Chippewa Nature Center invites community to annual Nature Art Show & Sale

This week’s weather feels wintry. Michigan’s four seasons are full of different beautiful things found in nature, all throughout the year. As December sneaks up on us, now’s the time to get your gift giving shopping lists ready. If you’re seeking out local photographs, paintings, baskets, woodcarvings, ceramics, stained glass, or jewelry, the Chippewa Nature Center’s latest event is a must. The annual Nature Art Show & Sale takes place Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Chippewa Nature Center (400 S. Badour Road).

The event kicks off on Friday night with a pre-sale for members only from 6:00-8:00 pm, and is free and open to the public on Saturday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Friday’s entertainment includes classical guitarist Zach Zolton, and a silent auction closing at 7:30 pm. Saturday’s silent auction closes at 3:00 pm. Proceeds support the Nature Day Camp and Nature Preschool scholarships. 

Autumn Reyes is the visitor engagement coordinator at the Chippewa Nature Center (CNC). In her role, she works with memberships and volunteers, and is the event coordinator for the Nature Art Show & Sale. 

Reyes says the event has taken place for years, and has become a tradition for many artists and art appreciators alike.  “It’s been taking place at least 10 years back, so this event has been going on for a really long time,” she says. “We like to take the best artworks made by local artists in all kinds of mediums – photography, woodcarving, pottery, basket weaving, and we have them come out to Chippewa Nature Center. They offer items for sale to the public at the Nature Center’s nice little holiday event.”

"It’s just such a beautiful way to help connect our visitors to nature."
21 artists will be selling their unique creations and handcrafted items, many of which are local to the Great Lakes Bay region, and span all the way to Indiana. The vendors are spaced out throughout the Guest Services area of the nature center.
“Many vendors donate an art piece to our silent auction, and we specifically wanted to make sure that the money goes directly to our camp scholarships to make sure we can reach everyone in the community,” Reyes says. 

Reyes has a background in art, and enjoys curating shows, and connecting local artists with opportunities like vending at the annual show. She also enjoys connecting nature center visitors with art too. 
The event has taken place for years and has become a tradition for many artists and art appreciators alike.
“Nature and art have gone together as long as art has been a thing,” she says. “It’s one of the easiest ways to express the ideas of nature and the importance of nature. It’s just such a beautiful way to help connect our visitors to nature. It’s a little bit of a different way. We do that every day here at Chippewa, but adding an art element to it is fun, different, and exciting.”

Returning artists include Bill Diller photography, Karen Brooks of Kabscapes, photography and nature-related children’s books, Barb Markell of Markell Multi-Mediums, watercolors and cards, and The Midland FiberArts Guild. 

CNC offers different levels of membership, ranging from $35 for individuals to a lifetime membership. Memberships will be for sale during Friday’s member-only event. Reyes says a variety of benefits come along with a range of memberships. 

“We have many levels of membership that can fit any lifestyle or income,” Reyes says. “Some of the benefits you get from being a member is a members-only special rate for the Nature Day Camp program in the summer. You also get reduced rates for classes, workshops, programs, invitations to members-only events like Friday’s event. You also get free admission to our fall harvest festival and maple syrup day, and a discount in our store.”

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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at