WRITER | LISA BECKER CAMPBELL
PHOTOS | BLUECOASTARTISTS.NET
Michigan’s quintessential fall color tours are a beloved feast for the senses! Imagine the delight of enhancing the excursions with an additional artistic adventure. Tour the studios of the Blue Coast Artists!
The 28th annual autumn tours of these professional working studios will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The tours, which can be completed in one day, are free.
Each artist’s working studio, located between South Haven and Saugatuck, will present demonstrations, original artwork, refreshments, and more. Lunch will be available for purchase en route, and a map is provided or available on the website.
For 27 years, the Blue Coast Artists have invited visitors to a behind-the-scenes look at art in action with the purpose of promoting, creating, and educating art lovers.
Travel the scenic Blue Star Highway and back roads in the guided tour to enjoy the surrounding venues; fields dotted by farms, apple orchards, wineries, galleries, and restaurants – in their colorful splendor.
The region has been recognized as the “Art Coast of the Midwest,” just two miles east of the shore of Lake Michigan and six miles south of Saugatuck-Douglas. USA Today named Saugatuck among their “Best Small Coastal Towns.” The city is renowned for its arty, relaxed lifestyle and offers plenty of dining, shopping, and gallery destinations.
Fennville is home to most of the studios as well as local treasure Salt of the Earth, which bills itself as a “Rustic American Eatery & Bakery.” The restaurant presents music in its listening room and showcases the works of local artists, including some Blue Coast Artist members whose art is viewable at Fernwood 1891, just two doors away.
In most cases, the studios themselves are works of art. Two enjoy the charming architecture of reclaimed historical schoolhouses. Artist Dawn Stafford of The Peachbelt Studio and Gallery exhibits her work in a red brick one-room circa 1867 schoolhouse. And artist Jessica Bohus’s Blue Roan Studio is nestled on a scenic road in a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse.
Artist Dawn Soltysiak of Khnemu Studio works amid the ambiance of an 1890 Fernwood Farm estate, in a professionally equipped studio with solar-powered kilns. She has a satellite office with six others at the restored classic brownstone storefront of Fernwood 1891, which displays fine art and craft from 50 artists as well as local and artisan foods and features the ROOT Coffeehouse.
Artist Christine Russell Bruno of Town Hall Studio lives and has her jewelry studio in the repurposed circa 1892 Casco Town Hall. Alternatively, the sleek home and studio of artist Ellie Dietrich of Aspen Glenn Studio was recently constructed along the edge of a stand of Aspen trees.
Whether in a historical or novel setting, West Michigan’s art among fall foliage is truly spectacular!
Blue Coast Artists, LLC l 6322 113th Avenue, Fennville, MI 49408 l (269) 236-9260 | BlueCoastArtists.com
Khnemu Studio LLC
– Artisan handmade pottery and fine craft gallery, featuring a large variety of functional and art pottery created by regionally and nationally known artists. KhnemuStudio.com
– Home to works in several media, including oil paints, digital imagery, jewelry, and more. All involve elements of the Michigan landscape and bring out the beauty in the world we see around us. StantallArt.com
– Collections of jewelry created with Brazilian seeds, semiprecious stones, and petrified wood, along with slices of wood from her backyard on the grounds of R&R Orchards. Also locally grown produce and food products.
-Fine art and fine craft of seven well-known artists. Fernwood1891.com
Blue Roan Studio
– Whimsical animals and unique jewelry using a variety of glass and metal techniques.
Blue Star Studio of Wood and Glass
– Stained, blown and fused glass, Shaker boxes, hand carvings, turned wood and veneer work. BlueStartStudioOfWoodAndGlass.com
Jeff Bandford Gallery
– Colorful wheel-thrown ceramics that are inspired by the Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. JeffBandford.com
The Peachbelt Studio and Galler
– Opulent, colorful oil paintings. PeachbeltStudio.com
– Vibrant multimedia paintings inspired by Michigan’s west coast.
Blue Star Pottery
– Handmade stoneware with elegant textured designs.
Town Hall Studio
– Jewelry studio featuring “rustic modern” silversmith work, sometimes including glass or rocks found along the shores of Lake Michigan. TownHallStudio.com
Aspen Glenn Studio
– Spectacular functional and decorative stoneware and works with slabs of clay. AspenGlennStudio.com