The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

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

Student Artwork Showcase Builds Confidence and Careers

Courtesy GVNext

Artwork from three Grand Valley State University students are now displayed in the Michigan House and Senate office buildings.

The pieces were chosen for the buildings through a program called “Student Art in the Legislature”. The program, which is a partnership between the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Association of State Universities, aims to highlight the creative minds of students across several state universities. The pieces chosen will be hung in the buildings for a one year period. 

Isabella Good a fine arts major at GVSU had her piece “Untitled (Beginning of Echelon)” as one of the three pieces chosen from GVSU for the program. For her, this opportunity has been career and confidence boosting.

“This opportunity has pushed me to apply for things I didn’t think I’d get,” Good said. “To see that, it was kinda like, ‘I am doing something good.’”

Good said Associate Professor Jill Eggers was one of her biggest supporters in taking this step for her art. She said Eggers is “big on pushing opportunities towards artists that she thinks will do well.” She said Eggers is actively helping Good to reach her future career ambitions.

Good said the art program at GVSU has laid the groundwork for even more beneficial steps in her career.

“It’s made a lot of connections for me, and taught me how to network,” Good said. “I used to be very shy, and I didn’t want to go to events because I wouldn’t know anyone. Now, there’s always at least one person I do know.”

“Coralline Red” a painting done by Josephine Ruiter a mechanical engineer graduate hangs alongside Good’s piece in the legislature building.  She said the experience of having her work chosen was validating especially after returning to art.

Currently, Ruiter take painting classes part time and will finish with the advanced program this year. Although art has been a lifelong passion of hers, it was important to her to find a career that included math.

“I’ve always tried to blend the line between art and engineering,” Ruiter said. 

Despite not being in an art major degree program, Ruiter feels that GVSU offers many opportunities for students passionate about art. 

“Classes are multilevel, so you’re often able to see what’s ahead for you as a student early in the program,” Ruiter said. 

Getting involved in art does not stop at the classroom setting. Ruiter and Good both said students who are interested in getting involved with the art scene at GVSU should show up to receptions and gallery shows.

“If you come to Calder, the walls are usually littered with reception pamphlets or artist talks,” Good said. I would encourage people to go to those, because it allows you to see people who are actually doing the jobs. You can ask questions; usually they’re more than happy to talk to you. People are really open, especially in the art world.”  


More to Discover