Our Annual Member Show is Now Open

Our Annual Member Show is Now Open

ST. JOSEPH, MI – Series 6, the annual holiday exhibit by members of the Berrien Artist Guild, opens Friday, Dec. 4th at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph. The exhibit in the Heartha Whitlow Gallery will be available for viewing on Fridays-Sundays from noon to 4 pm through January 16.

This last exhibit of the year is an annual celebration of the variety of artwork created by Box Factory studio artists and the membership at large.  It is an opportunity to shop for local art during the holidays. Included are paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photographs, jewelry and much more.

Abstract Painting by Carr Pierce

A special mini gallery exhibit of paintings by Carr Pierce will also be displayed during the member show.  The exhibit “Here and There” includes abstract paintings inspired by the landscape of Southwest Michigan. The paintings are memories and impressions of landscapes with flashes of saturated colors and fields of muted grays. The painted surfaces are worked with brushes, trowels, and other mark-making tools. 

Carr Pierce is an artist whose practice includes painting, drawing, collage and ceramics. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master of Fine Arts. The recent transplant to Southwest Michigan has exhibited works in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph.

For more on this and other, Box Factory events visit the website at www.boxfactoryforthearts.org or on the Box Factory for the Arts Facebook page. 

Exhibitions Series 5: The Return of In-House Shows at the Box Factory for the Arts Begins October 23

Exhibitions Series 5: The Return of In-House Shows at the Box Factory for the Arts Begins October 23

Five women with distinctly different artistic styles will bring gallery exhibits back to the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph on Friday, October 23, 2020.  These exhibits are the first in-house gallery shows since the pandemic forced closure of the Box Factory’s doors in early March.

Show Schedule
The exhibits will be open for public viewing from noon to 4 pm on Fridays-Sundays through November 29 as well as on the Box Factory for the Arts Website.
An opening reception, featuring conversations with the artists, will be streamed live on the Box Factory for the Arts Facebook Page at 6 pm on Friday, October 23. If you cannot attend there will be a recording of the stream uploaded to the Facebook Page.

Artists Showing
Those exhibiting work in the Heartha Whitlow Gallery and the main floor stage area will be: Michele Corazzo of Valparaiso, IN with a sculpture exhibit titled “Head Menhirs”; Carly Norris, Niles, MI, mixed media art titled “From the Ashes”; Nicole Brown, St. Joseph, “Heavy Like Floating”; Maggie Bandstra, Grand Haven, MI, “Nature Abstracted”; and Vicki VanAmeyden, Augusta, MI, “Objections: Democracy Under Pressure 2015—.”

Michele Corazzo
“The Menhir series depicts my long personal relationship with trees. These abstracted tree trunks illustrate my uneasiness with current destructive human interactions with nature by using texture of mass-produced objects for the bark. As time has passed, I saw these trunks becoming torso-like and began to add heads to remind us that we are one with the natural world.”

Carly Norris
Carly strives to involve her audience in her discoveries and the treasures she finds. She is drawn to the reaction of ink, paint, encaustics, oil and more on every possible surface.

Nicole Brown
“This work is influenced by the many strong women in my life that I look to for inspiration and courage in my paintings. It is their presence and faces that grace much of my work, as does derivatives of myself. They help me tell the stories of the figures in the images I hear, and the poetry I have felt in my life.”

Maggie Bandstra
The human connection to nature inspires her paintings and pottery. She extrapolates the simple forms and colors that she finds in plant life and the landscape. She is using an exaggerated scale, movement, and patterns to deliver a healing message through her work. She is encouraging us to take notice of the beauty in the world around us. 

Vicki VanAmeyden
The spirit of OBJECTIONS resonates with a quote from American author and editor, Professor Toni Morrison:“…All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.’ …it (art) has to be both: beautiful and political at the same time. I’m not interested in art that is not in the world. And it’s not just the narrative, it’s not just the story; it’s the language and the structure and what’s going on behind it…”

Berrien Artist Guild Member Update

Berrien Artist Guild Member Update


Thank you for helping us reach our goal during “Raise the Box,” our very first online art auction fundraiser. We exceeded our goal of raising $5,000 with a grand total of $5,157! We can’t thank our donors enough for supporting the Berrien Artist Guild at the Box Factory for the Arts.

