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Art at GVSU
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) holds the second largest art collection in the state of Michigan and has activated its collection for learning and curriculum integration. Spanning throughout all GVSU campuses and incorporated into every university building, art is on public display providing unparalleled access. The GVSU Art Gallery empowers our community to engage with visual narratives that align with university values through diverse exhibitions and a borderless museum across campus. We utilize digital initiatives and active learning opportunities to spark conversations, action, and reflection on core themes of social justice, human rights, and empathy that align with the university's philosophy of liberal arts education.
In addition to our online collection, which features over 20,000 works of art, we are also the stewards of the two comprehensive artist holdings. These two collections not only consists of the largest public collections of physical artwork known but also artist life timelines, scholarship, video interviews, and the official catalogue raisonnés.
"is a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist either in a particular medium or all media." - New York Public Library
The works are described in such a way that they may be reliably identified by third parties.
Mathias J. Alten
Based in Grand Rapids, Alten created more than 3,000 works of art during his prolific career, including landscapes, seascapes, portraits, and floral and still-life compositions. Working in a traditional representational style of painting, Alten incorporated the aesthetics and techniques of the Impressionist Movement in his paintings by infusing them with light and punctuating them with deft brushwork.
Early twentieth-century Grand Rapids delighted in Mathias Alten’s art. Impressed with his prodigious output, reviewers, collectors, and casual observers drew inspiration from canvases that brought painterly views of recognizable vistas, as well as the world outside of West Michigan, to the inhabitants of the Furniture City.
Merizon’s artistic career began in 1927 when he was only seven years old. His mentor was a graphic designer who happened to be the father of his neighborhood friend. This relationship was validation and encouragement from an adult who shared Merizon’s passion for representing the world on paper and canvas. The artist pursued his artwork through the support of his community and family until the end of his life in 2010.
Armand Merizon was born to Dutch immigrants of French extraction in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When he was three years old, his family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his life focused on his artwork. He enjoyed forays to the Southwest, the East Coast, and Europe. His work has a wide range of subject matter, medium, and genre, and is found in many institutional and private collections.