Student Artists’ Print Sale!

Print Sale Header
Student Artists’ Print Sale!
Hekman Library Lobby (1855 Knollcrest Circle Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49546) 
Thursday and Friday, September 27-28, 12:30-8:00pm 
Join the Calvin College Visual Arts Guild in promoting student art at our first Print Sale of the academic year. We’ll have photography, painting prints, post cards and more! 
All are welcome to come and support the student artists of Calvin College. If you have questions or you’re a current student at Calvin looking to sell some work, contact Visual Arts Guild leaders, Andrew (jcg26@students) or Jamie (jlk75@students).
See you then!
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“Mere Objects” on view at the Center Art Gallery



On view at the Calvin College Center Art Gallery March 26 — April 28:  Mere Objects: 
Participatory art honoring people who have experienced sexual violence

Please join for an artist’s talk and reception: April 9, 7 p.m.  in the Bytwerk Theatre, followed by a reception at the Center Art Gallery.

Artist Sarah Jane brings attention to the serious issue of sexual violence with a poignant installation of suspended glass globes, each filled with evocative materials obtained from people who have experienced sexual violence. The artist invites participants to choose objects to represent themselves and their stories, and viewers to bear witness and share in her hope for healing and a safer world.

Artist’s Statement: Mere Objects
Sexual violence is often taboo. In private, it bears a shroud of whispered rumors and family secrets. In public, the discourse circles round in endless statistics and worn stereotypes. But for those of us who have experienced it, the reality is far more painful, complex and all-consuming.
Sexual violence encompasses the child violated by a beloved grandparent; the teenager abused by a boyfriend; the faithful altar boy assaulted by his priest. It includes the wife whose husband won’t take no for an answer; the disabled person victimized by a caregiver; the young woman raped by a coworker.
These are no hypothetical situations; they are real stories from people in this project.
I reached out online and in person, inviting participants to choose objects to represent themselves and their stories. It is a concrete act of reclaiming agency and bearing witness to this important truth: that sexual violence may affect us deeply, but it can never define us.
The objects people choose are creative, evocative, and diverse. They include joy-filled items like brilliant gemstones, honeymoon sand, and tiny works of art; alongside deeply painful memories like clothing worn during an assault, and ashes from photographs of a rapist.
The objects are suspended in tiny round bottles and bathed in light, suggesting wholeness and transparency. And yet they are fragile; after all, these are not easy stories to tell, or to hear.
They are not easy, but telling and hearing opens up the possibility of healing. This is as true for individuals as it is for whole communities. I invite you to bear witness to these stories and symbols of people affected by sexual violence, and to share in our hope for healing and for a safer world to come.
Sarah Jane, October 2017

New participants are always welcome, and objects will be added throughout the course of the exhibition. You are invited to send objects for inclusion in a sealed envelope to “Mere Objects,” c/o Calvin College Department of Art and Art History, 3201 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, 49546

This exhibition is organized by professor Jennifer Steensma Hoag and SAPT advisor, Ashley Kelver. “Mere Objects” is sponsored by the Sexual Assault Prevention Team of Calvin College, Calvin College Residence Life, Calvin College Sexuality Series, Safe Church Ministry, Calvin College Sociology & Social Work Department, Hope College STEP Students Teaching and Empowering Peers, and the Calvin College Center for Counseling and Wellness, in partnership with the The Calvin College Department of Art & Art History.

To learn more, please visit or the Center Art Gallery site.

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New gallery director excited for collaboration

Calvin Chimes writer, James Andrew Gilbert, shares on the Center Art Gallery’s new director, Brent Williams:

Gilbert, James Andrew. “New gallery director excited for collaboration.” Calvin College Chimes. 2 March 2018. 

Brent Williams, a Taylor University graduate, has recently been hired as the new art gallery director of exhibitions for Calvin’s Center Art Gallery.

Williams, who started working at the art gallery on Feb. 21, plans to emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to the gallery during his time as the art gallery director, as he would like to engage with a variety of different students.

“I would like to create a gallery exhibition program that allows students of all academic backgrounds to experience, explore and examine their academic and spiritual journeys through the lens of art,” Williams said. “Ultimately, I would like to create more opportunities for art to be seamlessly interwoven with public places and the overall campus experience.”

Read the entire article here.

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Photography Student Community Collaboration

Calvin News and Stories student writer, Hannah Ebeling shares a bit about Professor Jennifer Steensma Hoag’s Digital Photography course and class partnerships with Samaritas Senior Living. 

Ebeling, Hannah. “Student Photography Guides Senior Citizens in their Living Space.” Calvin College News and Stories. 22 February 2018. 

“I think the ability to take what you are learning in an academic setting and translate that to a real-world situation is such a helpful process,” said Jennifer Hoag, professor of phtotography. “You have to really think about what is needed and break down the criteria to be successful.”

Last fall, an intermediate digital photography class was given the opportunity to do just that.

read the entire article here.


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Calvin College Center Art Gallery Presents “The Beautiful”

Cultured.GR shares on the Calvin College Center Art Gallery upcoming exhibition, “The Beautiful,” at the Center Art Gallery from January 8 – February 17.

“Calvin College brings beauty to art gallery with “The Beautiful” exhibition.” Cultured.GR (3 January 2018). 

