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Art Center Goes Virtual

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

The world has quickly gone more virtual than ever and the South Haven Center for the Arts is no exception.

The old building has gone temporarily dark, and for the first time in 71 years, the SHCA Annual Member show, “Setting Stones,” is exhibited on a bright and optimistic screen to keep art alive and well in South Haven during these extraordinary times.

“The mission of the South Haven Center for the Arts—enriching the community through the arts—is just as, if not more, important than ever,” said Executive Director Kerry Hagy. “The art center is dreaming into the future; imagining and innovating to adapt the organization and ground ourselves in our mission and work to meet the challenge.”

“Setting Stones” places a special focus on the fine art and talent of its members. The art center will share this thought-provoking body of work on the website and Facebook page through May 16, 2020.

The exhibition features an eclectic and wondrous collection of creative interpretations of stone stemming from the brainstorming of the SHCA Exhibition Committee. They began by thinking of stones as monuments: Stonehenge, the 300th anniversary of Plymouth Rock, shrines; and moved on to other idioms: walls and boundaries, set in stone, rolling stone, stone cold, written in stone.

Each piece is accompanied by the artist’s personal statement describing the motivation behind their work and how it relates to the theme. Members fully embraced this year’s theme, and the art center is pleased and excited to share this compelling work with the community. This year’s exhibition contains more than 40 pieces created by existing members, as well artwork from many new members.

Apropos to the times is Claire Elaine Hamlin’s piece “Let the Joy Out.” “When you deny your “negative” emotions and put up walls, you end up holding your joy inside too. Unfortunately, our walls are quite literal now, but they can't keep us from sharing our joy.”

Chicago artist and South Haven native Anne Farley-Gaines on her piece: “On April 15, 2019, I woke up to the news that one of my favorite historical landmarks, Notre Dame Cathedral, was on fire. Stunned, I ran immediately upstairs to my flat file and grabbed the watercolor sketch I had begun on location in 2003 when I was visiting Paris with my students from the Academy in Chicago. I was compelled to complete the sketch immediately to immortalize it the way it had been since it was built in 1345. This jewel of Gothic architecture was constructed from limestone from the Paris basin. Contemplating what it must have taken the stone masons to transform this limestone into brick, to set the bricks one upon the other, and formulate the flying buttresses and gargoyles from stone is daunting.”

As is today’s world.

Stone stands the test of time indeed, as will the South Haven Center for the Arts.

Work is available for sale and the SHCA encourages visitors to support the South Haven Center for the Arts and the artists through art purchases.

Written by Nancy Albright

Preview of Exhibition below from left to right: Geode Lighthouse by Leslie Elrod, Point Betsie Beach by Drake Olmstead, and Cupidity by Kimberly Wood

This exhibition is possible by the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.

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