The School of Communications Photography Senior Thesis Exhibition   phosphorescent
Art Gallery, 1121 Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus
November 22 - December 9, 2016
Reception:  December 1, 5-7 PM
Special Showing:  December 10, 10 AM - 12 PM

This exhibit inspired new means of visualizing the luminous world around us.  In phosphorescent we explored the realms of possibilities together!  The photographers featured were Sue Ackerman, Kristen Hollingsworth, Amanda Lautner, Brianna Overkamp, Autumn Perez, James Redmond, Nicole Trost, Chelsea Whitaker, and Mallory Wolfgram.

The Photography Senior Thesis Satellite Show was on display in the Library Atrium Exhibition Space in the Mary Idema Pew Library from November 28 to December 17, 2017.

Bachelor of Fines Arts Exhibition - OPULENCE: Mythos Renascent Lucile
Art Gallery, 1121 Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus
November 14 - 17, 2016
Closing Reception: November 17 from 5-7pm

"Featuring the work of Katie Pershon (Visual Studies), Emily Karsten (Metalsmithing), and Molly Lucille (Visual Studies), Opulence, a senior BFA thesis show, ran from November 14th-17th at the Art Gallery in the Performing Arts Center at Grand Valley State University.

Opulence examines the history and impact of how women’s bodies are commodified and utilized in theater and fashion, the influence of Greek mythology on modern culture, and the incorporation of shell and barnacle forms in sculptural, armor-like, high fashion jewelry."

Flowing Forms
West Wall Gallery, L. V. Eberhard Center, Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
August 22 – December 17, 2016

An overview of recent abstract paintings by Chicago area artist Herbert Murrie drawn from the collection of Grand Valley State University.

Herbert Murrie learned early in his career the importance of painting every day. He revels in feeling the tools of his trade in his hands and to see how colors and paints react to one another. His paintings begin with an idea and then evolve as he pours and combines colors. As shapes and forms emerge he blends and manipulates the surface. And while he will edit and control certain elements of a composition, he prefers the organic – and at times inevitable – results occurring naturally in his creative process.

View all works in the GVSU art collection by Herbert Murrie here.

Landscapes and Lore
Russel H. Kirkhof Center Gallery
August 22 – December 17, 2016

Storytelling is deeply rooted in the human psyche. Long before recorded history, people recounted tales and legends as part of an oral tradition. Lessons in consequences evolved into morality tales. Sebgugugu the Glutton is a morality tale paralleling contemporary issues relating to free choice, the environment, and resource management, with a little mysticism thrown in for good measure.

Published in 1993, Sebgugugu the Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda, by the late Michigan writer Verna Aardema, is the retelling of a classic African folktale. The children’s book recounts the story of the poor – yet greedy – Sebgugugu and the many misfortunes his bad choices bring. His repeated, poorly reasoned attempts to increase his fortunes ultimately bring disaster and starvation to his small family. In the end, Sebgugugu is left completely destitute and alone.

Grand Rapids artist and educator Nancy L. Clouse illustrated Verna Aardema’s children’s book with graphically colorful African landscapes created with construction paper. Each illustration – while simple in appearance – is in fact carefully and intricately layered and composed.

Twelve of Clouse’s original compositions for the book reside in the art collection of Grand Valley State University. A selection of the paper panels is reproduced here.

Nancy L. Clouse also authored or illustrated four additional children’s books including Puzzle Maps U.S.A., Pink Paper Swans, Mapas Rompecabezas de Los Estados Unidos, and Perugino’s Path: The Journey of a Renaissance Painter.

Expanding Horizons: The SeoulTech & GVSU Partnership
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall, Allendale Campus
August 10 – October 27, 2016

In conjunction with the 2016 GVSU & SeoulTech Art & Design Faculty Exhibition, the Grand Valley State University Art Gallery proudly presented Expanding Horizons, a companion photo essay of GVSU students’ experiences in South Korea.

GVSU has over 30 partnerships with universities all over the world. Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) has been GVSU’s partner university in South Korea since 2008. The partnership has resulted in the exchange of students, faculty, and staff between the two institutions.

2016 GVSU and SEOULTECH Art & Design Faculty Exhibition
Art Gallery, 1121 Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus
August 26 – November 4, 2016
Fall Arts Celebration - Thursday, September 22, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

International cultural exchange between faculty from the Department of Art and Design at Grand Valley State University and the College of Art and Design at Seoul National University of Science and Technology partnered for their second joint exhibition.

Since 2008, the two universities have actively exchanged students and faculty through degree and study abroad programs, simultaneously broadening and strengthening a sense of international discovery, awareness, and understanding.

