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Pushing the Boundaries of Clayis an exhibition of all Michigan-based ceramicists at the South Haven Center for the Arts from June 17 through August 5, 2023. Yve Holtzclaw is one of 15 artists in this exhibition.


Yve Holtzclaw is Kalamazoo, Michigan


Artist statement: Exploring gender as a performance, I toy with the absurdity of my early anxiety,

alienation, and self expression by depicting myself as a goose, as a deer, and as a cactus. I find myself relating to these suburban pests. For me, tension between a flatness and dimensionality reflects then surreal qualities of gender, growing up, and memory. I build layered surfaces by incorporating secondhand materials, firing my pieces repeatedly, and applying cold finishes to my work. In this process I am interested in evoking nostalgia connected to a familiar and yet unknown place, leaning into the feeling of stepping into a painting, a comic, or a dream.


Artist bio: Yve Holtzclaw is a genderqueer interdisciplinary artist and educator originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Since graduating from Massart with their BFA in 2020, they have been awarded the Donis. A. Dondis travel grant, completed a residency in ceramics at the Kirk Newman Art School and organized exhibitions both locally and nationally. They currently reside in Kalamazoo where they work and teach at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and cooperatively run a gallery and studio space called Cloudhouse.


The fifteen artists in the exhibition will exhibit several installations as well as functional and non-functional works. The participating artists were selected by Noelle Ringer to highlight the range the possibilities the ceramic form can take and to showcase a variety of surface design, structural variation, as well as thematic approaches to the media. Exhibiting artists include Julie Devers, Adriana Sanchez, Mary Lamson-Burke, TJ Schwartz, Kaylon Khorsheed, Yve Holtzclaw, Paola Gracida, Jane Mejia-Borja, Lynne Tan, Jan Kimball, Jennifer Zona, Heidi Barlow, Noelle Ringer, Sydney Ziemke and Sean Adams.


Plan you visit to the South Haven Center for the Arts!



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Updated: Jun 19, 2023

For Immediate Release

South Haven Center for the Arts

Pushing the Boundaries of Clay June 17 through August 5, 2023

Opening Reception Friday June 16, 5-7pm


Media Contact:

Kerry Hagy, Executive Director

(269) 637-1041


South Haven, Michigan — Pushing the Boundaries of Clay, at the South Haven Center for the Arts, will exhibit artwork from Michigan based ceramicists who work primarily in clay. The exhibition will be on display June 17 through August 5 and will highlight artwork that pushes the boundaries of clay. This is the first exhibition that Noelle Ringer, exhibition coordinator at the Center as well as ceramicist and ceramics instructor at the Krasl Art Center, is curating. Noelle writes of the exhibition “Clay is a medium that uses the elements of earth, fire and water to work together in a harmonious environment to create an object that can last on this planet for centuries, this exhibition will highlight work that pushes the boundaries of the medium.”


The fifteen artists in the exhibition will exhibit several installations as well as functional and non-functional works. The participating artists were selected by Noelle Ringer to highlight the range the possibilities the ceramic form can take and to showcase a variety of surface design, structural variation, as well as thematic approaches to the media. Exhibiting artists include Julie Devers, Adriana Sanchez, Mary Lamson-Burke, TJ Schwartz, Kaylon Khorsheed, Yve Holtzclaw, Paola Gracida, Jane Mejia-Borja, Lynne Tan, Jan Kimball, Jennifer Zona, Heidi Barlow, Noelle Ringer, Sydney Ziemke and Sean Adams.


As is typical in exhibitions at the South Haven Center for the Arts, work in this exhibition will be for sale and we encourage art patrons and collectors to visit. In addition, this exhibition will include a featured object wall in the Center’s entry way that will feature both functional and non-functional pieces by the exhibiting artists that can be acquired at the time of purchase, while pieces in the main exhibition will have to be picked up or shipped at the completion of the exhibition. Join us for the opening reception, Friday, June 16th from 5-7pm.


