Laura Armenta is a leading expert in human mobility who's also established a successful educator and speaker career. Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Ms. Laura Armenta is a choreographer, athlete and performer with more than 30 years of professional experience. Her education includes various techniques on contemporary dance, world dance and she's a martial arts lover. In addition, Ms. Armenta is a holistic practitioner and intuitive healer with training certifications in Yoga, Ayurveda, Feldenkrais, Thai Yoga Therapy, and Healing Touch. She is the founder and creative director of Armentality Movement Arts Center in Grand Rapids.
Larry Blovits As a college professor for 26 years, Larry taught Basic Drawing, Anatomy and Life Drawing and all of the painting mediums. A consistent award winner in national and regional shows since 1964, he is a featured artists in a number of books and magazines. He has authored two books: Pastel for the Serious Beginner (Watson-Guptill, 1996), and No Experience Required: Sketching and Drawing (North Light, 2004). Elected to signature status in many national art organizations including the Salmagundi Club in NYC, the American Portrait Society, and the Master Pastelist in 1996. A professional portrait artist, his portrait commissions include presidents of colleges, corporations, and universities; noted professionals in the medical and legal professions as well as many private individuals. The American Portrait Society acknowledged Larry as "a portrait artist of exceptional quality." You can see more information about Larry on his website www.larryblovits.com/
Joyce Borst Her gentle, supportive approach to physical, mental and spiritual calmness will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized and feeling a deep peace. Her mantra is, "You can change how you feel by changing your breathe." It is not instant gratification, but it is a slow steady path to contentment and maybe even happiness. All poses are accessible to most everyone.
Josey Brouwer is a National Board Certified Art Teacher. She graduated from Aquinas College with a Masters in Art Education and taught for Hudsonville Public Schools for 20 years. Three of her favorite things, wool from her sheep, wire, and printed words - are the inspiration for her small collages and needle felted animals. Her collages include snips of paper, bits of felted wool, and coils of wire along with found objects. She is drawn to the idea of looking at ordinary things in new ways through collage. See her work here.
Bux Dhyne is a mom of 3, an artist and a performer from Grand Rapids, MI. They graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2007 with a BFA in Illustration and a Minor in (Traditional) Photography. Bux is a nerd at heart and loves comic books, music, and games. They can be found in their studio in their free-time working on completing their MFA in Painting. Their work and information can be found here.
Barbara Carlson lives with her family in Spring Lake. She is a life-long artist who works primarily out of the Armory Art Center in Grand Haven. Barbara is well-known in the community as a teacher of yoga and art classes. She has earned many awards and honors in area art shows. She is a member of Lakeshore Visual Arts Collective and Lakeland Artists. Barbara is also a 2 time breast cancer survivor.
“I strive to make all of my classes fun and educational. I believe that art and the act of creating is therapeutic for everyone. Personally, my art has always been a very important part of navigating life’s challenges. Whether I reach one person in a class - or 10 - I feel blessed.”
Sherrill Cannon has been interested in creating all of her life. In high school she studied ceramic art and photography, which developed into a lifelong passion in college. She earned her BGS from the University of Michigan where she studied photography and ceramics. She also has participated in many workshops in Penland , Haystack and GVCC, studying with well known sculptors.
As a studio potter for over 30 years, she participated in numerous jurried art fairs from New York to Chicago, and has numerous awards. Her exhibitions were well thought out montages of sculpture and tile top tables designed to bring a child like magic to all of her pieces.
Her work has evolved from making full-size heads to masks, busts and tilework primarily depicting myths, real and imagined.
"My work with clay has been an adventure that has become an integral part of my life, it makes me whole."
Beth Charles was born and raised in Michigan. She has been a professional artist for 30 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Michigan with concentrations in painting, drawing and illustration.
After painting realism for decades, Charles found it was time to look inward and approach painting in a more abstract way. The question that motivates her to pursue abstract painting is whether or not a painting can convey a thought, a feeling or a kind of energy without telling the whole story. Charles is continually intrigued by layering color, painterly gestures and the play of texture. Her ultimate goal is to "[create] something I have never seen before."
