Artists

Ellen Arden

Ellen

Ellen Arden is a photographer and video installation artist living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ellen received her Bachelors of Fine Art with an emphasis in Photography and Intermedia from Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University, and an Associates of Fine Art from Grand Rapids Community College. She is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education, a founding member of the West Michigan Photography Collective, and a recent recipient of the Rose Notzorg & James Wilfrid Kerr Gallery Award. Working primarily in alternative historical photographic processes, Ellen’s work is intended to generate discussion around social issues. Her current body of work -Metamora : A Discourse on Depression – aims to create a visual identity of ephemeral metaphysical concepts.

Sam Brower

I am a West Michigan born and raised photographer who specializes in landscape and outdoor photography.

I have a background in video production but transitioned over to photography after college and I’ve been hooked ever since.

I now work primarily in 4 by 5 film and alternative processes as my chosen medium.

Leah Burke

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I am currently a student at Grand Valley State University studying art and design. My primary mediums are printmaking, digital photography and curatorial projects.

I’m not a classically trained photographer but my interest was sparked when I began taking digital images. Since then I have branched out into alternative processes like cyanotype, photogravure and lithography. My photographic practice lately, has been combining different printmaking processes and using text with image. I address issues such as labor and value as well as memory and loss.

My curating projects have been at GVSU, downtown Grand Rapids, with the WMPC and in Chicago. When I finish my undergraduate education I hope to pursue a career in arts administration and curating while furthering my own working practice.

Richard Deming

I have been a professional photographer in the West Michigan area for over 38 years owning and managing 5 studios and producing work in commercial, weddings, families, special events, and the arts. As a self taught photographer I began taking photos at age 8 in Hastings, Michigan where I graduated from high school and went on to attend Kendall School of Design. Later, I became an adjunct professor of digital photography at Kendall.

Shooting the majority of my work in film, I expanded to digital photography full time in 2005 winning numerous awards around the state. My body of work shows diversity, artistry, and attention to details that invoke emotions and stir memories from the viewer. My work has been used in many national publications across the country and I’m is praised for my passion and dedication to the art of photography.

Don Ketchel

DonK

I’m a fine art photographer who works primarily with black and white film. I use my darkroom to process film and print from negatives.

I also hand color original black and white images on traditional silver gelatin paper using a variety of tools and methods including brushes, cotton balls, oils and pastel pencils. Many of these are prints from a large format pinhole camera.

As a life long resident of Michigan I can’t help but be influenced by the landscape of the Great Lakes and the beauty that surrounds us each season.

Photography has been the source of artistic expression for most of my life and I continue to learn and experiment with this art form each day.

Jean Orians

My area code has always been 616, having lived my whole life in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have an Associates Fine Art degree with an emphasis in photography from GRCC.

When I first started college I went through the black and white darkroom program. I learned to develop film and print black and white images. After struggling on my own with the digital cameras, I went back to college to learn from the experts. I’ve competed in many local art festivals and in 2012, won an award from the S.H.E. foundation for Excellence in the Depiction of the Feminine.

I have a passion for creating portraits and love to work on projects that keep me excited about photography. A lot of my work seems to have some humor injected into it. I like the lighter side of life and love to laugh and have fun with my photography.

Matt Ortowski

Photography is the way that I seek, find, and display the terror and the beauty of this chaotic universe. The fact that silver and a few other metals react the way they do to varying intensities of light fascinates me to no end. They can display and preserve the image of a tree in blossom or a face in anguish, and they can do the same with the emotions that caused a photographer to point their camera and press the shutter. This is why I’ve chosen the medium I have. It constrains me to reality, and shows me just how fantastic reality actually is.

I’ve lived and worked primarily in the state of Michigan, and I’ve always appreciated the simplistic, sometimes austere beauty of its landscapes. I use both film and digital technologies to express my vision, and I firmly believe that those two mediums can and should co-exist, and even cooperate enriching the art as a whole.

Ruth Parbel

Fine art photography has been my life interest since friends and family recognized my innate talent and started asking for copies of my work while I was still in high school.  I was excited to learn that arguably the finest photography training in the Midwest was under the direction of Jonathan Russell at Grand Rapids Community College. After completing that program with distinction, I went on to complete my fine arts Bachelor degree at the University of New Mexico where I was classically trained as a true black and white photographic artist.  Although my work in all types of artistic photography is outstanding and award winning, I find people to be the most interesting photographic subjects and it is my exceptionally warm and captivating portrait work for which I am most recognized.

