celebration of the arts year round. Our annual student exhibitions will be a wonderful start to our 2019 exhibition year, impacting local school students with family programming and field trips that will accompany these exhibitions.


Can you help us with a contribution now as our fundraising year concludes? By doing this, you can help us build upon our success and assure that we will have the necessary operating funds we need to sustain and expand programming while enriching our community through the arts.


You are greatly appreciated,

Kerry Hagy

Executive Director

South Haven Center for the Arts


P.S. End of the year donation can be made HERE




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