Sandie Coffman is “specially designed.” This means that although she's hearing impaired, the loss of hearing causes her to see the need, seize the moment, and assist in solutions. Her first name, Sandra, means “helper of mankind.” She takes the meaning literally. It is her joy and privilege to help people use resources to reach their goals and objectives. This makes her perfect to teach the Arts Council’s Art for All program for developmentally disabled adults and teens. In addition to Art for All, she teaches art for the Thursday Resource in Center for homeschoolers and is an art instructor for seniors at Evergreen Commons in Holland, MI.
Douglas David received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from Indiana University Herron School of Art and studied under Frank Mason of The Arts Students League of New York for ten years in his summer class in Vermont.Douglas aims to capture the natural beauty of landscapes, sea scapes, city life and still lifes throughout the United States and Europe. Douglas currently resides in Indianapolis, although he constantly traveling around the country in different tours.
Lenore De Pree Lenore De Pree was born in Chicago Ill., where her Dutch immigrant grandfather studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Although her grandfather passed away long before she was born, Lenore was inspired by the stories her grandmother told about him. When she was 12, her grandmother gave her a set of oil paints and she began to paint.
Together with her husband Gordon and their four children, Lenore lived a life of adventure. Twenty years in Hong Kong and ten years in Saudi Arabia opened her eyes to a whole new world of art. The brilliant colors of China (where people get married in red), and the stylized designs of the Middle East broadened her view of what was possible on a canvas.
Wherever the De Prees lived, Lenore searched for what was unique about that place, and painted it as public art. In Saudi Arabia she did three paintings of traditional Saudi life, and members of the royal family bought them for a cultural museum in Riyadh. In Raleigh North Carolina, she painted the historic Capitol building, and it still hangs there in the rotunda. In the North Carolina mountains, she painted the harvesting of Christmas trees, and a major Christmas tree company bought it for their showroom. Her murals of mountain musicians and field workers hang in the Ashe County courthouse, and a 12 ft. altarpiece in the Presbyterian Church depicts the 24 children of the church as the angels on Jacob’s ladder.
In 2014 when the De Prees moved to Holland, Michigan, what was more likely to be painted than Eighth Street, with its architecture and stately trees? Lenore painted ten pieces to capture it - and they hang in the Holland Visitor’s Bureau for all to enjoy. Ten days after the De Prees came to Holland, Lenore was invited to become an artist in residence at the Arts Council.
John Diaz has enjoyed a life-long involvement in both visual and music arts. A drummer at birth (and still playing), he developed a passion for ceramics, sculpture and graphic design while in his teens. He went on to earn a BFA in ceramics from The University of New Mexico, and an MFA in sculpture from The University of Illinois at Chicago. While still actively engaged in creating and teaching ceramics, he developed a nearly 40-year career in graphic design and marketing as an art director and creative director, in Chicago.
3 grown children, Orlando, Ivan, and Maia, currently span the country from New York, to Chicago, to Los Angeles. John and his wife Sharon, who just retired after a long career in the Not-for-Profit management world have just recently moved to Holland. They are delighted to be here and are looking forward as they settle in as active members of this community.
John is excited to be able to share his creative aesthetic, teaching skills and experience in this wonderful space and is looking forward a very rewarding relationship, not only with lovers of clay, but also with the Arts Council and it’s extraordinary group of talented and committed staff.
Kim Didrichsons is the Director of Kids Hope for Providence Christian Reformed Church. Kim has a passion for kids and teaching and enjoys creating items through painting and stained glass work in her free time. Kim resides in Grand Rapids Michigan with her husband and two kids and they like to spend their time as a family doing outdoor activities and exploring new things.
Christi Dreese is a contemporary expressionist painter who lives in her hometown of Spring Lake, Michigan. Her distinctive style radiates joy and expresses the laid-back spirit of the lakeshore life she grew to love from an early age. You will find colorful landscapes, flowers and abstract paintings brought to life with vibrant paint. Growing up, Dreese participated in numerous art programs and received awards for her artistic talents. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and Business Major from Aquinas College. Dreese’s artwork has been shown in several exhibitions and a recipient of various awards from the Grand Rapids Regional Festival of Arts and Winterfest Juried Exhibits to name a few. She is established in several galleries throughout Michigan and Ohio. Galleries include C2C Gallery of Grand Haven, Art & Soul Gallery of Traverse City, Art Cats Gallery of Muskegon, Sleeping Bear Gallery of Empire, Frame & Mat Shop of Holland and Andy’s Frame Setting & Gallery of Westerville, Ohio. She works with art consultants and interior designers to meet their project expectations, paints murals for the community and you can find her art in numerous private and corporate art collections throughout the United States.
