Studio37 Arts and Culture Center: A Grassroots Underground for Community Creativity

Studio37 Arts and Culture Center: A Grassroots Underground for Community Creativity

Being new to Newaygo County, I am loving discovering all the secret treasures this area holds.  My husband and I chose to move to the area because of the bountiful wilderness and outdoor activities. However, we’re beginning to find that this natural gem has even more to offer.

The sign on the door of Studio 37 Arts and Culture Center  (located downtown Newaygo)  said “We’re Closed”. But those who know get that this really isn’t the case. “We have the sign up so that we can concentrate on our art,” stated Gabe Schillman, resident artist.  However, even before the 6 pm Brushworks class began, artists started popping in, knowing that the door was actually open.  “We are a grassroots underground art community.  Our presence is passed on by word of mouth.”  Stacey Kirk, resident artist, concurred that they don’t advertise in a traditional way but want to influence those in the community to turn on their creativity.  Recently, the studio hosted a talent show at the River Stop Saloon (downtown Newaygo), Open Mic Poetry Night at Flying Bear Books (downtown Newaygo), homeschool art classes (at the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center), as well as art projects for the Commission on Aging and for Newaygo County Kids day, just to name a few.

Woman painting in Studio 37 art class

This summer the two artists are hosting Brushworks group painting classes every Tuesday night in the studio.  I was lucky to get the last seat.  Being new to the artist table, I followed the lead of a few artists who have made it their weekly outing. Donning my dark blue apron and wetting my easel, I was ready for Stacey’s instruction and example.  As the class progressed, so did the banter.  I felt like I was sitting around the dinner table with extended family.  An artistic community was built in just that couple of hours.  I met two newly weds who had chosen Newaygo County (Airbnb on Croton Pond) for their two week honeymoon. They had strolled into Newaygo earlier in the day and found out about the class that night.  In the end, each one of us walked out feeling like an artist.  I, for one, found the act of painting very relaxing (and the wonderful jazz music selection added to the ambience.)

Studio 37 art class teacher

Should you like to find out the studio’s offerings, check out their Facebook page or website (

By Katie Clark

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