The Rapidian

Local landscape painter Overvoorde to host art sale for hunger relief

Chris Stoffel Overvoorde will sell paintings and drawings at his home and studio April 24 and 25.
Born in the Netherlands in 1934, Overvoorde emigrated to the United States, settling in Grand Rapids when he was 22.

Born in the Netherlands in 1934, Overvoorde emigrated to the United States, settling in Grand Rapids when he was 22. /Chris Stoffel Overvoorde

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Overvoorde's art bears the mark of the West Michigan landscape, as in this painting of 84th Street in Byron Center.

Overvoorde's art bears the mark of the West Michigan landscape, as in this painting of 84th Street in Byron Center. /Chris Stoffel Overvoorde

Chris Stoffel Overvoorde spends a lot of time thinking about the elemental things, about the sky, the land and the wind.

“To stand or sit in a landscape is an experience we cannot always express in words,” Overvoorde writes in one of his artist’s statements. “The inability to say it in words has led me to painting.”

This weekend, the painter is turning his attention to another elemental subject: hunger. On Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25, Overvoorde will host a sale of his work at his Grand Rapids home and studio. A third of the proceeds will be donated to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.

The Calvin College professor emeritus has a long history with Feeding America West Michigan, first becoming involved through his church, Grace Christian Reformed, one of the Food Bank’s hunger-relief agencies.

“I’ve been supportive of the Food Bank from the get go,” he said, describing how he and his wife used to go out into the fields and orchards of West Michigan to collect fruits and vegetables for the Food Bank.

Born in the Netherlands in 1934, Overvoorde came to Grand Rapids when he was 22. Though he has painted land- and sky-scapes in many places, notably Alberta, where he rents a studio, the landscape of his adopted home is a dominant presence in his work.

“It’s been a very important part, especially the more distant views. I look for the wide-open spaces in Michigan, and there are a few places like that—the Byron Center Ridge down 44th Street,” he said.

And while some artists look for wild, uncultivated locations to paint, Overvoorde said he’s “not afraid of the plowed fields. Plowed fields intrigue me. The whole idea of the rich abundance of the earth is part and parcel of the landscape. The fields themselves filled with grain and filled with food are very important to me.”

The work on offer this weekend will range in price from $40 to $4,000. The sale runs from 3-8 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Overvoorde’s home and studio is located at 2317 Delange Drive SE in Grand Rapids.

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