Meet the Artists

suzanne-lienhart

Suzanne Lienhart

I began working with colored pencils during the summer of 2000 and have been hooked ever since. I love the challenge of creating drawings with lots of texture and details and colored pencils allow me to accomplish this goal.

The majority of my drawings are 100% colored pencil on Stonehenge paper but I sometimes use toned papers and, on some pieces, I add watercolor backgrounds.

I find inspiration for my work in things that most people overlook or take for granted. This could be the way a small leaf or left behind object sits upon rocks or the way an old doorknob has worn with age. My hope is that these seemingly simple subjects, which I call "intimate landscapes", will catch the attention of the viewer and create a visual connection for them as they have for me.

Background:

-Grew up in Michigan
-BAE, Herron School of Art/Indiana University
-MA, Humanities/Visual Images, University of Houston/Clear Lake
-Traveled extensively in the U.S. and several foreign countries
-Taught drawing 4 years at University of Houston/Clear Lake, Texas
-Retired after 21 years of teaching art at secondary and post secondary levels
-Worked primarily in colored pencil since 2000

nicole-cure

Nicole Cure

Call Nicole Cure a natural. She never studied art, never felt like she worked hard at it, and even took a 10-year creative hiatus when her kids were born.

That natural talent is not to say that Nicole doesn't work hard at her sketches. She often puts in 10 to 20 hours of work on each piece.

Nicole works in her small studio in Hanover, built a few years ago as her kids went off to school. She found her basement studio cramped, and her handy father-in-law built it in no time flat. Nicole's studio hosts little tots drawing lessons during the summer, where she teaches first through seventh graders basic drawing techniques.

For her own work, Nicole takes inspiration from the world around her: kids, family, animals, the rural setting around her. Customers ask her for lots of animal drawings, like horses and dogs.

james-spencer

James Spencer

James Spencer has been sculpting wood for nearly 20 years, starting as a hobby when he as in college. His love for the outdoors has brought him to focus on nature, especially fish and birds.  He also enjoys many other forms of sculpture, such as caricature, relief, and human busts.  Jim also works in printmaking, clay, steel, and glass.

Jim has studied under Austrian master Helli Mayr and has traveled to Japan several times to study with Japanese artists.  He has studied with numerous American artists as well.  He himself is much sought as a carving.

Over the years, he has received many awards at national and international competitions, including the Ward World Wildfowl Championships and the International Woodcarvers Congress, as well as many local and regional awards.

Dr. James Spencer is a chiropractor by profession and partner in Contract for Health Chiropractic Centers, P.C., with two locations in Reading and Hudson, Michigan.

tc-pottery

TC Pottery Studio (Terry Castor)

Michigan Pottery Artist

Randy Kuntz

Randy L. Kuntz brings to the art community a very diverse and atypical background for an artist.  Randy attended Purdue University on a full athletic scholarship in football.  He was a member of Purdue’s 1967 Rose Bowl Championship team.  After graduation he went on to a full career as a teacher, coach, and a high school administrator until his retirement in 1999.

Mr. Kuntz has always been interested in the arts.  After experimenting and studying in various mediums, he discovered a profound fascination with hot glass.  Being an academician, Randy studied for almost two years at The Toledo Area Glass Guild. He decided to bring his art work to the public in 2000.  All of his pieces are unique, one-of a-kind and not reproduced. His color patterns and techniques were developed through years of trial and error experimentation.  Randy derives great pleasure  helping patrons as they select his art glass to be a part of their homes.

Randy is married to Jackie, also a retired educator,  and they have two grown children.  Jackie assists Randy by handling all the paperwork, show applications, and booth preparation.  They are both very excited as Randy ventures into his second profession as  a glass artist.

John Leban

I was born and raised in Chicago. My first taste of formal training in the Arts came when I was in 8th grade. I received a scholarship to study art along with talented art students from all over the city of Chicago. We attended lectures and classes every Saturday morning at the famous Art Institute of Chicago. Those Saturday morning sessions sealed my fate and put me on the path to a lifelong obsession with my goal: to be a professional artist. I majored in Painting and Printmaking in college, attending the University of Illinois in Champaign, eventually earning a BFA and graduating with honors.

