Mark Wilkens: A Life in Paint

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  "I don't want to control the paint, I don't want to push it around, I want to dance with it." – Mark Wilkens


Born in America's heartland, Mark Wilkens' passion for nature and the environment blossomed in the sun-drenched countryside of the Iowan farmlands. Mark traveled often following his schooling in Iowa, Arizona and South Dakota, using the opportunity to visit museums and learn about different cultures. In 1990, after a number of years painting independently and working in graphics and illustration, Mark moved to Michigan which would serve as his creative home for nearly 27 years.

On March 17, 2017 Mark Wilkens passed away. This exhibition includes 25 works of art from the last three decades of his career, including a variety of watercolors and oils. It honors a passionate artist, whose commitment to paint was evident throughout his life.

Please support the Mark W. Wilkens and Carmen L. Nochera-Wilkens Endowed Scholarship at GVSU ( All of the works of art in the exhibition are available for purchase in direct support of the above-named scholarship:

impressionist painting of two figures standing on bridge overlooking riverger a Montmartre"

Mark Wilkens, Pearl Walk (detail), date unknown, oil on canvas

Watercolor of riverbank with pinetrees

Mark Wilkens, Cold Stream (detail), 2000, watercolor on paper

impressionist painting apple orchard in fall

Mark Wilkens, October Apples (detail), 1999, oil on canvas

abstract painting with cool light gray and dark gray color blocking

Mark Wilkens, Allowed the Freedom to Do (detail), 2014, oil on board


Find out more about Mark Wilkens or to find out more information about the Mark W. Wilkens and Carmen L. Nochera-Wilkens Endowed Scholarship visit:

watercolor painting of a farm pig

Mark Wilkens, Pig (detail), 2006, watercolor on paper


July 12 - October 25, 2019
West Wall Gallery, L. V. Eberhard Center
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
301 Fulton St W,
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Gallery hours are reflective of the Eberhard Center, including changes made due to semester, holiday, or campus-wide event.



For special accommodation, please call:
(616) 331-2563

For exhibition details and media inquires, please email:
Joel Zwart, Curator of Exhibitions

For learning and engagement opportunities, please email:
Amanda Rainey, UX/Learning Manager