Ruth Parbel Fine Art Photography Studio opened in 1985.  Since then, the photographic arts have seen many changes. I have always been on the cutting edge of both artistic and technical innovation.  A true master of the photographic arts, from medium format to digital, from true black and white film photography to digital collage composition, I have not only been a true lifelong learner, but I have been a leader of my craft through my work as President of the trade organization Professional Photographers of Western Michigan.  Some of my most interesting recent college coursework has been in alternative processes photography, creating archival images learning processes from the start of photography in 1839.

Jessica Pleyel

Jessica

Jessica Pleyel is a conceptual artist and curator located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Her studio practice is multi-faceted, and includes sculpture, costume design, performance, video, and playwriting. Major themes within her practice encompass familial relations, feminism, gender identity, and the performative nature of hunting. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2012 with a BFA in Visual Studies. Jessica intends to continue her education in the arts, and become a professor or curator.

For more information on Jessica’s practice, please visit her website at: http://www.jessicapleyel.com

Jonah Rosselot

Jonah
I am a fine arts photographic artist working through my bachelors degree at Kendall College of Art and Design. I specialize in natural light, landscape, and dead pan photography.

Working and showcasing the mid Michigan area, I am interested in bringing art to the public and helping people understand the concept of fine art in photography.

I mainly work with medium format film, printing in a color darkroom. Also, I enjoy working in 4×5 film and Digital processes.

Kevin Rowley

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I became interested in photography in the early 80’s.  At that time film was the only medium used for image capture and I began developing and printing my own black & white images.  Occasionally, I worked with color film and had it processed at labs or by using the Kodak Ektaflex printing system.

When I went to graduate school for mathematics, I temporarily gave up photography. Afterwords, I wanted to pick up where I left off, using film for image capture.  Since my time at graduate school, digital image capture became a viable option and I felt that I was behind on all the new technology.  I am slowly catching up with digital photography, but my main image capture medium is Black & White film.

I like to create images that inspire thought or communicate an idea.  If a viewer is more enlightened intellectually or impacted emotionally by observing my images, I feel I have succeeded as a photographer.

Steven Scherbinski

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I am a System Administrator by day and a Photographer by night.

You can usually find me out in downtown Grand Rapids photographing interesting people, or out by the lakeshore trying to capture the perfect sunset.  My photo assistant, a Golden Retriever named Annie comes along when she can, though she isn’t much help in picking out a subject.

I use a variety of modern and historic photography processes to get a printed image that I see in my minds eye when taking a photograph.

Dennis Timmons

Dennis

I’m a Systems Engineer for a media company in my normal duties, but my real passion is photography. I love trying different kinds of cameras and lenses. I don’t want the perfect shot every time. I like a little blur and a little less color. I like the grain of film and the quickness of digital, but any camera can take a great shot. I shoot all the time and I shoot just a little bit of everything as I find it’s the most relaxing way to get through life. I love the capture of an image.

 

David Vander Wiere

I am a West Michigan based photographer that has been traditionally trained. I strive to challenge myself as well as my viewers through different techniques that are continually changing as my interest is sparked. Through color shifts created by movement between separate exposures that collectively make each image, I challenge the viewer. Large format is my preferred medium and I experiment with it to create images that are eccentric and inquisitive.

Kelly Walkotten

I am an avid nature photographer, whose hobby began with an underwater point and shoot camera. While I have become an accomplished nature photographer, my first love is the nature found in the 3/4s of the world covered with water. While I didn’t
start shooting underwater until about ten years ago, I began scuba diving at 12 years old while living in Hawaii.

With more camera gear than luggage, I has dove many exciting sites in the Caribbean and Pacific. My Caribbean adventures include multiple trips to Bonaire, the Caymans, Belize, and Roatan. Pacific destinations I have documented include Fiji, Galapagos, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, and the Great Barrier Reef. I have also spent a total of 10 weeks in Indonesia in 2009 and 2010, documenting the diverse and unusual creatures in North Sulawesi, Lembeh Strait, and Raja Ampat, some of the most pristine reefs in the world.

I live in Jenison, Michigan USA. In addition to underwater photography, I enjoy nature, portrait, landscape and family photography. My husband Wayne enjoys traveling with Me as I dive and hike throughout His creation.

More of my work can be viewed at http://www.KellyWalkottenPhotography.com and I can be contacted at Kelly@KellyWalkottenPhotography.com

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