You gotta try places to create memories

Express Yourself Art Barn

With plenty of ‘ingredients’ to inspire ideas

by Elizabeth Granger

Carole Selner believes everyone has talent. Everyone. She invites them all to her giant art studio in Fennville an 1880s barn — to create art.  She calls it “a place to create memories.” 

Visitors can tackle projects in three mediums at Express Yourself Art Barn. Ceramics (which Selner says is “easy, easy, easy”) and mosaics don’t require training, so just dropping in works fine. She suggests making functional crafts — coffee mugs, stepping stones, pictures frames — to remember the visit. 

Glass fusing, however, is for adults only and requires a one-time class to learn the basics. 

The average project takes a couple of hours. 

“Rainy days make us very busy,” said Selner. “Best to come on a sunny day.”

Although Express Yourself Art Barn has a Fennville mailing address, it’s closer to Saugatuck, which Selner calls the center of the Art Coast of Michigan. “So, there are a lot of great places to be inspired,” she said.


In Holland, Seedlings offers similar options. Open year-round, the boutique stocks gifts as well as craft supplies”— clothing, jewelry, antiques, home décor, yard art, along with project examples galore.

“We’re seeds of ideas,” said associate Loralyn Bunce.

The building is full of “ingredients” for projects for artists of all ages. Beads, buttons, papers, lace, dried flowers, metal, wood, paper, glass, fabric…There’s half of a piano filled with bric-a-brac, a crib full of fabric, a suitcase of what-nots. The vintage look is popular. 

Seedlings offers mixed media classes by reservation for $25-30, and walk-in options with room at an art bar. 

Express Yourself Art Barn 
6459 130th Ave., Fennville 
(616) 857-5566 

128 S. River Ave., Holland
(616) 392-4221