Our hands are sacred space. We use them each day to complete a variety of tasks from the mundane squeeze of lemon into our morning tea to kneading the bread for an evening meal that will nourish our bodies. We use our hands continuously throughout the day. From the penning of letters to dear friends, to the wiping of milk spills left behind by our children. Our hands matter. We, whether we call ourselves an artist or not, we all create.
The word creation comes from the latin creare: to produce, to make life. Our hands make life. They produce work and words, they shape and they make.
Five years ago, Cyndi Casemier opened C2C Gallery on Washington Avenue downtown Grand Haven. The gallery showcases the work of local Michigan artists, along with a handful of New England artists. A third generation shop owner, Cyndi opened the doors of C2C to welcome in makers; to provide a space that allows them to market and display the work of their hands, and to put their work in the hands of others.
Currently there are over forty artists with work on display at C2C.
Cyndi, a ceramic artist herself has mugs, bowls, and other functional items available to not only display on your kitchen shelves, but also to pull down to use for a cup of afternoon tea or an evening scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can drive to a near by home goods store and buy a bulk box of mugs or an eight piece set of plates, but to walk into a gallery like C2C and to slip your hand into the handle of a wheel thrown mug, that connects you to something greater. In holding that mug you are showing support for a maker. You are appreciating beauty and receiving the gift that has been chiseled into the clay by the hands of another.
C2C is home to “art for your every day life”.
Places like C2C advocate for and spread connection within the community. Over the years Cyndi, and others at C2C have collaborated with local businesses and taken part in Grand Haven events. Currently Cyndi is working with Blueberry Haven, located a block over from C2C, on a mug design for their shop. Each year, the gallery assists with the high school ceramic show, as well as the annual ArtWalk event in Grand Haven. The gallery also opens its space to local musicians on the first Friday of each month, allowing them to showcase their musical work.
Art brings healing, it brings joy, and it showcases story. The process of creating with the hands becomes a spiritual practice. It reaches beyond one’s self. When we grasp local, handmade art we also grasp, with our mind, the power of local and of community. By purchasing the work of makers, not only do we bring beautiful art into our home, but we also support the work of our neighbor and in return take part in building a stronger community enriched with beauty and joy.
Stop in the gallery this month to take in the new art exhibit, “A Contemporary Look At Our Natural World” by featured artist EP Lewandowski.