Get Your Art On!

Get Your Art On!

This not so summery weather seemed to call for something fun inside today.  Newaygo County, known for its outdoor activities, has plenty of hidden treasures for these occasions.  However, this morning, I was really in for a special treat as I ventured into an inspirational place: Newaygo County Council for the Arts  (located at 13 Main St, Fremont). On June 15, 2019, the awards for NCCA-Artsplace 2019 Statewide Photography Competition were presented during a public reception.  The hum of people chatting in admiration and photographers giving away a few of their secrets for how to create these magical glimpses of life, created an infectious mood of creativity.

The NCCA-Artsplace studio’s space itself is creatively perfect.  It’s in a renovated building from the beginning of Fremont’s days. The entry has big glass windows and doors that call you to peer in.  With your interest peaked, you enter into a place of exploration. To your right is a colorful exhibit (currently, the photo contest); however, this space is updated regularly by staff member, Lindsay Isenhart.  On the left side is a local artist market full of handmade, unique, whimsical gifts for sale. As you venture towards the back, there is a hallway which continues the gallery of photographic art along its white, tall walls. Off the hallway are the studios for painting, pottery, glass fusion and other messy art, as well as the darkroom.  

“NCCA-Artsplace provides many levels of visual art activities people enjoy experiencing.  Our programs are designed to be packed full of intense, high quality, mult-dimensional experiences.  All year long, youth and adults can participate in classes, view monthly art exhibits, shop the artist market, and surround themselves with art. We also provide outreach programs such as Golden Arts in collaboration with Newaygo County Commission on Aging and Positive Impact through the Artsin partnership with Newaygo County Juvenile Courts,” explained Marianne Boerigter, executive director.  For a few dollars a student (just to cover the art supplies used), local schools can bring their students in for a day of art filled with meeting artists, seeing others art, and creation of their own art.   Isenhart added, “As a non-profit, we are fortunate to have local artists who share their expertise by teaching some of our classes. Also, we utilize many volunteers throughout the year for a variety of projects.  Volunteers earn Art Dollarswhich they may use on class fees.”

The way each space is organized with all the supplies needed made me feel like a kid in a candy shop, ready to get my hands dirty with some clay or paint. They have a schedule chocked full of classes for every age and in a variety of visual arts. Today during the reception, in the art room, 20+ children 3-12 years old were painting spring butterflies guided by an instructor.  Beyond taking classes, you can go on your own during open studio time. Once you know what to do but don’t want to splurge on big ticket tools (such as a darkroom, kiln, pottery wheels, matting tools), you can create at the NCCA- Artspace for very reasonable prices. When you’re done with your creation, all the tools have their permanent home that don’t have to do double duty as a dining table, so clean up is a breeze. So, if you find yourself in the mood to get out of the house or the tent and get your art on, this is the perfect arts’ place.

To find out specific information on art classes and open studio times and costs, check out the the NCCA-Artsplace Facebook page or their website at Their website also has a great listing for more arts and culture in Newaygo County:

By Katie Clark



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