This exhibition celebrated a diverse range of creative media including ceramics, metalsmithing, digital design, printmaking, jewelry design, fiber arts, painting, visual studies, and sculpture in the hands of working professional artists/faculty instructors.

Young Flint Speaks
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center, Building B, Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
August 12 – November 3, 2016

What do you do when life’s basic actions are impacted by something far beyond your control?

You get home from school and grab a big red apple from the kitchen table. You go to the sink to wash your apple and remember: you can’t use the water. The news said there is lead in the water. You grab one of the plastic bottles Mom got from the donation center. Maybe tonight you’ll be able to wash up, after pouring a few precious gallons into the bathtub.

During the winter semester of 2016, Grand Valley State University graduate student, Stephanie Smedley worked with student artists at the Linden Charter School in Flint, Michigan, exploring their reactions to the contaminated water crisis in their city.

Ms. Smedley sought to discover how the young people of Flint are coping with the water crisis and the international media attention? The idea for this exhibition started with a simple question:

What do the kids think?

The prompt for this project was “How has the detection of lead in the public water system impacted your life?” Although the students of Linden Charter Academy are too young to vote, they do have voices. They have their own perspectives on their reality.

There is something so emotional, jarring, and honest about the artwork submitted by these middle schoolers. The bold use of color, the prevalence of water bottles, the recurring use of the word “help” and the slogan Flint Lives Matter all leave a lasting impression. This artwork helps tell their stories, and the stories of their hometown.

~ Stephanie Smedley

Paya Lliklla, Las Tejedoras de Chari, Peru: Reweaving Tradition in the 21st Century Peruvian Weaver
Thornapple Gallery, Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
May 4 – December 9, 2016

In the Andean mountain village of Chari, Peru, a weaving cooperative of indigenous women are changing the structure of their lives. The weavers who make up Paya Lliklla utilize handicraft skills to fabricate woven trade goods marketed to clients well outside their local boundaries.

Weaving is an accepted female occupation within this cultural group, but it has always fallen to their male relatives to market the finished handmade textiles. The women of Paya Lliklla have managed to merge the two - manufacture and sales of the products – as the sole responsibility of the association.  This significantly changes the established division of labor and moves the women's weaving from a private to a public sphere, empowering the women both financially and socially, and this significantly alters their status within their families and the larger community

A Woman Abroad: Artistic Adventures in Cold War Morocco
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center
May 19 – August 11, 2016

Inspired by her grandfather, Mathias J. Alten’s visit to Morocco in 1912, Grand Rapidian, Anita M. Gilleo embraced the opportunity to live and work in Casablanca during the early 1950s. While working for the Army Corp of Engineers at Nouasseur Air Base, Gilleo collected the sights and sounds of her exotic locale; recording her impressions of Morocco in a variety of sketches and watercolor paintings.

Work in Progress: Sketches and Studies by Mathias J. Alten
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center
May 19 – August 11, 2016

It is rare in the artistic process for a finished work to flow fully realized from a painter’s imagination directly on to the canvas. More often it is a case of trial and error, extended contemplation, and several discarded attempts. Looking at preliminary sketches can serve as an interesting insight into an artist’s thought process.

During the summer of 2016, the GVSU Art Gallery is pleased to offer the opportunity to view a selection of preparatory sketches and drawings by noted Grand Rapid’s painter, Mathias J. Alten, “the Dean of Michigan Painters.”

Grand Valley State University holds the largest public collection of artworks by Alten.

Click here for more information on Mathias Alten

New Blood: Recent Acquisitions from Grand Valley State University Students
West Wall Gallery, L.V. Eberhard Center
January 4 – May 19, 2016

From its inception in 1998, the Grand Valley State University Art Gallery has actively collected artwork – growing from a collection of 700 pieces to one exceeding 13,500 works in 2015. The collection reflects the diversity and mission of Grand Valley State University. As the University’s multiple campuses continue to expand, the Art Gallery aggressively integrates artworks into each new building; only a small portion of the collection remains in storage.

The Art Gallery acquires artworks from the Art & Design Department and School of Communications student’s graduating exhibits to add to the collection whenever possible. The pieces displayed on the West Wall Gallery represent works acquired during the past year. In the near future these works will be incorporated into new building projects, with primary focus on display venues in areas occupied by the student community.

Different Waters: Thirty Years in the Western Amazon
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center
March 21 - April 29, 2016  

Experience a land of rivers remarkably different from Western Michigan.

Over the past thirty years, GVSU professor Dr. Jim Penn has repeatedly traveled to the Loreto Region of Peru, South America, participating in programs ranging from wildlife research and natural resource management to community development, healthcare, and human rights work.

