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.
David Baker Location: 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.
Location: 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.
Location: 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.
Barbara Danger Location: Center Street next to Clementines
I've been a mixed media artist for more than 30 years, with work in celebrity and corporate collections. Primarily a fine
artist, I have also created numerous public art pieces, including fiber installations, murals, parking lot murals, tire art.
My work, no matter what medium, is always colorful, bold and vibrant. I live in Kent County, Michigan.
One of the most important things about biking is being seen. Too often bike accidents happen because motorists aren't seeing the riders. The rack design looks almost like a pair of glasses, which made me think of using colorful stripes and EYES. The mural entitled "I see you" is meant to prompt thought about how bikes and pedestrians are respected and seen in our busy city streets. The pop art eyes with graphic circles hint at the rotation of the bike tires.
Diana Densmore Location: TBD
Diana Densmore is a multi-media artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her Art Bike “Summer Flew By in a Day” was part of the South Haven Center for the Arts 2019 Fourth of July Art Bikes parade. As an artist, she has also shown in California as part of the RAW artist collective and has sold her work privately. Diana’s work can also be seen in the background of various commercial and film projects. Most recently Diana served as Art Director on the feature film “Ghostwriter” (dir. Tim Miller in post-production). She holds an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA and a BA, double major, in film & video studies and creative writing from the University of Michigan. Diana also studies Animation at KVCC and is hard at work on her latest short film, “A Vivid Imagination.” In addition to her work in film, Diana spent considerable time as an educator and youth development specialist, progressing from camp counselor to after-school facilitator, to ESL teacher in Japan where she served as President of the Shiga JET Teacher’s Association.
My design for this project, entitled, “Wishes” is a close-up of dandelions and their seeds being blown by the wind. The front tire of the bike will feature three large dandelion heads, in various states of seeding. The back tire and the seat will feature blades of grass and dandelion seeds floating through the air. The background will be sky blue with wisps of cloud. The bike rack will have the same image on both sides. “Wishes” is inspired by watching my daughter blowing dandelion wishes in the backyard. I was overcome remembering the joy of nature, the simplicity of childhood, and wonder at the world around us. These are the same feelings I hope to inspire in people as they bike around the city of South Haven.
Sam Dustin Location: TBD
Sam Dustin is a local, born in South Haven, Michigan. After school she spent 15 years traveling while expanding her view of the world and artistic vision. Her work has been on display through the USA and Canada. Once she returned to the west coast of Michigan in 2010, Dustin has been contributing to the Michigan’s art coast community through murals, street art, and her business Siren’s Rose Tattoo Studio. When Dustin is not making art, you can find her hiking the dunes, biking the trails, and hanging out with her amazing dog Leo.
The design of this bike rack is inspired by the lake and sunset colors of Michigan’s west coast. The locals, second home owners, and visitors of our area are “sunset worshipers.” When our sky lights up at dusk, no matter where we are, everyone takes a moment of pause and enjoy the display. Some find it romantic, some feel the sky is painted by loved ones who have passed, while others just sit back to enjoy the ambiance. It doesn’t matter if you're at the beach, in your backyard, on a boat, or just stepping outside of work. We all take that moment. This abstract eye design is to represent everyone who has seen the gorgeous sky colors over Lake Michigan, through their own eyes.
Location: On Quaker Street
Since graduating from Kendall College of Art and Design, I have worked continuously in the graphics and advertising design field. Print media, logo identities, and Web were my outlet to creative design. Most of these years were spent with agencies, but in 2002, I did my first stints a freelancer since my children were still quite young. Then, it was a series of events in 2004 that swept me into the process of learning to create welded sculptures. I never thought about welding before, but a tiny ad in the newspaper caught my eye. Holly Fisher was an inspiring teacher and soon we traded print graphic and Web work for a discount on classes. It was a super arrangement. Along with welding, I have also tried various media throughout the years. Creating works, sculpture or illustration feels wonderful and very rewarding, but when my work ends up in someone’s home that is something I consider an honor.
I will admit, I do not ride my bicycle often enough! But when I do, I love the feeling of working those muscles and the freedom of a woodsy trail and being submerged in nature. I must also admit, I like to draw birds. Quite a bit, actually. Birds are a natural symbol of freedom, peace, and of movement. A bird can fly wherever it chooses. It can land high or low. They are clever and fast and beautiful. I wanted to create a simple, friendly, nature themed mural for a bike rack I imagine showing all these things and sharing a feeling of happiness and peace. Bicycling is not only good for you, but good for nature too… and good for the birds. Just look at how happy they are to see you!