Carolyn Fehsenfeld

Carolyn Fehsenfeld

Profile | Statement | Biography


Carolyn Fehsenfeld • Profile

Carolyn Fehsenfeld's paintings reveal the unexpected beauty of everyday moments through a traditional approach and expressive style. Her confident brushwork captures the personality of a diverse subject matter, effortlessly conveying the atmosphere of a softly lit kitchen, the history of a worn chair, the moodiness of a rainy day. Beneath her unflinching gaze, a back lot bathed in the pink glow of dusk is captured as a magical moment. In painting local and familiar scenes - images of Grand Rapids and the surrounding area - Fehsenfeld transforms the city streets we walk and warehouses we pass each day into images of timeless presence.

Fehsenfeld is drawn to the unlimited possibilities of oil and its rich, sensual nature. She welcomes the experimental attitude of the monotype. With excellent control and an astute sense of composition, she tackles the figure, landscape, and still life with equal enthusiasm. Working quickly, her paintings communicate an immediacy and excitement for life. Her work is distinguished by a balance between the formal aspects of art and the expressive qualities of paint. Aptly, she has described her work as "a lullaby with a bit of a beat."

In her sophomore year of college, Carolyn Fehsenfeld decided that painting was to be her life's work. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting. She has exhibited extensively and has taught at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Her paintings are included in the collections of the Muskegon Museum of Art, Central Michigan University, Steelcase Corporation, Warner Norcross and Judd, and the City of Grand Rapids.


Carolyn Fehsenfeld • Statement

My art expresses my sensibilities through the work; it begins in reality and works toward the creation of an image that will speak of humanity and my excitement for life.

I'm interested in the formal aspects of art and the expressive quality of paint. I discover beauty through a focused examination of my surroundings; my neighborhood and the city and its streets, as well as the various relationships and shapes that interest me.


Carolyn Fehsenfeld • Biography

EDUCATION

1990-2003 
Painting and Monotype, Ox-Bow, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Saugatuck, Michigan

1990
Master of Fine Arts, Painting, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

1984 
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

1970
Kendall School of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2008
LaFontsee Galleries, "Luminosity," Two-Person Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2007
LaFontsee Galleries, "2007-b," Three-Person Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2005
LaFontsee Galleries, "Brushworks," Two-Person Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2004
LaFontsee Galleries, "63 Years and Painting," Three-Person Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2003
LaFontsee Galleries, "Holiday Muse," Group Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, "Freshly Picked," Three-Person Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Muskegon Museum of Art, "75th Annual Regional Exhibition," Juried Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

LaFontsee Galleries, "Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration," Group Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan 

2000
"Frederik Meijer Gardens Invitational Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Painting the Town II," Gallery Arcadia, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Lure of the Land," Gallery Arcadia, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1999
"Painting the Town," Gallery Arcadia, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1995
"Lowell Area Juried Art Show," Lowell, Michigan

"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan

1994
"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan 

1992
"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," City Purchase Award, Grand Rapids, Michigan 

1989
Grand Rapids Junior College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan 

1987
"Annual West Michigan Juried Competition," Muskegon, Michigan

1986
Corcoran Gallery, Muskegon, Michigan

Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan

1985
"Annual West Michigan Juried Competition," Pageant Award, Muskegon, Michigan

Grand Rapids Junior College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1984
"Steelcase Michigan Student Competition," Pageant Award, Southfield, Michigan

"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan 
Selected 

1984
"Annual West Michigan Juried Competition," Muskegon, Michigan

1983
"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan 

"Michigan Fine Arts Competition," Birmingham, Michigan

"Annual West Michigan Juried Competition," Pageant Award, Muskegon, Michigan

1982
"Holland Area Competitive Art Show," Holland, Michigan 

"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Pageant Award, Grand Rapids, Michigan 

"Michigan Artist Competition," Battle Creek, Michigan

1981
"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Grand Rapids, Michigan 

1980
Grand Rapids Junior College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

AWARDS

2003
Honorable Mention, Muskegon Museum of Art "75th Annual Regional Exhibition," Muskegon, Michigan

1992
"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," City Purchase Award, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1985
"Annual West Michigan Juried Competition," Pageant Award, Allendale, Michigan

1984
"Steelcase Michigan Student Competition," Pageant Award, Southfield, Michigan

1983
"Annual West Michigan Juried Competition," Pageant Award, Allendale, Michigan

1982
"Calder Festival Juried Art Show," Pageant Award, Grand Rapids, Michigan

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1999-2003
Artist in Residence, Clark Retirement Community, 
Grand Rapids, Michigan

1995-1999
Adjunct Faculty, Drawing and Design, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1991
Adjunct Faculty, Painting, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan

1986
Adjunct Faculty, Life Drawing, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1983
Workshop Facilitator, Watercolor, Kendall School of Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1974-1978
Graphic Designer, Big Dutchman, Zealand, Michigan

1972-1976
Gallery Owner, Quicksand Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1970-1972
Graphic Designer, Harley Wagner, Grand Rapids, Michigan

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

- Central Michigan University
- The City of Grand Rapids
- The Frey Foundation
- Grand Valley State University
- Innerspace Corporation
- Muskegon Museum of Art
- Spectrum Health
- Steelcase
- Varnum Riddering Schmidt and Howlett
- Warner Norcross and Judd