Jane Ewing earned a bachelor degree from Western Michigan University and master degree from Wright State University in Ohio. Her work has been published in Letter Arts Review, recognized by the Smithsonian Institution, and accepted into juried exhibitions at the Chicago Newberry Library, the Dennos Art Gallery in Michigan, the Muskegon (Michigan) Museum of Art, the Holland (Michigan) Area Arts Council, and others nationwide. Overseas her work has been exhibited in Singapore, Wales, and Belgium. She received instruction in brush lettering in China, where she taught Western calligraphy to Chinese university students, and she teaches locally. Her art emerges from Zen aesthetic ideals. Ewing’s book my calligraphy my response was published in 2016.
Gemma Fletcher took the ceramics 1 class in September 2020 and has been developing her skills ever since. She loves the camaraderie found in the ceramic studio, how everyone is eager to help one another to overcome obstacles to improvement .
Originally from the United Kingdom, Gemma spent 10 years working as an Art and Textiles teacher in a busy high school before moving to the U.S with her husband and 2 boys. She works as a visual artist as well as volunteering as a docent at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. She has a Masters and Bachelors degree in Fine Art as well as a postgraduate certificate in Art Education.
In her spare time Gemma loves to swim in Lake Michigan and take long walks with her dog Florence.
Lee Ann Frame currently teaches at Muskegon Community College and owns Norris Creek Printmaking Studio. She earned an MFA in printmaking, is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and participated in continuing education classes at Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Hollanders Bookbinding School and West Shore Graphic Arts Society. She is a signature member of the International Experimental Artists Society, and is active in the art community in numerous capacities including as an award-winning artist, curator, instructor and juror. See more of Lee Ann's work here.
Wade Gugino lives in a gritty fantasy world fueled by cartoons, soda pop and Subway sandwiches. He began cartooning at age 5 during the neo-classical dinosaur revival, but fell into a creative midlife crisis at age 22 and left kith and kin to play professional basketball in Europe for 15 years. Regaining perspective in his late 30s, Wade returned to the Land of Opportunity and began building the largest, full-service cartoon house in the midwest. He wants to share his joy of cartooning and illustrating with you. Yes, you. No, not him...YOU! (I guess you can bring him along, too, if you want to).
Sarah Irvin graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with degrees in Earth Science and Environmental Studies. In 2016, Sarah and her husband Sam moved to Holland, where she works as a Naturalist at DeGraaf Nature Center and the Outdoor Discovery Center. She has taken Mary Wolter’s ceramics classes at the Holland Area Arts Council since 2017 and enjoys both hand-building and wheel-throwing modern, functional pieces. In her free time Sarah likes to travel with her husband, work on home renovation projects, and spend time outdoors.
Mari Jo Koedyker teaches our Musical Beginnings class for toddlers at the Holland Arts Council! MJ has years of experience teaching elementary music in Grand Haven. She loves watching students grow into their own musicianship fall in love with music as a creative outlet. Teaching ukulele is also a favorite of MJ’s. When she’s not teaching, you can find her singing karaoke or performing with her band, Friends of Friends!
Eileen LaMore took the Arts Council’s Ceramics 1 class for the first time in June 2017. Taking a Ceramics class had been on her bucket list for years. “The moment I put my first chunk of clay on the wheel, I felt I was home!” Ever since that first class, Ceramics has become a large part Eileen’s life, her creative outlet. The studio became her second home. “The HAAC Potter's community is kind, warm and welcoming to all that join it. In my new role as a Studio Assistant, I feel blessed everyday to have the opportunity to give back in a small way to this wonderful community ... and of course, the best of all, is that I am able to support the Art Council in any way I can."
