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LowellArts Gallery

March 23 to April 27, 2024

Art Pick-up

Tuesday through Friday, Apr 30 to May 3, 10:00am to 6:00pm

WMAC - Square MI Map.jpg


Award Winners

Dianne Carroll Burdick
Ann Dyer
Ted Evans
Monica Stegeman
Lou Vallance

Honorable Mentions

John Andersen, Bob Brown, Mercedes Ebbers, Rusmel Mora, Joyce A Recker,
Chris Scheil, Merima Smajlovic, Joanne Swann, Kelly Walkotten, Jackson  Wrede

About the Juror

Candice Chovanec was born in Catania, Sicily, and lived most of her life in Southern California. In 2008, she completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design. In 2017, she completed her MFA from California State University. Candice has won numerous awards and shown in group exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2017, her work received 1st Place from the Portrait Society of America in the Members-Only Competition and “Best in Show” from the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art for portraiture. Candice is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Arts and Letters and Integrated Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI where she has taught since 2019.

West Michigan Art Competition 2024

The 38th Annual LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition highlights outstanding artwork by Lower West Michigan artists who reside in a 25-county region. Artwork in any visual art media was submitted by artists 18 yrs. and older. Five equal cash awards totaling $3000 will be presented. Artists were allowed to submit one piece for consideration by the juror. 


This year's distinguished juror is Candice Chovanec who is currently an Assistant Professor in the departments of Arts and Letters and Integrated Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University.

​Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10:00am-6:00pm​, Saturday 12:00-5:00pm

​Artist Reception: Sunday, March 24, 2:00-4:00pm



Eligible Counties

Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Muskegon, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, Saint Joseph, and Van Buren

Juror’s Statement – Candice Chovanec

It is my absolute pleasure to serve as the juror for the 38th Annual West Michigan Arts Competition. The quality and variety of work created by the artists in this region is always exceptional, this year I was extremely impressed with all 235 works submitted. From those 235 works, I was given the difficult task of selecting 136 artworks to be displayed in the gallery, concluding the jurying process with 10 honorable mentions and 5 award winners. Thank you, Janet Teunis, for the opportunity to serve and connect with the amazing community of artists in West Michigan.  


During the initial selection process, I was drawn to artwork that challenged my own understanding of making through superior craftsmanship, bold compositions and color palettes, and clarity of artistic vision. The artwork included in the exhibit ultimately spoke to my current sensibilities. However, I cannot overemphasize how impressed I am with all the artwork I viewed during the jurying process. Another judge could have easily selected differently and created an equally gratifying exhibition. To all the artists that submitted work, those selected for the exhibition, and to the award winners, congratulations! Creating work that is authentic, impactful, and beautiful is no simple feat and that was apparent in all the works submitted.  


There were a large number of representational nature scenes submitted in a range of mediums including painting, drawing, photography, and mixed media. These works highlighted the beautiful scenery that can be found in Michigan and beyond. I was delighted to see how these artists were able to connect to this classic theme while still making work that felt fresh and new. Ann Dyer’s pen and ink drawing “End Of The Storm” is an idyllic scene that captures the rural beauty of the Midwest. I was impressed with the complex layering of color with ink and the exceptional display of skill in her work. “Lotus Flowers” by Dianne Carroll Burdick struck me with its quiet and calm presence. Its impact is heightened by the removal of color. Allowing the viewer to delight in the repetition of shape, and naturally occurring pattern. 


Sculptural submissions ranged from large to small, hung to free-standing, abstract to functional. With a wide variety of materials including: glass, tile, wood, ceramic, metal, fabric, and found materials. The skill and complexity of these works made selecting a limited number for the gallery a challenge. Ted Evans’ large scale sculpture “Traffic Circles” had an undeniable presence when I first saw it. This sculptural form was carefully and meticulously constructed using a repeating design made of wood. This intriguing work shows conviction and commitment to a unique artistic vision. A singular vision is what drives many artists to make things that have only existed in the imagination, and is ultimately what drew me to this unusual piece.  


The works classified as mixed media included a variety of paper collage works with both representational and abstract styles. “Change Gon’ Come” by Monica Stegeman was a powerful combination of conceptual themes and playful imagery. I was drawn to their use of bold text with pattern, collage, and paint. This work appears to speak to our better nature and gently asks the viewer to be open to the possibilities of change bringing a brighter future to us all.  


