Updated: Dec 18, 2020

The last few years has seen the cultivation of a growing collection of downtown public sculpture created by accomplished Michigan artists. Take a walk down Phoenix St. and you will see work near Black River Tavern, Great Lakes Eye Care, Johnny's Lakeside Jewelry, and Taste Restaurant. Each conveys in its own unique way the natural landscape that defines South Haven and the Southwest Michigan coast as envisioned by these artists.


"Summer Breeze" led the way in 2017—a piece fashioned in metal and glass by South Haven sculptor and ArtPrize artist Kathy Kreager that sits in front of Taste Restaurant at the corner of Phoenix and Kalamazoo streets. Mark Toncray, Carolyn Robinson Finks, and John Sauve are the most recent Art On the Town artworks under the auspices of the Grow Your Own Sculpture program.


“Dune Anchor,” by Mark Toncray, was inspired (as are many of his pieces) by "the intersection of our influence upon nature and nature’s influence upon us.” After a thirty-year career as a working artist, Toncray creates spare images that are "stripped of complex techniques" borne of "gesture; almost three-dimensional sketches." Wander down to Black River Tavern, 403 Phoenix St., and you can see what Mark means.

Originally from Chicago, Toncray now lives in Benton Harbor and studied sculpture at Southern Illinois University. He has fabricated pieces for many Chicago-based artists and installed hundreds of sculptures for individual artists and Chicago art expositions. Mark now works as a sculpture conservator and installer with the Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative in New Buffalo, Michigan, and The Krasl Art Center and The Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan.

“Surround Me with Sun Wind and Water” by Carolyn Robinson Fink of Portage, is in front of Great Lakes Eyecare, 412 Phoenix St. According to Fink, the piece depicts finding purpose and renewal in nature. Fink, a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design, is a career graphic designer as well as a sculptor of steel. “I hope the person seeing my works might experience a bit of the peace, joy, relief, or hope that I myself feel as I create it.”

Detroit area sculptor John Sauve created “Faust”—named for the mythical German character who sold his soul to the devil in return for “worldly knowledge and pleasure.” The piece is in front of Johnny's Lakeshore Jewelry, 501 Phoenix St. “Faust” is reminiscent of Sauve’s Man in the City sculpture project—forty sculptures installed on rooftops throughout Detroit and Windsor, Canada. Suave has exhibited at the Chicago Sculpture International Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, the Krasl Biennial Sculpture Exhibition in St Joseph, and created sixteen sculptures for Benton Harbor and St. Joseph in the likeness of Muhammad Ali as part of the I Am the Greatest project, designed to help youth in Southwest Michigan learn about community, art, and creative expression.


Those interested in purchasing one of these pieces for donation to the City of South Haven or for a private collection, please contact info@southhavenarts.org.


Click here if you would like to participate in Art On the Town.


"Sun, Wind, and Water" by Carolyn Robinson Fink was purchased by financial planner Paul Hix of the Edward Jones Office of Paul Hix in South Haven. Carolyn's work can be seen in front of Great Lakes Eyecare, 412 Phoenix St.


"Dune Anchor" by Mark Toncray sits in front of Black River Tavern, 403 Phoenix St. "Dune Anchor" is available for purchase.


"Faust" by John Sauve is located in front of Johnny's Lakeshore Jewelry, 501 Phoenix St., and is still available for purchase.


"Summer Breeze" by Kathy Kreager was purchased by the South Haven Downtown Development Association and is located in front of Taste, 402 Phoenix St.


The Grow Your Own Sculpture program is made possible by the South Haven Downtown Development Association.


Visit the South Haven Center for the Arts' Donations page to help the art center continue this tradition of public sculpture in South Haven.

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Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Created by Maya Ankenbruck


Hello it's Maya from the South Haven Center for the Arts!

Today we are going to be drawing on our backs with a piece of paper taped to the bottom of a chair. This exercise is inspired by the South Haven Center for the Arts' Frida Kahlo theme. Frida Kahlo is a self-taught, Surrealist and Magic Realism female artist. She had polio as a child and then suffered a bus accident at the age of eighteen. The bus accident left her with lifelong pain and medical problems. Due to this she made her paintings in an unusual way. Her canvas would be suspended in the air above her and she could paint with her limited movements this way. Frida Kahlo was in her bed most of the time, in the same space every day. She maneuvered around obstacles in her life to make beautiful, deep art. Sometimes pain creates great art, sometimes life is very challenging. Sometimes a new perspective can be enriching, or inspiring, or just gives a new outlook on your surroundings.


