The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

More Arts in Space

By Hope Wallace

Life size sculpture of a hippo at Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Mich. (Photo submitted.)

Whirlwind. Winds are a big topic right now in the literal sense of the word and so far, unlike many others, fortunately, I’m only using “whirlwind” figuratively to describe a weekend getaway. After traveling to several small towns along Lake Michigan this weekend it’s always even more meaningful to witness how creativity makes use of changed spaces when seen through ones own eyes.

Three Oaks, Michigan has a population of approximately 1,800 people.

Exterior of the Featherbone Factory and Acorn Theater. (Photo submitted.)

It is home to an old building called the Featherbone Factory founded by Edward Warren (heard of Warren Dunes?) who replaced whalebone with the spines of turkey feathers used to create women’s corsets. As times and fashion changed the building found itself standing empty like so many others. However, around 1998 an artist’s community began to emerge and the old factory began its transformation. The Featherbone Factory now houses a garden center, restaurant, a distillery, a wine shop, retail shops, a pottery and the Acorn Theater. The Acorn Theater is a culmination of two men’s dreams and has since received attention including several programs featured on HGTV. Three Oaks is now home to 30 – 50 visual artists and almost 20 varied performing arts groups, from classical musicians to fire spinners. Which came first the factory or the arts community? Does it matter? Development most likely evolved simultaneously facilitating a changed economy shifting from manufacturing to an arts community.

Interior shot of the Acorn Theater. (Photo submitted.)

Our classes are filling up and we are excited to be trying new things! We’ll be hosting a class reunion this weekend in which we’ll provide an interactive arts experience.  The students will create a painting in a couple of hours and take it home with them when they’re done. This is a great class for social gatherings and work place events. Participants can bring a bottle of wine and create while socializing.

You only have a couple of days left to check out this year’s best of the best photographs. The 35th Annual Photography Exhibit ends Nov. 2, so if you haven’t had a chance to view these truly exceptional photographs get in here! Many of these works are also for sale — if you need a pick-me-up for your office or home, you can support local artists and photographers by taking home an original.

Coming up very soon will be our 23rd Annual Artists’ Sale and Exhibit. We will be accepting artwork Nov. 6-10 and we’ll open up on Black Friday! If you want to duck out of the retail craziness, stop in for a cup of coffee, glass of wine and experience what… a peaceful shopping experience! The public opening reception will be held on Saturday Nov. 24, 6-8 p.m. The evening will include mulled wine, cider, hors d’oeuvres and live acoustic guitar by Ottoville native Nathan Eric Johnson. Awards will be presented at 7 p.m.

The Wassenberg Art Center’s hours during exhibits are: Tuesday through Sunday 1–5 p.m. and you may contact the art center at 419.238.6837, by email: or via our website at: 
The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 South Washington Street in Van Wert.

POSTED: 10/31/12 at 1:12 pm. FILED UNDER: What's Up at Wassenberg?