Bike Rack Project
Over the past many years, the City of South Haven, Van Buren County, and the Michigan DNR—along with other community organizations, various Friends groups, and the South Haven Visitors Bureau—have developed and promoted the use of local land and water-based trails in the area. In 2019, South Haven was one of four communities in Michigan to be designated as a Pure Michigan Trail Town in reflection of this effort.
Over the past year, outdoor recreational use has experienced significant growth, particularly with biking.
18 Mural Bike Racks: The South Haven Center for the Arts strives to feature local artists and celebrate our town. 18 Bike racks have been fabricated from steel by a local steel artist. These racks have been provided to selected artists and have been painted with their unique designs. The bike racks have been donated to the City of South Haven for display and use by the DDA and CVB (South Haven Visitor’s Bureau) in the downtown district of South Haven. The racks are installed seasonally and removed for the winter by the City of South Haven and have a sign mounted on them that designates them as part of the South Haven Trail Town Initiative.
Located on Williams Street in front of Old Harbor Inn
David Baker is a visual artist who specializes in poetic landscape painting, much of it done en plein air. His studio pieces are often reinterpretations of paintings done outdoors. His principle media are watercolor, oil, and charcoal.
David is a lifelong artist/teacher. He recently retired as art professor Emeritus from Southwestern Michigan College. He earned his MFA degree from Indiana State University. Over the years he has mounted more than four dozen solo exhibits. He has taught at Krasl Art Center since 2016 and Ox-Bow School of Art since 2000. He has served on board of the South Haven Center for the Arts since 2017. He is represented by Rising Phoenix Gallery in Michigan City.
My bike rack proposal is a four panel, illustrated narrative poem painted on the four wheel discs. It is a whimsical children’s fantasy and also a nod to surrealist painter Rene Magritte. The poem reads left to right, but can be started on either side of the rack. Principally, it features South Haven as the blueberry capital of the world. Additionally, it references the city’s importance in the peach industry, and shows local landmarks and civic events. The framework of the bicycle will be painted blueberry blue.
Located in front of City Hall
My name is Erica Bradshaw, a mixed media artist from Kalamazoo. I am drawn to the variety of textures and patterns
found in our natural environment. In nature there is connection and growth everywhere--characteristics I strive to embody
as a person and artist. A goal of mine is to embrace the process behind techniques and absorb what makes them
successful. This approach creates a large variety within my work that allows me to look at new projects from all angles. A
message that remains present throughout my work is wonder and introspection. I enjoy making pieces that can create
thought-provoking questions within the viewer. Thoughts of the possibility of bettering themselves, the world around them, or as simple as embracing their curiosity. No matter our age we have the capability to grow from our experiences and interactions. Art has been a vessel for me to do so. I hope that viewing my work helps people better understand the
environment around them, and can help inspire change.
My bike rack design is what comes to mind when thinking of spring and summertime in Michigan. It's a time when animals
of all kinds start to emerge and the sun shining makes me feel like I can breathe again. I think anyone spending time in
warm, sunny, Michigan weather can relate. There is a feeling of curiosity, exploration, and beautiful color everywhere.
Growing up on 15 acres of field land, I wanted to include some things I remember my spring and summertime by. Things
that I loved seeing as a kid, and I still cherish as an adult. Some of these include, The fawn seen along walking paths and
trails. The Grape Hyacinth that blooms along paths and in gardens. The rabbit nests that I would come across and keep
watch over in the grasses. The daffodils that I see nestled along the roadside. The eye-catching Swallowtail butterflies
and the sunsets make you want to pause time and sit with them forever. I hope that this imagery resonates with those who
come across it and encourages them to notice the small moments they have with nature. The moments that will stay with
them for years to come.
Located in Dyckman Park
My name is Jessica Byers and I was raised in South Haven, it’s all I’ve really known. Summer after summer I watch the tourists come then go when the weather gets colder. I’m 22 and I have been practicing art since before I can remember. I was told I didn’t always draw on paper, sometimes it was the walls. I don’t
think there was ever a specific moment that I realized that I was good at art, I’ve just always enjoyed doing it and kept experimenting with new mediums. I attended Lake Michigan College and I am a Red Hawk alumni, class of 2019, with my associates degree in graphic design. Since then, I have partnered with the South Haven Emergency Services to create placemats that enforce water safety to help keep others and yourself safe while swimming. You can find them either in your local restaurants or hanging up in businesses downtown. Currently, I’m working full time and on the side I run my own business called JB Art & Design creating custom art and have been able to ship overseas within the past year. I’ve enjoyed my business and thankful for the customers I’ve had and I’m excited to see where I am in a couple of years.
This past year has been different for everyone, but one thing that doesn’t change is the ability to create art, expand our horizon, learn new things and challenge ourselves. That’s why I am excited to see so many people come together to make this project happen. The bike I designed represents South Haven and some of the great tourist attractions. On the front tire of the bike is The Friends Good Will ship, a replica of a top sail merchant sloop and a familiar face to many school events. On the back tire, off in the distance, is the iconic South Haven lighthouse, built in the 19th century. Flipping to the other side of the bike, is the steep sand dunes that are located at the Van Buren State Park. Where there, nothing beats standing on top of the warm sand with the wind blowing past your ears and looking down on Lake Michigan and feeling like you are on top of the world. I chose to highlight a few important parts of South Haven in hopes that when tourists walk by and see that they will visit these areas, learn some history and admire all the work artists have done for our little town.