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ACWL-Nuveen Welcomes Seven New Artist Members

Early in 2022, the ACWL-Nuveen put out a call for new artist members for the retail gallery. With this call, ACWL-Nuveen staff and gallery committee members hoped to broaden the type of artwork represented in the gallery. Seven new artist members representing a wide range of artistic mediums were chosen from a pool of 20+ applicants. We are excited to share their information with you and hope you will stop by our gallery to see their artwork in person!

Bridget Bontrager - Fused Glass

A native Michigander, Bridget lived on the New England coast for almost 25 years before returning to her home state. Bridget started delving into her craft initially by working with mosaics but then shifted her focus to fused glass. She was drawn to the vibrancy and clarity of the medium and found the processes, challenges, and triumphs of working with glass compelling. Creating new designs and problem-solving with new techniques keeps her engaged. All of Bridget's pieces are unique and one of a kind. About her studio practice she states, "creating art has been a gift to me"

Ed Elsey - Wood

Ed has been exploring the properties of wood and how we interact with it daily for decades. He has built furniture, erected buildings, carved figurative and abstract sculpture, constructed musical instruments, whittled trees and chopped firewood all while being in awe of the properties of such a common material. His current obsession is with the turned form. Ed focuses on functional objects, primarily bowls, but also explores hollow turned forms. Much like a potter working in clay he strives to reach a compromise, creating an object that is comfortable in the hand and pleasing to the eye while still pleasantly fulfilling a function.

Catherine McClung - Watercolor

Canadian born, Catherine McClung makes her home and studio in West Michigan where the area's woods, waters and meadows are the necessary inspiration for her watercolor paintings of nature. To nature lovers and china lovers Catherine McClung is a household name. She has painted a wide array of designs for the Lenox company. During the holiday season thousands of china collectors and bird lovers display and dine on dinnerware made famous by this Spring Lake artist. After many years of painting some of the most spectacular and colorful birds, Catherine has found inspiration in the subtle beauty of the humble house sparrow as well as the many Michigan shore and marsh birds.

John Pappas - Letterpress Prints

John spent eight years in the San Francisco Bay Area where he worked as a graphic designer for SF’s public television station KQED, and then as a designer with Zimmermann Crowe Design (now VehicleSF). Their clients included Levi Strauss & Co., Electronic Arts, and Wells Fargo Bank.

Along with his wife, artist Candace Compton Pappas, and their two children, John returned to Michigan in 1995.

Between 1995 and 2013 he worked as a designer and art director with Perich Advertising + Design in Ann Arbor, whose clients included Borders Books, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Harman Kardon, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

In 2014 he established 12 Acre Studio, where he is the creative director, bookkeeper, receptionist, and daily dog walker.

Melinda Schertenlieb - Fiber

Melinda has lived in West Michigan most of her adult life, and has created textile and fiber work since she was a teenager. Upon retiring, she has been able to devote more time to these endeavors, and to purse fiber art educational opportunities through workshops and one-on-one trainings.

She humorously states that she has developed her own version of "string theory". Melinda collects a wide range of fabrics, fibers, spun and un-spun wool, bits of papers and plants, silk, and special art yarns as the "strings" or raw materials to combine in a variety of ways to create unique fiber art accessories.

Mackenzie Smith - Quilting

Mackenzie Smith, the founder of Wander Home Studio, has lived a pretty nomadic life with years spent in southern Louisiana the Mississippi Delta, Memphis, Denver, and Washington, D.C. In 2017, she set out on a year-long trip (dubbed the #longroadtriphome) and worked remotely as she traveled across the country. Her plan: spend a year living everywhere, looking for the one best place to call home. By the end of the trip, she hadn’t chosen a long-term home, but learned an important truth from the friends and family who hosted her along the way: it’s not the place that makes the perfect home--it’s the choosing and committing to a place and its people. That place may be one location, or it may be many over the course of our ever-evolving lives. Wander Home Studio, and her finely crafted fiber art, were born out this experience.

Chelsea Tanis - Watercolor, Acrylic

Above all, Chelsea is an advocate for nonjudgmental creativity. She feels this is far easier said than done for someone drawn to meticulous work! She enjoys the process of painting and gives herself room to experiment with new ideas and perspectives even if in her words, "the final piece is a big mess" Her practice is always building on itself -- incorporating new forms into old methods and old forms into new methods. She loves to consider what might come next and recognizes the importance of this dialogue in shaping the trajectory of her artwork and inner life.


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