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".