GVSU student artwork to be showcased in Legislature's office buildings

The artwork of Grand Valley students will once again grace the Michigan House and Senate office buildings through a program that highlights the creative talents of students at state universities.

"Student Art in the Legislature" is a partnership between the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Association of State Universities. The opportunity provides a venue to promote art from public university students, MASU officials said, noting feedback from those who frequent the buildings has been positive.

Paintings from three GVSU students, Tess Clark, Isabella Good and Josephine Ruiter, were selected by those in the Legislature to hang for one year starting in the fall. Jill Eggers, associate professor of painting and foundations, led the effort for student submissions, noting several GVSU painters have shown their work through this program in recent years.

Eggers called the selections an honor for both the students and GVSU. She also praised the exhibit for honoring the importance of art.

"The exhibit acknowledges the importance of art and creativity, as well as laws and governance, as essential aspects of a whole and effective society," Eggers said. "The students selected are skilled and talented, and reflect well on GVSU and the importance we give to creative learning."

A reception in the fall will honor the students and their work.

Here are the selections from GVSU:

Tess Clark: "Where the Cattails Sway"

A colorful painting showing cattails, a fallen tree and an upright tree

Statement: "As unruly and alluring our natural world is, what has been and what may be is represented in exploring reality’s sensibilities within this imaginative landscape painting."

Isabella Good: "Untitled (Beginning of Echelon), 2023"

A painting shows birds flying on a beige and white background.

Statement: "As the birds begin to make their formation, the air surrounding them is transformed into visual waves amplified by the natural lines of the wood; resurrecting scenes of nature within a substance that has been destroyed in order for the image to be made. This artwork is an exploration into the natural patterns of wood grain and how imagery can be captured within — changing the idea of how one looks at a piece of wood, from something mundane into an intuitive puzzle game."

Josephine Ruiter: "Coralline Red"

A painting shows burgundy spheres of different shapes against a background of green shapes and some white.

Statement: "This piece plays with the reversal of micro and macro, swapping scales to create a large abstract landscape out of suspended organic forms found in minuscule aquatic plant life."