Saugatuck’s Fun Arts Scene Appeals To Collectors & Window Shoppers
It’s with a bit of mixed emotions we learned that Saugatuck was selected as one of America’s Most Artistic Towns for 2018 by the international travel site Expedia. We’re obviously proud of this art designation, but letting the whole world know our secret, well, that’s a different story. But still, we celebrate. Joyfully.
“Great art picks up where nature ends.” ~ Marc Chagall
The history of the arts in Saugatuck goes back to the early 1900s, when artists from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago began the Ox Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency. This 115-acre site brought artists from throughout the country. The appeal of working in such beautiful and inspirational surroundings flourished – and it still thrives today – visited by world-class artists, sculptors and architects.
Lucky summer visitors can enjoy Ox-Bow’s Friday Night Open Studio. Guests can see demonstrations and the artists-in-residence open their private studios. At 8 p.m. there is a live auction of student, staff and faculty art which supports the facility’s scholarship fund. This year’s open studio night dates were just released: June 15, June 29, July 13, July 27 and August 10th.
This is an amazing opportunity for an insider’s look at Ox-Bow, the institution that launched the area’s arts community. But, there are also many more artists to see in Saugatuck making us the anchor of Michigan’s Art Coast.
A walk along Butler Street offers a variety of galleries featuring the work of local painters, sculptors, ceramicists and other media artists. From traditional to eclectic, the variety of displays inspire everyone from window shoppers to serious art collectors.
Saugatuck Center for the Arts has also expanded our artistic reputation, while the annual Waterfront Invitational Fine Arts Fair on June 30, 2018 and the Village Square Arts & Fine Crafts Fair on July 28, 2018 are eagerly anticipated. (The Inn often sells out during these popular events, so book early to avoid disappointment.)
As Expedia says in its reasons for selecting Saugatuck As An Art Destination “you’d sell yourself short not to take part in the rich cultural offerings of the Art Coast of Michigan.”
We agree – just don’t tell too many people about our wonderful, talented arts community! Balancing small-town friendliness with world-renown art is a challenge, but one we proudly uphold here in Saugatuck.