top of page

Artist in Residence

Thanks to the generous support of businesses and patrons we have been able to offer a residency to three West Michigan artists over the last two years. 



John and Amy Wilkinson

Muskegon, MI 

Artist Statement

John and Amy have worked as an artistic team since 1991, and have created a wide range of public, private, and commercial works of two- and three-dimensional art and installations. They have also been engaged in the performance arts through film, stage, television, and music. Both are experienced in the art of presentation, education, and demonstration. Their individual experiences lend themselves toward the development of well-crafted and inspired works. Taking inspiration from nature, their work often depicts and references plants and animals. They hope to engage the communities in a whimsical interaction with art.


Their recent work can be found in galleries such as Uptown Gallery of Grand Haven and the ACWL-Nuveen. They were guest artists at the Lakeshore Art Festival in the Kayak Project.

Community Lessons

Each class visit consisted of a brief overview of the history and vocabulary of sculpture, presentation on the community installation, project lesson, and Q&A with the visiting artists. They visited one high school, middle school, elementary, and preschool classroom.


In three age-appropriate lessons, students explored constructing their own art work out of found objects. Younger students built temporary miniature sculptures out of food while older students could choose from everyday objects to create a piece that represented them.

Public Installation

During the fall of 2018, Amy and John Wilkinson worked with a group of eight students to design an interactive public sculpture. The final product will be installed in the summer of 2019. The petal-like legs of the tripod will each depict a part of White Lake's history. A leg each for the industrial, agriculture, and natural revitalization era.


Students acquired experience in project planning, welding, and gained hands on experience working with professional artists.


The completed product will be installed on a wildflower filled jetty off the bike trail in Montague, over looking White Lake. Viewers will be able to walk under and around the sculpture. A centrally located light will illuminate the piece at night.


Gypsy Schindler 

Grand Rapids, MI

Artist Statement

Exploration of the diversity and fluidity of identity is a constant, internal journey for me. Our understanding of this concept is changing, as the definitions of gender, race, age, geography, culture and socioeconomic status are mixed, blurred, inverted and dismantled. I am interested in participating in the conversation between the dissection of the externally determined identity and the increasing awareness of the internally determined one.


Portraiture has significant meaning within the context of art history. It is indubitably valuable as a record of the growth of humanity and the movement of time. However, one of the most imperative functions of portraiture is to help us learn to connect more deeply with each other, in order to increase understanding and empathy. A portrait allows us to search through another’s face and look longer than would be normally, socially acceptable. The language of the intuitive, nuanced, nonverbal instigates a silent conversation about how we hold our history uniquely within our being. The present focus on diversions of identity is important, as it relates to the arc of human history and the evolution of self.

Community Lessons

Gypsy shared a lesson on self portraiture with two high schools and a class in partnership with Health West. She introduced over 40 students to a brief history of portraiture and blind contour drawings. Students explored self representation through art and shared their completed projects with classmates.

Public Installation

Students worked with Gypsy Schindler to breathe new life into an empty wall at the Nuveen Center. The student driven project was centered around conversations about identity of self, community, and our organization. When faced with questions about what can the arts do for their community they landed on the theme of "create". Students each drafted individual drawings which were compiled into a larger composition, to represent individuals coming together to create a larger community. This funky installation can now be seen

by every guest entering the art center.

2018 sculpture.jpg

This program was sponsored by the White Lake Community Fund and Leonard & Edna K. Blomdahl Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County

bottom of page