Abstraction speaks to our desire for exploration of the unknown and the potential of imagery to invoke shared experience and understanding. There were many beautiful abstract works submitted this year, using a range of mediums including: paint, ceramics, collage, photography, wood, and found materials. I was fascinated by Lou Vallance’s painted collage “Outer Wear” in their use of strong contrast, varied mark-making, and subtle geometry. I was particularly drawn to how this painting felt like both a macro and microcosm; containing a multitude of realities and potential reads.  


Many other works stood out as exceptional including, but certainly not limited to, “Cattail" by Bob Brown, “Fading Light” by John Andersen, “Victory Song” by Mercedes Ebbers, “Eyioko” by Rusmel Mora, “Against All Odds" by Joyce A. Recker, “Perimeter 2” by Chris Scheil, “Kiss of the Future” by Merima Smajlovic, “Hope on the Horizon” by Joanne Swann, “Misty Woodlands” by Kelly Walkotten, and “Man with a Glove” by Jackson Wrede.  


Being an artist is, for many of us, a seclusive and isolating life. We find gratification through creating the things we imagine and hope that when others experience our work a connection is formed. I want to thank all the artists who shared your vision with me and with the greater West Michigan art community, being able to jury such an exceptional group of artists is truly an honor. 

2024 Artist List

Artists A to G


Richard Aardsma
Charlotte Ambrose
John Andersen
Lynn Anderson
Jan Arbogast
Olivia Bacon
Kathleen Bechtel
Joy Belanger
Dee Bellini
Annemarie Biernacki
Judith Blank
Lee Bolt
Mary Bommarito
Michael Breakiron
Douglas Brinks
Vanessa Rae Brocato
Bob Brown
Michael Bryant
Todd Buchta
Margo Burian
Babette Burleigh
Ronald Campbell
Ted Carlson
Dianne Carroll Burdick
Beth Charles
Paula Clark
Jay Constantine
Jacob Converse
Talon Crowne
Lisa Curnow
Robert deJonge
Richard Deming Jr.
Darrell DeRuiter
Bruce Doll
Ann Dyer
Marylu Dykstra
Mercedes Ebbers
Gary Eldridge
Ted Evans
Timothy Fisher
Suzanne Frederick
FREE (Toran Scott)
Teresa Gaudino
Linda Gillespie
Linda Granzow
John Gregg

Artists G to O


Anna Greidanus
Vivian Grill
Regina Grover
Barbara Guberman
Karen Hale
Thimgan Hayden
Jennifer Helner
Donna Henderon-King
Jerene Hofman-Bodkins
Yve Holtzclaw
Grace Huizinga
Linda Ide-Way
Sally Jenks
Amy Johnson
Elena Jones
Kathleen Kalinowski
John Katerberg
Kim Kleinhardt
Felicia Kooienga
Stanley Krohmer
David Kuecherer
Mary Kuilema
Mary Lamson-Burke
Whitney Lassini
Marcia Leben
M. Joy Lemon
Jeffrey Lende
Janet Lewis
Jamey Limbers
Kim Long
Emily Luyk
Marlies Manning
LaVonne Marshall
Robin Maxon
Taylor Mazer
Colin Mead
Amelia Mendelsohn
Dave Mitchell
Kathy Mohl
Rusmel Mora
Jill Mulder
Stan Myers
Karin Nelson
Brian Newton
Randall Nyhof
Colleen O'Rourke

Artists O to Z


Sharon Oleniczak
Terese Olson
Patricia Opel
Carol Patrick
Stone Peng
Leah Perreault
Colin Plank
Matt Plescher
Cari Povenz
Kate Pratt
Betsy Ratzsch
Joyce A Recker
Sandra Rempel
Frank Renberg
Ed Rutowski
Linda Scarborough
Steven Scarborough
Chris Scheil
Barbara Schilling
Patti Sevensma
Merima Smajlovic
Alaina Smith
Nan Snow
Ben Steampunkn
Monica Stegeman
Mary Stek
Donna St. John
Earl Stringer
Karen Sunman
Joanne Swann
Rachael Tamez
Jerri Teelander
Olivia Tucker
Lou Vallance
Jane VanBemden
Stephanie Vandeven
Kristi Visser
Kelly Walkotten
Nikki Wall
Tara Westbrook
David Westerfield
Susan Wink
Donald Woodward
Jackson Wrede
Diane Zoellmer

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