The Best Saugatuck Art Events | Happenings All Summer Long

Posted on: May 9, 2019   |   Posted in: Art, Things To Do In Saugatuck

orange brick school house and blue sky


red metal modern gazebo over garden with metal sculpture


art fair with white tents and crowds of shoppers


bronze sculpture in a gallery with paintings on black back wall


6 drawings of women in repose in gold frames on wallpapered wall


bronze sculpture of dancer on table with topiaries, sofa and bookshelf in background

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do”
~ Edgar Degas

Saugatuck Art Events On The Art Coast Of Michigan

Dream of a place where they celebrate art events and encourage creativity.  Saugatuck, along the Art Coast of Michigan, is that place. There’s a reason American Style Magazine ranks Saugatuck “One Of The Top 5 Art Towns In America”. With our galleries, studios and art centers for learning, the devotion to the arts in Saugatuck takes your breath away. To top it all off, we have the majestic view of Lake Michigan as our backdrop!

Summer is the perfect time to experience the fine art events in our Saugatuck community. Attend art openings & art strolls at the over 30 galleries and even more artist studios in the area.  Take classes at the Ox-bow School of Art on the Kalamazoo River along with the artists in residency there. Spend hours visiting area artists and watching demos of their crafts in their studios. Our community is full of events throughout the summer that make this place an art mecca in Michigan! Check out Wickwood’s Guide To The Perfect Arts In Saugatuck Weekend for your next visit to Wickwood Inn. From galleries to brunch, we cover all the bases! But in the meantime, don’t miss out on the fine art events this summer on the Art Coast Of Michigan!


“Creativity takes courage.”
~ Henri Matisse


  • Kicking off an art events filled summer is the Artz and Gardenz Tour for Mother’s Day, May 11.  Gardeners and artists unite in hospitality to welcome visitors to their studios and gardens for one special day.
  • Saugatuck Expo’s Fine Arts Week– June 7-9 – Celebrate the work of dozens of local artists and our region’s long-standing reputation. Attend the kick-off concert on June 7 featuring The Accidentals, at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.
  • Storied Drawings Exhibit, Saugatuck Center For The Arts– June 7 – August 6 – Following the exhibition opening by The AccidentalsStoried Drawings brings together four young artists and visual story-tellers.  They share their varied mediums, inspirations, and insights.
  • Plus, check out the list of summer classes for children and adults from papier-mache to comic book creation!


“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
~ Thomas Merton


  • Summer Art Stroll on June 8 from 4-8pm is a leisurely evening in Saugatuck and Douglas.  Enjoy the many fine art galleries our communities have to offer. One of many annual art events in Saugatuck with art exhibitions, live music and refreshments. How many can you make it to in one night?
  • Waterfront Invitational Art Fair takes place on July 6 with a juried selection of fine art on display.  Saugatuck Douglas Art Club Art Fairs take place July 6 & July 27.  Submit your work or, as a shopper, enjoy looking for treasures from local and national makers.  Also, visit the Village Square Art Fair, also on July 27.  All proceeds from these fairs support the arts in our area, through scholarships, local art programs, and the public school art programs.


Studios & Galleries With Art Events Not To Miss

Some Of Our Favorite Art Studios In Saugatuck

  • Peachbelt Studio is the beautiful old school house, now home to the original oil paintings by owner, Dawn Stafford.  The gallery hosts many more local artists plus enjoy art demonstrations and more.
  • Marcia Perry Sculpture Studio shares a unique relationship with nature through her sculptures.  A long-time local artist is know for her organic wood sculptures.  Visit the artist and her work in her gallery that most call simply, The Ark.
  • James Brandess Studios & Gallery lives in a beautiful historic building that used to be the downtown Saugatuck post office.  Brandess is often found laying brush to canvas while visitors enjoy the show in his downtown Saugatuck gallery.
  • Knemu Studios on the Fernwood Farm Estate is a pottery studio, classroom and art gallery. Potter Dawn Soltysiak owns and teaches in her gallery that displays local hand-made fine art and functional sculptures.

Some Of Our Favorite Saugatuck Art Galleries

  • Amazwi Contemporary Art gives a vibrant voice to the work of African artists.  Amazwi is the Zulu word for ‘voices’ and this downtown Saugatuck gallery gives a voice to many creatives from Africa.  From paintings to sculptures to colorful keepsakes, it’s always a learning experience.
  • Armstrong de Graaf features international fine art from world-renowned artists.  The owners David and Jane de Graaf curate art from around the globe appealing to serious art collectors and investors.  Their gallery is a long-time gem in downtown Saugatuck.
  • Good Goods features the works of over 150 artists in this long-time downtown Saugatuck art gallery.  Discover finely crafted handmade items, modern American folk art, fine art paintings, sculpture, photography and more.
  • J. Petter Galleries houses over 60 artists from around the world in a building built by artist Carl Hoerman in the 1920s. The Galleries include Petter Wine Bar where patrons can sip wine and stroll the two floors of fine art and vintage treasures in the barn.


And, yes, experience a guest room at Wickwood Inn. The Picasso or the Matisse are two obvious choices for a fine art ‘stay’ at our downtown Saugatuck bed and breakfast.  But, to be truthful, every room at the Inn is full of fine art collected over the years.  So, wander the Inn during your stay to take in the art all throughout Wickwood.


Ox-Bow School of Art & Artist Residency Art Events

  • Summer Benefit takes place on July 6.  A large, fun crowd gathers at this likely sell-out event. Enjoy artisanal cuisine, live music and sip craft drinks.  All to participate in the fine art auctions featuring the artwork of the Ox-Bow School’s talented artists and alumni.
  • Friday Night Open Studios– June 14, June 28, July 26, August 9 – Mark your calendars for these special Friday nights to enjoy the work of students, fellows and artists in residence. They display their work for live auction, along with art demonstrations in the quirky glass and metal studio spaces.
  • Want to learn how to paint?  Enroll in a summer class at Ox-Bow. Take a day class or spend a week or two learning new art skills! Classes span everything from the art of basket weaving to watercolors and a lot more in-between. And, food lovers – there’s even a cooking class this year.


Your beautiful artistic experience awaits you on the Art Coast Of Michigan this summer! Reserve now at Wickwood Inn’s downtown Saugatuck bed and breakfast. Plan your remarkable summer art escape with all of us at the Inn.  Embrace your inner artist and the best Saugatuck art events this year!

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