Mary Idema Pew Library

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GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library

Left: Steve Currie, Untitled, wood, copper, rubber, 1990, 2011.20.1
Middle: Ed Moralez, Covenant Keepers, oil on canvas, 2012, 2023.11.1
Right: Serge Attukwei Clottey, My Statement, plastics, wires, and oil paint, 2017, 2023.32.1

The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons (MIPL) is designed to be the intellectual heart of the Allendale Campus. MIPL is a five-story, 150,000 sq ft. building that opened in June of 2013. MIPL has served our students and community by crafting spaces with their needs in mind and is an integral part of every GVSU student's experience.

In 2023 the GVSU Art Gallery partnered with the Libraries to refresh artwork displayed in high-traffic areas of MIPL. Each work of art explores a theme or core value held by GVSU. Acute attention was given to fostering environments through works of art that affirm and advance diversity, promote inclusion, and support equity.

View all the artwork in MIPL in the Art Collection database.

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"The Libraries is an integral part of the campus community. It is first and foremost a space for our students...The Art Gallery and Libraries partnered to showcase works of art that feature representation of people of color as well as a variety of cultural viewpoints. I believe this project aligned and uplifted our commitment of educational equity as well as our University values of inquiry and international perspectives by challenging students to consider a broader world..." - Annie Bélanger, Dean, University Libraries

Jonathan Thunder
In Tandem (A Fox and a Bluebird) / In Tandem (Nuclear Summer on the Lakewalk)
acrylic on canvas
2023.4.1 / 2023.4.2

Yongjin Hwang
My Landscape 0872
oil on canvas

Jason Quigno
Tranquility III

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Visual Representation of Our Shared Values


The GVSU Art Gallery believes in and encourages active questioning in order to improve lives and strengthen communities. Displaying works of art in public spaces provides students with the opportunity to appreciate various forms of self-expression, and understand or dispute perceived historical norms, which can lead to creative problem-solving. For Example, Lora Fosberg's piece titled, "Tips for Survival," is almost a step-by-step guide for ones-self inquiry on how to survive. Viewing this work of art allows the viewer a process for evaluating not only their environment but how their actions affect or help to improve their environment.



It is imperative that works of art on display foster and sustain a sense of belonging, promote diversity and respect, and address systemic issues within our communities. Detroit-based artist Torrence Jayy does just that. Found on level three of MIPL is the painting titled, "Bugs Bunny Noir." This piece depicts Bugs Bunny in a way that gives a sense of belonging to all who grew up watching this cartoon figure. Jayy found a way to reclaim a ubiquitous view of culture by creating an inclusive cartoon-still undeniably recognizable.



Innovation is key to the success of our institution and can be represented in various ways. Creativity is a synonym for innovation. The creative process of producing works of art sparks critical thinking, problem-solving, and risk-taking. Innovation within a work of art can help our community make connections between past and present that otherwise may not have been visible. For example, the painting "Blue Train" by contemporary artist Rosie Lee (aka Marcello Pope) bridges the culture of the past to the present. In doing so, he innovates a visual representation that depicts the lack of black voices from the 1950s abstract expressionist movement.

"... I reimagine how color, texture, and movement from a black perspective could provide an ethos of art, spirit, and social activism in the genre. Through color I capture emotions reached in freedom, the freedom of knowing no bounds, no limits as I layer paint testing its capabilities. To achieve such success requires equal parts experimentation and expertise...Abstraction allows my work to go beyond narratives often placed on black figures and the spaces they occupy." - Rosie Lee



Integrity drives us to be accountable to ourselves and to our community. It is at the heart of how we at GVSU treat each other in order to advance the common good. The Art gallery often displays works of art that point out the absence of integrity in order to evoke empathy. The screenprint, "No More Bias," by Shepard Fairy calls out cultural atrocities.

"Like countless others, I was devastated to see the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers that led to his death. I’ve made many pieces of art touching on racial bias, police brutality, and the combination of racial bias and police brutality...I made this No More Bias print before Tyre’s death but as a comment on similar tragic injustices. The abuse of power in his case is all too familiar and similar..." - Shepard Fairey



GVSU encourages the understanding of international perspectives. This effort supports the well-being of individuals, groups, and ecosystems that are important locally, nationally, and globally all of which are interconnected and interdependent. Chinese artist Huang Yan, whose work can be seen on level three of MIPL, evokes the human experience and understanding of family while also calling out the inherent complexities of modern-day China by combining techniques of classical Chinese art with elements from contemporary life and art. Yan's work, like his photographic series titled "Brother and Sister," helps students to question inherent biases and value our similarities in order to appreciate the interconnectedness of our shared human experience.

Arleene Correa Valencia
Cuarto de Reunion #1: No Te Preocupes Harmanito, Ahorita Now Toca A Nosotros. Volveremos A Ver A Mama Y Papa
(Reunifications Room #1: Don't Worry Little Brother. It'll Be Our Turn Soon. We Will See Mom and Dad Again.)

repurposed textiles on black canvas

Sheefy McFly
Fucshia Fro
mixed media on canvas

Jasmine Bruce
digital painting

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Art on Campus

For more information about the artwork selection and installation process at MIPL or other buildings on campus, please contact Art Gallery Project Manager, Alison Christensen; [email protected].

University Art Collection

For questions related to any artwork in the University Art Collection, in storage or on view, please contact our Collections Manager, Nicole Webb; [email protected].


For questions about integrating artwork into curriculum, please contact our UX/Learning Manager.

Page last modified November 21, 2023