Artist Statement

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Mary Reusch

Painting landscapes has always given me the opportunity to go out into nature and observe it very closely. Standing in a meadow, or in a forest, or on the shore of a lake gives me a chance to soak up the essence of the land and enjoy its rhythms. Everywhere I turn, I see vignettes of these rhythms and compositions, and then need to pick and choose those scenes that express most aptly what I am sensing from that particular spot. Capturing a place, a moment in time, the mystery of the fog or clarity of the sun is a time-honored vision, as with the Barbazon painters of 19th century France.

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Painting a small pond in our front yard.

I look closely at the force of nature that emerges through our pavement, concrete, asphalt and other ways we have of trying to subjugate life. I find it a wonder that small seeds have the strength and force of will to make it through heavy and solid objects! The more I look, the more beautiful these images are to me- the details, the detritus and the way the sun hits the pavement. I find them both beautiful testaments of life- as well as nearly abstract paintings that I enjoy composing. I also consider them a metaphor of man’s own tenacity of life and will.

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Painting at the Crowe’s Nest in Saugatuck, Michigan

In recent years, I have become interested in the landscape as a metaphor. This has given me the opportunity to rethink both what I am painting and how I am painting. I still enjoy painting from nature, but now I am looking more closely at new considerations. Inspired by what I see beneath my feet, I have become interested in water and the metaphors inherent in its various components. Water can be still and deep, as in my first attempt at the subject, where even a simple koi can have a metaphor for our thoughts flickering softly below the surface. I am looking forward to taking the subject further, using rapids to suggest the emotional aspect of our life, a splash into a pool of water to suggest the outward flow of our thoughts from the core.

Personal Bio

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In my studio at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1999. Since then I have been painting and showing my work at various galleries in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Glen Arbor, Michigan as well as South Bend, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. Entering juried competitions I have placed in many around the state. Also, I was honored to participate in an artist-in-residency program at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The landscape is my genre, and I pursue it working both in plein air as well as interpretational and experimental work in my studio.

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In Vienna touring the Klimpts at the Belvedere Art Museum

To expand my understanding and love of art I have traveled to to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Ghent, Bruges, Edinburgh, Dublin, Vienna, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto, and Seoul, visiting cultural centers and art museums.

My work is included in private and public collections, including Spectrum Health, Lacks Cancer Center, St. Joseph Mercy Care Center, Grand Valley State University, Kent County Public Art, Aquinas College, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, and Michigan State University’s Public Art on Campus.

Resume from 2019


Phone: 1.616.874.0281        Blog


1996-1999Bachelor of Fine Arts,Departmental Fine Arts Award, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1976-1979Bachelor of Science Degree,Emphasis in Arts and Media, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan


Summer 1980         Oxbow Workshop, Classes in Watercolor & Printmaking, Saugatauk, Michigan

Artist in  Residency Program 

August 2005           Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,Month long residency, Juried and Yearly Awarded to 2 artists, Porter, Indiana

Art Competitions

February 2019            Celebration of the ArtsFirst United Methodist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

June-Aug 2017             Festival 2017, 48thRegional Arts Competition, Old Federal Building,Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept May-Aug. 2014    Festival 2014, UICA, Grand Rapids, Michigan

May-Aug. 2013            85thRegional Exhibition,Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan

Sept.-Oct. 2010            ArtPrize 2010, Grand Rapids Art Museum, listed in top 75, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept-Oct 2009              ArtPrize, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 2009                    Festival 2009, 40thRegional Arts Competition, Old Federal Building,Grand Rapids, Michigan

February 2009            Celebration of the ArtsFirst United Methodist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 2007                    Festival 2007, 38thRegional Arts Competition,Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan    

June 2006-2007           Governor’s Residence Michigan Artists Program,Juried by Urban Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI   

Statewide call for art, installed for one year, Lansing Michigan

Feb. 2006/5/4           Celebration,First United Methodist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Oct 2006                      InnerScapes,Lowell Area Arts Council Exhibition, 2ndPlace, Lowell, Michigan

May-June 2003            Festival 2003, 34thRegional Arts Competition,Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

