Crowds flock to Grand Haven Art Festival

Emma Dale • Jun 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The 56th Annual Grand Haven Art Festival brought in nearly 100 creators from all over the state and midwest Saturday and Sunday.

Vendors filled Main Street downtown with paintings, jewelry, handbags, sculptures, ceramics, photographs and art of all kind.

Attendees worked their way down and back Washington Avenue, stopping to admire and purchase art and talk to the artists.

It was painter Michelle Detering’s first time participating in the Grand Haven festival. The Lansing native’s medium is watercolor, which she said can be difficult, so she likes to “incorporate the mistakes.”

Detering, who is also a photographer, said that the inspiration of her paintings come from the pictures she takes. She described how she likes to “experiment with color.” Her art, mostly animals and people, identified with vibrant colors.

While some artists were local, John Maurer came from St. Petersburg, Florida to participate in the event. The painter, who focuses mostly on landscapes and places as his muse, travels in order to accomplish his paintings.

Maurer, who has been creating for 17 years, paints on location, with some of his favorite and most paintable places being France, Iceland and Ireland.

He said that he liked the excitement of the day said selling a big painting brings “huge relief.” 

The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg coordinates the art festival. Officials said they were very happy with the turnout.

“It has been a delightful, busy weekend,” said Grand Haven Art Festival Director Mary Sherman. “Downtown has been full of fantastic art, great artists and visitors.”

The Festival also included the annual Family Fun Day, sponsored by AMP Residential, Bethany Christian Services, Weiss Chiropractic and Centennial Securities Company. Eight local businesses provided children attending the Festival with free arts and craft activities. Over 250 children participated, taking home decorated coffee cups, marshmallow sculptures, and various hand-painted crafts.

Three artists also received awards given by a panel of jury members. The recipients included:

Best in Show: Corey Bechler; Jury’s Choice: David Lee; and Excellence Award: Claudia Winter.

These artists will be automatically invited back to next year’s show. 

For more information and pictures from the event, visit the Grand Haven Art Festival Facebook page www.facebook.com/GrandHavenArtFestival or Art Festival website www.grandhavenartfestival.org.

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