Given that Grand Rapids’ iconic symbol, La Grand Vitesse, is a sculpture, it should come as no surprise that a sculptor can thrive here.
That’s especially true if you’re Andrew Kline and you get to work at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. As preparator and assistant conservator, Kline helps install and maintain the sculptures at what he calls a “gem of the U.S.” He also maintains the downtown LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana.
Graphic artist and muralist Kyle DeGroff dabbles in a variety of artistic projects: colorful murals, business brands, wedding invitations and photography. He is the guy behind Grand Rapids Brewing Co.’s Rosalynn Bliss Mango Blonde, Fish Ladder, Flow and other beer bottle designs, plus menus, T-shirts and more.
For Holly Anne McDermott, a.k.a. HAM, art is a way to process, express and cope all at once. In McDermott’s recent thesis exhibition, Emotional Reflections, printmaking,
etchings, metalsmithing and jewelry all come together to capture the cycles of life and nature. It’s a highly unique and eclectic collection of art that she used to explore emotions in a variety of ways. You can see a piece of it in the Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists show at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, running until Sept. 8. The Grand Valley State University graduate originally came to West Michigan from Detroit and found inspiration in her professors as well as Alexander Calder. We talked with McDermott about the meaning of her art and why she makes it.
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.
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