20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators

January 16 through April 19, 2020

Alcoa Foundation Gallery

Amy Young
Untitled – Illustration from A Unicorn Named Sparkle
Pen and ink drawing with gouache on Fabriano Uno paper, 2016
Courtesy of the Artist


In recognition of the artistic talent stemming from within our state, 20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators is a curated view of children’s illustrators from across the mitten. We are thrilled to exhibit the work of both nationally recognized household names in children’s literature alongside emerging illustrators from the state. The exhibition is a collaged experience, celebrating the differences within the illustrative process that exemplifies the various ways artists come to create a piece, and challenges the viewer to adjust their definition of what it means to be an illustrator. From paintings, drawings, and collages, to pieces that are entirely digitally rendered, this exhibition celebrates the diversity found amongst illustrators here in Michigan and sets a precedent for beyond.

Jeffrey Brown
Illustration from My Teacher is a Robot (pages 20-21)
Pen and ink drawing on illustration board
Courtesy of the artist

The Artists

Jeffery Brown
Dave Coverly
Lori Eslick
Brianne Farley
Leslie Helakoski
Rebecca Howe
Laurie Keller
Sara Kendall
Amy Nielander
Deb Pilutti
Patricia Polacco
Corinne Roberts
Robert Sabuda
Heidi Woodward Sheffield
David Small
Jane Stoepker
Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Heather Workman
Amy Young
Aaron Zenz

Rebecca Howe
Let’s Go
Acrylic and digital drawing on paper, 2018
Courtesy of the artist


Related Programs

Opening Celebration
Thursday, January 16
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Have a fun family night out and celebrate the Michigan illustrators in 20 for 20. Refreshments will be served. Free public event.

Mark your calendar!
Reception & Book Fair
Thursday April 9
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Join us for a special spring break party and an opportunity to purchase books illustrated by the artists in 20 for 20.


Underwritten by The Folkert Family Foundation and the DTE Foundation.


The Art of Making: Sculpture and Fiber from the Permanent Collection

December 19 through March 22, 2020

Michael and Kay Olthoff Gallery

The Art of Making showcases artworks from the permanent collection of the Muskegon Museum of Art whose material is integral to their aesthetic and conceptual content. What the material is and how it is worked are essential to the artist’s message, shaping how we understand and relate to the object.

Featured artwork includes Caroline Lee’s geometric sculptures made from assembled forms of machined aluminum; totemic, bent copper sheet sculptures by Michael Hall; cast glass and found steel sculpture by Albert Young; basketry by Myrna Brunson and Gary Trentham; and fibers from Geary Jones, Kristina Aas, and Michael Olszewski.

In keeping their materials true to their origins, these artists invite understanding through the experiences of the viewer, of our day to day familiarity with common natural and manufactured objects. In doing so, they invite us to more closely examine the world around us, seeing inspiration in all we perceive.

Underwritten by Frank and Susan Bednarek

Media Sponsor: Blue Lake Public Radio

Caroline Lee
American, 1932-2014
Machined aluminum
Gift of the artist in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art


Sculpt It! Super Saturday

Free Family Fun Day

Saturday, February 8, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Imagine it, plan it, sculpt it! Join us to explore The Art of Making with an art making activity, tours, and family film. Free admission and activities.

Excellence in Fibers V

December 12 through March 15, 2020

L. C. & Margaret Walker Galleries A & B

The Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) has partnered with the Fiber Art Network to present Excellence in Fibers V this winter. Excellence in Fibers is an annual, international juried fiber arts competition organized by the Fiber Art Network. Curated from the juror-accepted 2019 Excellence in Fibers entries, this exhibition brings to our Michigan audiences the works of 39 artists from the United States and Canada. The exhibition will run December 12, 2019 through March 15, 2020 at the MMA.

About Excellence in Fibers

Each year, hundreds of artists from around the world submit art for consideration by a team of expert jurors representing artists, curators, and designers. The final selection of artworks represents striking examples of a host of textile and fiber based pieces including sculpture, tapestry, jewelry, costume and clothing, quilting, weaving, basketry, installation, and more. These artworks are featured in a special edition of the internationally distributed magazine Fiber Art Now as a way of showcasing the current state of the fiber arts movement.

Curator’s Statement

Art Martin, MMA Director of Collections and Exhibitions/Senior Curator, comments, “The latest aesthetic, conceptual, and technical ideas shaping the modern field of fiber arts will be on display at the MMA—from pedestal-size baskets to towering textiles that fill entire walls. Excellence in Fibers offers new perspectives for how we see and interact with our world, and how deeply such familiar materials as cloth and thread can confound our expectations.”


The 2019 Excellence in Fibers jurors are Amy DiPlacido, a visual artist and curator from Northern California; Karen Hampton, fiber artist and professor; and Monica Moses, the former editor-in-chief at American Craft magazine and award winning designer and publisher.

Denise Ziganti
East Coast
Fabric, paper, lace, metal chain, sequins, crinoline, tulle, thread, 2019
23 x 29 inches

Polly Adams Sutton
Bear Bark
Western Red Cedar bark, ash, coated copper wire, 2019
14 x 7 x 8 inches

Maria Shell
Everything All At Once
Vintage, contemporary and hand-dyed fabrics with batting and thread, 2019
58 x 58 inches

Ulrika Leander
Wool in weft, cotton in the warp, 2018
49 x 80 inches

Kathy Knapp
Toxic Overgrowth
Cotton textiles, vintage trims, metallic beads and claps, recycled bracelet pieces, 2019
43 x 33 x 30 inches


The 2019 Excellence in Fibers jurors are Amy DiPlacido, a visual artist and curator from Northern California; Karen Hampton, fiber artist and professor; and Monica Moses, the former editor-in-chief at American Craft magazine and award winning designer and publisher.

Excellence in Fibers V is underwritten by Fifth Third Bank. Media Sponsor: Blue Lake Public Radio