Series 3: Nothing Is Ordinary

Series 3: Nothing Is Ordinary


Three local artists will be exhibiting their solo shows in each of our galleries to create Nothing is Ordinary. All three galleries are filled with work by Doug Klemm, Tom Van Valey, and Andy Sawyer for the Box Factory’s third exhibition of the year. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist onFriday, May 4, 2018. The public is invited to the opening from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085.





5:30 – 7:30 PM

Artist Talk

6:00 PM



Curator led tour of exhibitions

Box Factory for the Arts

11:00 AM


Doug Klemm

Natural Illuminations: The Artwork of Doug Klemm

I think I have an artist’s soul! Art making is the one constant thing I return to… It makes me whole, it challenges me, it both frustrates and motivates me! Many days I can hardly wait to get to my easel at the Holland Area Arts Council or drive to Grand Rapids to join a drawing group at Grand Valley Artists. I am inspired to paint landscapes and frequently, cloudscapes. Large expanses of fields, trees and skies provide me with infinite possibilities for the integration of the elements of form. Lighting effects with contrasting shadows are often a distinguishing element in my work. I draw several times a week, preferring the human form to keep my skills sharp. One cannot paint well, if you cannot draw well. For me, art is not respite or a hobby. It is hard work and a serious lifelong pursuit.

I grew up in St. Joseph, with five other siblings including a twin brother who looked like me, but we were told we were fraternal. My childhood was normal, and I particularly loved baseball, but art was where I excelled. I took all the art in school that I could, summer watercolors on the bluff and private oil painting lessons with painter Kay Macini. I made up my mind that I was going to be an artist at the age of 10. I graduated from St. Joseph High School and Lake Michigan College. Transferring to Western Michigan University, where I majored in art education with emphasis in painting and drawing. Graduating from college, I taught secondary art in Pewaukee, Wisconsin and Mt. Clemens, Michigan. At age 25, I quit my teaching post and headed back to WMU, where I earned a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. I married my wife Sheila while in graduate school and we had three children over the years. I spent 18 years with kendall College of Art and Design in various administrative leadership positions. After leaving Kendall I took a counseling position with Grand Haven High School and absolutely loved working with high school kids. I stayed for 19 years until I retired in 2016.

In retirement, I devote much of my time to painting, drawing and occasionally ceramic sculpture. I am participating in regional and statewide juried art exhibitions as well as assembling occasional solo shows.


Tom Van Valey

Stoneworks - Abstract Stone Carvings

When I begin to care a piece of stone, I seldom know, even in general, what the outcome will be.  Each piece is unique because it effectively evolves during the creative process, partly influenced by the stone itself, and partly by my perceptions of what the stone could become.

Sculpture, unlike most other arts, is a subtractive process - you remove material in order to create.  Therefore, in my view, sculpture is as much about space as it is form and structure. In my own work, the spaces and the forms should interact to create a whole that the viewer’s eyes want to follow and fingers want to touch.


Andy Sawyer

The Other Place: A Photographic Journey in the Alleys of St. Joseph, Michigan

Andy Sawyer has been photographing the world around him since his father gave him a Kodak Instamatic almost 50 years ago.  As a teenager, he was fortunate enough to have a basement darkroom in his house, and he became fascinated with the traditional wet silver process.  This fascination continues into the digital age, and for the past 10 years he has taught darkroom photography at The Krasl Art Center. His fine art photography has been featured in several local gallery exhibits.

In addition to photography he is also a tinkerer, inventor, and physical problem solver, and design has always played a large part in his work.  Working primarily with pencil and pen in large bound drawing books he has designed furniture, clothing items, living spaces, cameras, computer programs, and dynamic art installations.  Andy is also a theater set designer, improv comedian, and stage and film actor, most recently working with Paul Mow to produce six local shows including Oklahoma!, Little Mermaid, Spring Awakening and Airline Highway.  

For the past 30 years Andy has blessed with the love and support of his wife Nita Nicholie.  Together they have raised or helped raise 23 children in their St. Joseph home, including biological, adopted, foster, runaway, and homeless kids.


The Box Factory for the Artsis located at 1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085.


For more information, contact the Box Factory for the Arts at 269.983.3688 or visit





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