Artist-in-Residence Program

The Forest Hills Fine Arts Center Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program offers selected local and regional artists a unique opportunity to share their work and talent with students and art-lovers in the Forest Hills area through short term residencies. Each residency will be launched with a public reception to introduce the artist to the community and unveil an exhibition of their work in the Center gallery. During the period “in residence,” each artist will enjoy use of the resources of the Fine Arts Center studio and provide a variety of interactive presentations and demonstrations for Forest Hills students and/or adults.

Each year, a committee of art educators, local artists and community members will identify potential artists in a variety of media and invite them to apply to the program. Five or six residencies will be awarded annually and presented to the community as a series. Selections are made based on the art form and the artist’s scope of experience, body of work, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with community members and students. Information about the AIR Program can be obtained by contacting the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center.

The Fine Arts Center's AIR/Exhibit Program is fully funded through the generosity of Centennial Securities Company.

Painting by Carmella Loftis,
2017–2018 Artists-in-Residence

The Fine Arts Center will feature a diverse line-up of highly accomplished West Michigan artists in a series of five residencies from late August 2017 through March 2018. A public reception at the beginning of each residency will introduce the featured artist to the community and unveil an exhibition of their work in the Fine Arts Center gallery. All exhibits will be open for public viewing during regular hours of operation (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and designated evening hours. The artists will provide a variety of interactive presentations and demonstrations for Forest Hills students and/or adults in the Center’s Artist-in-Residence studio and area schools.

Presenting Sponsor for the 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence Program and Exhibits Series:

Supporting Sponsors for the 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence Program and Exhibits Series:

Carmella Loftis

August 24 – September 22, 2017
Reception: Thursday, September 7, 2017, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby.
Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

In the year 2000 Carmella was given the gift of a box of paints, a handful of brushes, and a stack of plywood boards, with the simple instructions to “paint some pictures.” Without any formal art training, she began her adventure as a painter. The process has lead her through many series of paintings. These series have highlighted women, native cultures, wild flowers, pop culture, whimsical messages, and emotional expression. Each painting is uniquely inspired by found and reclaimed materials that she incorporates into her work.


Carmella Loftis
Mike Bryant

September 28 - October 21, 2017
Reception: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby.
Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

Mike considers himself fortunate to be a clay artist and is indebted to those who traveled these roads before him. "More than 10,000 years of clayworks provide a glorious and endless pool of influence in which to swim," states Mike. "A theme that has long entertained me is that of ritual. The inevitable void that all humans face instills in most a need for connection, not only with each other in the tangible world, but also with others in the beyond, past, and future." Mike's newest work includes tiles, orbs, and masks. He has been expanding his ‘painterly’ skills while involving other disciplines including design balance and color management.


Mike Bryant
Anne Berends

January 10 - February 2, 2018
Reception: Thursday, January 18, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby.
Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

Working freelance as a fine artist and a teaching artist with a concentration in works on paper, Anne Berends frequently uses gouache, charcoal, conté, ink, and pastels. Her work is process oriented, an approach that results in both abstraction and representational imagery. The subject matter is often a bowl, a vessel, or a landscape that evolves into large cavernous holes, an abyss, or an ellipse of some sort. The work focuses on expressive multi-layered lines in an attempt to make the purpose more visible and illuminated. By working with the inherently pure form, Anne is looking to show what speaks beyond the subject itself.


Anne Berends
Linda Walburn

February 8 - 27, 2018
Reception: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby.
Everyone is welcome!
Website: lindataftwalburnartist/home
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

For many years, Linda Taft Walburn focused her award-winning fiber-art career on a commercial market. Longing to create art for art sake, she currently lives her passion. Her love of nature and the abstract expressionist style are expressed through dynamic design and vibrant color. Using various printing methods, fabric dye, white cloth and a very nice sewing machine, her art is a visual dance of color, design, nature, and cloth.


Linda Walburn
Bill Hosterman & Ed Wong-Ligda

March 2 - 23, 2018
Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby.
Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

Bill and Ed's work features historic artistic techniques and thematic landscape elements. Bill's work interprets how human desires and the human form affect landscapes. Ed's work reflects his interests in literary pacing and theatrical choreography. The merging of their bodies of work supports a juxtaposition of historical and philosophical ideas interpreted in two separate, yet overlapping manners.

Bill Hosterman

"I create artwork about relationships between land and water, and between nature
and human progress. Through direct experience and research about the habitat,
landscape, and the human history of an area, I make images that relate the
manner in which nature defines humans and in turn, humans define nature. I see
my work as being a combination of physical forms and cultural ideas. Ultimately,
I am interested in investigating the seemingly divergent paths of the natural
world and human need defined by modern society."


Ed Wong-Ligda

"As a young man I appreciated literature and the theater more than the visual arts, so
when painting became my focus I naturally transferred many literary and theatrical
interests to painting. While my new body of work is landscape I’m still choreographing rather than composing.