At graduation I was awarded a fellowship to study art for the summer at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Northern Maine where art students from all over the United States gathered to study and work with professional artists an educators from the East Coast. Next, I earned a fellowship to study art in the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My studies there culminated in a show of my work in the galleries of the museum and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking. I also won the Kunioshi fellowship to study art in Europe for the following summer.

After returning from Europe, I worked as a painter in Chicago exhibiting in several group shows and having a one man show at the Michael Wyman Gallery on Ontario Street. My paintings of this period utilized Xerox technology for developing images with a theme of degeneration caused by the involvement of technology. I worked the Chicago gallery scene for two years winning critical acclaim for my work.

John Grabitz

My name is Johnathon Grabitz and I make 3D stained glass lamps. The animal lamps are LIFE SIZE... Each lamp comes with color changing LED lighting inside and with wireless remote controls. My objective is to bring back the fading, but beautiful art of stained glass in a new, modern and exciting way. Every one of my creations are hand made. Each piece of glass is hand cut to fit the others around them. Most of my art creations take months to complete just one. My passion for art started at a young age, and has always been a big part my life. Its always an honor to be able to share what I love.

bonnie

Bonnie Auten

Bonnie's work has been included in many National and International exhibitions including every Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) International Exhibition, 1993 through 1998. In 1993, she was winner of the Member's Award, and in 1995, she received the highest honor in the CPSA with the Outstanding Recognition of Excellence Award. The Derwent Fine Art Pencil Award for Outstanding Recognition followed in 1998. One of the first artists in the CPSA to win Signature Status for her work, and first five members to receive the coveted 5-Year Merit Award; she was awarded the Ten Year Merit in 2008. A CPSA Award of Excellence followed in 2009. A Charter Member of the CPSA, she served as President of the Michigan Chapter from 1996 through 1998.

Among other awards is the Grande Award in the Akron Society of Artists Grande Exhibition in 1996. As a Crabbie Award Winner from Art Calendar, Bonnie's image, Rain, was featured on the cover of Art Calendar's Annual Directory for 1998. Rain also appeared in the December/1998 issue of American Artist's Magazine. She is one of four featured artists in Painting with Water-Soluble Colored Pencils, released in 1999 by Northlight Publishers. Her work is included in The Best of Colored Pencil I, II, III, IV, and V, Portrait Inspirations, Colored Pencil Techniques, and Discovering Drawing. Magazine articles with featured work have appeared in The Artist's Magazine, North Light Magazine, American Artist Magazine and Australian Artists Magazine. She has received Honorable mention in The Artist's Magazine Cover Contests twice, and was recognized as Finalist in 1997 and 1999.

robert

Bob Friedley

Bob Friedley is the owner and artist at Imagine That Studio.
He retired after teaching art for 35 years. He is a graduate
of Bowling Green State University. In 2013, Bob took second
place at the Crosby Festival of the Arts in ceramics, third place in
Sylvania's Maple and Main Art Fair, and was a juried artist at the
Black Swamp Art Festival in Bowling Green. In 2012, Bob received
an honorable mention at the Harrison Rally Day Festival in Perrysburg.

Bob's work has been displayed at Hudson Gallery in Sylvania, River
House Gallery in Perrysburg, Sturgeon River Pottery in Petoskey, MI,
and Art A Site Gallery in Bowling Green.

Thomas Thiery

Thomas Thiery is a native of St John Indiana. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and worked for many years in the illustration studio of Stephens Biondi and DeCicco. He also graduated from Western Michigan University and received a Masters Degree in Art from Eastern Michigan University. He now lives in rural Michigan while spending considerable time in Chicago and New York. Summers are spent in the western United States, frequently with native American and Mountain Man friends.

He is a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Water-media Society, a recipient of several grants to paint abroad and has been featured on the Watercolor Page of American Artist Magazine. Many of his works have been commissioned by corporations and public offices.