May-June 2002            Festival 2002, 33rdRegional Arts CompetitionBest of Show, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

May-June 2002            Celebrating the Figure, A body of work,Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, Michigan

June-July 2001            Festival 2001, 32ndRegional Arts Competition,Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

June-July 2000            Festival 2000, 31stRegional Arts Competition,Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

April 2000                    Behind the Walls: Museum Gallery and Arts Administrators,Lawton Gallery, University of Wisconsin- Green Bay, Wisconsin

November 1999           Alma College Statewide Print Competition,Exhibitions in Michigan: Alma, Alpena, Petoskey, Dearborn, & Birmingham, Michigan

May 1999                    Festival ’99,Kent County Purchase Award, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Art Exhibitions

2008, 15, 16                Various Fall Exhibitions, Group Exhibitions,Cascade Gallery. Grand Rapids, MI 49546

February 2018            Take a Deeper Look,Two Person Exhibition, Mary Reusch & Margaret Kriegbaum, Terryberry Gallery, St. Cecilia Music Center, GR, MI

October 2017               Harmony in Nature.Two Person Exhibition, Mary Reusch & Margaret KriegbaumFraunthal Gallery, Muskegon Michigan

Sept-Oct 2016              Two Person Exhibition, Mary Reusch & Margaret Kriegbaum,Forest Hills Fine Arts Center Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Jan-Feb 2015               The Persistence of Nature, Van Singel Arts Center, Gainey Gallery, Byron Center, Michigan

March 2015                 Gallery Brewry, Solo Exhibition, Portland, Michigan

Oct. 2013                     ArtPrize 2013,Grand Rapids, Cathedral Square, Grand Rapids, Michigan

October 2013               Fountain Street Church,2 person Show,Keeler Lounge, Grand Rapids, Michigan

January 2013              The Persistence of Nature,Solo Exhibition, Gainey Gallery,Van Singel Fine Arts Center Art Gallery, Byron Center, Michigan

March/April 2010       Park Congregational Church, Solo Exhibition, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Oct. 2008                     Landscapes & Sculpture,3-Person ShowCascade Gallery. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept- Oct 2007             Small Works Show,Group Exhibition,Cascade Gallery. Grand Rapids, MI 49546

September 2007          Our Backyards: Journeys and Influences,Solo Exhibit, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

October 2006           Ten Year Retrospective for Indiana Dunes Artist-in-Residence,Group Exhibit, Chesterton Art Center, Chesterton, Indiana

September 2006          Discovering Lake Michigan & Its Environs, Solo Exhibition, Hankins Gallery, East Lansing, Michigan

May 2006                    Landscapes to the Power of Three,3 Person show, Eyekons Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

February 2005            Contemplating Michigan,3 person show, Gallery Arcadia, Grand Rapids, Michigan

April 2004                    Expressions of Place,Solo Exhibition, paintings, Keeler Lounge, Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

June 2002                    Sharon Sandberg and Students,Group Exhibition, Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, Michigan

September 1999          Shapes and Spaces, Going for Baroque,Solo Exhibition, Bare Bones Studio, Lansing, Michigan

August 1999                 Collegiate Art,A Group Exhibition: BFA students, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan

June 1999                    Reflections,A Solo Exhibition: Terryberry Gallery, St. Cecilia Music Society, Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 1999                    Recent Works,2 Person Show,The Joan Winkleman Hulce Center, Plymouth Community Arts, Plymouth, Michigan

April 1999                    Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition,Dual Exhibition, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Invitational Exhibitions

2002 etc.                      Live Coverage, 2002, 04,10, 11,13,16,UICA Fundraiser Event: Participated in creating art on site and then auctioned

May- July 2009            Big Lake Perspectives, Group Exhibit atAtrium Gallery, 2ndChristian Reformed Church, Grand Haven, Michigan

Sept. 2003Nature Conservancy,Exhibition of Michigan Sites, Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, Michigan

March 2002                 A Tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe,Women’s History Month. Van Singel Fine Arts Center, Byron Center, Michigan

