Museum hosts SL Village 150th exhibit

Marie Havenga • Jul 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM

To help celebrate the Village of Spring Lake's 150th birthday, the Tri-Cities Historical Museum is hosting an exhibit of local scenes called “Painting the Peninsula.”

The village takes up 1 square mile on a peninsula.

The exhibit's organizer, Lynne Boezaart, has orchestrated several exhibits in her three years as a museum volunteer. She grew up in Grand Haven but lived in Spring Lake for more than four decades.

“I read that Spring Lake Village is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year,” Boezaart said. “The wheels started turning. I thought maybe we could do something a little different this summer. The museum was very open to the idea.”

Museum representatives contacted Spring Lake artists to gauge their interest.

There are 11 artists' works on display, including Boezaart's. Other artists include: Aziza Abbasi, Deborah Bowen, Carol Cousineau, Christi Dreese, Mary Lanka, Jackie Lozicki, Nancy MacLachlan, Catherine McClung, Janice Paulson and Carol Brauer Schmidt.

“We're working in a variety of mediums,” Boezaart said. “There's oil, watercolor, graphite/pencil, oil pastel and chalk pastel. It's really fun to see all of them together. There's a lot of blue.”

Boezaart noted that many artists chose blue to represent the village's water element.

“In Spring Lake, if you're not on the water, you don't have to go too far before you're going to run into it,” she said. “A number of the artists live on the Grand River or on Spring Lake itself.”

All participating artists reside in the village or Spring Lake Township.

Village artist Aziza Abbasi, who created a painting of Stan's Bar, said she's proud to be part of the exhibit. Abbasi, who was born in Pakistan, was commissioned by the village last summer to create a painting of the 150-plus-year-old oak tree in front of the Spring Lake Intermediate School prior to its removal.

“I am participating (in this exhibit) because it's about Spring Lake,” she said. “I love to represent my village in any positive way I can. I have lived in Spring Lake for the last 19 years. My kids grew up here. The people around me gave me courage to show my art and to come forward and represent it. Respect and love are the basics for anyone to move further, and that's what helped me to survive and stay in this beautiful village of this wonderful country.”

Boezaart said she was thrilled Abbasi chose Stan's as her theme.

“Stan's Bar is as iconic as the lake itself," Boezaart said. "I'm glad she included that.”

A great number of participants are “open air” artists, according to Boezaart, meaning they set up a canvas in the outdoors and paint the scene before them.

“For those of us who do paint open-air, there are locations that we frequent, like Tanglefoot Park and Mill Point Park,” she said. “I think that people would not be at all surprised to see open air artists set up along the boardwalk or along the river. We do that routinely.”

Boezaart said Northwest Ottawa County is a beautiful place to paint.

“We're really fortunate as artists to not only have the dunes and all of the Ottawa County parks, but really right out our back doors we have these fabulous views of the Grand River, the islands in the Grand and the sailboats in Spring Lake,” she said. “There's a marvelous one of Lakeside Beach.”

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