20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators

January 16 through May 3, 2020

Alcoa Foundation Gallery

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

The Artists

Jeffrey Brown, Lori Eslick, Brianne Farley, Gjisbert van Frankenhuyzen, Rebecca Howe, Laurie Keller, Sara Kendall, Amy Nielander, Deb Pilutti, Patricia Polacco, Robert Sabuda, Heidi Sheffield, David Small, Jane Stoepker, Amy Young, and more.

Underwritten by The Folkert Family Foundation and the DTE Foundation.

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.


Tim Norris: Illuminating History – Fire and Light

November 7 through December 15, 2019

Tim Norris has taught art and art history at Muskegon Community College since 1996. He also serves as co-curator of MCC’s Overbrook Gallery and was the Chair of the Arts and Humanities Department from 2011-13. Prior to MCC, Norris was Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Art Center of Battle Creek and an instructor at Western Michigan University and Pikeville University in Kentucky. Through his teaching and his art, Norris is a decades-long contributor to the visual arts community in Western Michigan.

Tim Norris
Constantine’s Oculus
Acrylic, ink, collage, and Sculptamold on board

Norris’s long term artistic inspiration lies in the symbols of the past, of their role in helping humanity to explore and articulate history, religion, philosophy, and scientific understanding. He has been particularly interested in the various expressions of fire and light across a range of cultures, including ancient Celtic, Eastern, Middle-Eastern, and Byzantine civilizations. Fire and light are a perfect expression of the artist’s interest in science, technology, and religion, as the two have played central roles in these disciplines for millennia. They have served through their observable, scientific characteristics and as metaphors for the spirit and divinity across cultures. Humanity’s increasing control of the two has allowed for great leaps in technology that continue to advance today. The various expressions of fire and light through the ages are restated and blended in Norris’s painting, a search for a universal understanding of how the human mind translates the world around it.

The physicality of fire has also led to experiments in media, as Norris experiments with charcoal, wood embers, and ash in his painting surface. Fire becomes both symbol and tool in his layered constructions.

Circles and spirals appear prominently in the artist’s compositions, designs found prolifically in nature at the most fundamental atomic levels to the most cosmic. For ancient observers, these geometries became the inspiration for religious expression, from architecture to philosophy to a host of visual symbologies. Within Norris’s paintings, these ancient symbols reappear in references to tomb mounds, henges, kilns, astrological charts, and numerous other incarnations. The ancient nature of these symbols is further heightened by the building and layering of the artist’s materials, which give them a hand-hewn character.

Tim Norris
Acrylic, gouache, charcoal, and ashes on board

Each painting in the exhibition is accompanied by a description from the artist describing the inspirations that guided the piece. Additionally, Muskegon Museum of Art staff have selected pieces of glass (formed from fire and cherished for its interactions with light) from our permanent collection that resonate with the forms, colors, and ideas within Norris’s paintings. Blending history, technology, and the spiritual and philosophical, these works offer a new look at the mysteries that have intrigued humanity since before recorded history.

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

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.

The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda

September 19 through December 15, 2019

Michael and Kay Olthoff Gallery

The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda is the result of several years of independent experimentation by printmaker Bill Hosterman and illustrator and painter Ed Wong-Ligda and the artists’ shared conversations regarding the visual, expressive, and thematic potential of the land and the flora and fauna that populate it.

How we perceive, interact with, and shape the natural landscape informs Hosterman’s and Wong-Ligda’s prints, drawings, and paintings. Hosterman’s twisting, fantastical landscapes are entwined with lush vegetation, jagged rock faces, birds, boats, and forests, representing his thoughts on the human form and human desires and how both directly affect the land. For Wong-Ligda, the elements of the landscape become characters in a literary or theatrical drama as he explores the choreography and pacing of their visual interactions in dreamlike expanses. Combined, the artworks of these artists offer an invitation to consider the classical landscape in new ways.

Bill Hosterman is an Associate Professor of drawing, printmaking, and foundations in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University and Faculty Director of the GVSU Padnos Student Visual and Media Arts Gallery. Now retired, Ed Wong-Ligda was a Professor and head of the illustration program at GVSU. He has worked with numerous clients and participated in multiple artist-in-residency programs as a professional painter and illustrator.

Bill Hosterman, Guide, etching and watercolor, 2014-2017

Ed Wong-Ligda, Black Hills Birds, oil on canvas, 2014