ArtPrize profiles: A look at the GVSU faculty, alumni and students competing this year

GVL / Courtesy - GVNow
Bill Hosterman - The Network

GVL / Courtesy – GVNow Bill Hosterman – “The Network”

Joshua Vissers

This year, several Grand Valley State University community members are participating in ArtPrize. Here’s a breakdown of some of the faculty, alumni and students who are entering their original pieces in the competition:

Name: Bill Hosterman

GVSU connection: Associate professor in visual and media arts, 19 years

Name of entry: “The Network”

Medium: Pen and watercolor

Venue: Dime and Regal, 209 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Aaronsburg, Pennsylvania

Hours invested: About 150 hours

Summary: Hosterman worked on “The Network” over the course of about three months. Hosterman, an expert within the medium, said the hardest part was finding time to commit to working on the piece while juggling his other commitments. His entry was inspired in part by a residency in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He was exploring the connection between communication and nature in the design of this entry.

Name: Courtney Jones

GVSU connection: Graduate, 2014, art and design

Name of entry: “Gilded Frames”

Medium: Oil on canvas

Venue: Dime and Regal, 209 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Fremont, Michigan

Hours invested: About 50 hours total

Summary: Jones’ entry is a collection of four paintings, three of scenes from her childhood in Fremont and one from GVSU’s campus in the Ravines Natural Area. Jones works as a metalsmith creating jewelry as the owner of Dime and Regal. She paints as a hobby but sometimes struggles to find time to commit to it.

Name: Jillian Thompson

GVSU connection: Graduate, 2017, studio art

Name of entry: “Ladies First”

Medium: Metalsmithing, copper and synthetic hair

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan

Hours invested: 100-plus hours

Summary: Thompson wanted to create pieces of jewelry from a woman’s perspective. Her work is inspired in part by hip-hop jewelry, with braided hair attached to copper and coated with a patina. She had to pay particular attention when sewing the hair to the copper, as it would damage the patina if she were too rough. She’s now studying for her master’s at California State University.

Name: Anna Petlick

GVSU connection: Graduate, 2016

Name of entry: “Spores”

Medium: Metalsmithing, mixed media

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: St. Joseph, Michigan

Hours invested: 30-plus hours

Summary: A nature lover, Petlick created “Spores” in part to express how humans are consuming too much plastic. She wanted to try to create organic forms out of non-organic objects, particularly plastic waste. The puffy parts, resembling fungi, are actually reused plastic bags. Maintaining the arrangement of the fungi parts was particularly difficult as she attached them to the wire frame.

Name: Castina Bombardo

GVSU connection: Junior

Name of entry: “Restraint, Self”

Medium: Metalsmithing, cast and fabricated

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Ortonville, Michigan

Hours invested: 20-plus hours

Summary: Bombardo used her own fingertips to make the casts for her piece. She wanted to create something that symbolized self-restraint in a real way. She recently switched majors to work in art after several years as a psychology student. She said it was particularly hard to arrange the fingertips and hold them in place for soldering to the wire frame.

Name: Lisa Castro

GVSU connection: Student, applying to Kendall College

Name of entry: “Twigs”

Medium: Metalsmithing, silver

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Lowell, Michigan

Hours invested: 40-plus hours

Summary: The contrasted natural and stark shapes in Castro’s work are inspired by the contrast between the essences of nature and humans. The most difficult part for her is taking the two-dimensional design and translating it into a three-dimensional object, but she enjoys the challenge.

Name: Emily Karsten

GVSU connection: Graduate, 2016

Name of entry: “Cirripedia”

Medium: Metalsmithing, cast bronze and fabrication

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Holland, Michigan

Hours invested: 200 hours

Summary: Karsten picked the shells used to cast parts of her piece off a beach in Florida. The work is inspired by a combination of couture fashion and medieval armor. She said deciding on a suitable arrangement and combining them was the most difficult part of the process.

Name: Tabatha Gulino

GVSU connection: Graduate, 2017, health communications

Name of entry: “The People’s Choice Collection”

Medium: Metalsmithing, copper and mixed media

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Imlay, Michigan

Hours invested: 60-plus hours

Summary: Gulino’s work is made from copper, which was bent into shape and then powder coated. The inlaid parts are enamel and wood. Attaching the wood to the copper presented unique problems for Gulino, as the wood would break down under the heat involved. She was inspired by people in various ways, including taking random phrases from friends and interpreting them visually.

Name: Ellyn Stasiak

GVSU connection: Senior

Name of entry: “Ironic Revenge”

Medium: Cast bronze

Venue: Studio Us, 343 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Ada, Michigan

Hours invested: 100-plus hours

Summary: Stasiak wanted to be ironic and a little silly as she interpreted the question “What if plants got back at us?” with her entry. She used her own teeth to make the molds for each of the multiple mouths. It was particularly difficult because so many of the parts had to be cast separately and then welded together, and then the welds had to be covered with the finished texture.

Name: Chris Gillespie

GVSU connection: SAP system administrator, undergrad 2009, master’s 2016

Name of entry: “Escape…”

Medium: Photography

Venue: Brother’s Leather Supply, 15 Division Ave. S.

Hometown: Otsego, Michigan

Summary: Gillespie was on vacation in Chicago when he spotted this fire escape, sat on the ground and snapped a shot. It wasn’t until later when he was looking at it that he noticed the windows all boarded up and the way the fire escape fades into the sunlight. He leaves interpretation open to the viewer and is interested in what other people see in it.

Name: Randi Ford

GVSU connection: Graduate, 2012

Name of entry: “The Rhythms and Colors of the Porcupine Mountains”

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Location: Panera Bread, 99 Monroe Ave.

Hometown: Sturgis, Michigan

Hours invested: 120 hours 

Summary: Ford tries to emulate music with her style of smooth, flowing lines and peaceful subjects. She created these works during a residency in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park during the summer. While working on the larger pieces, she says she has to pay extra attention to keeping the work balanced and cohesive.