"I am attempting to relearn how to see and think about painting in order to make 19th Century decisions in relationship to significance, artistic convention, and purpose. Within this context I am focusing on incidents: a gust of wind that scatters loose pine needles, cloud shadows moving over a valley, a bird alighting on a dead branch, or the moment a volcano plume takes a certain shape. To accomplish the desirable feel of the work, my painting process begins with objectivity, which is then transformed with a combination of misinformation, fiction, and 19th Century subjectivity, hopefully resulting in melodrama."


Bill Hosterman
2017–2018 Exhibits and Events

Besides Our Artist-in-Residence Program Exhibits, the Fine Arts Center Hosts a Variety of Exhibits Throughout the Year

Forest Hills Public Schools Staff and Community Exhibit
November 28 - December 15, 2017
Reception: Thursday, December 7, 2017, 6 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in the lobby.
Everyone is welcome!

Forest Hills Public Schools Student Exhibit
April 12 - May 11, 2018
Reception: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the lobby. Everyone is welcome!

Jillian Dickson Exhibit
May 25 - June 22, 2018
Reception: Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby. Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

“Beneath My Skin” Series

The ancient female experience of pregnancy and delivery was highly transformative in understanding the female body and it's relationship to the natural world. Jillian created a series of drawings to examine the forgotten and neglected connection between the female tactile body and wild mother nature. To accomplish this, Jillian fuses images of human organs with budding flowers, ribbons and butterflies to appear as a singular functioning unit.

Swollen buds, blooming lilies, decorative butterflies are all visual elements suggesting feminine beauty, and sentiment. Those elements paired with high claustrophobic detailing, tightening of ropes, and grotesque veiny placentas, all point to the dichotomy and complexity of the feminine and spiritual muscle of the female.

Through pregnancy and delivery Jillian was reminded of the strength, the resilience, the forceful unending push of nature, and how those feminine qualities are an intrinsic to her as a female. Her hope is that these drawings can function as a gentle reminder of that strength.

Artist and art educator Jillian Dickson hails originally from Darien, Illinois. Her work has been exhibited internationally, notably in Venice and Paris, as well as throughout the United States. Jillian has taught at Elon University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, Baylor University, Texas State University, The Art Institute of Austin, Clemson University, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Kate Meyer Exhibit
June 29 - July 27, 2018
Reception: Thursday, July 12, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby. Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

"My ongoing body of work examines the intricate relationship between our heart and our minds. Memories, experiences, and feelings shape the paths of our life, yet how we analyze and react to those experiences can alter that path dramatically. This ongoing struggle between internal and external is at the root of my work as I examine the path that my own life has taken, and find peace and acceptance along the way.

"In my series Unbound, I am exploring my own personal experience with grief and how fear of vulnerability constructs barriers around our hearts. These barriers ultimately cannot be sustained, and the breakdown of these walls and the unveiling of the heart is the most beautiful journey we will embark on," states Kate.

Kate's medium of choice is encaustic – a luminous mixture of beeswax, resin, and pigment that allows her to create both visual and structural depth. It also allows her to embed objects into the wax, carve out textures, and even transfer images. Building layer upon layer, sometimes digging back into time that has already passed to create the appearance of beauty on the surface, is what draws her to encaustics.

Kate Meyer has degrees in zoology and fine art from Michigan State University and Lansing Community College, respectively. Her work has been exhibited in Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan. She also has taught classes in the area as well.

Beibei & Leilei Chen Exhibit
August 3 - 24, 2018
Reception: Thursday, August 9, 2018, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the lobby. Everyone is welcome!
Exhibit Postcard: Download PDF

Leilei Chen and Beibei Chen are twin sisters from China, and have worked collaboratively together in creating the series of paintings and ceramics in their exhibit. They received their graduate degrees from the top and best ranking universities in China. Within their fields of expertise, they teach both undergraduate and graduate students at Liaoning University of Technology in China.

Leilei received her BFA in studio oil-painting from China’s top fine arts school, Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 2002, and in 2007, she received her graduate degree in art history from Academy of Art & Design at Tsinghua University, where culture, history, and art are emphasized. Prior to coming to the United States, she was an assistant professor of art at Culture Dissemination College, Liaoning University of Technology, where she taught undergraduate courses in drawing, oil painting, watercolor, and photography. Currently, she is a visiting scholar at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Beibei Chen received her BFA from College of Art Design & Architecture, Liaoning University of Technology and in 2008, she received her graduate degree from School of Arts Peking University, the top and best ranking university in China. Her fields of expertise include Chinese and western art, as well as art-based research methodologies and theories. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at College of Art Design & Architecture, Liaoning University of Technology, where she has taught courses related to art history, animation, graphic design and photography.

Leilei & Beibei have exhibited their works nationally and internationally. One of their paintings, “Youth” has won the third prize for the national painting competition in China in 2009.

"Being Chinese artists residing and studying in the United States, our work is heavily influenced by Chinese culture, aesthetics, and philosophy. We have always been interested in engaging with environmental and cultural issues through ceramics and painting."

