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We're Open: Amazwi Contemporary Art

Posted at 8:35 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 20:35:42-05

SAUGATUCK, Mich. — We've heard from many business owners who have said they weren't sure whether their business would see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, many are still in operation! That includes Amazwi Contemporary Art in Saugatuck.

"'Amazwi' is a Zulu word," says Owner Wally Petersen. "It means 'voices.' We're giving voice to African artists from around the continent here in Southwest Michigan."

The shop sells artworks created in various mediums, all made by African artists.

So where did the idea to open an African art store come from?

"I had started coming to Saugatuck about 25 years ago," says Petersen. "In between a corporate transition, I said, 'Why don't we open an African art gallery in Saugatuck?' Because there's nothing quite like it."

Petersen says he was captivated by the vibrant colors featured in a lot of contemporary African art, adding that he has spent the last two decades giving these artists their voice.

"We've met with hundreds of artists," he says, "and we're helping them to pursue their art and helping them to support themselves and to support their families."

Amazwi Contemporary Art, 249 Culver Street, Saugatuck

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