Art by Grand Valley grad placed in Michigan Legislature

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"Port Arms" by Maria Schultz
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For the next year, artwork by Grand Valley State University graduate Maria Schultz will hang in the Michigan House of Representatives’ Anderson House Office Building in Lansing. It was selected as part of the Art in the House project that displays artwork by one student from each of Michigan’s 15 public universities.

Schultz graduated from Grand Valley in April, 2012, with a bachelor’s of fine arts degree with an emphasis in illustration. She currently resides and works in North Carolina, with her husband, Justin, who is stationed at Fort Bragg. He is the subject of the piece titled “Port Arms.”

“The subject of my work is often related to my life as a military spouse,” said Schultz. She met her husband while both were students at Grand Valley. After they married in 2011, she stayed for another year to complete her degree. Meanwhile Justin reported for duty at Fort Bragg. “During our year apart, I connected with him through my art. Spending a great deal of time on my drawings helped me to physically retain memories I cherished and might otherwise have lost during our long-distance relationship,” she said.

“Port Arms” is one of 11 in a series Schultz completed throughout her senior year. Eight of the pieces were included in her BFA exhibition prior to graduating. See more at mariaschultz.wordpress.com. “Port Arms was the most complex piece in the series and I saved it to work on last, so I could devote my full attention to it,” said Schultz, who spent more than 50 hours on the piece. Like much of her work, it shares the viewpoint of a photographer through the medium of charcoal.  

A print of the original was purchased by Grand Valley its permanent collection. The piece will be returned after the yearlong exhibit in Lansing. “I’m honored to have my work selected to represent Grand Valley,” said Schultz, a native of Grand Rapids. “It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase my work.”

Art in the House is a partnership between the President’s Council, State Universities of Michigan and the Michigan House of Representatives to promote art in everyday life.