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Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV professor connects art and environment through new exhibition

GVL/Ella McClintock

“Full Circle: Teaching, Creating and Curating,” is a new gallery exhibit on display at Grand Valley State University’s Haas Center for Performing Arts Gallery. The exhibit features works from Bill Hosterman, Professor of Foundations, Drawing and Printmaking at GVSU, and work from the K. Caraccio Printing Studio and Collection.

A reception for the exhibit was held on Jan. 18.  At the event, Hosterman explained the collections’ themes of art, mentorship, collaboration, education and printmaking. The art on display combines wood prints and hand-drawn pieces from Hosterman. The combination of these mediums create a special connection between artist and the environment.

Alongside Hosterman’s original work are pieces he chose from the K. Caraccio collection in New York, which is where he spent his recent sabbatical. During sabbatical, Hosterman worked alongside longtime friend, mentor and master printer Kathy Caraccio to create the prints for his exhibit. Hosterman credits Caraccio for her influence and many teachings throughout his artistic career, beginning with Hosterman’s internship at Caraccio’s studio in 1993. Through the collaborative effort, Hosterman acted as the artist and Caraccio as the printmaker, requiring the sharing of ideas and trust between the two. 

“I was thinking about how it’s important for everybody that’s a student to have people outside of school that they connect to,” Hosterman said. “The idea of education (is) beyond just the university. It’s beyond the idea of being here for classes– it’s about finding people that can somehow inspire.”

Caraccio said she was more than happy to collaborate and create the exhibition with Hosterman during his sabbatical. Caraccio allowed Hosterman to choose from her collection of over 5,000 pieces to display for his exhibit, which she said is especially rewarding.

“When I get to see somebody else’s favorite (art piece), I get to revisit that piece, remember it and pull up the story behind it,” Caraccio said.

Caraccio said she deeply values the artists she collaborates with. She said she gets to know them through their art and the stories behind their designs. With Hosterman’s work, Caraccio said she particularly enjoyed his talent for drawing and “eye for color,” specifically his use of red color palettes. 

“I liked that he liked the red-orange kind of version of life,” Caraccio said. “He has a very good eye, and I’m pleased to help him sort that out through print.”

Hosterman said the genesis of his work began with an attempt to combine Michigan’s history of lumber with the inherent aesthetic quality that wood has as a canvas.

“I was thinking about the connection between new growth (trees) and the idea of education,” Hosterman said. “I started with getting the wood primarily from Michigan and interacting with it.” 

Hosterman said each wood piece has its own voice and unique personality, depending on the type of tree the wood came from. Considering the abstract element of his prints, Hosterman hopes those who visit the gallery will see the pieces and create their own interpretation.  

“I want them to dream, in a way, (and) to go ahead and see more than one thing,” Hosterman said.

Hosterman said in the future, he plans to continue his work with the medium of wood, while also exploring realism through drawing. However, he also wants to branch off from the style of work created during his sabbatical.

“You can’t predict art until you actually see it,” Hosterman said. “There will always be something that will take you in another direction because, at least for me, art is a conversation.”

“Full Circle: Teaching, Creating and Curating,” will be on display at the GVSU Haas Center for Performing Arts Gallery until March 29.

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