Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jan Y Johnson

Here's what Jan, our featured artist of December, says about her work and life:

Farm girl. Caledonia and Kendall grad.
Wintered at Ringling School of art painting animals
Came home. Married Kendall sweetheart.
Always painting.
Artist for textbooks and local newspaper.
Chased our two boys, taught YMCA art classes.
Exhibited at art fairs and shows.
Always painting.
The kids grew up.
Publication designer at Amway Corp. for twenty plus years.
Always painting.
Realism. Abstract, combine both. Watercolor's the medium mostly.
Always painting.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

KIM VANDENBERG feeatured in the GR Press Saturday Dce 8, 2007

Words of encouragement: Artist Kim VandenBerg talks with eighth graderJalin Faison about closing his eyes while making pinch pots for Reverse Job Shadow Day at Harrison Middle School.


Career professionals tout ‘doingwhat you love’ Education is key to attaining goals, they tell
middle-schoolers— Eighthgrader Michael Braxton wants to be an auto mechanic when he grows
up, so he knows he will need to take a lot of math courses “because I’ll need to know how to measure parts and stuff,” he said. Seventh-grader Bailey DeRossi dreams of becoming a doctor, or maybe a teacher, so doing well in a wide range of classes is vital, she acknowledged.
Braxton, DeRossi and the rest of the students at Harrison Middle School got a glimpse at the possibilities Friday during Junior Achievement Reverse Job Shadow Day, when about 30 professionals visited the school, talked about their careers and did their best to convince
the adolescents that working hard today will pay off tomorrow. “You eighth-graders, over the
next four and a half years, you will make choices that will affect you for the rest of your life,” Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Bernard Taylor addressed the group at
the start of the day. “Start asking yourself some fundamental questions about what your
life will be,” he said. “Be prepared. And being prepared means having an education.”
In art classes, Kim Schwamberger told students about her love of drawing and being creative. She majored in accounting in college but switched careers at age 35 to become an interior designer. “Somebody designed that chair,” she motioned toward the rear of the classroom. “Maybe that’s what you’d be interested in doing.” Next door in the music room, Richard Britsch, principal French hornist for the Grand Rapids Symphony, told middle-schoolers he practiced four or five hours a day. Maybe a few of them would like more music in their lives, he suggested.
In the gym, fitness trainer Aaron Cobb explained the roles human anatomy, human physiology and math play in his job. Then he got the seventh-graders on their feet for a quick training session. The JA program started a few years ago with just a couple of schools. This year 17 Reverse Job Shadow days are planned at area middle schools. A firefighter, author, accountant,
financial planner, ambulance driver, lawyer, health-care worker and others took part in the daylong program at Harrison. “The one thing they have in common is that they all love what they do,” guidance counselor Marsha Preston told students. “That’s our wish for you.” And while Taylor encouraged the middle school students to start thinking about the future, he stressed the present is important, too. “The job you have right now is to be the best student you can be. Everyone wants you to focus on this job right now,” he said.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Jan Johnson- our featured artist for December

Jan is a wonderful watercolor artist. I apologize for my terrible photos of her work at the Showroom! They don't come close to doing her work justice!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jan Johnson- our featured artist for December

Jan Johnson is our featured artist for December. One of her many skills is book illustration! She did the paintings for this charming children's book "The Floor is not a Closet" and another about a Great Dane titled "Big Brave Boomer".

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Award winning artists

This painting by Virginia Wieringa won a first prize (cash award) yesterday in the People's Choice awards at Bishop Hills Retirement Community. Our Rivertown Artist Guild has a show there every fall and the staff and residents vote on their favorites. She says "I won 3rd last year and 2nd the year before that! I saved this particular painting for that show because I knew it was a crowd pleaser. I like it too." It lived at Fire and Water for a few months and was considered for purchase by a few folks. Next stop for the West Virginia Roadside Poppies is the lobby of St Mary's Health Care in January. See more of Virginia's work at

Those folks at Bishop Hills have pretty good taste! Steve Huyser-Honig, our newest Fire and Water artist captured 3rd prize with one of his exquisite photos of the Grand Haven Michigan lighthouse. Check out more of Steve's work at the Fire and Water ART Showroom and also on line at (see the previous post for more about Steve).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Fire and Water Art! welcomes photographer Steven Huyser-Honig. Steve is captivated by the beauty of the Great Lakes region. Beaches and dunes, lighthouses and breakwaters, farms and orchards, forests and streams, small towns and big cities, the gentle touch of nature and heavy hand of industry—all provide an endless source of inspiration for him.

Though his subjects are as diverse as the region we live in, his approach to each is constant. He’s drawn to bold colors, simple lines, and formal compositions. People often remark that at first they thought his photographs were paintings.

Steve’s hope is to share with you a sense of wonder and whimsy at the beauty of our world…and his dedication to preserving this beauty for future generations. Ten percent of every purchase is contributed to an organization working to preserve the lighthouses, land, and water resources of the Great Lakes region.

