Bellaire Public Library

The Charles Culver Public Art Exhibit is the brainchild of the Bellaire Downtown Development Authority member Doreen McGuire.  In Fall of 2022, a committee comprised of DDA members McGuire, Tracy Lareau, Cindi Place, and Shelly Dayton met to begin the process of bringing this exhibition to Downtown Bellaire. With Lareau applying for a grant from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC), the committee created a budget, and outlined the goals of this project. McGuire made contact with Culver's daughter-in-law Caren Culver and the project took on a life of its own! The DDA provided a beginning budget of $2,000, and eventually grant funding for $4,000 was awarded to the DDA by the MACC, administered by Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Council, and local funding procured by Dayton from Chris Corbett, the College for Creative Studies, Bellaire Rotary, the Antrim Women's Alliance, and J. Stone totaling $5,500 has helped to make this exhibition of Charles Culver's work a reality.

The Charles Culver Public Art Exhibition will be on display throughout downtown Bellaire from mid-June through October 2023. Each piece of art will display a QR code to access an audio presentation providing history and background of the particular piece.

The DDA Grant Committee would like to thank the Village of Bellaire, the Bellaire DDA, Photographer extraordinaire James Sullivan, Pro Image of Traverse City, our framing and installation crew Terry Coates, Zach Gosnell, Jeff Krino, and Shelly Dayton, Kevin O'Meara for the audio project, the Bellaire Public Library, Jean Bedell, the Bellaire Historical Society, Andrea Gerring, Curator of the Culver Family Collection, NMC art history adjunct instructor, the Charles Culver family, and our funding partners listed above.

Silent Auction Information

The online auction for the Charles Culver Public Exhibition is now closed. Winning bidders have been notified by email and will receive information regarding payment and pick up of art soon. We are pleased to announce that the auction generated over $4,300 which will be used to fund future public art exhibitions in Downtown Bellaire, Michigan. 

Charles B. Culver


Born in Illinois and educated mostly in the Detroit area, Charles Culver studied art at various schools including the John Wicker School of Art, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts (now the College for Creative Studies). His unusual watercolor technique became his signature style and garnered him multiple awards and exhibitions. Starting in the early 1940s, he began to split his time between Bellaire and Detroit. He would work as a commercial artist in Detroit, then take time off to go north to paint for months at a time. His work was prominently featured in Ford Motor Company’s Ford Times monthly magazine during the 1950s and ‘60s. In later years, he was also the head of the watercolor department at the Society of Arts and Crafts and an art critic for the Detroit Free Press.

His artwork is in many private and public collections, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Ford Motor Company and Ford family members.

For detailed information on his life and works, visit: