Spencer Elliot of Grand Rapids is a model, photographer and videographer. He currently is modeling for Chaco, is a part of creative collaborative Michigan House, and is directing and shooting a documentary on NFL athlete Bronson Hill in Los Angeles through Grand Rapids-based film studio Carbon Stories. Elliot also is working on his own project called Absorb & Create, where he designs and directs photoshoots with his creative partner, Jesh Washington, to create a digital color wheel with a lens on social justice and general artistic experimentation.
Ever since she was little, Chelsea Michal Garter’s been more interested in capturing the feeling of a person, animal or experience than making a picture-perfect recreation. Her abstract (sometimes semi-abstract) art has made her a name around town, this year winning Best Artist with tons of votes in Revue’s Best of the West readers poll. Raised in Lowell and homeschooled all the way up to college, Garter said she had plenty of free time to hone her abilities and express herself through art. She also attributes her abilities to all the great instructors she’s had over the years who continue to push and inspire her. We talked with Garter about her artistic journey and where her inspiration comes from.
Ceramic artist Erin Heerspink wants you to know one thing: Don’t label him as the “Star Wars Potter.” Even though Eric draws inspiration from the original film trilogy, one does not have to be a fan of the movies to appreciate and understand his work. A native of West Michigan, Eric’s ceramic education and career has taken him from Calvin University to Miami to Southern Illinois’ University of Edwardsville for a master’s degree and then back to Calvin as an adjunct professor. These days, when he isn’t working part-time, he’s focused on ceramics and family.
Alison Hunt encourages people who view her art to embrace their individuality and strangeness. The 22-year-old Grand Valley State University student graduates in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration. Hunt’s work brings together bright colors, defined lines and classic movie monsters. This blending of scary, darker themed content with traditionally happy, bright colors resonates throughout her work. We spoke with Hunt about her art and the joy you can find in the unusual.
Rooted in the grit of Midwestern manufacturing and the chaotic independence of DIY artist culture, Bryan Kosciolek is a printmaker and painter creating out of Grand Rapids. Focused slightly more on the process than the product, Kosciolek’s spontaneous and playful attitude is highlighted throughout his entire collection of work, which expands across an impressive array of materials and mediums. Kosciolek is a part of the Dinderbeck Studios community of downtown Grand Rapids, but when he’s not there, you can find him screenprinting at CreateMyTee or collaborating with local organizations, such as the DAAC and Experience Live Art.
Heavily inspired by the emerging art scene in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood, muralist and printmaker Michelle Facer is ready to make her mark in West Michigan. A 2017 graduate from Kendall College, Facer works in printmaking, illustration and large-scale mural art. Drive through the Creston neighborhood and you’ll have the chance to view not one but two of her beautiful and dreamy murals.
Lakeshore art galleries offer a little bit of everything when it comes to fine art gifts, home décor and original paintings and pottery.
Last year, we removed the whole Cultural Arts category with the idea of doing an extended Best of the West that was JUST for arts organizations. Only flaw in the plan: We never ended up doing that. Oops!
Grand Haven native Libby VanderPloeg praises her Grand Rapids Community College experience and offers this bit of wisdom when it comes to making it in a creative field: “Don’t wait for work to come to you. Opportunity awaits those who seek it out! And if you want to get better at what you do, do it every single day.”
In a world of immediacy and information overload, it’s easy to lose sight of the time and talent that goes into the stories we see and read every day.
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