March 2000                 Strength of Community- Women Make a Difference,Girl Scouts, Room 222 Art Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1994-1995Michigan Wildflowers,Traveling Exhibition of Michigan, Organized by Northwood Gallery Midland, Michigan

Professional Jurist & Speaking Opportunities

May 2019 Regional Arts Exhibition, Festival of the Arts 50th Year, Selected the paintings, drawings and prints, at The Fed Galleries at Kendal College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI, June 2 until June 22, 2019

Nov 2016, Feb 2017    Forest Hills High Schools, We gave a week of classes at three high schools, Ada, Michigan

June 2009                    Big Lake Perspectives, Gallery Walk at 2ndChristian Reformed Church, Grand Haven, Michigan

May 2009                    Plein-Air Pastel Instruction,Invited Speaker for Lakeside Elementary, East Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sept. 2007Plein-Air Art & Constructing an Exhibit,Invited Speaker for Painting Class, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

June 2006                    Gallery Walk,Describing thoughts and processes for my Exhibit, Eyekons Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dec. 2005                    Working as a Professional Artist,Invited Speaker for Painting Class, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aug. 2005                    Oil Painting Demonstration,Artist in Residence Indiana Dunes Nat. Lakeshore, Chesterton Art Center, Chesterton, Indiana

Dec. 2004                    The Impressionist Eye, Gallery Walk, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Work Experience

2012-2014               Grand Rapids Art Museum, Interim Registrar, Oversaw the Collection: Coordinated Exhibitions, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2001-2008               Rick Stevens Studio, Worked as Rick’s Studio Assistant: Shipped, Framed and documented his work, Sparta, Michigan

1997-2001               Grand Rapids Art Museum, Assistant Registrar, Worked on Exhibitions: Helped with the Collection, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Institutional Collections

2016                            Spectrum Health, Concierge Medicine,                                               Lake Drive, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014                            Michigan State University, Public Art on Campus                                East Lansing, Michigan

2010                            Grand Rapids Art Musuem, Permanent Collection                               Grand Rapids, Michigan

2010                            Spectrum HealthAdministrative Offices                                              Grand Rapids, Michigan

2009                            United Memorial Hospital, Frederick Meijer Wing                             Greenville, Michigan

2009                            Elkhart General Healthcare System                                                    Elkhart, Indiana

2007                            Japan Center for Michigan Universities                                               Hikone, Japan

2004                            St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Care, Huron Gastro                                   Ypsalanti, Michigan

2003                            St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Care, Onocology Division,                         Brighton, Michigan

2003                            Lack’s Cancer Center, St. Mary’s                                                        Grand Rapids, Michigan

1999                            Grand Valley State University                                                             Allendale, Michigan

1999                            County of Kent                                                                                Purchase Award, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1999                            Aquinas College, Board Room                                                             Grand Rapids, Michigan

Professional Travel

2018                            Reykjavik,Iceland, Egilsstadir, Iceland, Visited Art Museums and Cultural centers while traveling the circumfrance of the island

2018                            Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic; Bratislava, Slavakia; Sopron, Hungary, One month cultural immersion with art/history/museums

2017                            Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, London, Visited Art Museums, Roman Villas, Castles, and Cultural Centers

2014                            Seoul, S. Korea,Visited art museums & cultural centers

2013                            France, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Visited art museums & cultural centers

2008/09/16               Santa Fe, New Mexico,Toured galleries, museums and painted plein air

2007                            Hikone, Japan,Toured as an assistant with instructors to visit art museums & cultural centers

2007                            New York City, NY,Visited art museums & cultural centers

2002                            Paris, France,Toured with fellow artists and instructors to visit art museums & galleries

2000                            Rio deJaniero, BrazilVisited musems and cultural centers

1999                            London, England. Edinburgh, Scotland,Visited Art musems, Museums & cultural centers

Gallery Affiliations

2003-2009Art Consulting Services/Monre Fine Arts                          Grand Rapids, Michigan     

2009-2010Circa Arts Gallery                                                              South Bend, Indiana

2007-2009Michael FitzSimmons Decorative Arts                                Chicago, Illinois