The ongoing celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hope College’s Van Raalte Institute is continuing with the exhibition “Seeing Through Dutch Eyes: Landscape Images of Chris Stoffel Overvoorde” at the Holland Area Arts Council.
The exhibition of scenic paintings will open with a reception on Friday, Jan. 11, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The evening will be highlighted by an interview with Overvoorde that will be conducted by Dr. Anne Heath of the college’s art and art history faculty. A renowned painter of Netherlands and Western Michigan landscapes, Overvoorde will share insights into his creative process and the inspiration that he has received from rural and wilderness settings.
The public is invited to the exhibition and the interview. Admission is free.
Overvoorde was born in Capelle aan de Ijssel in the Netherlands to two Dutch parents and immigrated to the United States when he was 22. He completed the Visual Arts program at Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids and later attended the University of Michigan and received a BSD in 1964 and MFA in 1966. Also in 1966, he became a U.S. citizen and began teaching at Calvin College, where he served as an art professor for 31 years and as director of exhibitions for nearly 10.
As an artist, he has been active as a graphic designer, painter, printmaker and as a worship environmentalist. He received his first award in 1962 and has since received more than 30 awards. He has participated in more than 100 group, juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the Midwest, and has presented more than 50 solo exhibitions in the United States, Canada and The Netherlands.
In 2003 Eerdmans Publishing produced “Passing The Colors,” a book in which he recalls his journey as an immigrant, as a Christian and as an artist. In 2004 the Grand Rapids Art Museum installed a retrospective exhibit: “Chris Stoffel Overvoorde, A Life in Art.” His works are present in many public and private collections, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Muskegon Museum of Art.
Founded during the 1993-94 academic year, the Van Raalte Institute specializes in scholarly research and writing on immigration and the contributions of the Dutch and their descendants in the United States. The institute is also dedicated to the study of the history of all the people who have comprised the community of Holland throughout its history.
The institute’s anniversary events began with an open house at the college’s Theil Research Center on Tuesday, Nov. 27. In addition to the exhibition, forthcoming events include a presentation on the life and times of Mrs. Albertus (Christina) Van Raalte at Hope College’s Winter Happening on Saturday, Jan. 26; a revival of Max Bush’s well-received play, “Vision of a New Life,” based on the writings of the Rev. A.C. Van Raalte, founder of Holland, Michigan, and co-founder of Hope College; and the formal release, in April, of Provost Emeritus Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis’ monumental history, “Hope College at 150.”
“Seeing Through Dutch Eyes: Landscape Images of Chris Stoffel Overvoorde” will continue through Monday, Feb. 25. The Holland Area Arts Council is open Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is closed on Sundays.
The Holland Area Arts Council is located in downtown Holland at 150 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.