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Kendall students' exhibit at Monroe Community Church to end this weekend

In connection with Kendall Christian Fellowship, a group of Kendall students are displaying artwork intended to enrich the community.
Jennifer VanderPloeg beside her painting, "Kampioen: Mintse's Portrait."

Jennifer VanderPloeg beside her painting, "Kampioen: Mintse's Portrait." /Laura Chittenden

Underwriting support from:

Kendall Students’ Art Show


Monroe Community Church

800 Monroe Ave NW # 140
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Note: The easiest way to find
this somewhat hidden venue is to
look for the address next door,
820, in large black letters.
Parking is available on either side.


Mid-January to March 3

"Pharyngitis" by Barbara Counsil

"Pharyngitis" by Barbara Counsil /Laura Chittenden

"POPsicle" by Darin Gilbert

"POPsicle" by Darin Gilbert /Laura Chittenden

The Art Show

"Artists are gifted by God with the ability to help others see things in a new way,” explained Harry Lew, campus minister for Kendall Christian Fellowship, “Their drawings, paintings, collages or photographs should give us fresh insight into whatever subject matter they are depicting."

Kendall Christian Fellowship created an exhibition with that in mind: opportunities for “fresh insight.” The artwork has been made by a group of students, mostly illustration majors, from Kendall College of Art and Design. The show began in mid-January and runs until Saturday, March 3.

Over twenty pieces of art by twelve artists are displayed at Monroe Community Church, which is the first in a series the fellowship plans to present. The shows to follow are planned to display at Eastminster Church, Forest Hills Church, and, in the fall, Westminster Church.

Harry Lew discussed the idea behind the offerings of the show. “Often churchgoers think that if art is to be displayed in church it should only be depicting Bible scenes or be using only religious symbols. But that's too narrow. We can be spiritually enriched by landscapes or other subjects.”

The Artists

Jennifer VanderPloeg
VanderPloeg has painted three different local horses with oil on canvas. Her largest displayed painting, originally made for ArtPrize, depicts Mintse, a Friesian horse in a calm patient state. The word “courage,” hidden on the right side of his mane, is meant to commemorate the horse’s son who died. Ultimately, VanderPloeg would like to paint horses for a living, particularly those of dressage, which she defines as the “purest form of horsemanship.”

Michelle Hunt
Hunt desires her work to be uplifting. This is due in part to her findings from a self-discovery workshop she attended. Hunt now says of herself, “I am a vessel for light.” Themes of dark versus light inspire her work. Her largest drawing, “Spring,” consists of colored pencil on hand cut paper and is the first in a series she is creating of the four seasons.

Tessa Broek
The autumn after the oil spill, Broek painted a swimming turtle as a way to say that the earth is resilient, and says that even though we should not continue to abuse it, we can be optimistic towards its recovery. She also painted two pictures of African settings. “Maasai I” is drawn from a photo her uncle took in Africa.

Barbara Counsil
Counsil’s abstract art is painted in ink and watercolor because, as she explained, just as watercolors do whatever they want to, so also life has parts that cannot be controlled. She started with bubbles as the skeleton and built on them, and has created a series of “molecular structures.” The colors in her piece “Pharyngitis,” reminds her of strep throat, the common name of the work’s title.

Tyler Cooper
In his oil on board painting, “Stamp Works,” Cooper attempted to create a photorealistic piece. He is disappointed for he believes he has not achieved this goal, but this dissatisfaction can only drive him to improve.

Darin Gilbert
Gilbert’s piece, “POPsicle,” is a work of gouache on vellum that depicts a Campbell’s soup-inspired can thrust onto a popsicle stick. A spectator commented that it is reminiscent of the pop art of Andy Warhol, famous for his use of Campbell’s soup cans.

Dionne Afihene
Using strips of angled black and white contact paper, Afihene intends to draw in the viewer’s eye. Afihene, who is studying industrial design, would like to return to Ghana to do the work she is studying.

A Fresh Showcase            
Through pictures as diverse as African landscapes, deep waters, and molecular structures, the group of Kendall students are working to help people see things in a new way.

Disclosure: Harry Lew is this article's author's campus minister at Grand Rapids Community College

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