The Center Art Gallery welcomes members of the Calvin community this semester. We continue to be an active space for classes, scholarship, and art appreciation as we celebrate our students and exhibiting artists. Enjoy our exhibitions masked and at a safe distance, M&F, 9 AM – 6 PM, T-Th, 9 AM – 9 PM.  

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Matters of the Heart & Aestivation

Joint exhibitions featuring work by Anna Greidanus and Elaine Tolsma Harlow
On view November 15 – February 4

Matters of the Heart: An exhibition of ceramic works by Anna Greidanus

Art practice includes an exploration of materials, techniques, concepts, and self-reflection. As the process progresses, understanding expands and deepens in the interaction with clay. The transition from a lump of clay, centering it and moving it outward and upward, to a vessel is a matter of giving and receiving. But of course, not all vessels are made of clay. We are also vessels.

In his Confessions, St Augustine promotes the practice of writing from the heart, our innermost self. Metaphorically, the heart, a vessel, has often been approached as if it were a book, where memories and sentiments are inscribed. The ceramic works in this exhibition, reexamine the relationship between the heart, the text of record, and the materiality of vessels. The viewer is invited to contemplate, honoring their own associations and reflections. - Anna Greidanus

Hands-on Workshop Space:

This space provides opportunities for bringing together material, technique, and persons. Workshop sessions with the artist will offer contemplative moments for exploring porcelain. Guided hand building techniques will result in the creation of small vessels to be fired for the maker’s keeping. This malleable material, responsive to touch, will become transformed by heat into strong, vitreous form. Participants are invited to display their works in the gallery during the closing reception in February, 2022. Sharing this experience invites community. Workshops to be announced.

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Aestivation: An exhibition of painted works by Elaine Tolsma Harlow 

During the start of the pandemic, my artwork changed. It went from abstract to realistic, with peonies often the subject. I also turned 50 in a healthy body that had eluded me in my younger years. As I contemplate the change in my artwork, I am asking questions of what is beauty, what makes something beautiful, and is it still beautiful as it evolves? Beauty can be dictated upon us by those more powerful, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, and society as a whole. It often faces violence and even destroyed. These works are a reflection of the concept of beauty at this point in my life being a woman after cancer, after a pandemic, and after turning 50.

These oil paintings on wood panels capture both the timeless and the fleeting. The moments of perfection and perfection blighted. Of beauty and beauty violated. Painted thinly and rarely with more than one layer of paint, they are both laborious and instant, intuitive and intentional. Through these contrasting ideas and practices, I am continuing my efforts to become not just whole, but holy. - Elaine Tolsma Harlow

Exhibition Closing Reception: Thursday, February 3, 5–7pm. All are welcome.

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    Images: Elaine Tolsma Harlow (top), Anna Greidanus (middle; Altered Rim Bowl & detail), Elaine Tolsma Harlow (bottom left), Anna Greidanus (bottom right; Pierced Rim Sea Foam Heart Vessel, side & top view)

    Visit Anna Greidanus and Elaine Tolsma Harlows' personal websites to learn more about the artists.

    This exhibition and the associated programming are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


    Also on View:

    Selections from the Permanent Collection

    Highlighting work from the Donna Spaan Collection of Contemporary Art


    2020 and 2021 Senior BA and BFA Virtual Exhibitions

    The Calvin University Department of Visual and Performing Arts is honored to present the work and talent of Calvin's Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021.

    The 2020 BFA graduates include: James Andrew Gilbert, Anna Heinen, Amy Smith, Christine Vermeer

    The 2020 BA graduates include: Emily Cooke, Sierra Jorritsma, Jaimie Kuiper, Brittany Postma (BA, Art Education); Elise Allen, Madyson Ellinger, Taylor Jensen, Morkor Quarshie, Emily Reed, Parker Roeda, Joyia Talley, Danni Tran, Abigail Van Kooten, Emmanuella Crevier, Griffin Sparling

    The 2021 BFA graduates include: Kiki Liu, Emily Pilarski, Esther Yang

    The 2021 BA graduates include: Samantha Ballast, Summer Cheng, Sheri Davis, Erin Fankhauser, Lucas Haan, Grace Im,  Anna Lobbes, Peyton Masselink, Marissa Ouwinga (BA, Art Education), Carlos Salas, Shaeffer Smith, Emma Tongue, Mabel Uhl, Mia Van Hofwegen, Grace Yang

    Thanks to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for their generous funding towards exhibition programming associated with "The Derived Vessel" and "Matters of the Heart–Preview" (on view February–April, 2021). 

    Exhibition Programming

    Previous Exhibitions and Associated Events