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Explore Art in West Michigan

Article Sponsored by Cornwell’s Turkeyville in Marshall.

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 

South Central Michigan, called Coldwater Country, is an area known for its vast outdoor recreation, trails, and more than 100 freshwater lakes but it also offers a variety of cultural experiences. From performing arts to gallery art, concerts and festivals, Arts Alive in Coldwater Country.

Built in 1882, Tibbits Opera House is one of the oldest theaters in Michigan and is rich in history and ambiance. This intimate 499-seat theater hosts concerts, comedy shows, classic films, children’s programs, art exhibits and local events year-round. Highlights in 2022 include Absolute Queen, a Queen tribute band, Oscar-Nominated Shorts, a solo art exhibit by author Patricia Polacco, a student art contest, and Tibbits’ 59th consecutive summer season that includes three musicals (“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change;” “Godspell;” and “Nunsense”) and Neil Simon’s comedy “Barefoot in the Park,” along with Late-Night Cabarets and Popcorn Theatre.

Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre in Marshall has been perfecting the recipe for great family entertainment with a full season of Broadway musicals and comedies performed by their company of professional actors, many of whom have gone on to perform on national tours and even Broadway! Their intimate, 155-seat theatre with its exposed timber beams provides unobstructed views of the stage and a warm and friendly dining experience.

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 production! 2022 marks the celebration of 35 years of Dinner Theatre! Tickets are available for purchase now on their website for their fantastic line up of performances

South Haven hosts three large art fairs during the summer months, all worthy of browsing and shopping to your heart’s content! The South Haven Art Fair will be held July 2nd and July 3rd. The National Blueberry Festival Craft Fair will be held August 13th and August 14th, and the All Crafts Fair will be held September 3rd and September 4th. Come out to Stanley Johnston Park for all these events and enjoy fine art, handmade crafts, and delicious food!

Virtue Cider is known for bringing the best of the orchard to West Michigan. This month they’re partnering with their neighbors to make two small-batch ciders. Resident Artist is a collaboration cider with tart cherries, made to benefit Ox-Bow School of Art. Feast & Fellowship is cider aged on Bordeaux grape skins, made in collaboration with Modales Winery. Virtue Farm is open for tastings all year-round.

Downtown Battle Creek has a new outdoor art exhibit, inspired by our sister city in Japan. Sculptures were made by folding metal to look like origami paper — but much bigger than the usual paper crane. The artists created frogs, a duck, a spoon and more. The sculptures will be on display until October, so there’s plenty of time to check them out! It’s also a good chance to check out other downtown art, and maybe get some shopping in to support local artists and businesses. Every year more and more murals are added through the Color the Creek festival.

Kalamazoo is home to amazing local artists and many performance venues with lively shows! Those looking for stunning visual art can explore the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts or join in on the Art Hops the first Friday of every month. For live shows, Miller Auditorium, which brings in touring shows from Broadway and live concerts!

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 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. 

Saugatuck-Douglas wouldn’t be the Art Coast of Michigan without the dozens of working artists who call the area home and the more than 20 artist studios and galleries located throughout the region. Special events, like Gallery Strolls, happen seasonally, but art in all its forms can be experienced at the many galleries and studios throughout the year. Enjoy equity theatre, world-class concerts, films, and art exhibits at The Saugatuck Center for the Arts – bringing big-city cultural experiences to this charming coastal town.

Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency in Saugatuck offers a wide range of opportunities for artists at all stages in their careers. With year-round programs that cater to degree-seeking students, professional artists, and those new to the field, Ox-Bow is a place where creative processes break-down, reform, and mature.

The arts are alive and thriving 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 of Greater Lansing ranges from large scale murals to the smallest of galleries. We welcome you to take in (and maybe even take home) all the innovative, thought-provoking, gutsy, raw and exquisitely beautiful works of art that Greater Lansing has to offer.

