30th Annual Blue Coast Artists Tour

Event Dates: 10/5/2019 to 10/6/2019
Time: 10 AM to 6 PM
Allegan County between South Haven and Saugatuck
South Haven, MI 49090
Contact: Dawn Soltysiak: fernwood1891@gmail.com / 269-686-6343

Celebrating their 30th year the Blue Coast Artists will be delighting and educating the public with their annual Fall Tour of Studios. Visitors are invited once again to experience the creative process in action on Saturday & Sunday, October 5th & 6th, 2019

See a piece of pottery form on the potters wheel, or learn how a wood bowl is created on a lathe, watch the inner beauty of a rock appear through the craft of lapidary, experience trees come alive through brushstrokes or see a piece of pottery become engulfed in flames during a Raku firing. These are just a few of the demonstrations that art lovers of all ages are sure to enjoy during the 30th Annual Blue Coast Artists Fall Tour of Studios.

This annual West Michigan autumn event runs from 10AM-6PM both days and is free of charge. Over the past thirty years the tour has continued to be an educational and interesting experience for all, by offering a behind-the-scenes look into the studios of working artists.

The 2019 tour includes eight working artists' studios located between South Haven and Saugatuck. Each site features demonstrations, original artwork, refreshments and more. Unique art abodes and fall color makes this creative experience fun for the whole family. Lunch will be available for purchase in route.

The tour can be completed in one day and a tour map is available at each site or on the web at: www.bluecoastartists.com The 2019 Blue Coast Artists Fall Tour includes:

1) Zoies Garden & Gallery (73369 2nd Avenue, South Haven)
Nancy Rock Endres’ nature-inspired art has been greatly influenced through the development of her backyard jewel, Zoie’s (life’s) Garden. In 2005, it was featured in Midwest Living Magazine as The Healing Garden, and a tour destination for Frederik Meijer Gardens. Zoie’s Garden & Gallery provides a rich retreat for creating brilliant transparent watercolors featuring nature-inspired art and familiar scenes from the South Haven area.

2) Blue Star Pottery (337 Blue Star Hwy., South Haven) The studio of Mark Williams features handmade stoneware. Bowls, pitchers, casseroles, teapots and platters are embossed with Mark’s elegant textured designs, which he creates by uniquely combining the pottery techniques of textured slab and throwing on the pottery wheel. Mark will open a new kiln load of his work daily on tour weekend.

3) Blue Star Studio of Wood and Glass (1684 Blue Star Hwy, Fennville) Artist Barb Hogarth's work includes stained, blown, and fused glass, as well as Shaker boxes, fanbirds, turned wood, veneer work and turned bangle bracelets. She will be demonstrating the techniques used to create pieces out of wood.

4) Stantall Studio (6691 120th, Fennville) Stantall Studio is home to artist Kathy Stanton. She works in several mediums including oil paints, digital imagery, jewelry, and creations using stones. All mediums involve elements of the Michigan landscape and bringing out the beauty in the world we see around us.

5) Earth Stories Gallery (2742 Blue Star Highway/68th St.) Earth Stories is the studio and gallery of painter Curtis Lacy, who creates sharply angled monochrome and earth tone hard edge acrylic paintings, as well as deeply colored and textured abstracts. Curtis will be demonstrating these techniques on canvas and plywood. Lapidary artist Michael Lacy will be demonstrating the selection, cutting, grinding, and polishing of semi-precious stone to produce pendants and display pieces. Earth Stories consigned artists will be present to display and describe their work.

6) Brian Newton Studio (2895 63rd Street, Fennville) Artist, Brian Newton, specializing in turning exotic woods from around the world, but also creates beautiful and functional work from personally harvested local hard woods. He also combines materials to create one-of-a kind pendants, rings, pens and a variety of other treasures.

7) Fernwood 1891 (120 E Main St, Fennville) A restored classic brownstone storefront in downtown Fennville is the satellite pottery studio of Khnemu Studio & cooperative studio location of various artists working in a variety of media. Artists will be demonstrating a mix of art forms throughout the weekend. Stop in for breakfast or lunch at our adjoining coffee house & café, ROOT.

8) Khnemu Studio LLC (6322 113th Ave., Fennville) Enjoy the fall harvest at this 1890's farm estate, complete with a restored barn which houses a contemporary pottery and fine craft gallery featuring over 20 Michigan ceramic artists. And the solar powered studio of potter Dawn Soltysiak. Dawn will demonstrate the dramatic Raku process of firing pottery, demonstrations all weekend; also learn about their new wood fired kiln.

Blue Coast Artists’ Fact Sheet 2019

MISSION: The Blue Coast Artists is a juried group of working studio artists joined together for the purpose of promoting, creating, educating and enhancing public appreciation of art.

HISTORY: Celebrating their 30th year in 2019. The group was founded in 1989 by former members Barb Bare (Foxglove Studios) and Kathy and Jerry Catania (Fiasco Glass & Vesuvius Gallery) who coincidentally hosted fall open houses on the same weekend. The following year, Mark Williams (Blue Star Pottery) joined the group and he is still a member today. The late Al Bare coined the name Blue Coast Artists in the early 1990’s. Their current membership includes eight working studios, galleries and showrooms.

The Blue Coast Artists were the first group in the region to publish a studio guide and to offer hands-on demonstrations as an educational tool that provides a behind-the-scenes into the studios of working artists. The demonstrations take place during an annual event known as the Blue Coast Artists’ Annual Fall Tour of Studios. The tour started as a way to show customers how a work of art was made and continues to show visitors how work takes shape and to further their understanding of the commitment it takes to make art. In the mid 1990’s the tour was opened to the general public and has grown to attract over 2,000 visitors in two days.

The group’s artistic, cultural and economic influence on the region is widely known and the term Blue Coast is now used to describe the lakeshore region from South Haven to Saugatuck and Holland.

LOCATION: All studios are located in Allegan County between South Haven and Saugatuck, MI.

STUDIOS & GALLERIES: The Blue Coast Artists’ current membership includes 8 artists, some members have art galleries where they exhibit their own work along with the work of other regional and/or nationally known artists. Members: Mark William, Blue Star Pottery( Member for 30 years); Dawn Soltysiak, Khnemu Studio(Member for 18 years); Kathy Stanton, Stantall Studio(Member for 12 years); Barb Hogarth, Blue Star Wood & Glass(Member for 12 years), Fernwood 1891(member for 6 years), and new members Curtis Lacy, Earth Stories; Nancy Endres, Zoies Garden; Brian Newton Studio

Art mediums represented by members in the group are: pottery, (high-fire stoneware,wood fired raku and pit-fired), glass (blown, cast, flame worked, stained) . Lapidary, wood (turned, marquetry), jewelry, and painting (oil, acrylic and pastels.)

ACTIVITIES: The group hosts their annual “Fall Tour of Studios” held the first full weekend in October (Oct 5th-6th 2019, 10am-6pm both days). This tour is free to the public and offers demonstrations, refreshments and guest artists and artwork is available for purchase.

Studios individually offer other activities such as gallery openings, classes, workshops and special events.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Application for Blue Coast Artist membership is a group jury process that consists of a slide/resume/artist’ statement review, a site visit and a group interview session. Applicant studios must also meet the following requirements 1.) be located within the Blue Coast Artist geographic region 2) agree to the financial commitment divided among the group for advertising, printing, graphic design, web site and postage expenses

The off-season allows members time to create art, teach, write, and promote their businesses and the group; the public can call individual studios for an appointment during this time.

Visit www.bluecoastartists.com for additional details.

150 years
South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau
546 Phoenix Street
South Haven, MI 49090
Phone: 269 637-5252