West Michigan 8 Reunites for Exhibit and Artist Reception at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center | Arts & Culture
In November of 2006 eight artists from West Michigan displayed over 40 works of art in the Muskegon Museum of Art. The Muskegon Museum of Art dubbed this group “The West Michigan Eight.” While not all natives, the artists live in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon area and have taught, mentored, lectured, and exhibited in the region for many decades, maturing into a distinguished old guard.
E. Jane Connell, Senior Curator of the Muskegon Museum of Art wrote: “The output of nearly 50 years of collaboration and interaction between the artists has made a dramatic impact on the visual arts in the West Michigan Region and beyond.”
Most of the WM8 are, or were at one time, members of Grand Valley Artists. GVA was founded in 1957 to promote Realism as an alternative to Abstract Expressionism. Carl Forslund and Armand Merizon were two of the founding members.
They discuss art issues during their lunch time get togethers and explore ways to support each other and to organize exhibitions of their work. When E. Jane Connell asked, what keeps them together,” all of the artists agree that the foundation of their relationship is a mutual respect for the drawing skills of their comrades and an admiration for one another as artists and as individuals.”
Sylvia Krissoff wrote in the Grand Rapids Press: ‘Old Masters’ Come Together for Exhibit. September 18, 2007: “The professionalism of these artists is marked by their signature memberships in important professional organizations, their national exhibits, and paintings in collections, nationally and internationally.
Larry Blovits, Carl Forslund, Collin Fry, and Jim Markel are all members of the Great Lakes Pastel Society. Collin was a Charter member, Carl a Founding Member, and Jim is a Signature Member. Larry is also a Master Pastelist in the Pastel Society of America and Carl is a Signature Member. Collin is also a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of New Mexico. Larry Blovits is also a member of the American Portrait Society. Jack Brouwer is a Signature Member of the American Watercolor Society, The National Watercolor, and the Watercolor West and Midwest Watercolor Societies. Jim Markel is a Master Member in the Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association. Jon McDonald, Armand Merizon and Chris Stoffel Overvoorde have exhibited regionally and nationally in Juried and Solo Exhibitions and are in numerous private and public collections including GRAM. Jon, Chris and Larry have been college professors for many years.
Exhibit Runs: November 2 – 18, 2012
Artist Reception for the West Michigan 8 – Tuesday, November 6, 2012 from 6pm – 7pm
Exhibit and reception are free to the public
Exhibit Hours: Monday – Friday from 9am-5pm
For more information about the artists, please visit www.fhfineartscenter.com