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Celebrating our Members: Diane Lynne Cheeseman

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

The South Haven Center for the Arts is extremely fortunate to have very supportive and loyal members. It is our pleasure to showcase some of these amazing members on our website. We begin with Diane Lynne Cheeseman who has been a member since 1971 - 50 years!

Lynne grew up in Michigan, spending time in Grand Ledge and St. Ignace, then Kalamazoo and Lansing. Her father was the Chief Photographer for the construction of the Mackinac Bridge and her mother was a teacher. Lynne remembers her first (and worst?) art class as a child in St. Ignace where paint-by-numbers was a favorite of her under qualified teacher. She attended Michigan State University in 1959 and took an art design class. Her love of painting was born. By 1968 she held BFA, MA and MFA degrees. The MFA is the highest degree for practicing artists for teaching purposes.

Photo of Lynne Cheeseman in her studio, holding an original painting.

After her marriage to George Cheeseman, she moved to South Haven in 1969 where her husband worked at the Palisades Nuclear Plant. They bought one of the only 3 houses for sale at that time and have made it their home with a garage studio ever since. She and George have two adult daughters, Andrea and Marcy, who graduated from the SH public schools.

In April of 1971, Lynne wanted to meet other area artists and joined what was then known as The South Haven Art Association. The President at that time was the late Steve French. She has served on the Board several times and was a member of the committee that wrote the original By-Laws and also our Statement of Purpose.

Lynne is both formally-trained and self-taught. She has attended classes throughout the years and has incorporated new techniques and inspiration into her own unique style. She is a watercolorist who now primarily uses acrylics like watercolors - lots of water and many layers of colors. The application of up to 15 layers of color can require several days to complete. She describes her style as abstract and emotional with Lake Michigan frequently providing inspiration. Form and composition are important factors in her work and she has won many state and midwest awards for her efforts.

When asked what advice she would give to aspiring artists of any age, she replied "Don't give up too soon". She also suggested that, when inspired, work on several things at one time so there are always pieces to work on while others are drying. She said "I might have 6 or 7 pieces going at one time". Aside from her artwork, Lynne also enjoys reading, exercising and gardening.

If you have an interest in Lynne's work or just want to offer congratulations on her 50 years of membership, she may be reached via email at

Do you know of someone else who merits special recognition either as a long-time member or who has made significant contributions of time and energy to us? Please send his/her name to Kerry at We have wonderful members/volunteers at every level and recognizing them here is a great way to say "Thank you!"


To learn more about the history of the South Haven Center for the Arts, view our history posts on our blog.

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