Grand Haven Tribune: Artists love community support at annual art festival

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Artists love community support at annual art festival

Cora Hall • Jul 1, 2019 at 9:00 AM

A jeweler met a sculptor and they fell in love, blended their art and the rest is history.

Scott and Victoria LaCosse have been coming to the annual Grand Haven Art Festival for six years now to show the metalwork that they have made for 16 years that Victoria calls “two-dimensional big jewelry.”

The artist from Sanford said the community’s support and enthusiasm is the best part about coming to Grand Haven.

“Everybody is friendly and generous and laid back and we just always have a really good time when we’re here,” Victoria said. “The quality of the show is very good, the chamber is very dedicated to the success of the show and the success of the city. It feels like the community really supports the show and a lot of shows you don’t feel that.”

Washington Avenue was packed full Saturday afternoon despite the heat. Nearly 100 artists filled tents with their art in every medium from glass to paintings to sculptures. The festival was also open to shoppers on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chad Anderson began making sculptures after growing up watching his father sculpt. He and his brother now sculpt with copper and brass full time and his father sculpts with stainless steel and aluminum.

“What really got me into it, I’m a second generation, I grew up watching my dad do this and I’ve always loved watching him do it, so I just naturally just kind of did it. He had three sons and we all do it so it’s fun to be able to do that,” Anderson said.

Photo Gallery: Grand Haven Art Festival

Anderson, from Cedar Springs, has been coming to the festival for 10 years on his own but said between him, his brother and father they have been showing here for around 20 years.

“People seem to support the arts here so it’s always good coming here, everyone loves seeing us here and they always thank us for coming so that’s always nice to feel appreciated by the community and the people that work here,” he said. “They’ll come around and give us snacks and water, they keep us hydrated so it’s good, they take care of us.”

Many artists, such as Corey Bechler, love the festival simply for its location on the water.

“I live in the Sleeping Bear Dunes national park,” said the clay artist from honor. “My wife and I have a log cabin up there and I’m very comfortable in Grand Haven. It’s bigger than where I live but it’s right on the water. I love being along Lake Michigan. So any time I can do a show along Lake Michigan, I’m a happy guy.”

Bechler is a teacher and goes to art shows every summer and has been coming to the festival for five years. He said he tries to make his art as whimsical and fun as possible.

“I love just pushing the boundaries of the materials, seeing what new things I can come up with, bringing them to a show, seeing how collectors enjoy my work, seeing what works, what doesn’t,” he said. “Sometimes people take my work home and display it prominently in their house and I love that.”

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