Prior to opening its new $3.6 million Heritage Center in 2022, the Michigan Maritime Museum had never hosted an art installation. But, with the new, spacious, two-story building, comes the museum’s first traveling exhibit and art installation – one that has been created by South Haven area residents and students, and focused on a maritime theme – fish.
“Pisces Spiral,” inspired by South Haven artist Joan Bonnette through a collaboration with the South Haven Center for the Arts in 2018, consists of hundreds of fish, constructed from a variety of materials, that are now on display in a large spiral on a floor at the Heritage Center. The installation, now on display through April 14 with general admission to the museum, was created by South Haven area artists, South Haven area school students, along with various groups, including the Scott Club cultural arts organization, children from the Mitten Children’s Museum and members of Senior Services of Van Buren County. “It was a joy to see all the unique and fantastical fish created by artists, students and friends,” South Haven Center for the Arts Executive Director Kerry Hagy. “It is our pleasure to participate in the project once again and we look forward to seeing the artful fish on display this time at the Maritime Museum.” The museum was attracted to the exhibit because it ties into the museum’s mission, according to Ashley Deming, the museum’s director of education and administration.
Using Recyclable Plastic
A number of the handmade fish are made from recyclable plastic and trash that often end up polluting Michigan’s waterways if not disposed of properly, according to Deming. She hopes that when people walk around the spiral, they will think about the need to keep the Great Lakes waters clean and safe for creatures and humans. “At the heart of this exhibit is an important message about Great Lakes stewardship and how it takes all of us as a community working together to ensure the future of our freshwater culture,” she said.
The exhibit will be on display at the museum through April 14. In the meantime, area residents will have the opportunity to add to the spiral in the future by creating their own fish. Bonnette is scheduling a workshop from 1-2:30 p.m., April 3, at the museum, 260 Dyckman Ave., for people to create maritime art to add to Pisces Spiral.
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