“Held in conjunction with the annual Calvin Symposium on Worship, this traveling exhibition gathers more than 35 contemporary works of art executed in a variety of media and genres that bear witness to beauty.”

Check out the full article here. 


image: “Red Sea Crossing” by Grace Carol Bomer

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Student J Andrew Gilbert Shares on his Design Process

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Calvin College Junior J Andrew Gilbert has been working with the Calvin Theatre Company as a graphic designer for the 2017-18 performance season designing posters, mailers, fliers, and web content in support of Calvin Theatre. Andrew aims for cohesion throughout his work, and creates pieces with visual ties to the thematic content of CTC’s Season of Love and Forgiveness. Andrew shares a bit about his process designing promotional material for this week’s production of The Arabian Nights:

Gilbert, James Andrew. “Arabian Nights–Poster Design.” I Keep on Dreaming ( 7 November 2017. 

Since it’s opening week I decided to write a blog post explaining a bit of my design process for the poster…So the design always starts with ideas and concepts. When I talked with the director for the play, Debra Freeberg, she emphasized the idea of lights in the night and this rich colored fabric. I really liked these visuals, and combining it with the night, went for a desert night scene to tie it in with a place.

Read more about Andrew’s design process here, and be sure to get your tickets to CTC’s production of The Arabian Nights here.

Calvin Theatre Company’s Season of Love and Forgiveness is made possible in part by funding from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs


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Cross Burton Studios: Ice Cream Social Open House

Ice Cream Social Open House at Cross Burton Studios
2041 Raybrook St SE (a short walk across Burton; Cross Burton Studios are located on the lower level)
Wednesday, November 8, 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Join the The Calvin College Department of Art & Art History, Calvin College Artist Collaborative Students, and Art Department faculty members for a celebratory Ice Cream Social Open House to celebrate the opening of the new faculty studios and Open Studio space at Cross Burton Studios.

All are welcome to join–enjoy dessert before dinner, and mingle with art department friends, old and new. See you then!
Questions? Contact Arts Programming Coordinator Paula Manni (

Posted in Events, Uncategorized, Visual Arts Guild, Workshop

Calvin Chimes: Center Art Gallery Feature

Calvin College Chimes features editor, Michelle Hofman shares a bit about the place and space history of the Calvin College Center Art Gallery, it’s origins, and how it has developed and changed through the years: 

Hofman, Michelle. “The Center Art Gallery has a Long History.” Calvin College Chimes. 29 September 2017.

Everyone is at least somewhat aware that the Calvin campus contains an art gallery. Hopefully they know where it is. They might have even gone inside, and looked at the works of art that hang from the white walls, and rest on pedestals scattered around the room. The gallery is bright, and relaxing. A quiet space to go and get lost in the curves of a sculpture or in the strokes of paint on canvas.

But where did all of this art come from? How expansive is the Calvin collection? When did the Center Art Gallery truly begin? Betty Sanderson, the administrative assistant for the gallery. and Paula Manni, the Arts programming assistant, agreed to meet for an interview with Chimes to answer these questions, and others…

Read on here, and take a visit to the Calvin College Center Art Gallery today!



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Art Department Emeritus Honored

Calvin College Art Department emeritus, Robin Jenson, has been recognized as a 2017 recipient of the Calvin Faith and Learning Award:

Faith and Learning Award: Honoring master teachers and life-changers.” Calvin College, May 2017.

Presented annually by the alumni association, this award recognizes Calvin’s outstanding faculty. The criteria include teaching excellence, spiritual impact, care for the whole student and lasting influence.

Robin Jensen never pictured himself as a Calvin College professor. Now, looking back on a 30-year teaching career, he is deeply grateful for the experience and the chance to inspire creativity in young people…

To read more about Robin Jenson and his impact on the Calvin community and beyond, see here.


Posted in About, Alumni, Education, Events, Grand Rapids, News, Studio Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Open Studio Highlight

Cultured.GR contributor, Elizabeth Rogers Drouillard shares a bit about the fiber arts resurgence in the DIY crafts scene, and highlights an upcoming fiber arts workshop with Calvin College’s Open Studio Night.

Rogers Drouillard, Elizabeth. “Embroidery workshops showcase slow fashion, encourage sustainability.” Cultured.GR (5 May 2017). 

Parliament the Boutique and the Calvin College Department of Art & Art History both have upcoming opportunities to slow down and learn a new thread craft.

Both the patch embroidery workshop at Open Studio, programming from Calvin College previously located in the former (106) Gallery, and the sashiko workshop at Parliament the Boutique are in response to local and national increased interest towards fiber arts, slow fashion, and a sustainable, hands-on value of making.

“There’s been a resurgence in fiber arts over the past few years, and many Open Studio attendees have expressed interest in learning how to knit, crochet, embroider, etc.,” says Paula Manni, Calvin College Arts Programming Coordinator and former Gallery Assistant at Calvin College’s 106 Gallery.

Read the entire article here, and be sure to check out additional Open Studio Night events through the Calvin College Department of Art and Art History!



Posted in (106), About, Avenue for the Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Education, Events, Grand Rapids, Studio Art, Uncategorized, Visual Arts Guild | Tagged , , , , , , , ,