Joe Betten who has been a sponsor of ArtWalk since the beginning, cuts the ribbon to begin the two-week event during a celebration on Tuesday outside the old train depot in downtown Grand Haven. Left to right are City Councilman Bob Monetza, Steve Loftis, Councilman Josh Brugger, Betten, Joy Gaasch from the local Chamber of Commerce, Councilman Mike Fritz and Mayor Geri McCaleb.

Community members gathered outside The Depot in downtown Grand Haven to celebrate artists Tuesday evening.

With live music, snacks and a ribbon cutting, the 10th annual ArtWalk began, kicking off two full weeks of events, including Family Art Day, Artist Market and awards ceremonies recognizing the pieces chosen by jurors and the community as the best in six categories. 

“We’re here to honor artists, the arts in general, and build a community around the arts,” said Steve Loftis, one of the organizers for ArtWalk. “Through ArtWalk, we have been able to create a platform for artists to engage and inspire the public, and create further interest in the arts in general.”

Loftis said after 10 years, the vision for arts in Grand Haven has grown tremendously. It is the hope of ArtWalk organizers to see a continued effort and conversation of all things related to art in the community, he added. 

While enjoying the music, attendees had a chance to look at some of the many entries hanging in The Depot or set up throughout the area.

“This is a wonderful event,” said Carmella Loftis, one of the artists who painted a garbage (c)art for ArtWalk 2019. “It brings together so many artists who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to show their work.” 

The 95-gallon garbage (c)arts were available to be decorated this year and will be on display during the Garbage (C)art Beauty Pageant on Family Art Day this coming Saturday.

A full schedule of events, artists and locations of the entries can be found at

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