Nido Bianco to host Art-Full Harvest Fest

Published 10:45 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

(Leader photo/JUSTIN FLAGEL)

(Leader photo/JUSTIN FLAGEL)

THREE OAKS, Mich. — In the words of Nido Bianco director and curator Heather Hanson, Harbor Country and the local region is a “mecca of diversity” in creativity and is “teeming with art people.”

Originally from Illinois, Hanson and her husband were regular visitors to the area who noticed a strong energy in the region. That artistic vibe, especially in Three Oaks, was palpable enough that the couple moved to the area in 2013, wanting to support and participate in the efforts of residents and business owners working to revive the community and “put it on the map.”

Hanson opened Nido Bianco in April 2015, filling an empty building that once housed the likes of J.L. Powell and Vickers Engineering. It is now the home of a gallery and art display spaces, studios for local and traveling artisans, and a venue for events and a variety of art classes. She opened with a goal of creating a community-driven art facility that was welcoming to both artists with years of experience and to those who had never picked up a paint brush or a glue-gun.

The name, Nido Bianco, means “white nest” in Italian. It was born from the chalky exterior of the building and it’s internal coziness. Hanson describes a warm, comforting energy within the building that perfectly matched her desired atmosphere. It’s her goal to have something other than “the typical art space” by continuing to build an open, welcoming space for everyone to come in to appreciate and participate in art and creativity; a place where anyone can enter with any skill level or background, pick up a tool, and make something.

“If you put a bunch of creative people together, regardless of medium, something magical will happen,” she explained.

Nido Bianco hosts permanent, private studio spaces for local artists and transient studio spaces available for rent by day, week, or month. The transient spaces add a social aspect for those looking for a space to produce their art, with an open-air environment that promotes communication and connection. They also give part-time artisans a place to work outside of their homes or usual environments. The residents in the permanent spaces are also a part of the Nido communal atmosphere, often volunteering to show new visitors around the entire building.

“They’re like docents at the front door,” according to Hanson.

Those visitors will see a variety of fine art, sculptures, and more from artists both local and from further reaches. They’ll also find a selection of handmade and vintage items in the Artisan Market. Hanson explains that, with exception of products using vintage pieces, nothing in the market is mass produced or made overseas, with each item being hand made and having a history that can be traced to it’s origin. Examples include pins manufactured from vintage candy tins and hand bags made from ties. The selection is ever changing, with new products added every week.

Nido Bianco offers plenty in the way of experience as well. The still-evolving event space has already been used on a number occasions.

The space, complete with a stage and grand piano, has been used for fundraisers for local groups, including an art show of pieces made by disabled adults for the Gateway Organization and a storytelling event to help launch the new Arts and Education Center in Three Oaks. They hope to continue expanding the event line-up to include live music, poetry, storytelling, and “whatever we can possibly offer that’s art driven.”

Also offered is a makers space, where anyone can come in during open hours to create using available tools, and a classroom for instruction on book-binding, pastels, water colors, mixed media, and ceramics. Hanson is open to hosting creative instruction for even more and is always looking for new teachers to come and spread their knowledge. The classroom also hosts Gather And Create event on the first and third Thursday of each month, an event where participants are given a level playing field and a collaborative atmosphere.

Nido Bianco is planning an upcoming event to invite visitors and showcase the facility. On Saturday, Oct. 24, they’ll be hosting the first annual Art-Full Harvest Fest. The daytime event, running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., will feature food by Chef Rachel Collins, live artist demos, and an indoor artisan pop-up market. Information on that event and the entire facility is available at


Justin Flagel is the founder of the web magazine and podcast Anywhere the Needle Drops, where he and others showcase their interest in music, pop culture, creativity and life. Follow their work at Feedback can be directed to