With a sculpture collection extending along the west coast of Berrien County, you have probably visited the Krasl Art Center's collection without even knowing it.
When I moved to Southwestern Michigan several years ago, it was to take a job at the Krasl Art Center. One of the features that captured my interest in the organization was the fact that its permanent collection was mostly outdoors and distributed throughout a variety of communities. It is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I thought and still think that this is a really cool and unique feature. I have since left the Krasl to chase my photography dreams, but I am a frequent visitor and big fan of this nationally accredited museum.
Most of the better known pieces in the Krasl collection are located in Saint Joseph, Michigan and are popular backdrops for summer vacation photos. Richard Hunt's towering sculpture "And You, Seas" which is located along the St. Joseph River Channel, is an iconic landmark and visible both from Lake Michigan and numerous areas around the city. "Strata" by David Barr and "Young Flight" by Gail mally-mack both located on Silver Beach are popular photo subjects for sunsets.
Art and historical monuments are everywhere in Saint Joseph, Michigan and the best way to learn about them is throughout the "Touch Tone Art & Culture" program sponsored by the Krasl and the City of St. Joseph. Small plaques located throughout the city provide a phone number to turn your cell phone into an audio tour.
Inside of the Krasl Art Center, you will find two main exhibitions spaces: one focused on touring exhibits and established artists, and the other is the artLab a more experimental space where artists are encourage to explore and push their creative boundaries. Exhibit openings are very popular; music, hors d'oeuvres, wine and a chance to meet the featured artists draw hundreds to these fun and free events.
From October 26-31, 2013 The Artisan Market is open at the Krasl. This annual art / fine craft sales event is great way to find creative and affordable gifts for the coming holidays. My favorite part of the event is Soup's On. Every year, area residents showcase their cooking skills by providing soups for this delightful and delicious lunchtime fundraiser. Tables set up in the museum allow guests to enjoy their lunch while they shop. Great deals and wonderful art can also be found in the gift shop including a few prints of my photos.
If you are looking for more great art in Saint Joseph area, be sure to check out the Box Factory for the Arts and read my post about the Benton Harbor Arts District.
Joshua Nowicki is a resident of Saint Joseph, Michigan, and is a photographer and member of the board of directors of the New Territory Arts Association in Benton Harbor, Michigan. You can see more of Joshua's photography at https://www.facebook.com/JoshuaNowickiPhotography.