*2019 Dia de Los Muertos Ofrenda — Frederik Meijer Honors College, Grand Valley State University for the Latin American & Latino Studies program, Grand Rapids, MI – After many years of painting Calaveras and building small Ofrendas, Bethany was invited to erect a full Ofrenda for the college’s celebration of Dia De Los Muertos. She dedicated this piece to her mother and all the women of her ancestry.
*2018 Beauty in the Broken #metoo—This ArtPrize entry combines Bethany’s sacred hearts, the Japanese art Kintsugi, and the overwhelming responce of the #metoo movement. Focusing on women not simply as survivors but as empowered. These B&W photos allowed women to pose in a manner evocative of their strength. The goldened “scarred” hearts celebrate their victory over victimhood and the reclamation of ownership over their lives and bodies.
* 2018 For the Love of Art — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
* 2017 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI – After years of painting and selling many skulls, Bethany made a big decision about the future direction of her art. 2017 was the fifth and final year for painting her Calaveras. After years of creating them, she achieved everything she set out to do. She didn’t want to dishonor them by producing them simply because they sold well.
Calaveras, Catacomb Saints-inspired skulls, and sacred hearts featured in the gallery’s final Dia de Los Muertos show.
* 2017 Ancestors and Archetypes — Michigan Fibre Studio, Grand Rapids, MI – This window display celebrated the intergenerational connections of fiber-craft. It highlighted the sartorial evolution of the art through the years, featuring hand knits, crocheted, and felted fashions Three maniquins presented Victorian, 1960’s Hippy style, and a futuristic look, expressing the flexibility and relevance of the craft. Unfortunetly, the position of the windows within the building made photographing the display nearly impossible.
* 2017 Valentine’s Day — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
ArtPrize 8, Baptism by Fire: An Allegory of Transformation —City Water Building by Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI – Baptism by Fire: An Allegory of Transformation celebrates the spectrum of emotions humans experience. Archetypal, religious, and cultural symbols inspired papier mâché sacred heart sculptures and alabastrite skulls evoked emotional responses. The juxtaposition of iconic symbols of life and death explored the religious and secular implications of Baptism by Fire. Telling a story of transformation. Sculptural elements were staged on graduated pedestals of reclaimed barn wood beams. Additional hearts hung from red cord “heartstrings,” allowing the hearts to interact visually. This piece represents the culmination of twenty years of working with the imagery of hearts.
* 2015 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
* 2013 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI – When the ongoing situation with her book concluded after two years of uncertainty, it left an opening for a new artistic endeavor. Bethany used this opportunity to express her deeply person struggles and journey through art. This began five intense years of painting 6 1/2 inch skulls in the style of Mexican Sugar Skulls. These Calaveras honored the Mexican ancestral celebration, Dia de Los Muertos. Bethany utilized this symbol traditionally associated with death to breathe new life into her art.
* 2010 ArtPrize 2, Cirque A Circa: A Circus Out of Time — Grand Rapids Press Lot, Destination 1111, & One Girl’s Treasure, Grand Rapids, MI – Bethany was invited to be a contributing consultant to this Artprize entry. Originally designed as a football field-sized mural, the entry was alsointended to showcase each members’ talents and skills. This steampunk-styled circus focused on raising awareness of depression, drug abuse, self-inflicted injury, and suicide among teenagers. Members shared their personal stories about these issues.
Sadly, the final exhibit, as originally designed, was not to be. Numerous issues prevented the group from building the entry. When the situation was finally resolved, time had run out. The group entered the venue space a day before the start of Artprize, quite literally “A Circus Out of Time”. But, quitting had never really been an option for anyone involved. So they changed the entry’s dynamics. As a result, much of the artwork was redirected to different venues.
One Girl’s Treasure, a now-defunct vintage shop, hosted a variety of artwork and invited Bethany to display several custom-made designs in its store windows. This allowed her to utilize years of experience as a visual merchandiser in a unique new way. Additionally, Destination1111 offered space for one of the Cirque A Circa murals and more of the group’s art. Performances origianally scheduled for the mural space were redirected here. As for the official ArtPrize space, the mural was modified to a stand-alone. Spectators visited the space, watching as the group worked on the massive painting through the duration of the event. Allowing a lot of dialogue regarding the inspiration for the piece. So, the group did raise awareness within the community, though a bit differently than originally planned.
* 2009 Sings With Stars, Book release and art event — Literary Life Book Store – In 2008, after much in-depth personal work, Bethany wrote a semi-autobiographical book. Using her childhood circumstances she created an allegorical magical Y/A book, conveying lessons she learned from those experiences. It was a deeply cathartic experience. With writing and light editing completed, Bethany self-published the work, needing to see the project to completion in a timely fashion. Her mother’s unexpected death created urgency and made publishing the book all the more poignant. After a very successful book launch and two years of attending and selling at conventions, Bethany received an offer to re-publish the book. The small publisher completed new edits, and new illustrations were commissioned. However, an untenable partnership with the illustrator brought the project to a standstill. So, after due consideration, Bethany laid the book to rest, along with the past that inspired it.
* 2009 Women’s Art Show — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI – Bethany contributed to a Woman’s art show at the Richard App Gallery. For this show, Bethany explored the relationships between the media and women’s self-esteem, as well as the power found in the different phases of a woman’s life.
* 1996 Women’s Art Show — Whole Art Theater, Kalamazoo, MI – During this time, Bethany performed in several theatrical performances with then avant-garde theater group, Whole Art Theater Company. These experiences showed Bethany that she was better suited to the visual arts than the dramatic arts. The theater space was also used for art exhibitions. In this show, Bethany explored the contradictory nature of the “Madonna/Whore” complex women are often cast into
1995 Pneuma 4, Solo Show — Sharvea Boutique, Kalamazoo, MI – Bethany had her first solo show at Sharvea in Kalamazoo, MI. This series consisted largely of oil pastel renderings and silkscreens that explored the relationship of the heart, spirit, suffering, and joy. Sadly, all that remains of the period is the postcard from the show.
* In high school, Bethany’s art was a part of the Muskegon Museum of Art’s Student Exhibit. Additionally, she was one of eleven area students selected to participate in the museum’s “Senior Seminar.” After an in-depth exploration of the work of artist Marc Chagall, the group produced a walk-through sculpture that served as the focal point for the student exhibit. Additionally, Bethany’s work won the Scholastic, Inc. regional art competition and competed at the national level.