DeVos Art Lecture

Past Lectures

DeVos Art Lecture #13 - Perspectives on ArtPrize: Poet, Painter, Sculptor and Beyond  Wednesday, October 3, 2012  A lively discussion about Grand Rapids’ fourth annual ArtPrize international art competition was planned as the 2012 DeVos Art Lecture. A variety of views were presented during “Perspectives on ArtPrize: Poet, Painter, Sculptor and More,” Wednesday, October 3, Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus.  The distinguished panelists  included Grand Rapids Art Museum Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen; poet and author Dan Gerber; painter, sculptor, and assemblage artist, Charles McGee, a GVSU ArtPrize 2012 artist; and contemporary realist painter, Jack Richard Smith, based in Taos, New Mexico. Several pieces of Smith’s work are included in Grand Valley’s permanent collection. Henry Matthews, Grand Valley director of Galleries and Collections, served as moderator, and Marcia Haas, honorary chair, gave the welcome address.

DeVos Art Lecture #12:  Perspectives on ArtPrize  Friday, September 23, 2011,5:00 p.m.  For the third consecutive year, Grand Valley State University hosted ArtPrize artists at its Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.  From the Blue Bridge, east of the L.V. Eberhard Center, to the courtyard of the Richard M. DeVos Center on the far west, thirty-one artist will display outdoor work that vary in materials, scale, and message.  And to give you an insider's view of ArtPrize, the university presented its DeVos Art Lecture Series featuring a panel of highly creative individuals who shared their personal perspectives on ArtPrize - from hands-on experience to education adventures, from Buers Aires to Amsterdam to Michigan. A reception in the Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall adjacent to the auditorium immediately followed the discussion.  The distinguished Panelists were:Dany Barreto - Mixed Media Artist, Buenos Aires, Juan Batalla - Sculptor, Buenos Aires, ArtPrize 2011, Rick DeVos - Social Entrepreneur and Founder of ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Cyril Lixenberg - Sculptor, Amsterdam, ArtPrize 2010, Hubert Massey - Muralist, Detroit, MI, GVSU Alumnus, Cynthia McKean - Sculptor, Saugatuck, MI, ArtPrize 2010 and 2011, Jason Quigno - Sculptor, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, MI, ArtPrize 2010 and 2011, Henry Matthews - Moderator, Director of Galleries and Collections, GVSU

DeVos Art Lecture #11 - Surrendering to the Journey  Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus, Speaker:  Eames Demetrios, Chairman of the Eames Foundation and Director of Eames Office Eames Demetrios has lectured in 32 countries on topics ranging from his own films, to teaching scale, to the work of his grandparents, Charles and Ray Eames, to the creation of his alternative universe, Kcymaerxthaere.  Almost always his presentations focus on one topic or the other.  At Grand Valley State University, host of one of Eames' alternative universe plaques, during ArtPrize, during Powers of Ten year (2010), and a stone's throw from Herman Miller where the Eameses did so much, Demetrios wove some of the myriad threads of his life journey together in the DeVos Art Lecture.  Also introduced were the artists who participated in ArtPrize 2010 at our exhibition center.

DeVos Art Lecture #10 - The Purpose of Design
Thursday, September 24, 2009 Loosemore Auditorium Speaker: John Berry, Director of Design West Michigan This lecture explored the symbiotic relationship between art and design, their differences, similarities and their role in today's economy. Drawing on experiences with Herman Miller Inc., author, lecturer and Director of Design West Michigan, John Berry shared his views and experiences relating to design in today's world.

DeVos Art Lecture #9 - The Wonder that is Mathias Alten:  Ambition, Attraction, Achievement
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Loosemore Auditorium Speaker: E. Jane Connell, Director of Collections and Exhibitions/Senior Curator of the Muskegon Museum of Art Mathias J. Alten (1871-1938) is often referred to as the dean of Michigan painters and has become a celebrated American regionalist artist, painting over 2,500 works of art throughout his life. At Age 17, he immigrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan from his native Germany. Building from a traditional Barbizon and Tonalist landscape background, Alten began as a naturalistic scene painter and later transitioned into painting in a more impressionistic style. The 2008 DeVos art Lecture Series was held in conjunction with the rededication of the expanded George and Barbara Gordon Gallery, featuring E. Jane Connell, Director of Collections and Exhibitions/Senior Curator of the Muskegon Museum of Art. The Gordon Gallery houses an important collection of works of art created by Alten. These oil paintings on canvas constitute a remarkable cross-section of the artistic work created by this celebrated American artist. The collection is a generous gift to Grand Valley State University from Mr. and Mrs. George and Barbara Gordon, in whose honor this special gallery in the Richard M. DeVos Center is named. The Alten collection now includes over 60 paintings by numerous donors and the Gordon Gallery has recently been expanded to accommodate the growing collection.

