The Rapidian

Diversity of art collected in new West Michigan guide

The West Michigan Art Guide aims to make it easy to find art galleries and art events in West Michigan.
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Take a look at The West Michigan Art Guide Flip Book

Access the flip-book online.  

West Michigan Art Guide

West Michigan Art Guide /Courtesy Photo

A brand new guide has hit the streets in West Michigan. Now, in addition to the Grand Rapids Dining Guide and the Michigan Beer Guide, there is a publication designed to help you find a diverse selection of art-oriented events and galleries in West Michigan.

The 2012-13 West Michigan Art Guide is a glossy full-color booklet with lists of galleries and an art calendar, interspersed with maps to help readers find hundreds of places to see and buy original contemporary art. Of the over 200 listings, 35 of them are in the Grand Rapids area, and all are open to the public.

Three years in the making, the idea behind the West Michigan Art Guide is that people enjoy going to art shows, but they don’t always know when or where the events are taking place. Because it’s a tough time for a lot of art galleries, says publisher Scott Haebich, he was looking for a way to help encourage people to go to art events and galleries. Haebich’s background as a glass blower, publisher and art-supply retailer led to the idea for a guide of this kind. “I had seen something like it out west: a gallery guide for the entire state of Arizona,” he says. “It inspired me to take a day trip to another town to check out new galleries.” 

In the local guide, Haebich decided to present listings in the calendar section in chronological order to make it easier for art lovers to learn about art events and plan their road trips around the dates and locations they choose to visit. The guide’s layout, created to be user-friendly, includes color-coded maps, addresses and websites. In addition to listings for art galleries, it shows markets, fairs and other art events in over 60 cities from nine West Michigan regions all along the Lake Michigan coast from Cross Village to New Buffalo. The 41 page booklet also features art listings for West Michigan’s inland counties of Benzie, Kent and Kalamazoo.

Sprinkled throughout the booklet are photos of original art by West Michigan artists. “I wanted it to look more hand-crafted than just a regular magazine,” says Haebich.

The guide has been out for just a few weeks, but Haebich is already making plans for next year's guide. He plans to seek input from readers and galleries to find out what is most helpful for them, in efforts to make the guide bigger and better every year.

“I hope the Art Guide helps you discover the diversity of original art and fine craft available to see and buy right here in West Michigan,” says Haebich

The West Michigan Art Guide is available for free at galleries, art fairs, coffee shops and libraries all over West Michigan. The website includes a flipbook version of the guide and a list of locations where people can pick up a free booklet.

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