ST. JOSEPH — Southwest Michigan residents and tourists alike are invited to spend their day at The Box Factory for the Arts today.
“We’re not open on Sundays, but over the winter we thought: Why don’t we?” said Nikki Gauthier, events and programs coordinator at the Box. “So once a month through the summer we thought we’d offer something that would be a complete art experience.”
Summer Sundays at the Box starts at 1 p.m. today featuring art to buy, make and take, as well as food and music.
“We do concerts all the time, but this way we could put an experience together for people where they can just have a whole event to take up their Sunday,” Gauthier said.
When the doors open, visitors can grab some pizza from Camzies Pizza and or coffee and cookies from Forté Coffee.
“Families can come and they know that everyone in their family is going to be able to find something to eat if it’s a pizza vendor,” Gauthier said. “And they have vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.”
Attendees can also visit artists Maria Vettraino of Mia Maria Candle Studio, who is selling her all-natural candles, and Gauthier herself who is selling her paintings.
Calina Krugler, of Just Plain Calina, will have her assortment of one-of-a-kind acrylic fluid art too. At her booth, attendees can try their hand at the pouring acrylic paint on an old vinyl record, a ceramic tile or something they bring themselves, like a canvas.
“If you know anything about the color wheel, it’s fun to mix and match and see what happens. What if I do this? It’s a lot of exploring and experimenting,” she said.
Krugler of Coloma said pouring the same color pallet brings a different look to each piece.
“I paint a kind of traditional acrylic painting, but I don’t do it as often anymore,” she said. “When I found this form, there was this absence of control, and because I control so much else going on in my life, having that not be an issue is very freeing.”
Anything created with Calina won’t be dry enough to take home today, so it’ll be kept at the Box Factory to be picked up the following week.
Summer Sundays at the Box is also welcoming Jack Adams, also known as St. Joe Jack, to perform, with special guest Emma Hamel.
Along with performing, Adams will sell tie dyed and driftwood creations with his mom, Maureen Adams.
Attendees can buy, then make their own tie dyed shirt. The duo will also have jewelry, wind chimes and more on sale.
Adams, who performs as a one man-jam band, draws influences from the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley and various, rock R&R and jazz artists. He loops musical phrases and beat-boxing together to create a “dance like there’s no one in the room” vibe.
Emma, who is new to the music scene of Southwest Michigan, said she’s excited to perform today because it’s a cool space and it’s a good listening environment.
“I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I’ve started finishing some more songs recently, so I’ll be singing some of those,” she said. “I try to do my on spin on covers too.”
Emma, 17, of Berrien Springs has recently started hosting open mic nights at the Box.
Gauthier said there’s been a 10-year-old girl coming to the open mic nights who just lights up when Emma plays.
“So if we can get some more young people here, they’re going to look at Emma and see: maybe I could do something like that. I could start trying to write music,” she said.
Kristen Patzer, executive director of the Box, said that’s part of what they try do at the Box Factory.
“We try to give everyone an opportunity to participate in their art form of choice no matter age or level of professionalism,” she said.
Music is from 4-6 p.m.
The other Summer Sundays at the Box are July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 22.
In July, a folk duo from Madison, Wis., Avian Aura, will share the stage with Twin City String Band.
Gauthier said Miranda Skibbe is bringing her origami and quilling art work and she’ll be teaching origami and Amy Story is bringing her watercolor art work and her succulents and doing a planting station.
“So people can plant their own,” she said. “I love that it’s so attainable. A lot of times we might offer a class and they feel intimidated. They can feel like they’ve created something at a level they can get to.”
In August, Sankofa will return to the Box and in September, Deep Fried Pickle Project Jug Band will close out the series.
“We’re hoping people will come to all four because they’re all a little different,” Patzer said.
Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman
What: Summer Sundays at The Box
When: 1-6 p.m. today; July 21; Aug. 18; and Sept. 22
Where: The Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph
How much: $7 in advance; $10 at the door
More info: 983-3688 or boxfactoryforthearts.org