Steve prints his photographs with pigment inks on natural cotton rag papers—materials and methods that are more environmentally friendly than traditional photographic processes. And unlike traditional color photographic prints, with a lifespan measured in decades at best, this combination of materials will last, with care, for generations.

If you would like to see more of Steve’s work, visit his website:

He also writes two blogs that touch on Great Lakes issues. If you are interested in Great Lakes Environmental news, check out . If you share his fascination with lighthouses, you might want to check out .

Friday, October 26, 2007

featured artist for November Virginia Wieringa

I have the honor of being the featured artist at the showroom for November. These are a couple of the mixed media pieces I have on display. I work in a wide range of styles and I enjoy the variety. Some may think my work lacks a singular focus because of my wide range of media and subjects, but I like the freedom to experiment! Come in and see my work this month (and every month) at this fabulous art showroom!

Also visit my blog at
and my website

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kim Vandenberg- photographer and ceramist

MOTHER DAUGHTER by Kim Vandenberg


A glimpse into my world these past 40 years... Daughter, Wife, Mother,Artist, Teacher, and Friend.

In general, I enjoy life and embrace every new experience and encounter. My most recent accomplishments as an artist was an invitation to the spring,

Festival 2007 Regional Art, West Michigan Regional Competition 2007,

Lansing Fire & Mud 2006 of The Lansing Art Gallery, Grand Rapids Art

Festival 2005, Lowell Art Regional Show 2005, West Michigan Regional

77th of Muskegon Art Museum 2004, Scarab Club 2003, and U of M show at the Berkowitz Gallery 2003.

I have moved from sculpted vessels and functional arts, such as bowls, and I am currently creating one of kind ceramic pieces. I enjoy art history, the great masters of architecture and photography is incorporated in my work, although natures beauty is also a great inspiration.

My second love is to teach children and give back what I have learned. I teach art enrichment classes independently and through Grandville Academy of Arts. We have enriched the lives of the students by presenting Goytako printing, ceramics, origami, sculpture, and several other mediums.

I am a resident of North Grand Rapids and have given back to the community by chairing events the Grand Rapids Art Festival.

I am a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College and have attended Center of Creative Studies in Detroit. I have worked as a jeweler and designer in Farmington Hills, Michigan. I also enjoy metal and wire sculpture, photography and weaving natural fibers.

May your world be inspired through art.

Kimberly Anne VandenBerg

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bob Gronevelt tables

We have a lovely assortment of tables by Lowell resident Bob Gronevelt.
These are lovingly hand crafted and have a sumptuous finish.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Glass jewelry by
Kathleen Mooney

Sept 1 - Oct 31 2007

Featuring Glass art works
by Kathleen Mooney in
sculpture and

Also, available for viewing
and purchase will be a 20

piece private collection of
Art Glass dating from the

1950s to the present day.

Other showroom artists
will feature works depicting
beauty of glass in
watercolor and photography.
New process
images fused within glass
will be a special
of the show.

This is coordinated with the Lowell Area Arts Council

Studio Glass!

West Michigan Style

Invitational Art Exhibition

Sept. 4 - Oct. 20, 2007
Public Reception: Sunday, September 16th
2pm - 4pm

This invitational exhibition features the diverse work of artists using different
methods of glass art making. Glasswork methods in this exhibition will include:
blowing, lampworking, casting, fusing, mosaics, stained glass and also mixed
media work combining glass with other mediums.
Our own Kathleen Mooney is one of the exhibitors.

For more information go to

Glass in paintings

These paintings are among the pieces included at the showroom for the Beauties of Glass show Sept 1-Oct 31.

The Beauties of Sculpture and Glass

Metal sculpture with glass by Kathleen Mooney- her work is featured along with other glass related photos and art for September and October.


This vintage glass is featured at the gallery from September 1 - October 31

Monday, August 6, 2007

HAND MADE BOOKS by Matthew James Adams

Matthew James Adams- Book Artist
Born and raised in Michigan, Matthew James Adams spent his 
winters in Lower
Michigan and his summers camping and
logging in the Upper
Peninsula. After reading the works of
Tolkien and Edgar Rice Burroughs the artist
was drawn to
bladesmithing and iron work which he studied through high
school and college. After working as a demonstration metal
worker for
Mackinac State Historic Parks Mr. Adams was
accepted as a work study student at
the J.C. Campbell Folk
School in North Carolina where he studied
blacksmithing and Coptic bookbinding.
Trained by the noted North Carolina book artist,
Daniel Essig,
Mr. Adams uses paint, paper, precious metals
and fine leather to create
finely bound works of art. Coptic
binding spread throughout Africa and the
near east during
the 1st to 5th century C.E. and was widely used in the

trading kingdom of Ethiopia. The binding style with its
heavy wood cover
boards and exposed sewings lends
itself to a wide variety of artistic

Matthew James Adams is a graduate of the Art and Design
Department of Alma
College in Central Michigan and is very
pleased to have his work
on display at the Fire and Water Art
Studio and Showroom and at various Art
Festivals in Michigan.

