The Stuart B. and Barbara Padnos Distinguished Artist-In-Residence Chair in Art and Design position is designed to enhance the experiences of art students, both majors and non-majors, at Grand Valley State University. Exceptional teaching and mentoring skills, excellent artistic productivity and reputation, and a broad knowledge of art would be core competencies we would seek in our candidates for the position. In addition, the candidates expertise in the business components of art including exhibiting ones own art, forging gallery and museum relationships and understanding the art marketplace would also enhance their potential value to our students educational experiences. In fact, we see the position as a catalyst to take our art students to new levels of preparation and accomplishment.
Stuart B. Padnos was a West Michigan community leader who impacted and changed the lives of many people through his contributions as a businessman, a philanthropist and a humanitarian. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II, was held as a prisoner of war, and awarded the Purple Heart with Oakleaf Cluster. After the war, Stuart joined his father’s Holland, Michigan scrap business, the Louis Padnos Iron and Metal Company, and married Barbara Jane Hermanson of Massachusetts. Barbara, who was a painter, encouraged Stuart to become a creative sculptor, transforming metal scrap into artworks such as the marching band sculpture found on the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Allendale Campus. Barbara’s paintings are also on display in a variety of venues. In memory of Barbara, Stuart created and funded an endowed scholarship at GVSU to assist students who study abroad. To promote the teaching of art at GVSU, Stuart established the Padnos Distinguished Chair in 2005.
This endowed position gave GVSU the opportunity to create a legacy for future artists who practice and hone their skills in the Department of Art and Design. The Department is honored to have been the first unit on the GVSU campus to have an Endowed position.