The Park
The Park


Together the Thornapple Arts Council and Historic Charlton Park are proud to host the juried 3rd Annual Barry County Artists Exhibition to be on display at Historic Charlton Park in the Fall of 2017. "This partnership with Historic Charlton Park allows us to support artists with beautiful display space, as well as bring high-quality local art to the Barry County community," said Megan Lavell, executive director of the Thornapple Arts Council. If you paint, photograph, construct, sculpt, etc., this is a great opportunity to reach a broad audience and win one of three cash prizes! 

The exhibit will be on display in the Irving D. Charlton Memorial Museum October 13 – December 10, 2017 and the Park will also participate in Arts and Eats, October 20 - 21, 2017. All artists 14 years or older residing in Barry County are eligible. Only original artwork of the artist’s own design, completed in the last two years, should be entered (fee applies). Digital media, 2-D, and 3-D works in any medium will be accepted. The application period runs from August 7 to September 15. Application and eligibility information can be found on the Thornapple Arts Council’s website about the exhibit!

Historic Charlton Park is excited to announce a new exhibition opening, Tangled Alliances: The United States in WWI! The exhibit will focus on America’s involvement in WWI on its 100th anniversary, and will include information about Barry County’s soldiers with artifacts from the Park’s collection. 

“The First World War was catastrophic to the main combatants. The loss of life, destruction of property and land, and the overall futility of the war cannot be overstated. The United States entered the war late, but our participation has lasting effects up to the present day,” said Claire Johnston, Charlton Park’s curator. The exhibit will open on April 17, 2017 on the first floor of the stone building and be open M-F, from 9 am – 4 pm and on special event weekends. There is no additional cost to visit the exhibit.  

In conjunction with the exhibit, Historic Charlton Park is pleased to partner with the Barry County Historical Society to host a series of speakers. The speakers will flesh out the overall picture of the First World War. All presentations will begin at 6 pm on the first floor of the museum, there is no cost to attend, but donations are welcome.

  • May 10 – “A Great and Vital Hysteria: America Joins the First World War”         
    Dr. Matthew Daley, Associate Professor of History, Grand Valley State University
  • June 27 – “United States Air Service in World War 1: Problems, People, Planes”
    Kevin Kenz, Air Zoo Docent and Member of The League of WWI Aviation Historians
  • July 11 – “The Psychological Effects of World War I -'Shell Shock' and its Legacy Today”
    Dr. Jason Crouthamel, Professor of History, Grand Valley State University
  • August 8 – “The War That Should Not Have Happened”
    Dr. James Smither, Professor of History at Grand Valley State University

To print a copy of the speaker series or read the full descriptions of the presentations, click here