Grand Valley Magazine Winter 2015 - (Page 12)

A RTS Acclaimed artists guide, teach students by Matthew Makowski Internationally recognized visual artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens surpassed more than 200 applicants during a nationwide search in 2013 to become Grand Valley's first Stuart B. and Barbara H. Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence. Working in various forms of media, including drawings, prints, video and installation works, Collazo-Llorens strives to examine the way in which information is perceived and processed. "My work invites the viewer to reflect on the complexities of the mind and the fragmented manner in which we perceive what is inside and around us, particularly as we try to cope with a complex world in an age that is as much about data overload and hyperconnectivity as it is about distancing and dissociation," Collazo-Llorens said. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Collazo-Llorens received a Master of Fine Arts in studio art from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking/graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art. She has held previous residency positions in New York, Florida and Puerto Rico, and also has teaching experience from Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University in Pennsylvania and Kalamazoo College. The nine-month Artist-in-Residence position offers an opportunity for working artists or scholars to teach and 12 Winter '15 mentor students in the Art and Design Department as well as speak on campus and to the West Michigan community. "Nayda will be primarily working with our students, providing them with an example of what a practicing, active artist in the world does while helping them understand how they're going to manage, navigate and succeed once they have graduated," said Virginia Jenkins, Art and Design Department chair. Collazo-Llorens is also teaching Intermediate Drawing and participating in critiques and reviews of students' work. "I appreciate the opportunity of linking my studio practice to Grand Valley, sharing research and making purposeful connections with students, faculty and other members of the community," Collazo-Llorens said. "I envision this position as one of exchange, which allows me to exist in a porous and elastic space within the institution." While Collazo-Llorens is the first Padnos Distinguished Artist-inResidence, the position was originally established in 2005 as the Padnos Distinguished Chair by late West Michigan businessman, humanitarian and philanthropist Stuart Padnos. It was a way to honor his late wife, Barbara's, adventurous and artistic spirit, while also promoting the teaching of art at Grand Valley. "I appreciate the opportunity of linking my studio practice to Grand Valley, sharing research and making purposeful connections with students, faculty and other members of the community." -Nayda Collazo-Llorens Artist-in-Residence Nayda Collazo-Llorens, left, is the Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence. photo by Amanda Pitts In 2012, the department consulted with Padnos' sons Doug and Jeff to rename and redefine the position as the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence in an attempt to clarify expectations for applicants. As each new artist-in-residence brings fresh ideas and perspectives, Jenkins said she is looking forward to seeing how the position will evolve. "We will learn what strategies for immersion of the artist in the department and the community work well and what strategies need to be adjusted," Jenkins said. "Teaching our students how to adapt and change to meet an ever-changing environment is one of our important goals, and a goal also that the department needs to model as we work with different artists holding this position." For more information about Collazo-Llorens' work, visit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Grand Valley Magazine Winter 2015

Campus News
Donor Impact
RMSC celebrates silver anniversary
Get a job
Another man's treasure
Q&A George Grant Jr.
Off the Path
Focal Point
Alumni News

Grand Valley Magazine Winter 2015