Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Visit to Saugatuck Center for the Arts

I recently had the opportunity to stop by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and had a great visit! Upon arriving, you get to walk through a lovely outdoor garden on your way into the re-purposed building, and your encounters with art start before you even reach the building! The garden boasts a number of larger, permanent art pieces, and also had ceramic works of art by local students on display during my visit. The building itself is a converted pie factory, and you'll see some of the bright red supports from the original building arching up over the garden.

The center itself offers a wide array of arts for visitors to come and enjoy. The current collection on display in the main gallery is "Touching Strangers" by Richard Renaldi, and is on display through November 1, 2014. The collection explores human relationships through photographs of apparent families, couples, and groups of friends. The catch? Everyone in each photograph is a complete stranger to one another; none of the subjects of each photograph had met before the shot was taken. When you look at the photographs of a family sitting together on a bed, or a couple who's embracing, knowing the background of the subjects adds a whole new layer of complexity to the photographs. 

The art center has additional works of art on display throughout the corridors, including an impressive painting which was completed by a group of elementary school students over the course of a few days, as they learned & practiced each painting technique before applying them to the final work of art. 

The center also offers regular community events, film screenings and live musical performances in their theater (the inside of the old, giant storage freezer from the building's days of being a pie factory!). The next film coming up is a screening of the documentary "FED UP" on October 9th: "Everything we've been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn't want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever." 

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts serves up year-round arts-and-cultural opportunities for children and adults, from live performances and professional theatre to film and lecture series to exhibitions and classes. And they run a weekly Greenmarket June through October. Next time you're in the area, stop by for a visit! Admission to the gallery is always free, and they've got wifi in their beautiful (open-air in nice weather) lobby area.

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