Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dordt’s Campus Center Art Gallery features Canadian-inspired landscapes—Chris Stoffel Overvoorde: “The Alberta Drawings”

Above image:  Looking North From Highway 3, Near Fort Mcleod, Alberta, 1993.
Twenty-five pieces from The Alberta Drawings collection are on loan from the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM). Image: © Chris Stoffel Overvoorde / GRAM

This is from a Dordt College News Release:
“I was called to be a Christian, and the best way I know how to be a Christian is to be an artist,” said Chris Stoffel Overvoorde of his work.  
Overvoorde is an artist and professor emeritus who has brought his artistic vision to the campus of Dordt College. On display in the Campus Center Art Gallery through January 27. The artwork on display is from his collection titled The Alberta Drawings. All of the pieces in this series were created in a square format on paper, which presented a unique challenge because of the natural horizontal format of the landscape itself. The contrast illustrates the unnatural ways that man has superimposed himself on nature. 
Inspired by the wide-open spaces of the Canadian prairie, Overvoorde made several trips to Alberta while creating his oil sketches, watercolors, and drawings. “When you stand in a field of grain, and you see nothing else for miles but a faint distant horizon, you get a new perspective on who you are in relation to nature and how you are related to God,” he said.  
Overvoorde studied at Kendall College of Art and Design and at the University of Michigan. He has studied printmaking and painting with such well-known artists as Harry Brorby, Frank Cassara, Emil Weddige, and Bill Lewis. He has received more than 40 awards and has had over 50 solo exhibits in the United States, Canada, and The Netherlands. In addition to his work as artist, Overvoorde has worked as an art professor at Calvin College and as artist-in-residence in collaboration with the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.  
Dordt College’s art faculty is especially pleased to welcome Overvoorde. “Both Jake Van Wyk and I had Chris Overvoorde as a teacher at Calvin College when we were undergraduates there,” said David Versluis, professor of art at Dordt College. “Chris was a very important mentor for both of us.” 
In addition to The Alberta Drawings, four pieces from the “Prophet, Priest, and King” series from the Dordt College Permanent Collection will be displayed just outside the gallery.

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