Camilla Staton Emerson

A native of North Carolina, Camilla is a prolific artist whose work includes water media, large scale acrylic paintings, wall and tile painting and paper and plaster sculpture. She has studied at the Toledo Museum of Art, Crosby Gardens, and Monroe Community College. Camilla feels that art isn’t something to do; it’s a way of life. Her work has received awards in numerous juried shows and can be found in personal and national collections.

Gordie Anderson

Gordie started sculpting at the age of eighteen, just out of high school he was trained by John Bergasse, a well known sculpture in the area. Gordie worked with John for several years, learning technique. Copper is heated to a certain temp and dipped in water to capture the colors. Copper is also pliable, pieces are molded by hand. All pieces are reinforced with steel rood and sprayed with clear enamel. Gordie lives in Whitmore Lake with his family where he makes his sculptures.

Jane and Jim Meade

Jane's adventure in photography started as a means of capturing memories of family and friends. She soon involved her husband, Jim, and together they have developed a new found appreciation of the beauty of nature and a desire to capture this beauty on film. Together they have compiled a collection of images that demonstrates the beauty found within nature and architecture. They have also learned to stop and Smell the Roses.

Martha Elchert

Martha Elchert began painting as a grade schooler in Ohio. As an oil painter she majored in art at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. She later worked in advertising design. Marty came back to painting taking classes in watercolor at San Juan College in Farmington NM and Snow College in Utah and workshops from many nationally known watercolorists.

In 2014 she was juried into the Gateway to Imagination, a National Juried art competition, and won honorable mention and a purchase award, with the Farmington Museum placing her painting “Old Barn“ in their permanent collection. In 2015 she won People's Choice award at the RIverfest Celebration plein air competition for her "A Grateful Nation" watercolor. Her paintings are held in the permanent collections of Fairview Ridges Hospital and the Burnsville Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and in private collections throughout the United States.

Her original watercolors have been juried into several New Mexico Watercolor Society exhibitions and Minnesota Watercolor Society Exhibitions. She won a Merit Award in the MNWS Fall 2015 exhibition. In 2017 Martha achieved Signature Member status in the New Mexico Watercolor Society.

Martha is a member of the Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners, Great Lakes Plein Air Painters, Ann Arbor Women Artist's Association, Michigan Watercolor Society and a Signature Member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society.

Brian Van Benschoten

Brian completed his BFA at Alfred State University College of Ceramics in 1968 and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He worked as a master potter at the Edison Institute (Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum) for 38 years and taught at Adrian College for 8 years, as well as producing sculpture and pottery at his studio.

Brian began the construction of his present pottery studio in 2010, igniting a new interest in works that are less functional, ore contemporary and aesthetically appealing. He changes the appearance of his work on a regular basis so it stays interesting , fresh, and relevant to those that have become patrons. Teaching has also renewed his interest in working with other sculpture mediums again, such as wood, concrete, stone, and metal.

With a lifetime spent in this line of work, it has never grown boring, nor has Bryan lost interest in producing for those who love art and the handmade. He wants to be able to work until his last day on this earth, creating pottery and sculpture as his lasting legacy.

Romelle Frey

A native of Minnesota, I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS degree in Interior Design, I was introduced to pottery in San Diego California at a Navy Welfare and Recreation Center where I immediately fell in love with lay. My husband was a career Navy officer, so I moved a lot had m own studio equipment and made pottery when and where the location permitted, After 27 years in the Navy, my husband retired and we moved to Jackson Michigan to start his second career. I soon discovered Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History in Jackson and began teaching pottery.

I taught children's clay for 9 years and have been the adult teacher and studio manager for the past 6 years. I produce mostly functional id-range work, but also enjoy making nonfunctional and alternatively fired pieces. To say I am obsessed with pottery and lay would be accurate. I sell at several galleries under Pottery by Romelle, am president of Jackson Pottery and Clay Guild, and don't ever plan to stop creating pottery.