Whether you are looking to spend a day strolling through an art museum, an evening at the theatre, or participate in a workshop to hone your creative skills, West Michigan has something for every artist and art lover to enjoy.
Art is timeless and beautiful, ranging in all types of mediums and forms and genres. From sculptures to paintings, and crafts to photography – there’s all types of art that can please everyone. But the best thing about art? It can be celebrated and enjoyed all throughout the year! No matter if it’s cold, warm, or raining – art can be praised and shared. So don’t let these winter seasons stop you from celebrating art. If anything, these West Michigan destinations are encouraging you to stop by more often to see winter-related activities and arts! So you become an art connoisseur this winter by visiting these West Michigan locations and artists.
South West Michigan
A lively arts and entertainment scene provides the backdrop for lots of things to do. Shop for one-of-a-kind art and antiques or visit local shopkeepers who can help you find that perfect gift. There are culinary adventures to please every palate and spirited tours of nationally recognized wineries, craft breweries and distilleries. Get to know the history of Harbor Country at one of their several museums. Experience their deep agricultural roots with a visit to a Farmer’s market or family farm. Learn more here!
The arts are alive and thriving here in the Greater Lansing area. You don’t want to miss all the public art installations dotting the Lansing landscape plus all the galleries throughout the region. The culture ranges from large scale murals to the smallest of galleries. They welcome you to take in all the innovative, thought- provoking, gutsy, raw, and exquisitely beautiful works of art that Greater Lansing has to offer. Wander around Lansing Community College in downtown Lansing and admire all the sculptures that were produced by either students, faculty, or alumni. Or head to Michigan State University and marvel at the contemporary art installations in the world-class Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum. Greater Lansing is also home to great traditional galleries like the Lansing Art Gallery in downtown Lansing or Saper Galleries in East Lansing, plus art-based class opportunities offered at places like REACH Studio Art Center.
Thanks to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, visitors can enjoy a variety of stage productions and world-class concerts typically found in big-city cultural experiences. And throughout the area, numerous indoor and outdoor venues regularly feature live musical performances to entertain and delight. Each spring, the Mountainfilm on Tour film festival features award-winning documentaries that debuted at the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado. Organized by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, this is the only place in Michigan—and one of a handful of select cities across the country—where you can view these films on the big screen. And join them each fall as the frontier of independent filmmaking is celebrated during the annual Saugatuck Film Fest. To find out specific dates for these spectacular events, please check out their website.
Whether you love live music, theatre, or art museums, Kalamazoo has something for you year round! Those looking for stunning visual art can explore the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Also on every first Friday of the month, check out Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo to view amazing work from local artists while enjoying the Central Commons Social District.
From performing arts to visual arts, Michigan’s Coldwater Country is home to a variety of ways to experience the arts. Located along the historic US-12 Heritage Trail, one of the area’s most well-rounded art destinations, Tibbits Opera House. Beyond the exquisite façade is an intimate 500 seat theatre, with excellent acoustics, where professional theatre, concerts, community events, and children’s theatre takes place year-round. Tibbits Opera House is also home to a permanent Henry Clay Lewis art collection that is prominently displayed throughout the theatre, and the home to the local arts organization, Arts Alive, responsible for exhibits displayed in the art gallery, downtown art walks, the Art of Holiday Food, Drink & Décor event, and many other community art projects. Along with the permanent collection, the downstairs of Tibbits features a rotating themed art gallery where now thru the end of the year visitors can view ‘Seasons of Love’ an Arts Alive exhibit featuring bold floral displays to icy sculptures.
Cornwell’s Turkeyville provides the best dining and entertainment experience followed up with unmatched customer service. During the performance, you’ll enjoy homemade dinner rolls and Grandma’s cranberry relish, as well as a delightful buffet of delicious turkey dishes with all the trimmings. After your meal, the lights go down and the curtain rises on their latest Dinner Theatre production! Tickets are available for purchase now on their website for their fantastic lineup of performances
The Barn Theatre in Augusta is one of the nation’s oldest professional equity resident summer-stock theatres, as well as a longtime Michigan entertainment destination. Check their website for more information on their 2022 – 2023 season and events.
Farmers Alley Theatre is a professional 100 seat, black box theatre in downtown Kalamazoo. They produce stage plays, musicals, concert events, Theatre For Young Audiences, and more.
At Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings, they offer year-round programs and special events. Whether they are celebrating the changing of the seasons or providing science programs, they always provide a variety of programming for everyone, no matter age or experience. They are currently presenting their quarterly art exhibit featuring art by Doug Markusic.
For the past ten years, St. Joseph’s Krasl Art Center’s annual members’ exhibition has highlighted the creative endeavors of its member artists. The exhibition expands this year to welcome any artist residing in Berrien County to exhibit their work alongside KAC’s membership from November 19th, 2022 – January 8, 2023. This ‘Community ⇄ Members’ Show is a fun, eclectic exhibition that provides insight into the incredible talent of local artists and makers. With the introduction of new community artists, KAC looks forward to seeing more media, new subject matter, and surprising connections. Learn about guidelines and deadlines here.
There’s a reason why Saugatuck/Douglas is known as the “Art Coast of Michigan.” The little corner of the world has a vibrant arts scene that’s ready to inspire and enthrall. From live theatre and musical performances to art exhibits and organized gallery strolls, there’s something soul-stirring happening in every season. Gallery strolls and art exhibitions where you’ll encounter fine art in every medium from a mix of regional and national artists happen throughout the year and involve dozens of local galleries and artists’ studios.
