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Olivet College is pleased to announce the 2021-22 art exhibition schedule. All events are hosted in the Kresge Foundation Art Gallery in the Riethmiller Blackman Art Building. The gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. or by appointment. All events are free and open to the public.

Barbara Earl Thomson ’43: Re-Connections

Barbara Thomson, “Finch & Thistle”

Exhibition open Aug. 26 – Sept. 23, 2021
Reception Aug. 27, 5-7 p.m.

Barbara Earl Thomson ’43 (1921-2019) was born in India, and her Indian childhood was central to her sense of self throughout her life. She began drawing and painting watercolors when she was young. In 1930, her parents returned to Flint, and she enrolled at Olivet College in 1939. She graduated in 1943, and married alumnus William Gregory Thomson ’42 soon after. The couple lived in Florida for 11 years where Thomson began taking art classes. When they returned to Olivet, Thomson studied woodcut with Professor Emeritus of Art Donald Rowe. She earned a Master of Arts in studio art with an emphasis in woodcut in 1978. She was a lifelong poet, and her artist’s book “Love’s Mirror” combines her prints and poems. Thomson also painted watercolors, including many cards, for family and friends all her life. During the 1980s, she exhibited prints in nine shows in Michigan and Florida.

Douglas K. Semivan ’71 and James Herbst ’71: Fifty years — 1971-2021

Exhibition open Sept. 30 – Oct. 28, 2021
Reception Oct. 9, 5-7 p.m. (During Homecoming Weekend)

Douglas Semivan, “Deep Ocean Blue”

Douglas K. Semivan ’71 is a studio artist and educator who was recently appointed to professor emeritus of the art department at Madonna University. He has been a visiting artist at four colleges and universities in Wisconsin, Washington and Michigan. Prior to his current teaching position, Semivan previously served as instructor of lithography at Vancouver School of Art and Wayne State University, and he was the director of the Detroit Artists Market. Semivan has works in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Detroit Institute of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Toledo Museum and Grand Rapids Art Museum. His works are also part of the collections of several corporations. Semivan received his Bachelor of Arts from Olivet College in 1971 and received his Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1973.

James Herbst, “Blackbird”

James Herbst ’71 focuses his work on analogue collage, assemblage and photography. He matriculated at Olivet College in 1967 where he became involved in printmaking under the direction of Stephen Hazel at the Nez Perce Workshop at Olivet College. Herbst was an apprentice from 1969-71 under the direction of Professor Emeritus of Art Donald Rowe. He received a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from Olivet in 1971 and then attended and taught at the Hartford Art School while beginning postgraduate work in printmaking. Herbst finished his postgraduate studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art in printmaking and photography, receiving his Master of Fine Arts in 1974. He taught printmaking and drawing at the University of Connecticut in 1978-79. Subsequently, Herbst developed a career in architectural painting as a decorative artist, working both privately and commercially from 1980-2019.

Patricia A. Bender: Plain + Simple Geometry

Exhibition open Nov. 4 – Dec. 2, 2021
Reception Nov. 5, 5-7 p.m.

Patricia A. Bender, “Geometry 18”

Patricia A. Bender is a photo-based visual artist living and working in New Jersey and Michigan. She began studying photography in the early 2000s, and was hooked from the moment she shot and developed her first image. She works exclusively in the darkroom with black and white media, and she personally creates each image from the moment it is conceived through the finished gelatin silver print. Bender has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. She is an artist on the curated White Columns artist registry, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including being named to the 2018 Critical Mass Top 50 and as a 2020 Critical Mass finalist. Bender’s work has been published in several magazines and is held in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Michigan State University, as well as many other public, corporate and private collections.

Olivet College Regional High School Student Art Exhibition

Exhibition open Dec. 9–22, 2021
Reception Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m.

The Olivet College Regional High School Student Art Exhibition welcomes juniors and seniors to submit 2D, 3D, ceramics and graphic design artwork. Winners will be awarded with Olivet College talent scholarships. For more information about this competition and exhibition, contact Don VanAuken, Visual Arts Talent Program director, at dvanauken@olivetcollege.edu.

Deborah Rockman: The Past is Present

Exhibition open Jan. 20 – Feb. 24, 2022
Reception Jan. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Deborah Rockman, “The Space Between Us (2)”

An artist and teacher for over 40 years, Deborah Rockman is a professor emeritus of art at Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) of Ferris State University. In 1993, she was the first woman and the youngest person to receive a full professorship at KCAD. She received her Master of Fine Arts in drawing and printmaking from the University of Cincinnati. Rockman’s award-winning work in drawing, photomontage, mixed media and digital drawing has been exhibited in numerous solo, invitational and group exhibitions in the United States and China. Among Rockman’s accomplishments, she was responsible for creating the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in drawing programs at KCAD in 2008, with approval received from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design in 2009.

Scott Smith: A Curious Backyard Community

Exhibition open March 3 – April 7, 2022
Reception March 4, 6-8 p.m.

Scott Smith, “Garden Gnome”

Kalamazoo artist Scott Smith has a way of connecting with his base by keeping the excitement of the holidays alive year-round. Influenced by antique Halloween and Christmas decorations, he puts a personal spin on these old ideas and has developed a style that is uniquely his own. Since childhood, Smith has been drawing, painting or creating something to make people smile. His art career flourished after graduating from the Burnley School of Professional Art and Design in Seattle, Washington. His education led to creating award-winning illustrations and graphic designs for major companies in the Pacific Northwest. Smith held positions as a designer, art director and project manager with the Weyerhaeuser Company Paper and Forest Products divisions for 15 years. In 2000, Smith opened his own studio, Rucus Studio, and focuses on sculpting characters. Rucus Studio has been featured in books and showcased in national magazines.

Visual Arts Senior Graduation Exhibition

Exhibition open April 14 – May 22, 2022
Reception TBD

The Senior Art Exhibition will feature Isaiah Bailey, graphic design; Sarah Boyle, visual arts with a studio art concentration; Abigail Licht, visual arts with a studio art concentration; Kaytlynne Morris, graphic design; Jillianne Post, visual arts dual discipline with a business concentration; Rebecca Robinson, graphic design; and Eliza Velasquez, visual arts with a studio art concentration.

For more information, contact Gary Wertheimer, professor of art, at 269-749-7627. Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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