Greater Lansing is home to a wealth of artistic talent that shouldn’t go unnoticed, including musical and acting talent. May we suggest planning an art crawl one weekend and visiting all of the galleries mentioned above? Has it been awhile since you’ve seen a live show? Book some tickets! Don’t forget a show makes for a great date night. The internationally renowned ‘Hamilton’ will even be making an appearance!

Through January 24, Krasl Art Center is excited to host a Members’ Show that welcomes member artists to present their work in response to this shared theme. ‘Resiliency Redux’ reexamines the relevance of art in contributing to wellness – in our individual lives and also at work, in family groups, and as a society. Not just a redo, ‘Resiliency Redux’ asks both artists and visitors alike to consider how our definitions of resiliency have changed since 2019 and imagine what revival looks like for a resilient community.

Central West Michigan

Hop into the Muskegon Museum of Art for this Hip exhibit! Detroit multimedia artist and metalsmith Tiff Massey creates art and jewelry pieces inspired by 1980s hip-hop fashion. The MMA’s Olthoff Gallery has been transformed into a shiny and jaw-dropping display of massive hip-hop jewelry, gold, and mirrors. The exhibit runs through February 20, 2022, so make sure to visit soon.

Muskegon’s Lakeshore Art Festival will be taking place June 25 and 26, 2022. 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.

Come play at the MMA! For a truly unique art museum experience, bring your friends or family to an indoor game of miniARTure Golf…inside the Muskegon Museum of Art! Putt-putt through a fully playable miniature golf course inspired by artwork from the MMA’s permanent collection. Designed by MMA staff, this 9-hole course will take guests through a fun and challenging array of obstacles. It’s almost 250 feet of custom-designed greens with multi-levels, unique stunts, visual canals, volcanos, towering sculptures, mazes, tornados, snowdrifts, and more!

Shop around downtown Grand Haven for specialty pieces made by local artists and those representing the greater West Michigan area. The Grand Haven area has a vibrant artistic and cultural undertone that’s easy to spot and simple to enjoy. Browse downtown art galleries such as C2C Gallery, Carlyn & Company, Graffina Gallery and Gallery Uptown. Put your own creativity to the test with hands-on classes and workshops at Studio JSD and Dreese Fine Art & Framing. Either way, you can improve your appreciation for the arts this winter at Grand Haven!

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 offers 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. 

North West Michigan

Wander the galleries of Newaygo County to experience a diverse blend of artistic expression. Featuring galleries full of art to live performances, Newaygo County has plenty to offer for new art lovers and the experienced art appreciation community. They even have museums for your history nut and an observatory to bask in the beauty of the stars. Bask in the glory of West Michigan creativity and beauty by visiting Newaygo County.

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!

Enjoy art exhibitions from local artists, an open studio program, classes, and more at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort. 

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 2022 summer concerts, film festivals, art classes, and more.

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.

The most beautiful walk on Mackinac may be indoors. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum features art from and inspired by Mackinac – some dating back more than 10,000 years, and others created in the last year on display in the juried art exhibition. Right now, their current exhibit of ‘Mackinac Journeys’ showcases what local artists journeys have been while living in Mackinac. It’s individualized, unique, and truly indicative of the human spirit and soul. Celebrate these stories by visiting and viewing the art!

Visit Marquette if you’re an art enthusiast because wow, they do not disappoint! Located in Northern Michigan University, De Vos Art Museum was designed to connect people, art and ideas through exhibitions and collections from its two galleries. One gallery is designed for rotating exhibitions, including student, national, and international exhibits while the other showcases special exhibitions, including selections from Northern Michigan University’s permanent collection, ranging from Japanese art to early 20th-century illustration. They also have the Zero Degrees Gallery which includes a dynamic and diverse group of artists who want to support artistic endeavors in the community. They present ceramics, cards, artwork, and sculptures, so there’s something for everyone. And you cannot omit ‘The Gallery’ – a project of the Marquette Artist Collective. Located in the heart of downtown Marquette, the Gallery is a storefront available to members of the Marquette Artist Collective to sell and display their artwork.

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

Holland Civic Center Place

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.