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Grace College Students and Faculty Showcased at Monroe Community Church Art Show in Grand Rapids

Grace College will exhibit 78 works by 19 students and three faculty members at the Monroe Community Church Art Show at Monroe Community Church, 1020 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. The exhibit runs from May 4 to July 13 and will be open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and during Sunday services from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The exhibit’s theme is “Elements of Grace” and will feature pieces that correspond with the four natural elements: water, fire, wind, and earth.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be invited to participate in this exhibit,” said Dr. Kim M. Reiff, co-dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and chair of the Grace College Department of Visual and Performing Arts and professor of visual art and design. “The students’ work will have significant exposure in Grand Rapids, a city known for promoting the arts.”

The show features students’ photography, drawing, painting and ceramics. Some artworks have been pulled from students’ existing portfolios, and others have been produced specifically for the event. The exhibit provides visual art students the opportunity to display their foundational training at Grace.

Grace College’s association with Monroe Community Church began in the fall of 2023 when the venue displayed Reiff’s artwork as part of an art competition. Steve Fridsma, MCC’s art ministry leader, invited Grace College faculty and students to return and showcase their artwork in the church’s award-winning gallery space.

“The pieces in this exhibit demonstrate not only artistic skill but also wit and cleverness,” said Fridsma. “The show adorns and complements our building in a meaningful way. Our congregation and our guests will be blessed for the duration of this exhibit, and we are already discussing doing this again in the future.”

Malia Butler, a photography major and visual communication design minor of Dyer, Indiana, is showcasing six of her photographs for the exhibit.

“I’m the most proud of my waterdrop photos,” said Butler. “This is significant to me because it is my first time showing my work in an art exhibit.”

According to Reiff, each piece bears significance to the artist’s personality and values, particularly their Christian beliefs. “In our program, students learn it is the elements of art and principles of design that provide the framework for creative expression,” said Reiff. “When students want to show their faith, I encourage them to make art, because every artwork is an autobiography. People will find you, and they’ll often find God.”

In addition to the weekly visiting hours, the show can be viewed during the Avenue for the Arts’ 3rd Thursdays. The next one is scheduled for Thursday, June 20, from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Grand Rapids is known for its promotion of the arts,” said Reiff. “Potentially thousands of people will see Grace students’ work during its exhibition run. It’s an incredible opportunity for our students.”

The goal of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Grace is to equip graduates to communicate visually, possess professional skills and be able to analyze works from historical and contemporary cultural perspectives. Students learn to demonstrate excellence in creative work that ultimately serves their calling as artists, Christians and professionals.

For more information, contact Grace’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts at 574-372-5100, ext. 6022 or email

Photo attached: (left to right): Hannah Tate, Sallie Hoy, Janae Wise, Tawn Kizer, Dr. Kim M. Reiff and Clif Palmer install Grace’s artwork at Monroe Community Church.

Tagged With: Art, School of Arts and Humanities