Located inland of the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains, the Loreto Region covers one third of the landmass of Peru. This dense jungle region stands in vivid contrast to the typical images of Peru featuring the citadel of Machu Picchu, indigenous people of the Andes, and their ubiquitous llamas. The Loreto Region is a key part of the vast intertwining network of tributaries that combine to form the headwaters of the Amazon River.

Penn’s experiences form the basis of Different Waters: Thirty Years in the Western Amazon; a dramatic collection of photographs and pointed observations documenting the struggles, turmoil, growth, and changes in this risky world of ever-moving water.

fishladder: Student Scholars Day Exhibition
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall, Allendale Campus
March 14 to April 30, 2016

Now in its thirteenth year, fishladder is a student-run journal at Grand Valley State University. fishladder publishes students’ fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, photography, and art. Students from across all disciplines in the university are encouraged to submit work in all styles, genres, and forms. The editors of fishladder aim to select the best, most artistic work for publication.

China in Western Minds
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall
January 4 – March 10, 2016

From early Roman trade contact through the Silk Road to the modern television comedy Fresh Off the Boat, China has asserted its influence upon western culture, philosophy, and the decorative arts in a myriad of ways. China in Western Minds explores this phenomenon and provides a striking overview of this intriguing history over the last twenty-one centuries. Created by the Art Gallery in collaboration with Dr. Sufen Lai, of the GVSU English Department, this exhibition is a visual accompaniment to the department's fall 2015 course offering, "China in Western Minds."

School of Communications Photography Senior Thesis Exhibition:  SPECTRA
Art Gallery, 1121 Performing Arts Center
Dates:  April 19-29, 2016
Reception:  April 21, 5-7 PM
Special Showing:  April 30, 10 AM - 12 PM

Photography Senior Thesis Winter 2016 - "Our team has worked together to create SPECTRA, an exhibition visually showcasing the wide range of talents and interests of our artists. The eight photographers have created individual projects on topics such as a peering into the world of microbiology, mapping the movement of the stars, or even exploring all of the ways in which our lives intricately and delicately interact with the world around us."

The photographers in the exhibition were Sam Billin, Ethan Caverley, Daniel Heeren, Molly LaBeff, Lauren Loria, Natasha Montelauro, Kimberly Skoglund, and Jason Slagh.

Nothing New Under the Sun                 
A Thornapple Room Exhibition, Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale
March 19, 2015 to April 28, 2016

Electric cars and wind turbines really aren't the newest thing in renewable energy technology! Beginning in the late 19th and early 20th centuries a special group of inventors began exploring the potentials for harnessing the energy of the wind and sun. Discover the results of their experiments and innovative thinking as you view Nothing New Under the Sun. This exhibition was produced by the Art Gallery in conjunction with guest curator, Glen Swanson of the GVSU Physics Department.

Bachelor of Fines Arts Exhibition: BLOOM
Art Gallery, 1121 Performing Arts Center
Showing:  April 11 - 14, 2016
Reception:  April 14 from 5-7pm

BLOOM was a Bachelor of Fine Arts show presented by illustration students Nick Baldwin, Emma DuFort, Caroline Elsner, Lynn Hunsanger, and Brianne McBryde. Their work was a celebration of narratives concerning life, whether they are fantastical or realistic.

Great Lakes: Image & Word
Dates:  January 19 – April 1, 2016
Opening Reception:  Thursday, January 21
Art Gallery, 1121 Performing Arts Center

The lakes and water systems of the Great Lakes are a majestic natural resource too little known outside of our region. This exhibit featured sixteen poets and visual artists — each with a connection to the Great Lakes — in artistic pairings designed to result in new collaborative works with a Great Lakes theme.

Artistry in Word - Visual Artistry
Patricia Clark - Hoon Lee
Alice Fulton - Kim Cridler
Dan Gerber - Graceann Warn
Jim Harrison - Jill Eggers
Ander Monson - Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Aimee Nezhukumatathil - Sally Rose
Keith Taylor - Mike Rebholz
Crystal Williams - David Greenwood

Due to the nature of collaboration, some of the artworks did not exactly match images in the exhibit catalog.

View Digital Catalog >>

Listen to an interview with the Curators >>

The Universal Language: Photography from Oman
Dates:   January 22 – March 31, 2016
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center

During the spring of 2015, Grand Valley State University senior Gabriella Patti participated in a faculty-led trip to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. For five weeks she studied Arabic and business, spending the majority of her time in a small Omani town called Ibri. This immersive program challenged Patti, both academically and personally, and opened her eyes to a brand new understanding of other people and cultures.