Detail close-up of Laurel's piece.jpg

ACWL-Nuveen Assistant Director

WHITEHALL – The new exhibit of mixed-media drawings on display at the Arts Council of White Lake-Nuveen Center (ACWL-Nuveen) entitled “Grand Gestures” was inspired by a thoughtful grand gesture when artist photographer Diane Zoellmer gifted 100 sheets of 44-by-84 inch tagboard to the ACWL-Nuveen in October.

These durable large sheets called for bold action and Director Erin Peyer immediately envisioned the gallery walls lined with them! Many exhibition approaches were discussed with the end result being to give a group of intergenerational artists an opportunity to take on the challenge and showcase their talents tackling large format drawings with a central theme.

Our recent Fall Into the Arts exhibit of local high school artists inspired us to ask Craig Olson and Jeff Hellman art teachers at Reeths-Puffer High School if any of their talented students would be interested in drawing on a large scale and participating in the show. They enthusiastically agreed to ask three of their advanced students: Hailey Bos, Kennedy Hynde, and Lea Seifert.

They also took on the challenge of co-creating one of the panels themselves! Another participant in the show is a recent Reeths-Puffer graduate, Natalie Max, first prize winner of the ACWL-Nuveen Change of Seasons exhibition in 2020 and current Kendall College of Art & Design student.

The three remaining contributors to the show are all retired artists/teachers – Deb Harris, retired art teacher from Reeths-Puffer, Kathy Rogers, Whitehall Elementary, and Laurel Geis, Montague High School.

The theme “Grand Gestures” was selected as an obvious nod to the mark-making necessary when confronting a large drawing surface, but it also gave the artists a creative prompt to conceptually inspire their artwork. What is the definition of a “grand gesture” and what does that mean now as we start the new year of 2021? The seven dynamic and distinctly different drawings filling the ACWL-Nuveen Gallery Jan. 12 – Feb. 6 are meant to challenge the viewers’ notion of the theme through their sheer scale and bold creative vision.

The exhibition is open to the public during regular hours: Tuesday – Friday from 1 to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ACWL-Nuveen will be hosting a Facebook Live opening reception where it will be interviewing some of the artist participants Friday, Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. Log onto the ACWL-Nuveen Facebook page ( to tune in!

To learn more about the ACWL-Nuveen and its events, programming, and gallery, please visit, call (231) 893-2524, or stop by 106 E. Colby St., Whitehall.

Trending Food Videos