The Kruizenga Art Museum will host its 2021-22 Armstrong Lecture, an Artist Talk with Kelly Church, on Thursday, Oct. 28, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

The lecture will be followed by a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the 1st-floor rotunda of the Martha Miller Center.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Kelly Church is a fifth-generation Anishinaabe artist whose work interweaves traditional Native American culture with contemporary environmental concerns. As this year’s Armstrong lecturer, Church will discuss the history and cultural importance of Black Ash basketry among the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes region, and how that cultural tradition is threatened by an invasive insect, the Emerald Ash Borer, and other environmental forces.

This year’s Armstrong Lecture coincides with the Kruizenga Art Museum’s focus exhibition, “Native American Art: Recent Acquisitions from the Kruizenga Museum Collection,” which opened on Friday, Sept. 10, and is continuing through Saturday, Dec. 11. The exhibition features 10 recently acquired Native American artworks from eight different artists, including a basket titled “Traditional Transformations” by Kelly Church. The artworks were acquired as part of the museum’s commitment to expand the cultural diversity of its collection by collecting work by modern and contemporary Native American artists. The museum’s goal is gradually to acquire artworks made by indigenous artists from different regions and tribes in a variety of media to reflect the continuing vitality, creativity and relevance of Native American culture.

Both the Armstrong Lecture and the Native American Art focus exhibition were organized to complement and support the Hope College 2021 NEA Big Read Lakeshore program. The 2021 Big Read book, “An American Sunrise,” is a collection of poems by writer, musician and current Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo. Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and “An American Sunrise” is her eighth collection of poetry.  This year’s NEA Big Read Lakeshore will begin with a virtual presentation by Harjo on Monday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. Registration information and a complete schedule of this year’s events are available at

The Kruizenga Art Museum functions as an educational resource for Hope College and the greater West Michigan community. The museum features two public galleries as well as a classroom and climate-controlled storage space for its 7,000-object permanent collection. It is named in honor of a leadership gift from the late Dr. Richard and Margaret Kruizenga, both of whom graduated from Hope in 1952.

The Kruizenga Art Museum is located at 271 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets. Public visiting hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission to the museum is always free.  Please visit for additional information about the museum.

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Hope is currently requiring that masks be worn by all individuals while indoors on campus unless in their living space or alone in their workspace.

Traditional Transformations
Kelly Church (American, b. 1967)
Black ash, sweetgrass, copper, Rit dye, velvet, glass, emerald ash borer
Hope College Collection, 2021.18a-c