Artists Jeff and Theresa Heaton Get Ready to Make a Splash with Trash

This summer the South Haven Center for the Arts is collaborating with the Michigan Maritime Museum for the third annual Make a Splash with Trash event. The Maritime Museum conceived of the event, which centers around a community beach clean-up for families to focus our community and visitors on the stewardship of our public beaches and water ways. The Center's role in this collaboration for the last two years has been leading an art-making workshop using the materials from the beach cleanup to make an art piece. We are very excited to have received a grant from the Greater Area South Haven Community Foundation for this year's collaboration. With this grant, the South Haven Center for the Arts will collaborate with Lawrence, Michigan artists Jeffrey and Theresa Heaton. The Heaton’s will create two art installations, one on the South Haven Center for the Art’s campus and one the Michigan Maritime Museum’s campus and will engage families in an art making event planned for Friday, August 27, 2021 on the Maritime Museum’s campus.


The Heaton's Collecting South Haven's Beach Trash

The Heaton’s make amazing relief and three-dimensional pieces from materials redirected from

waste streams. Examples of their work are intricately woven pieces made from dog and cat

food bags and geometric designs made from cat food cans and toilet paper rolls. You can see some of their work on the Cheeky Chic-y Studio facebook page and @cheeky_chicy_studio on instagram. The Heaton's have kicked off the project by exploring South Haven's beaches and river ways, chasing down the beach combing machine, and finding where all the beach trash gets dumped. When visiting the dumpster at the cemetery where the beach trash is deposited, Theresa and Jeffrey met Mary, who told them all about the patterns of refuse left on the beach. Below are photos of the Heaton's adventures and notable pieces of beach trash which they are planning to use in their final sculptures.

How can you help with this project?


Now that the artists have started to identify what type of waste is left on the beaches, they need more! Theresa and Jeffrey Heaton will be making two installations which will be on display for the month of August one on the Michigan Maritime Museum campus and one on the east side of the South Haven Center for the Arts. These installations will highlight the trash that is left on our beaches and in our water ways. You can help the Heaton's by cleaning up the beach and collecting trash! If you can help, and need a bucket and gloves - let us know, we can provide that for you. Below is a list of the types of waste that the Heaton's are collecting for this project. We ask that you safely collect all other waste and throw it in the garbage. The Heaton's plan to start building their two sculptures after July 6. A great time to help collect them collect would be Monday, July 5. We will have receptacles at the art center that week to donate your findings.


Beach Trash to collect and donate to the South Haven Center for the Arts

  • colorful abandoned beach items like beach buckets, toys, shovels, goggles, and flip flops

  • plastic bottles

  • large colorful items like the spring float above or kites


August 27, 2021 Save the Date

Make a Splash with Trash


Join us at the the Michigan Maritime Museum on the morning of August 27 lead by the Maritime Museum who will host the beach trash clean up, and the Heaton’s with assist families in making art from the trash they collect on the beach.



Thank you so much!

This project has been made possible through a grant from Greater Area South Haven Community Foundation, and by operational support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts. Theresa and Jeffrey's day on the beach in South Haven was made possible by art center members Diana Densmore and David Stelzmuller who generously shared a nights stay on the beach with artists so they could wake up early in the morning and catch the beach comber and this beautiful rainbow. Finally, thank you to the Maritime Museum for this wonderful collaboration.

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