RACHAEL VAN DYKE


STATEMENT

Growing up in a large Italian family where emotions and energy were high, I learned early on to create quickly, to work collaboratively, and to not become too attached to my work. With seven children to care for my mother and father would encourage my siblings and I to be active outdoors and creative indoors, requiring us to pick up anything we played with or created at the end of each day. Knowing that my creations would be gone by bedtime I was quick to design, problem-solve, create and build everything I dreamed of making for that day. I learned to say goodbye to my work and had an eagerness for something new and fresh for the next day. This childhood dynamic creates a need in me as an artist to be actively exploring and expressing new ideas and materials. I make work very quickly and intensely, often cutting through the paint surfaces and restating my lines. I want my materials to be bold and work fast with me. I find myself most comfortable when away from the tradition of easel and am often on my hands and knees actively engaged with the painting, my bare feet exposed to the cool concrete floor of my studio.

 

The Influence of Place

My father traveled the world as a business man and would often bring to our home his clients from across the globe. My parents invited us as children to have dinner with them and hear stories afterwards of foreign lands and people. I fell in love with accents and customs that my beautiful but remote farm town in upstate New York was unaccustomed to. In the beginning of my artistic career I worked regionally, heading up to northern Michigan for a weekend of plein air painting. I found myself taking photographs that were never looked at again, as my hand seemed to only paint what I experienced in the moment. I realized this way of working was a package. A package of people, place, and landscape that could not be revisited through photographs. So over the course of years I have made it my intention to participate in numerous art residencies throughout Michigan, the United States, and Europe. Most residencies are one month in length, but I recently experienced a nine-month residency while living off the grid on a 1000 acre preserve in the Appalachian Mountains. These residencies, particularly ones abroad, create boundaries that I am forced to work with and cause me to alter my technique. Most of these obstacles are related to traveling abroad; adjusting to new studio space constraints, change of temperature, lack or loss of art materials, poor foreign language skills, and shipping limitations. These boundaries also create stimulation for me as an artist as I am forced to understand and come to terms with my limitations to see what I can create. I have to be open to a new color palette or a new visual language to express the land. I love to explore the region through walking or bicycling, visiting museums and historic sites, and trying my hand at engaging with local residents. Each body of work is influenced by place and I hope tells a story of the people and land that I encountered.


PROFILE

Rachael's visual language describes each feature of the landscape in a narrative way, from fields to orchards, to vineyards. She begins her paintings on site, working outdoors with charcoal on plywood, looking for layers, pattern and juxtaposition of fields, describing her subjects with energetic linework. In the studio, the charcoal drawing becomes her departure point as she paints fluidly in acrylic, allowing the colors to merge and blend with the charcoal.

Rachael Van Dyke is a mid-career artist represented by LaFontsee Galleries of Grand Rapids and Douglas, MI. Exploring new places and cultures through artist in residence programs around the world brings inspiration to her work. Van Dyke has most recently participated as an artist-in-residence with the Isle Royale National Parks Service, Isle Royale, MI, ArteStudio Ginestrelle, Assisi, Italy and Les Pays; Jardin Botanique, Marnay sur Seine, France. Van Dyke has received additional fellowships including TICA with the Art Institute of Chicago, and Les Tasis located in the Ardeche Valley of Southern France. She is also a Fulbright Memorial Fund teacher recipient to Japan. Van Dyke has had solo art exhibitions with the Forest Hills Fine Art Center, the Power Center of Performing Arts in Ann Arbor, MI and the University of Michigan Hospital Gifts for Art program. She earned her MAE at the Kendall College of Art and Design and has worked 14 years as an art and design educator for all grade levels including adjunct instructor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.


BIOGRAPHY

EDUCATION

2008 – 2011
Maters in Art Education, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2003 – 2004
Graduate Teacher Certification in Art Education, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1990 – 1994
Studio Art, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2012 – Present           
Adjunct Professor (Art Ed.), College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan

2000 – Present          
Professional Artist, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2004 – 2012               
Art Education, NorthPointe Christian Schools, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1999 – 2002
Education through Music Art Specialist, ETM Camps, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2002
Art Educator, Summer Art Education for Migrant Students, Belding, Michigan

2000 – 2002
Project Coordinator, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1994 – 1997
Art Educator, Self-Employed, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1996
Art Educator, NorthHills Classical Academy, Grand Rapids, Michigan

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018
“Collective”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"The Future People", Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington, DE

2017
“Perception & Intention”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“Toast”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Slightly Obsessive”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Everyone in the Pool”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"ArtPrize Eight", Crossroads Bible Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Look Out", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“URBAN/RURAL Michigan Outlook”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Unusual Suspects”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Hop Skip & a Jump”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2013   
“Wide View”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Go Figure”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2012   
“25 Year Gala”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“LG-Group”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Festival of the Arts”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Color Context”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Genre”, Seed Gallery, Elk Rapids, Michigan
“Power of Pattern”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Get Dressed”, Seed Gallery, Elk Rapids, Michigan
“Fresh Squeezed and Locally Grown”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
“Act II”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2011
“ArtPrize”, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Thaw”, Davison Gallery, Rochester, New York
“Festival of the Arts”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Avenue for the Arts”, Forest Hills Fine Art Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2010
Devos Children’s Hospital, Collaborative Sculpture, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Paradigm”, Collaborative piece, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Celadon New Urbanist Community, abstract painting, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2009
“ArtPrize”, Collaborative piece, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Celebration of the Arts”, FUMC, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Festival of the Arts”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Museum
“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2008
“Q & A”, Postma Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Q & A”, Atrium Gallery, Grand Haven, Michigan
“Celebration of the Arts”, FUMC, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Voyages and Images”, Gold Dome Gallery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
“Voyages and Images”, Hawken Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
“Live Coverage”, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2007
“Voyages and Images”, Dolan Center Gallery, New York City, New York
“Festival of the Arts”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“The Child In You”, Women-Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Lowell Area Arts Council, Lowell Regional Art Competition, Grand Rapids, MI
“Celebration of the Arts”, FUMC, Grand Rapids, Michigan
 “Live Coverage”, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2006
“The Mines”, Wealthy St. Theater, “The Mines, “Colors” Experience 11”, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Q & A”, Orchard Hill Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Self-Portraits of my Mother”, Capsule Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Japan; Land of Contrast”, Caplet Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Innerscapes”, Lowell Area Arts Council, Lowell, Michigan
“GVA Artists Summer Show”, Gallery 800, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“New Wine Skins; a retelling”, Caplet Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2005
“Three Stars Rising; The Ephinany”, Eyekons, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“The Hope of Things Promised”, Eyekons, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Reformation”, Christ Lutheran Church, Wyoming, Michigan
Bishop Hills Community, Rockford, Michigan
“Festival of the Arts”, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Spring Competition”, Gallery 800, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“West Michigan Regional Art Competition”, Lowell Area Arts Council, Lowell, MI
 “Winter Festival Exhibition”, Gallery Uptown, Grand Rapids, Michigan
 “Colors of GVA”, Gallery 800, Grand Rapids, Michigan
 “Celebration of the Arts”, FUMC, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2003
“Juried Exhibition”, Colin’s Art Gallery, Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, MI
 

PRESS

http://voyagechicago.com/interview/check-rachael-van-dykes-artwork/