The Fine Arts Center's AIR/Exhibit Program is fully funded through the generosity of Centennial Securities Company.

Jillian Dickson
Kate Meyer
Beibei & Leilei Chen
Exhibit Viewing Hours

All exhibits at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center are held in the lobby and are free to the public.

Exhibit Viewing Hours
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday (excluding holidays when schools are closed)

Summer Exhibit Viewing Hours
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Thursday (excluding holidays)

Artist Receptions
6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the day of the reception, in the FAC Lobby

What Our Sponsors and Community Say About
the Fine Arts Center

Randall L. Hansen, President, Centennial Securities Company:
“Centennial Securities is proud of our association with Forest Hills Schools and the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. We believe it’s important to give back to the community where our employees live, work, and learn. Our sponsorship of events at the Fine Arts Center help to cement a critical bond between business, community, and school which is so important in today’s world and in turn helps to provide our young people with greater opportunities. The creative staff of the Fine Arts Center, along with many dedicated educators, continually find incredible ways to inspire and shape the young minds of tomorrow. And they inspire me.”

Laura Madison, Forest Hills Northern High School Art Teacher:
“At Northern High School, I see our community as a quilt. Every piece represents the uniqueness of the individual student. We're placed together to support each other; we're complete when there are no missing pieces. I value building relationships with the students and in our community. Randy (Centennial Securities president) has played an important part in making our quilt a reality. I'm very thankful, and appreciate the contributions of the other companies give."

What Our Artists Say About the Fine Arts Center

Ann Teliczan:
"Exhibiting at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center (FHFAC) is an experience I will always remember fondly and look forward to doing again. It is a tremendously supportive environment for the arts, and the artist in a time when this is so strongly needed. Having the FHFAC as a resource is a treasure that gives not only to artists and our children, it expands our world and adds to the value of our community. I feel lucky to have been selected to be a part of such an innovative, uplifting place."

“The FHFAC family cares about the success of their artists. They take the TIME to listen and respond with care, kindness, and generosity."

Brian Ballard:
"I wanted to take just a minute to express just how grateful I was to be asked to participate in the AIR/Exhibits program. So often those of us with a passion for what might be deemed a genre of traditional arts find ourselves overlooked by the fine arts community.

"In my opinion the FAC is a conduit and catalyst for all art genres and emphasizes exposing the public to the possibilities of art in all its diversity. The FAC is also a springboard for many of us in the arts, and to be affiliated with it has personally allowed me to move forward with my goals as a proponent of traditional arts. Exhibiting with the FAC has proven to be a pivotal reference that has assisted me most recently to become a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and being named as a participant with the MSU Traditional Artist Apprenticeship program.

"In closing let me assure any of those whom might question the necessity for programs such as those offered by the FHF program. As an artist, a public educator, and a parent, I have found the FHF is above all other things a service to the community and it’s citizens of every age and interest.

"Again my sincere thanks for the honor of having been included in AIR/ Exhibits program."

E. Lynne O'Rourke:
"The Artist-in-Residence program at Forest Hills Fine Arts Center was a very positive experience, because of the cooperation of the well-informed and professional staff. Of course the facility's wonderful exhibit space is perfect to accommodate vast amounts of artwork as well as people. Thanks again for the opportunity to have this great experience at the Center."

Reb Roberts:
"Let me say that many, many organizations have asked artists for a contribution of some kind. I find that there has always been something wonderfully refreshing in the fact that the Forest Hills Fine Art Center and its staff have continuously asked, 'What can we do for artists?' They have reached out to the greater community and organized and promoted the incredibly progressive art extravaganza last spring for the Avenue for the Arts. What an innovative and inclusive way to bring our art communities together. Thank you Forest Hills for being so generous to artists and honoring their purpose."

Carl Forslund:
"The experience that I had with the Center was nothing short of fabulous. The staff covered every detail and anticipated any needs I had before I even thought of them. As they may recall, I chose to speak to the art students from all three high schools and then visit each class individually. This was a blast and I would do it again in a minute."

Cameron VanDyke:
"It was an all around great experience. Their support from promotion, to installing the show, to reception volunteers, to continued encouragement has been a really meaningful part of my journey as an artist."

John AC Despres:
"My experience with the staff at the Forest Hills FAC was most enjoyable. Their knowledge, experience and willingness to help go a long way toward an overall wonderful experience. The beautiful facility has met the demands of every exhibit I've seen there."With a caring staff and an exquisite space, it doesn't get much better than the FHFAC."

John Neering:
"It was a pleasure working with you and your staff at the Center and I thourghly enjoyed the workshop with the Forest Hills teachers and their students."

Tom Clinton:
"It is always great to have a space in which to exhibit one's work, particularly a space as lovely as the Fine Arts Center. The staff was a pleasure to work with. But perhaps the the biggest surprise was how much I enjoyed working with the high school students. They were enthusiastic, receptive and engaged. I hope they had as good a time as I did."

FAC's Gallery Area