The travels of a GVSU professor highlighted in upcoming exhibit at university’s art gallery

Common Balance, Still Life Paintings by Mike McDonnell

“Afghanistan to Morocco: Journeys of Jim and Virginia Goode”
Exhibition Dates: August 25–October 27
Exhibition Reception: September 18, from 5-7 p.m.
Art Gallery, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus


Jim Goode, professor of history at Grand Valley State University, and his wife, Virginia, have explored 11 countries throughout the Middle East for business and pleasure over the past 50 years. They have also taken great satisfaction in introducing more than 100 Grand Valley students, faculty, staff members and friends to the people, cultures and landscapes of this area of the world. Along their adventures the duo has collected a wide variety of ceramics, rugs, textiles and other everyday objects — most representing simple instruments of daily life in these regions of the world. During the art exhibition, “Afghanistan to Morocco: Journeys of Jim and Virginia Goode,” many of these acquired items will be on display for the first time in Grand Valley’s Art Gallery.


“The exhibition displays some very simple, but important objects that allow insight into the daily lives of ordinary people in the Middle East region,” Jim Goode said. “We all share certain common practices, such as the need to prepare food and drink, entertaining family and friends and worshiping. This exhibit emphasizes such commonalities; we are more alike than we are different, regardless of our cultural backgrounds.”


Goode began teaching for Grand Valley’s History Department in 1986, and said students have been at the center oftheir involvement in the Middle East. He helped establish the university’s Middle East Studies program and has facilitated student involvement in the Model Arab League since 1988. Jim has additionally led study abroad programs to Egypt and Turkey over the past 17 years. He will retire from Grand Valley in December; Virginia retired as office coordinator of Grand Valley’s Chemistry Department in 2006.





For more information about Grand Valley State University art exhibits, call (616) 331-2563 or visit


“Mathias J. Alten: An Evolving Legacy”
Exhibition dates: ongoing
George and Barbara Gordon Gallery
DeVos Center, Building E, Room 103 and 202, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Gordon Gallery hours: Friday and Saturday, 1-5 p.m.; closed on holiday weekends


The German-born American artist, Mathias Joseph Alten (1871-1938) is often referred to as the dean of Michigan painters. Working in a traditional representational style, Alten incorporated the aesthetics and techniques of the Impressionist Movement in paintings infused with light and punctuated with deft brushwork. Based in Grand Rapids, Alten created more than 3,800 works of art over a more than 40-year career, including landscapes, seascapes, portraits and florals. Grand Valley State University holds the largest public collection of Alten’s work in the world.


“Common Balance: Still Life Paintings by Mike McDonnell”
Exhibition dates: Thru Sept. 22
Blue Wall Gallery, DeVos Center, Building B, Pew Grand Rapids Campus


In the early 1980s, Michigan-based artist Mike McDonnell became enamored with still life arrangements of common household objects. He began by drawing each object individually, then patiently applied multiple glazes of watercolor paint to achieve rich color and the illusion of realism. This exhibit features a selection of McDonnell’s work from 1982-2009 that spotlights his desire to idealize common objects in balanced and unique groupings.


“Roger That! The Life of Astronaut Roger B. Chaffee”
Exhibition Dates: Thru Oct. 27
Kirkhof Center Gallery, Allendale Campus


Roger Bruce Chaffee was chosen to be one of America’s first Apollo astronauts as part of NASA’s program to send a man to the surface of the moon and back to earth. Tragically, the 31-year-old Grand Rapids native died, along with his two fellow crew members, when a fire broke out inside of their spacecraft during a routine test on January 27, 1967. The photo exhibition, “Roger That! The Life of Astronaut Roger B. Chaffee,” marks the 50th anniversary of that tragedy and seeks to educate the public on his life and achievements.


“Humanitarian Work in Havana: The Story of First-Hand Aid”
Exhibition dates: Thru Sept. 22
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall, Allendale Campus


In June 2012, Gordon Alderink, associate professor of physical therapy, and Charlie Pryor, ’12, traveled to Havana, Cuba, with First-Hand Aid (FHA). FHA is a humanitarian organization based in Grand Rapids that sends representatives to Cuba to provide food, medicine and financial support to people in need. Alderink and Pryor learned of FHA during a previous trip in 2012 to Havana with the organization and the Grand Valley State University men’s baseball team. However, during the initial trip, Alderink and Pryor were unable to join in the work of FHA. So, they decided that they had to go back on their own. This exhibit shares the FHA experience and informs visitors about the Cuban national health system, its strengths and weaknesses and FHA’s story.