Fifty-four years ago a group of arts advocates saw an opportunity in Holland. The community was growing and the arts were beginning to take their hold in West Michigan, but local artists and designers were missing a support system. This group of artists – painters, musicians, dancers and designers -- met to create an organization that would meet that need. From that beginning in 1967, the Holland Area Arts Council has supported local arts initiatives, organized exhibitions and provided arts education for the Lakeshore area residents and visitors.
Visit the Holland Area Arts Council today and you will be surrounded by art: paintings and sculptures lining the gallery walls, rehearsal rooms echoing with the sound of music, and dance and art studios bursting with creativity you can feel. You’ll also find staff and volunteers working to further the Arts Council’s mission “to educate, engage and challenge the community through the arts.”
The Arts Council is a building where kids, grownups, families and artists of all ages come to experience art. It’s also a group of people who are constantly working to spark imagination in our community: always-changing exhibitions, a variety of classes, camps and workshops for all ages, arts and music events, public art projects and arts resources.
Denise is the current Board President. A firm believer in the power of collaboration, Denise practiced construction law for 20+ years, receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston law school before retiring and relocating to Holland. She also volunteers as a facilitative mediator for general and domestic civil issues, including divorce and parenting agreements. Denise is a student of animal communication and animal reiki, conducting two pilot projects to provide professional animal communication services to shelter animals to improve the animals’ well-being while in the shelter and optimize their foster/adoption placements. She is the founder of Giving Animals Voice, a non-profit created to make animal communication widely available to shelter animals.
Dean is the current Board Vice President and is a retired engineer with an artistic flair for ceramics. He is an enthusiastic bicyclist, a religious exerciser, and an avid gardener who takes delight in his lawn and landscaping. Born in Wisconsin on a dairy farm, he is an avid reader of fiction, fantasy, science, and current events. Dean, a longtime Arts Council volunteer and arts supporter can regularly be found in the galleries helping hang new exhibits. Dean is a Holland native and West Ottawa High School alum. He graduated from Aquinas College with a bachelor's in Business Administration.
Jon is the current Board Treasurer. He is on the water or the golf course when he is not enjoying time with his wife and two dogs. He currently works in sales at TMI Compressed Air Systems to help his customers save time, energy, and money. His interest in helping others and their companies transitions into his interest at the Arts Council. He looks forward to bringing in new faces to assist in expanding the impact and awareness of the Arts Council. His favorite moment to date at the Art Council was taking a ceramics class with his extended family, where a new skill accompanied laughs! He highly recommends checking out the classes and says, "the less experienced, the better.”
Carol has been a part of the Arts Council since 2000, starting at the front desk, and now she manages the books and serves as the Interim Secretary for the board, using her analytical and business skills to help the organization succeed. She is a graduate of Calvin College and is currently working as a Senior Financial System Analyst for MillerKnoll with a strong emphasis on International Finance. She has supported the MillerKnoll Financials for the past 25 years. She is passionate about training and transferring her knowledge to the younger generations on her team. A self-described workaholic, Carol is originally from Fremont. She is a caregiver to her mom, loves her dog Bayley, and dreams of purchasing a cabin in Grand Lake, CO, to spend time with her sister and her family.
Dr. Heidi Kraus is Associate Professor of Art and Art History and the Director of The De Pree Galley at Hope College, specializing in art from the Early Modern through Contemporary periods. Her current teaching and research focuses on eighteenth-and nineteenth-century iconography in contemporary French visual culture
Ann is a West Michigan artist who enjoys spending her time painting watercolors and attending watercolor workshops taught by acclaimed artists. She is a retired public school art educator from Huron Valley School district with a master’s in Art Education from Eastern Michigan University. Ann aspires to work with the Holland Area Arts Council Art Teachers curriculum development.
John has enjoyed a life-long involvement in both visual and musical arts. He earned a BFA in ceramics from The University of New Mexico, and an MFA in sculpture from The University of Illinois at Chicago. John was creating and exhibiting his sculptures and teaching ceramics while building a nearly 40-year graphic design and marketing career as an art director and creative director in Chicago. After retiring to Holland 2 years ago, John has enjoyed becoming a part of the Holland community as he continues to create and teach ceramics at HAAC while serving as a board member.
Heather has over 20 years of experience in event planning for small and large-scale events and travel. She is the Event and Travel Specialist for Haworth Inc. and assists with operations at Juniper LLC. This family-owned business works to help people with physical and mental limitations find employment. A Hope College graduate who loves to volunteer, she proudly won a peer-nominated award from an international organization for volunteerism. She feels accomplished when she can check things off a list and thrives on organizing anything and everything. She lives in a self-restored 100-year-old home with her husband, three of her four children, and two dogs. She enjoys plants and gardening, traveling the US, and date nights with her husband searching for the perfect brew.
Please see exhibits information for walk-in hours. Hours vary.
To privately view our exhibitions in person, work in the ceramics studio, or register for a class please call (616) 396-3278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Holland Area Arts Council
150 East 8th Street
Holland, Michigan 49423