As you know, our galleries are closed and our stage is dark; yet, we continue to explore innovative ways to provide fine art and performances to our community. We couldn’t do it without the expertise and volunteer help of so many. Please join me in thanking those who worked tirelessly to make this goal a reality. 

We’re grateful for the leadership and insight of the Executive Board, Judy Sokolowski, Scott Gane, Rose Narregan and Linda Cooper, the Board of Directors, Bret Witkowski, Dennis Gast, Jane Rush, Jennifer Tomshack, Stephen Smith and Susan Solon.  I’m thankful to the volunteer committee whose collective skills and willing spirit were invaluable, Kate Ulery, Carol Myers, Betsy Gill, Nicole Brown, Denise Barcowicz, John Bougearal, Kristin Hosbein, Breeze Ettl, and Lynn Christiano. 

The event would not have been the same without the talent of Ed Bagatini and the Revival of the Cool, a Jazz Tenette and the behind the video and audio skills of Bryan Lubeck and his audio/ video editors. Thank you! 

Thank you to all the artists who donated beautiful pieces of art and for sharing stories during the live events. This was truly an art gallery of talent and creativity! 

Many thanks to our sponsors and the community: St Joseph Today, Priebe’s Creative Woodworking, Sherwood Snyder, Fred Holland and Judy Sokolowski

Moving forward, with your generosity, we will bridge the financial gap of the cost of staying in business while we strive to creatively re-imagine ways to provide art, education and performances. We look forward to engaging our patrons, and audiences throughout the community.

Under the leadership of Jane Rush, the gallery committee has decided that the Michiana Annual Arts Competition (MAAC) will not be held this year. The committee is in the process of altering the exhibition schedule for the remainder of 2020. They also are planning a re-design of the MAAC show for 2021 and returning to in-house gallery exhibits. Stay tuned for more information from this busy group.

The Board of Directors approved changes to the membership fees starting with this fiscal year. The membership categories and benefits have changed to more accurately reflect our unique members’ needs. New members and those who renew their membership will now receive a gift card based on their membership level for an ArtMarket or Gallery purchase. For a full list of benefits, visit the website for all the enhancements.

Kimberly Wood’s mural concept, “Birds of a Feather, Flock Together,” was selected by the Board of Directors for installation on the exterior of the Box Factory starting this week. It will be exciting to watch the mural unfold and change our face on Broad Street.

The mural is being funded by a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs which was matched by donations from many members and friends. Since it must be completed by September 30, the board made the decision to approve it on behalf of the membership.

In addition to the concept submitted by Kimberly, a second member Caroline Tubbs submitted “Building Blocks.” Both concepts were beautifully presented and the vote by the board reflected that with a very narrow victory for “Birds of a Feather.” We are hoping to use Caroline’s concept with a variation of her design in the future.

As we cautiously move forward during the pandemic, we are planning to open our gallery doors to the public. Beginning on September 4, we will be open from noon to 4 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be in effect.

A crew of volunteers have been busy expanding the ArtMarket into the Williams Gallery to provide more artwork for visitors to view. Susan Plee, Susan Solon, and Elaine Harju have been hanging and arranging artwork in anticipation of the reopening. A big thank you for their efforts.

As we open the expanded Art Market, now would be a perfect time for you to try and sell your art.  If you have a piece(s) that you would like to put in the market. Please contact Judy or Amy or email us at Board@boxfactoryforthearts.org

Series 3 Artists Announced for Virtual Gallery Show

Series 3 Artists Announced for Virtual Gallery Show

The Box Factory for the Arts continues its online exhibits with Series 3 opening with a virtual reception on the Box Factory for the Arts Facebook page at 6 pm on Friday, July 31. The reception will be live streamed and artists will introduce themselves and discuss their work during the online reception.

The work of four artists, including Biff Vigil, David Criner, Jeanne Fields, and Anthony “Scooter” DiMaggio, will be featured during the exhibit which runs through September 6th. Visit the website at http://www.boxfactoryforthearts.org.  All work is available for purchase  by contacting gallery@boxfactoryforthearts.org.

Biff Vigil in her words is “a rust belt printmaker who utilizes all forms of print media to celebrate the intersections of the mind, body and heart.” This year she received a BFA in printmaking from the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at IUSB. In 2019 she entered the Michiana Annual Arts Competition at the Box Factory and also participated in the Southwest Michigan Printmakers exhibit at the Box.