This exhibition and correlating educational programming have been made possible in part through funding from the South Haven Area Community Foundation, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


The South Haven Center for the Arts, 600 Phoenix Street, South Haven Michigan, is free and open to the public.

Hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11am–4:00pm, and Thursday, 11am–6pm


For more information visit southhavenarts.org or southhavenarts on Facebook and instagram. To contact the Center directly, email info@southhavenarts.org

or call (269) 637-1041.



Image One: Yve Holtzclaw’s Have You Even Read Lacan will be one of three pieces exhibited by this Kalamazoo artist who works and teaches at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.


Image Two: Eau Claire artist and attorney Jane E. Mejia-Borja will be exhibiting her sculpture works, including this I See You.

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By Nancy Albright


The South Haven Art Fair officially became part of South Haven’s landscape in 1957 under the auspices of the South Haven Art League, which was formed in 1951 under the American Association of University Women. The league’s mission was for “individuals to go into the field and create an interest in, and foster growth of art in the community.” Learn more about the evolution of the South Haven Art League to the South Haven Center for the Arts in a future post.

Art Fair began in 1957 with local artists pinning their paintings and drawings to clotheslines strung throughout Oakland Park—later renamed Stanley Johnston Park. The “Clothesline Art Show” often coincided with Blueberry Festival. Art Fair and Blueberry Festival now take place on different weekends—the fair claiming the Fourth of July.

South Haven Art League President Mrs. Charles Long and her daughter Nancy hang pictures by pin and clothesline for the Annual Clothesline Art Show, Sunday, July 6, 1969 in Oakland Park. —Photo: Alice Flood



Thirty-four artists exhibited in the 1968 fair, eighty-nine in 1971, and well over one hundred in 1974. In 1974, artists from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and even Florida treated visitors to acrylics, oils, pastels, watercolors, photography, textiles, jewelry, leather, and pottery. The ’74 fair also boasted batik, tole painting (decorative folk art painted on metal objects like utensils and coffee pots, and wooden objects like chairs, hope chests, toy boxes, and jewelry boxes); candle pyrography (the decoration of candles with burn marks applied using a heated object); and tropical butterfly arrangements encased in plastic cubes.

July 7, 1974: The caption reads, “ART SHOW—Hundreds of people toured the annual South Haven Art Fair in Stanley Johnston Park yesterday both to view the many artist exhibits and to try and beat the sweltering heat in the cool, shaded park. Here, one of the artists paints miniature artwork on small pieces of wood while some people watch her work.”

Photo: Tom Renner


Those of you who wandered through the 2018 art fair may recall the sweltering heat of that weekend as well. Thank goodness the Big Lake is only a block away.






In 1976, 115 artists exhibited their work to a crowd of over 10,000 people who attended “Celebration ’76”, which also featured Blueberry Festival. Music teacher Michael Listiak conducted the South Haven Community Orchestra in recognition of the Centennial, artist Dana Ziebarth sketched portraits of visitors, and artists sat under umbrellas to stay out of the sun.





Art Fair in 1976, drawing thousands of visitors.



Taking a break from marking the park for 130 artist booths. Sharon Bailey (right) chaired the art fair in 1982. Bailey is pictured with Ann French (left) and South Haven painter Steve French,.


Steve French chaired the fair in 1981. There were over 200 artists at the fair that year.

South Haven Art Fair was in the top 100 best art fairs in the country in 2016 and 2017 as rated by Sunshine Artist Magazine, and deservedly so. What was once a one-day affair turned into two, and has evolved into a juried fair of more than 100 fine artists each year, some coming from as far away as California. The fair brings thousands of local residents and summer visitors to the event to see painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, wearable art, functional art, repurposed art; incorporating everything from copper to glass to gold-leaf to bamboo brought from Asia by the artist.


Art Fair artist applications will be available on the SHCA website in November 2020.


Past Art Fair registration card for broom maker Jeff Mohr of Lawton, Mich. Date unknown.


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