Cat Pope was raised in Clearwater, Florida and earned her degree in painting from Judson College in 2011. Whether working on location or in the studio, Cat paints to capture the atmosphere and light of her subjects with dynamic color and confident brushwork.Cat currently lives with her husband and overstuffed tabby in Mobile, Alabama, where she focuses on painting the life and culture of the Gulf Coast region she loves. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the southeastern United States and is collected throughout the nation. When not in the midst of creating, Cat is passionate about teaching workshops and encouraging others to chase after their inspiration in all of their creative pursuits.
Tom Reverman, Instructor and HAAC Program Manager, graduated from Lake Superior State University in 2015 with a degree in wildlife management and moved to Holland shortly after. Prior to the HAAC, he worked for Park Township Recreation as Program Manager. He began pyrography, or "wood burning" in 2016, and soon found it to be his favorite medium. He primarily enjoys burning scenes of nature and animals, combining his love for the outdoors with his wood-burning talent. Tom also enjoys biking, fishing, and hiking with his dog.
Maranda Shear's work includes a vast variety of subjects and medium, while all staying in the realm or organic shapes and patterns with an overall connection to nature and humanity. Her largest body of work consists of her hand drawn designs on up-cycled clothing items. Drawing inspiration from various cultural textile patterns and natural elements, each drawing is truly one-of-a-kind, lending a truer sense of ownership to the one it is destined for. Shear also has a penchant for dabbling and has a variety of work including jewelry, ceramics, renderings, prints, paintings and mixed media work. Shear is the Candle-ology master, mixing all of her products by hand in her Michigan classroom/studio. She creates custom blends for her clients in candles, lotions, soaps and more. She has a true passion for creating the perfect scent for any occasion.
If that isn’t enough, Shear also teaches all Art as a Lifestyle classes. Her shorter classes being geared more towards kids, she focuses on the exploration of new mediums, cultures and specific artists from which inspiration for classes is gleaned. Drawing classes are geared more towards teens and adults seeking to hone their skills through a variety of fundamental based exercises. Last but not least, her Canvas Classes are a great stress-free way to get a little messy and have fun with paint. The ease of the step-by-step instructions ensures that anyone can follow along.
Sean Sterzer Freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Sean Sterzer has been drawing for a very long time, and studied with a myriad of teachers. She believes drawing is not only fun, it’s the keystone most fine arts.
Mary Sundstrom is a seasoned instructor with a wide range of interests and an insatiable appetite for the process of learning. She teaches watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting as well as collaging and printmaking. Mary specializes in teaching the foundations of color, design and technique while encouraging the students to find their own voice. Mary has been teaching art to adults and children at the Arts Council and in West Michigan for over a decade. As Exhibits Director, Mary works to expose the Holland community to a wide variety of artists and mediums. Mary is a published illustrator and an award winning artist whose work can be found in juried shows throughout the region.
Jesse VanderBand graduated from Central Michigan University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in K-12 Art Education. Jesse has taught ceramics and graphic design in Wisconsin and Michigan, and is currently an art educator at Hudsonville High School. Jesse considers himself a life-long learner, and he enjoys helping his students communicate their ideas through the ceramic arts. In his own work, Jesse primarily creates functional, wheel-thrown ceramics that are designed to enhance daily rituals and encourage conversations between people. Jesse also enjoys a good cup of coffee, hunting, fishing, and camping with his wife and kids.
Rebecca Wierks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano from Miami University. She has taught music in partnership with the Holland Symphony Orchestra, at Avalon School of the Arts, and at the Toedtman School of Music in Cincinnati, OH, and also teaches private piano and guitar lessons. She has former experience as a licensed Kindermusik Instructor, as well as experience with international early childhood music programs such as the Suzuki Method, and Music Together. She combines this experience and education with her practice as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (formerly at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and currently at Holland Hospital), and has created a developmentally appropriate and delightful music program for young children.
Mary Wolter is an experienced Ceramic Instructor living and working in Holland Michigan. Her teaching reflects her love of learning and passing knowledge to her students with a sensitivity to diverse learning styles. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and received her BFA from the University of Northern Iowa. Her work combines handbuilt and wheel thrown processes to create pieces fired in a wood kiln to be used in a functional way to enhance the everyday things we do in our homes.
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
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 email@example.com
Holland Area Arts Council
150 East 8th Street
Holland, Michigan 49423