DeVos Art Lecture #8 - Journey to Steel Water
Thursday, October 11, 2007 Loosemore Auditorium Speaker: Cyril Lixenberg, Artist British-born Dutch artist, Cyril Lixenberg, is a prolific contributor to the contemporary art scene in the Netherlands, and has enjoyed much critical success in the United States. With work rooted in the tradition of classical modern art from the early 20th century, Lixenberg has built an extensive oeuvre of silk screen prints, plastic and metal sculpture and monumental works. Since the late 1980s Lixenberg has become a familiar member of the West Michigan artistic community exhibiting in Muskegon, Holland and Grand Rapids. The 2007 DeVos Art Lecture Series was held in conjunction with Lixenberg's recently completed 33-foot steel tall sculpture, titled, "Steel Water", located next to the new JWMarriot Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids and on the Banks of the Grand River. This monumental work was commissioned by the Fluoride Commemorative Committee to mark Grand Rapids' place in history as the first city in the world to fluoridate a public water supply. Grand Valley State University's permanent collection harbors the single largest archive of Lixenberg's work. With more than 300 individual works on paper donated by the artist, the Lixenberg Collection represents every print produced during the artist's career, and continues to be enhanced with the most recent editions of his prints, career related materials and the 14 foot tall steel "Amaranth" in 2002 for the addition of Mackinac Hall on the Allendale campus.

DeVos Art Lecture #7 - The Art of Collaboration in Printmaking:  History and Practice
Thursday, September 21, 2006 Loosemore Auditorium Rudy Pozzatti is an esteemed artist, printmaker, and teacher who developed Indiana University's printmaking program, which is considered to be one of the finest in the country. His work has been the focus of numerous one-man exhibitions in the United States, Italy, and Germany, and is included in many world-class collections including those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in Washington D.C. David Keister was the professional printer and shop manager of Landfall Press in Chicago. He later developed the idea of Echo Press with Rudy Pozzatti and became Echo's master printer and technical director. By tradition, as master printer he received a printer's proof of each edition, and accrued a remarkable body of contemporary prints while at both Landfall Press and Echo Press. In 2003, Ann and David Keister chose Grand Valley State University as the recipient of their vast collection of over 300 prints, an important addition to the university's growing print and drawing cabinet.

DeVos Art Lecture #6 - Where is Art: From Pictograph to Public Art
Thursday, September 29, 2005 Loosemore Auditorium Hubert Massey attended Grand Valley State University with a football scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in art in 1983. He is a leading American expert on fresco painting, an art form associated with the ancient Romans and Greeks in which hand-ground pigments are applied in layers to plaster. A native of Flint, Michigan, Massey's "Exporting and Importing of Knowledge" was created for the Richard M. DeVos Center on Grand Valley's Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus in 2000. His "Cityscape,DAC" was commissioned by the Detroit Athletic Club for its Grill Room and was dedicated in 2001. Also a sculptor and muralist, his artwork appears in Detroit's Charles Wright Museum of African-American History, Trapper's Alley, The Athenaeum Hotel, the Michigan State Fairgrounds, and the University of Michigan's Vandenberg Room in Ann Arbor. Massey has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the "Spirit of Detroit" award in 1993 for exceptional achievement, outstanding leadership, and dedication to improving the quality of life in metropolitan Detroit. Massey, who lives in Detroit, also attended the University of London-Slade Institute of Fine Art and Wayne State University.

DeVos Art Lecture #5
Thursday, October 14, 2004 Loosemore Auditorium Grand Valley State University alumna, Jo Hormuth, B.F.A.'81, is a prominent and active member of the contemporary Chicago art scene. Her work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions and private collections. In 2004, Hormuth installed a major wall piece on Grand Valley's Muskegon campus in the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, entitled "PANSIES," constructed of six layers or laminated white wool felt and pigmented epoxy. "My work employs simple conceptual strategies in the service of poetic ends. I am interested in the relationship between the obvious construction of the pansies and their etymological link to thought and the construction of meaning. They are not so much actual representations of flowers as they are manifestations of the concept of flower." - Jo Hormuth

Art Open House - Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences
Thursday, October 23, 2003

DeVos Art Lecture Series
Thursday, October 30, 2003 Loosemore Auditorium An informal slide lecture presentation with Henry Matthews, Director of Galleries and Collections of Grand Valley State University was held in conjunction with the Art Open House at CHS. Matthews will share the President's Arts Advisory Committee's selection and commission procedure, the addition of more than 131 donor gifts of work of art and behind the scenes tales of some of the installations in a slide presentation highlighting the more than 350 works of art installed in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.

