The Summer Solstice Art Hop

The days are getting longer, lake breezes are warmer and local artists and musicians are ready to celebrate summer in the Benton Harbor Arts District. The New Territory Arts Association (NTAA) kicks off its June-August series of concerts, gallery showings and special events with a multi-block party, the Summer Solstice Art Hop, June 17, 6 to 9 p.m.

Partygoers can stroll from venue to venue enjoying food, beverages and free entertainment.“This is a summer party for all ages,” said Ken Ankli, NTAA president. “Local vocalist Charlene Jones will debut her maxi-single project ‘Stronger’ at the 210 Art Space and we’ll introduce Art Hoppers to three new businesses, a gelato shop, The Sweet Bar by Mason Jar; a yoga studio, The Collective; and Third Coast Paddling, a kayak, canoe and paddleboard shop.”

The Benton Harbor Arts District covers several city blocks with most of the Art Hop action taking place north of the business corridor along Main Street. Ankli said new street pole banners and venue sidewalk flags will help define the walkable geographic area.

Participating venues in this popular, annual event:

3 Pillars Music, 198 Water St., will welcome Art Hoppers with light bites and sips, plus 15% off stereo gear such as turntables, amplifiers and speakers as well as $1 off albums and CDs.

210 Art Space, 210 Water St., will be the site of local musician and keyboardist, Charlene Jones’s debut of her maxi-single project, “Stronger.” Other studio and gallery spaces will be open.

ARS Gallery, 147 5th St., will continue showcasing the John Wilson Art EXPO poster exhibit of one of Chicago’s premier art fairs. Wine, small bites and music will also be offered to gallery visitors.

Baker’s Downtown Pub and Eatery, 190 Territorial, will feature musician Kevin Henry, the artwork of Brad Bigford and Patrick Wills plus a fish fry featuring perch and bluegill as well as all-you-can-eat cod specials.

Benton Harbor Public Library, 213 E. Wall St., will feature a Clothes Line Community Art Show showcasing children’s artwork and the work of Lavoide Wilson.  There will also be live performances by local teen, Ajah Thompson.

Dwellers Coworking, 140 5th St., will host David Baker and his exhibit, “A Year at Shoreham Village,” a suite of 13 watercolors inspired by the Shoreham coastline. Seth Haley collaborated with Baker to also create a new video of the Shoreham project that will be screened at 8 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church will display John Gatto’s photography and Peter Helm will do caricatures in a tent at Art’s Park.  Cold drinks, cookies and a “Pub Theology” discussion will also take place.

Murfee’s Boutique, 82 W. Main St., will serve Art Hoppers wine and refreshments.

Pair Studio, 74 W. Wall St., will display artists Laura Boyce’s and Cara Garnett’s work in progress.

OutCenter of Southwest Michigan, 132 Water Street, will welcome visitors to learn more about their outreach to the LGBT community.

The Citadel, 204 Water St./91 Hinkley St., will present performances by students and faculty of the music campus and dance department.

The Collective and Rebel Café, 234 Territorial, are new to the Benton Harbor Arts District. From 6-7:30 p.m. their organic café will be open for coffee, juices, smoothies and complimentary treats. Tours of the yoga studios, slated to open July 1, will include a showing of their art collection. Yoga Muse Adrienne White will also offer a class at 7:30 p.m. to kick off Karma Yoga Fest. Class fee is $20 and participants may sign up at

The Grille at Harbor Shores, 201 Graham Ave., will be serving their tasty selection of beverages, snacks, sandwiches, pizza and dinner fare until 10 p.m. Meals served indoors or on the patio.

The Livery, 190 5th St., will feature its 18 hand-forged microbrews and café fare during the Art Hop. They will be the site of the after-party, featuring Freekbass. Tickets are $8 in advance; $10 at the door.

The Oak Room at the Citadel, 91 Hinkley St., will offer refreshments during its showing of Angela Caldwell’s Distinctive Jewelry and The Susan Kieffer Studio’s jewelry and paintings.

The Sweet Bar by the Mason Jar, 138 Water St., is making its debut in the former Water Street GelatoWorks storefront. Art Hoppers can stop in to see “Man Kamp,” an exhibit by artist Brad Bigford and purchase gelato, Frappuccinos and cold brew coffee on draft.

Third Coast Paddling, 241 E. Main St., another new venue on the Art Hop route, will host a beach art exhibit by local artist Gustavo “Goose” Lamas. His work captures the artist’s experiences living and surfing in Southern California, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Honduras which fits in with the shop’s line of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and canoes.

Water Street Glassworks, 140 Water St., will host the opening of the exhibit, “Something’s Fishy,” which features the work of visiting and local artists who depict the underwater world. Beer mugs created at the studio will also be available for purchase.

Wall Street Antiques, 74 Wall St., will present paintings by Scott Elliott among its vintage collectibles.



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