Central West Michigan
Join the Michigan Mandolin Orchestra as it kicks off its 3rd season with a performance at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts on Saturday, November 12th at 7pm. Led by Michigan’s mandoliner Brian Oberlin with an incredible line-up of music from the concert music repertoire. The orchestra will perform concert hall standards from Georges Bizet, Gabriel Faure, and Benjamin Britten. The West Shore Community College Theater Group will also be performing Tony-winning Peter and the Starcatcher this November at Center Stage Theater. This play upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). This is a show for all ages! Purchase your tickets here.
Muskegon’s Lakeshore Art Festival will be taking place June 24th and 25th, 2023. The festival features a unique blend of fine art, handcrafted goods, music, food, and fun in beautiful Downtown Muskegon. Visitors will experience over 350 juried fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, a Children’s Lane, artisan food market, street performers, multiple interactive art stations, and so much more! Can’t wait until the summer? They are also hosting a new event in March 2022, the Michigan Makers Market. The event will feature all handcrafted goods and fine art from local Michigan artists. More information can be found on their website.
Live music, repertory theater, Indie films and museum artifacts are just a taste of the art scene in Holland, Michigan. For example, the Holland Museum hosts the story of the Dutch’s arrival in West Michigan in 1847, and even showcases much of their art. From Dutch decorative arts, to paintings and more cultural objects, Holland truly celebrates both history and its art.
Promoting and encouraging the arts and cultural programming in the greater Lake Odessa area, the Lake Odessa Area Arts Commission will be hosting their annual Art in the Park event on August 5th, 2023, as well as classes and workshops for artists of all ages.. Find details on programs, projects, and events on their website.
For 132 years, St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids has upheld its mission of promoting the appreciation, study, and performance of music in order to enrich the lives of the residents of West Michigan. Today, St. Cecilia Music Center is known by audiences and artists alike as one of the finest establishments to hear and see world-renowned musicians.
Experience masterpieces of art and nature that will delight your senses at one of the nation’s premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. The sculpture program features more than 200 works in the permanent collection both indoors and outdoors on the 158-acre main campus. Three temporary exhibitions are also developed annually, most curated by and for Meijer Gardens. These special exhibitions are shown within the large indoor galleries and associated indoor and outdoor spaces.
LowellArts! connects artists and audiences through the visual and performing arts with gallery exhibits, classes, special programs, and the annual Fallasburg Arts Festival in Lowell.
Hop into the Muskegon Museum of Art for the 93rd Michigan Contemporary Art exhibit, showcasing the work of Michigan artists, from talented beginners to accomplished professionals. The show presents a look at the issues, themes, and materials inspiring today’s Michigan artists. Pieces include a variety of paintings, printmaking, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and installations.
Looking for activities to keep you warm indoors this winter? Visit the variety of museums and galleries Mt. Pleasant has to offer. From the Mt. Pleasant Discovery museum which establishes a fun, hands-on educational experience for children to the Ziibiwing Cultural Center, which is the Midwest’s premier American Indian museum, and even hosting the Art Reach of Mid Michigan, Mt. Pleasant does not disappoint in all the artistic expressions and experiences they offer. To find more awesome locations to visit in Mt. Pleasant , because we couldn’t list them all, visit their website here!
North West Michigan
When visiting, take the time to explore the great public art surrounding the Charlevoix area. While exploring downtown, explore the art and history of Charlevoix’s Cultural Corridor, comprising the Circle of Arts, Public Library, Historical Society, and more!
The Keweenaw Peninsula is a storied place. As ancient as the billion-year-old Keweenaw Fault. As new as the just-released indie-band songs performed live in Hancock’s Orpheum Theater. From the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University, to events in the historic 122-year-old Calumet Theatre, the Keweenaw offers top-shelf entertainment experiences you won’t want to miss. Mountainous landscape views, Great Lake Superior, and pristine wilderness are constant sources of inspiration to the many talented local artists and artisans who call the Keweenaw their home. Enjoy interpretive artwork of the Keweenaw by visiting art galleries stretching from Houghton, Hancock, and Calumet, all the way up to the tip of the peninsula in Copper Harbor. For more events, click here!
Marquette County is pleased to announce several upcoming public art activations and events for visitors to enjoy this season, including the Holiday Lasers on the Ore Dock, Revolve Creative Conference, Fresh Coast Film Festival, and more. In addition to events and programming, Marquette County is also home to a range of murals and public artwork displays for visitors and locals to explore. The Marquette Arts and Culture Center is known as the heartbeat of arts and culture in the region and provides ongoing workshops, exhibitions, community art projects, performance events, and more for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Traverse City’s thriving art community includes the acclaimed Dennos Museum Center, the beautifully restored City Opera House, the talented Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and creative art galleries that pop up in the “big city” and every small town up north. Keep your eyes peeled for 2023 concerts, film festivals, art classes, and more.
Enjoy art exhibitions from local artists, an open studio program, classes, and more at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort.
Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor has become a cultural and social hub in Northern Michigan, offering year-round events across all genres—music, dance, theater, movies and film, intellectual dialogue, and education—making it a regional and national performing arts destination.
Winter Sounds at Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain is a celebration of the season, with warm beverages, a bonfire, magical winter hike, and a lovely outdoor holiday performance from the Traverse City West Middle School Madrigal Singers. Don’t miss all the fun on December 10th at 5 p.m.
More artful destinations to explore:
- DeVos Place, Grand Rapids
- DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids
- Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids
- Harbor Springs Lyric Theatre, Harbor Springs
- Michigan Irish Music Festival, Muskegon
- The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, St. Joseph
- Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids
As you can see, West Michigan does not disappoint with all its opportunities to present and display artwork. Not only is it a great way to broaden your horizons, but you can support local museums, galleries, and artists by going to visit and maybe even purchasing some of their artwork. Keep an eye on our website for more events and information as galleries rotate and events trickle in so YOU can celebrate the arts and grow a new appreciation for the world and its people.