These remarkable handmade books are available at Fire and Water ART.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Kathleen Mooney, Featured Artist , August 2007

Kathleen Mooney is the “Featured Artist” for August 2007 and the owner of Fire and Water Art Studio and Showroom located at 219 West Main in Lowell, MI. Mooney is a multimedia artist who works in metal, glass and paint producing astonishing paintings, “Born to be Different” jewelry and award winning sculpture. Her inspirations come from signs and symbols from the prehistoric past that have survived and persisted into the present day in cultures from all over the world. Her travels have taken her to France, Scotland, Ireland, the UK and the Orkney Islands to study first hand the ancient rock carvings and ceremonial landscapes from over 5,000 years ago.

Mooney’s current project is “The River Series – Maps of Memory”. The River Series was begun at the international Kanuga Watercolor Workshops in Hendersonville, North Carolina Spring 2007 session. Mooney studied abstraction techniques with Danie Janov – a nationally known art instructor, working artist and trained geologist. Janov’s technique of developing layers of simplification and enhancement leads to a well planned composition. The composition Mooney developed at Kanuga is the basis of the 14 richly colored multimedia paintings that form the core of The River Series.

The composition can be seen both as an aerial view of a river system and as an up close view of the interaction of water and earth. Ever changing paths of the river are traced in rich ochre, amber, turquoise and crimson. Mooney realized that the first maps were much like these paintings -- drawn from the memory and the impressions at a certain point in time as seen by an individual traveling on the river. These maps were always changing and subject to individual interpretation.

The paintings remind us of our present day relationship with our environment – and nature. Mooney enjoys kayaking on the Flat River and Stoney Lake. Lowell is fortunate to have two rivers and many lakes that give us so many opportunities to fish, hike, swim and boat. The more time we can spend outdoors the better for our wellbeing and creativity. Nature is full of inspiration”.

A Chance to Observe the Process – Throughout the month of August visitors can observe the process as Mooney develops three large canvases that will be the main feature of The River Series. The panels have been started with layers of paint applied with her free-hand cut block stamps. Mooney’s stamps use signs and symbols of the prehistoric past and world cultures to create rich underlying meaning in her compositions. The panels will develop rich textures, colors and meaning as the month progresses. Visit often to see the changes. A DVD movie of The River Series will also be on view.

Other projects –

Mooney is part of the ISEA – International Society of Experimental Artists 2007 exhibit in Santa Cruz CA. Her entry is titled “Universal Artifacts”. “Universal Artifacts” is an ambitious book of over 50 paintings and has an accompanying DVD of the paintings set to the music of MSU professor, Thom Jayne. This is Mooney’s 2nd year in a row to have the honor to exhibit with leading international artists who push the boundaries of methods, materials and mindset of art to new paths of exploration. The “Universal Artifacts” DVD is also on view at Fire and Water Art.

Carving Print Block Stamps is one of the most popular workshop classes offered at Fire and Water Art. Mooney teaches with easy to cut materials, covering basic safety, free-hand carving techniques and how to use the stamps in many creative projects. Classes include all materials are included in the fee and are 3 hours long. Appointments can be made by calling 890-1879.

Awards and current exhibits –

Fire and Water Art has won the On-the-Town Magazine “Best New Business” Townie Award for 2007. Mooney says “Fire and Water took the coveted “Townie” award through popular vote by their readers. This recognizes our leadership in exhibiting the best of local art with a vibrant and innovative showroom model. We now have over 25 leading local artists working in all mediums. Our sales have been strong -- and we only moved to 219 West Main in November of last year! We look forward to the years ahead as we make even more artistic connections with the community in Lowell -- and West Michigan”.

Fire and Water Art(ists) including Kathleen Mooney are also on exhibit at the Lowell Public Administration offices at 300 High Street through October 12.

Fire and Water Art(ists) including Kathleen Mooney are donating many artworks to the Lowell Area Arts Council “Art Attack” event to be held August 18, 6-10 PM.

Contact information –

Kathleen Mooney, Artist and Owner

Fire and Water Art is located in historic Lowell at 219 West Main.

Our phone number is 616-890-1879.

Our hours are Wednesday through Sunday 1-6 and Fridays 1-7.

Our custom framer is in on Fridays.

Our website is

Friday, July 20, 2007


Krista is our featured artist for July.
Her theme is : A Little Bit of France
Inspired by recent travels.

Monday, June 4, 2007

two more Bonnie Osbourne pastels

MORNING TREES by Bonnie Osborne

SNAKE RIVER by Bonnie Osborne