DeVos Art Lecture #4 - Artifacts and Anomalies
Thursday, March 27, 2003 Loosemore Auditorium The 2003 DeVos Art Lecture Series features distinguished artist and speaker Elona Van Gent, Associate Professor of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University. It will focus on work created in preparation for a June 2003 exhibition of the same title. Jointly sponsored by Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), St. Petersburg, Russia, and Grand Valley State University, the exhibition brings contemporary sculpture by American artist, Elona Van Gent, into the magical 18th century context of Russia's first museum. Scientific instruments, unusual shells and plants, taxidermied animals, ethnographic items and anatomical specimens, many collected by Peter the Great himself, will be intermingled with Van Gent's technologically induced creatures and devices. The exhibition commemorates and extends Tzar Peter's decree that his Kunstkamera be used "to instruct and teach about nature - living and dead - and about the artistry that flows from the hands of men."

DeVos Art Lecture #3 - If Sculpture Could Talk
Thursday, October 24, 2002 Loosemore Auditorium Artist Joseph Kinnebrew's topic will focus on the symbolism and personal messages that an artist may imbed in his or her work. Rather than try to explain his artwork . . . a "rather arrogant presumption" that causes viewers to abandon their own interpretations, he noted . . . he will "present tools of interpretation using my own work as an example." An internationally recognized painter and sculptor of metal and bronze, Kinnebrew's career is distinguished by such commissions as the Grand Rapids Fish Ladder and Sculpture (1974), the Howard Miller Clock Company headquarters in Zeeland, Interlochen Arts Academy, and a 70-foot-high aerial sculpture at the Detroit Hospital Health Care Institute. A former Grand Rapids-area resident, the renowned artist has work on display at GVSU, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and throughout Grand Rapids. Kinnebrew's artwork at GVSU includes "The Embrace," a 5-by-7-foot bronze sculpture located in the courtyard of the DeVos Center, and paintings and sculptures throughout the campuses. Sculptures in Grand Rapids include "Aspiration of Inspiration" (1999), commissioned by Fountain Street Church as a gift to Grand Rapids Community College; "Kid Katwalk" in the Sixth Street Bridge Park; the bright green "Stroll" alongside the GRCC parking ramp; and the broken pyramid "Justice," which was erected next to the Hall of Justice. In 1984, the Grand Rapids Fish Ladder was selected as one of the 50 Most Significant Structures in Michigan by the Michigan Society of Architects. Other Michigan honors include the Michigan Governor's Award for design of Grand Rapids parking logo and signage, and transit shelters. Major Kinnebrew sculptures have been placed at museums, universities, and properties in Utah, Washington State, Las Vega, Nevada, at his studio and sculpture garden in Seattle, Washington, and at Grand Valley State University. Kinnebrew received his MFA from Michigan State University in 1970. He lived in the Grand Rapids area for 20 years and now resides in Seattle, Washington.

DeVos Art Lecture #2 - A Career in Clay:  Looking Back on 30 Years at Grand Valley
Wednesday, March 20, 2002 Loosemore Auditorium The DeVos Art Lecture Series features distinguished artist and speaker Daleene Menning, Professor of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University as she celebrates 30 years as a faculty member in Grand Valley's Department of Art and Design. Included in her discussion is the making of "Wind Over the Lake" (2000), a 16-foot-by-7-foot porcelain located in the Richard M. DeVos Center on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Her enthusiasm for teaching is matched by her passion for the field of ceramics and she continues to lecture and exhibit her work widely. Her pieces are included in collections at GVSU, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art, among others.

Premiere DeVos Art Lecture - DeVos Art Event
Wednesday, October 17, 2001 Loosemore Auditorium The Grand Valley State University Art Gallery, in conjunction with the GVSU Development Office, is inaugurating a lecture series this fall, DeVos Art Lecture Series, which is being established to highlight the extensive and increasingly important art collections of the university, which now number more than 2,000 works of art. The inaugural lecture will feature architect Vern Ohlman, President and CEO of Design Plus, and Ronald Van Steeland, Vice President Emeritus of GVSU. They will discuss the creation of the Richard M. DeVos Center in which more than 400 works of art have been placed.