Exhibition explores the question: Who is a hero?

‘Cost of Social Justice’ by Donna St. John

Artist and art educator Donna St John explores the provocative question, “Who do we consider worthy of the title ‘hero?’” in her assemblage exhibition at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver Street). She asks the viewer to consider whether we truly honor the people who have made extraordinary contributions in our society.



Tributes of Authentic Heroism: Investigation of Grace, Vision, Clarity, and Purpose highlights nine men and women from around the globe, who have been labeled as heroes. This exhibition will be available for viewing from Nov. 11- Jan. 14, Mon.Fri. during business hours. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Nov. 11 from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm. For more information please visit sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399. 


Some of the “heroes” in St. John’s exhibition have been internationally recognized and some are unknown to the average American. Each subject is blemished with doubts, imperfections, frustrations and the very same human qualities that are balanced within their own lives. Yet each individual was capable of seeing beyond their personal existence and was determined to improve the human condition.


As our world continues to blur the lines between simulated and authentic realities, St. John poses questions about the value and perceptions of honor and heroism in our contemporary society, as we struggle to cultivate social justice and recognize interconnectivity.


Donna St. John is currently an Associate Professor for Art Education at Kendall College of Art and Design. Before becoming a professor she taught in the K – 12 setting for 27 years. She has been named ‘Teacher of the Year’ by two separate districts and has been named ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ nine times by Coopersville Public Schools.


St. John’s pieces will be on display in the gallery until December 15. Then half of her exhibit will be removed to make room for student-created pieces. After working with St. John, students from Hope College, Black River and Saugatuck High School will create assemblages based on their own “heroes” or social justice issues searching for champions to elevate awareness.


This exhibition is sponsored by Allegan County Community Foundation & Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.


About the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more vibrant lakeshore community in West Michigan and beyond. For more information about the SCA and upcoming events, visit www.sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399.