Materials Needed

  • Chair

  • Piece of paper

  • Tape

  • Drawing utensil

  • Mirror

Watch the DIY Tutorial Video!


To begin this exercise you will need a chair, a piece of paper, tape, and a drawing utensil. I recommend also having a mirror as I would like you to draw a self-portrait. We will tape the paper to the underside of the chair, get under the chair, and draw a self-portrait from this new angle. In Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, she used many symbols. Maybe you would like to add things that are very important to who you are into your art piece. How do you feel while making this art piece? Is it difficult? Does it give you a new perspective? What did you think about while making your self portrait?


Other variations of this perspective exercise could be, looking at yourself upside down in a mirror and drawing your portrait that way. I was looking at myself upside down and I just looked very different than I would normally, it was interesting. You could see how it would feel to draw without your writing hand, draw with your less dominant hand or try and draw with your toes or hold a drawing utensil in your mouth. These are also a way of getting a new perspective on creating art, trying new things can give you great inspiration. What other ways can you think of to create art in a new way? How can you look at yourself at a new angle?


I would love to see all of your ideas and creations, share your photos with us at info@southhavenarts.org.

Self Portrait drawing by Maya


Maya Simone Ankenbruck was the South Haven Center for the Arts' Intern for the summer 2020 season. This opportunity was made available by a grant from The Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation.

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Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Created by Maya Ankenbruck


Hello, I'm Maya Ankenbruck here on behalf of the South Haven Center for the Arts.

As we are focused on Frida Kahlo, I think it's important to mention her love of animals. She loved her various animals as children and owned macaws and parakeets, Bonito the parrot, a fawn named Granizo, spider monkeys, Fulang Chang and Caimito de Guayabal, an eagle and hairless Xoloitzcuintli dogs with ancient Aztec lineage. These animals would often be shown in her paintings. They were her companions, her friends.


I would like all of you to think about your pets and possibly how you have become closer with them through this time of staying at home and staying safe. I personally have a box turtle named Mabel and I do feel like I know her routines and mannerisms better now. I would love to see pictures of your pets in quarantine, or an imaginary pet, or your stuffed animal that is your companion.


Materials Needed

  • A rock

  • Paint, probably acrylic paint or gouache because it dries quickly, or a good marker or a paint marker.

  • Paint brushes and a cup of water and a paper towel for cleaning

For this exercise we will be honoring our animals by creating art for them. You will need a rock. Some paint, probably acrylic paint or gouache because it dries quickly, or a good marker or a paint marker. You will need some paint brushes and a cup of water and a paper towel for cleaning.


I would like you to find your perfect rock, maybe go to Pilgrim Haven, the beach there is full of all kinds of rocks. Maybe find a rock that somewhat looks like the shape of your animal because we are going to paint our animals on our rocks. Haha! All rocks already remind me of turtles so I will have an easy time finding my rock. Once you have your rock you can set up your painting space, maybe put down a tarp or go outside. You may want to take a picture of your pet to draw from because they are usually moving around. You may want to draw out what you are going to paint before you do paint but it is up to you.



While creating or observing your pet think about, If you were to paint your pet, what would you add? What makes them, them, what symbols or items would you place around them, what do they like and dislike, who is your pet?


I got this idea from my neighbors who were painting rocks and giving them away or taking donations for the Al-Van Humane society. They did not paint their pets, but lovely nice sayings that could brighten a person's day. I noticed people would get their rock from my neighbor kids and place it around town. It was nice to see little painted rocks everywhere and especially by the Frida Kahlo Garden's because they fit in so well there. So yes, after you are done with your painted rock of your pet maybe you want to place it by a Frida Kahlo Garden. Maybe you want to put it in your front yard or set it in your pets favorite place. You can do what you want with your special rock honoring your beloved pet, it's yours. I would love to see all of your creations! Send photos to info@southhavenarts.org.


Watch the DIY Tutorial Video!




Maya Simone Ankenbruck was the South Haven Center for the Arts' Intern for the summer 2020 season. This opportunity was made available by a grant from The Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation.


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