Summer is finally here with all the ballgames and family gatherings. Travel to and from these fun times will be a blessing and a lots of fun. In summer, we move around the state a great deal. Along with the family and the drop off and pickup of art entries, we accumulate a whole lot of miles on the road. There is also the bonus of new sights to explore.
Michigan is a very diverse and beautiful state that never fails to amaze the serendipity explorer. As we travel this northern U S state we are amazed by the bountiful natural water reservoir, the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan, I think, is the jewel in the Great Lakes crown. With its broad sand beaches and dense emerald forests and inland lakes that give the nature lover a superb blend of natural beauty.
If your fair is the urban life don’t miss the many charming small towns. The small cafes and bakeries with their friendly locals are as pleasant as any town in Europe. Check out Northport, Michigan - great cinnamon rolls!
If your travels take you on the many miles of expressways don’t forget to pull off at some world class art venues and fine art galleries throughout Michigan. Detroit with it diverse ethnic population can be a lot of fun to explore. Don’t forget the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA), one of the best in the world. Be sure to stop and marvel at the grand historic and masterful Diego Rivera mural. There are many art communities that are a must see for a Michigan art tour.
Flint Institute of Art (FIA) is as classic as any urban art venue in the country, with an exceptional permanent collection as well as classy travelling shows. Kalamazoo Institute of Art (KIA) rests in a very artistic region. The exhibits are world class. That was where we first became aware of Tunis Ponson’s work which is now under the curatorial protection of Roy Saper of Saper Gallery in East Lansing. Yes, right here in this artsy little town with big visions for art.
A great example of smaller community superb art exhibits is Shiawassee Art Center (SAC) in Owosso where art thrives through an enthusiastic collaboration between staff, volunteers, friends of, and the community businesses and individuals. Many communities throughout Michigan have this same enthusiasm for the importance of art in the health of the community. Check them out as you travel.
Saugatuck-Douglas has some of the best art venues in the state, and a little further up the west coast of Michigan you can find other fun art communities: Traverse City where original art abounds, Manistee, and Charlevoix with contemporary galleries and old world classical paintings. These are just a few.
ArtPrize (in September), in Grand Rapids, has grown into international importance with its size and diverse venues throughout the city. One of the main attractions for huge sculptural art and smaller works in the main building gallery is at beautiful Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. That is where we became reacquainted with the excellent kenetic sculptor, George Rickey.
I’ll keep you posted on the various venues and paintings we deliver, and here’s hoping we do a lot of traveling this new art season.
Happy art travels, Joel