David Criner, a painter based in Chicago, works in acrylics and collage. In his recent work, he transforms material either visually or musically in pursuit of an aesthetic which celebrates the present moment of life and consciousness. He received his MFA in painting from the University of Kansas in 1995 and has shared his work throughout the world. He teaches in the Art Department at Northeastern Illinois University.

Jeanne Fields focuses on nature in her oil and acrylic paintings. “I am a lifelong art and state of Michigan appreciator!,” Jeanne says. “Kalamazoo became my home in 2013; but earlier exposures to Lake Michigan begat a love of nature that continues to grow.”

Anthony “Scooter” DiMaggio grew up in St. Joseph Michigan, majored in fine art at Kalamazoo College and went on to earn an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.  In this exhibit his medium of choice is duct tape on wood. He says he is “always seeking new challenges and opportunities in various forms of creative expression including making videos and publishing a blog. All the while, I maintain my addiction to art making, and have seen my work evolve from painting to sculpture to invention, and now using colored tape on wood.”

The Box Factory for the Arts is located at 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph, MI. The galleries are currently closed due to COVID-19. Any change to the schedule will be announced on the website and Facebook

Emerging Artist Award Winner 2020

Emerging Artist Award Winner 2020

This year’s High School Art Exhibit featured some amazingly talented students and from that exhibition has emerged our Emerging Artist Award Winner, Sonja Heath of New Buffalo High School, New Buffalo, Michigan.

Sonja will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design this fall in Georgia. She has an interest in animation and digital art as well as traditional art. According to her Art Teacher, Jake Zapor, “Sonja has been an excellent student overall, a dedicated artist, hard-working, and incredibly kind”. She was a leader of the New Buffalo High School anti-bullying club, a founding member of the school’s Peer-to-Peer program (a program where older students mentor special needs students within the school), and a star softball player at New Buffalo. In addition to her dedication to her school community and artwork, she has worked at her part-time job throughout high school to help save up for college, and she helps to take care of her brother who has autism. Zapor went on to say “I am biased, but I believe you would be hard pressed to find a more deserving student”.

Here is Sonja’s artist statement from earlier this school year:
“I create artwork focusing on expressions of embarrassment, longing, and fragility. I came about this theme living and attending high school as a teen girl in a co-ed environment and basing many of my pieces off of things I see, hear, or experience. I want to challenge set boundaries for who is allowed to show their true feelings as well as what feelings are appropriate to express both in artwork and in real life. Through my art I want to inspire and encourage authentic communication, open emotion, and a breaking-away from the status quo.”

Featured Image by Sonja Heath titled “Xander”.

Series 2 Gallery Show Coming Soon

Series 2 Gallery Show Coming Soon

BOX CONTACT:  Carol Myers – carollmyers@me.com or 317-432-1668 (cell)

ST. JOSEPH — Due to COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing, the Series 2 artists — Jacqueline Baerwald, Wesley DeVries, and Joel Brussell — will have a virtual exhibit of their work on the Box Factory for the Arts website beginning Friday, June 19 and running through July 26, 2020.  Visit the website at http://www.boxfactoryforthearts.org or the Box Factory for the Arts Facebook page to view the artists’ work. All work is available for purchase online at galleries@boxfactoryforthearts.org.

Jacqueline Baerwald’s “The EmBRAce Project” features still live portraits that capture a feminine self image and what lies close to each woman’s heart. The object placed on her “heart” symbolizes what is nearest and dearest to her right then, some cheering, others challenging. She works in a variety of media – painting, drawing, collage, ceramics, miexed media sculpture, photography or whatever method and materials at the time best represent the ideas she wishes to convey. She lives in Southwest Michigan.

Wesley DeVries presents “In the Garden: A series of work inspired by the artist’s garden.” He is an abstract expressionist who works in acrylics, using credit cards as his brushes. A Grand Rapids native, he is associated with Artists Creating Together and a member of the Grand Valley Artists Association.

Joel Brussell lives close to the beach in New Buffalo and has captured “Savage Sunsets” in his current exhibit of photographs. “With sunsets in the photography world having been done to death, my personal challenge was to create work a few notches above the schmaltzy greeting card imagery, to find the somewhere else of being here, that mystery at dusk, yet keep the peace among the savage sunsets.”

The Box Factory for the Arts is located at 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph, MI. The galleries are currently closed to the public; however, the artists’ studios on all levels are open by entering the lower level East entrance of the building.