About Us

The mission of Grand Valley Artists is to nurture excellence in the visual arts by providing opportunities for self-expression, education, and exhibition within West Michigan’s dynamic cultural community.

We envision an inclusive community where artists come together to learn, create and share.

Creativity & Innovation
Grand Valley Artists considers art essential. We are committed to freedom of artistic expression and nurturing excellence in the visual arts. We value the individual and collective contributions of artists in  society and the ingenuity and innovation resulting from the creative process.

GVA promotes varied learning and skills building opportunities. Doing so nurtures excellence in the visual arts and increases the value of GVA to our members and to the larger arts community in West Michigan.

GVA supports the interdependence of artists, organizations and others interested in the arts as essential to community vitality and artistic success. Through partnerships, we seek to establish  priorities, enable alignment of resources and leverage knowledge that leads to greater opportunities for artistic expression.

GVA values an equitable, diverse and inclusive Michigan. This we interpret as fair access for all to the tools and resources needed to realize a creative cultural community.

GVA is part of the West Michigan arts community and supports engagement and collaboration. We promote the expansion of exhibition and arts opportunities for our members and the larger creative community.

Through our shared values we form ties, enrich lives and encourage artistic growth.

Grand Valley Artists is located at 2661 29th Street SE, Suite B, Grand Rapids, MI 49512 and houses our working studio and gallery. GVA was officially founded in 1957 and is one of the oldest art groups in the Midwest and the oldest in Michigan. Not happy with the then-popular modern art focus of the local art community, Bill Kubiak, Armand Merizon, and Carl Forslund decided to start a group to focus instead on Realism and traditional art. GVA has grown to be a place where artists of all levels and media are welcome to meet, discuss, learn, and grow. Over the years, we've come to embrace all styles, from representational to abstract to non-representational art in all its forms.

See the calendar on this website to learn about the many opportunities available, including weekly still life, portrait, plein air and figurative studio sessions, monthly critique, monthly program, and monthly photography gathering.

Guests are welcome to attend a sketch session or two without joining GVA. The cost for non-members is $5 extra per session. After attending a few sessions, we know you will want to join us! If you'd like to learn more about our organization from one of the current members, we will be happy to talk with you. We've provided our emails below.

Would you like to model for our figure drawing or portrait groups? If so, please contact Kathleen Bechtel at kathleen.bechtel@yahoo.com.

Exhibiting Outside our Gallery
Grand Valley Artists proudly partners with the following organizations to display artwork.

Trinity United Methodist Church
1100 Lake Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
If you are interested in showing your work at the church, members contact Sara Youngman at sycre8@gmail.com.

Englehardt Library
You'll also find us at the Englehardt Branch of the Kent County Library in Lowell, MI. Members can contact Sara Youngman at sycre8@gmail.com to apply.

Biggby Coffee
Family-friendly artwork is featured at selected locations.
Linda and Steve Scarborough are coordinating exhibits at 9 locations across Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Allendale, Comstock Park, Rockford, and Wyoming. They hope to add 2 more stores in the near future. Contact them for details and to be placed on waiting lists.
Linda: lindaascarborough@yahoo.com
Steve: stevescarb1@yahoo.com

Deb and Bill Christiansen are coordinating exhibits at 6 locations across Kalamazoo, Portage, and Parchment. Contact them for details and to be placed on waiting lists.
Deb: amethystisland@gmail.com
Bill: spiderkazoo@gmail.com

Meet our 2022 Leadership
President: Dana Donnell (DanaBDonnell@gmail.com)
Vice President: Diane Haworth (dhaworth623@gmail.com), Interim
Treasurer: Julia Berry (berry.julia@gmail.com)
Secretary: Sarabeth Carr (sarabethcarr@gmail.com)

Director of Education: Terri Hanna (TLHanna0807@gmail.com)
Sketch Studio: Kathy Bechtel, Jim Johnson, Diane Haworth

Director of Marketing: Brandi David (BDKlanke@gmail.com)
Newsletter: Brandi David w/ Mary Helmic;
Website: Mary Baine and Brandi David, Interim
MailChimp: Mary Baine, Interim

Director of Facilities:  Marty Klar (martyklar@comcast.net)

Director of Engagement: Open

Director of Development: Open

Additional Roles
Membership: Mary Baine (marymbaine@gmail.com)
Photography: Randy Nyhof (r.nyhof@comcast.net)
Hospitality: Evie Carrier (evie.carrier@gmail.com) and DeLaine Klar (dklar@comcast.net)
Library: Richard Schaf (srichardsally@yahoo.com)
GVA Gallery: Jim Johnson (johnsontheartist@hotmail.com)

Have a question? We can also be contacted by email here: http://grandvalleyartists.com/contact or use the Contact Us tab and choose the appropriate option.

Want to Join or Ready to Renew? Fill out the online form here.