Co-owner; 27 Years Art, Framing and Gallery Experience
For over half his life, Scott LaFontsee has developed LaFontsee Galleries / Underground Studio into a premier gallery and picture framing business. From winning the Art Serve Governor's Award for arts and culture in 2004, to being chosen as the People's Choice for “Best Art Gallery” 14 times, the business continues to grow. Employing creative programming and a willingness to change and adapt, the gallery has grown to encompass 18,000 square feet, employ 12 staff members and carry over a million dollars worth of art inventory. The framing department handles small to large volume orders with diligent attention to detail.
As a professional educator, Scott is highly sought after for speaking engagements and seminars. Just returned from speaking at the national Professional Picture Framers Association, he is the expert the professionals call to teach others how to succeed in the business of art and framing. Maintaining a thriving business is not easy, but Scott’s outlook on how to achieve success is quite simple. He calls these the "Three P’s": "Be passionate about what you do, be prepared to take risks, and be persistent in doing the work."
Scott is a founding member of Grand Rapids Gallery Association where he served as Board President for five years and is currently the Vice President. He served on The Kendall College of Art and Design Foundation Board for four years and the ArtServe Michigan selection committee for art and artist grants. He is a founding board member of the Monroe North Business Association and has served on the board for Very Special Arts. He manages several large local corporate art collections and continues to consult with various corporations, galleries and individuals about all aspects of the industry. Scott has had numerous articles published about art and framing, including "Artful Living" in Cosmopolitan Home Magazine.
Co-owner; 25 Years Art, Framing and Gallery Experience
As a noted art consultant, Linda's extensive knowledge of art and framing benefit all who come to her for assistance and advice. She guides people through the process of choosing art with an experienced touch and gentle humor. If we consider Scott LaFontsee to be the "head" of LaFontsee Galleries / Underground Studio, then Linda LaFontsee is, unquestionably, the heart. Linda's devotion to customers, artists and staff comes from a place usually reserved for family, but that, indeed, is what we all are to her — family.
Linda's involvement in the community reflects her dedication to spreading the message that art enhances and changes lives. Her keen awareness of what is current and popular is combined with a firm respect and appreciation for history to produce the tasteful results that her corporate and residential clients have come to depend on. As a visual artist on the local, regional and national level, Linda has a developed eye for detail, color, movement, line, and order that addresses every design problem and informs every design solution. It is no wonder that Linda LaFontsee has become the go-to person in the community for art and design consultation.
Linda attended Kendall College of Art and Design and has participated in numerous independent studies, residency programs, and workshops. She received the YWCA Tribute Award for Business, Grand Rapids, Michigan — 2005; Business Honor Roll Award, Michigan Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture. Linda has served as Co-Chair of UICA's annual Live Coverage event, as a committee member for Gilda’s Club, and has exhibited in numerous local and regional solo and group shows.
Marlene Guter Seykora
Marlene handles accounting, purchasing, billing, communications, and sales. As our business manager, Marlene is the oil that keeps the gears of LaFontsee Galleries turning smoothly. She joined us in 1997, working in every aspect of the business from framing to finance. Her memory runs deep, she is highly organized, and is supremely resourceful in providing answers and information.
Marlene has developed close relationships with our artists, resulting in the ability to communicate to our clients what the artist was thinking or where the artist was when a piece was created. Because of her understanding of the artistic process and the meaningfulness of the art, Marlene manages the storage of our artwork with great care. With skills in all departments, Marlene is an extra pair of hands anywhere needed and is always willing to help.
Marlene earned her BA in Fine Art from Calvin College and is a volunteer at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts serving on various committees including Live Coverage and Women in the Arts as well as volunteering at the Civic Theatre.
Gift and Décor Manager
In 2006, Dana joined LaFontsee Galleries as the gift and décor manager, taking on visual merchandising, purchasing and receiving, product research, customer service, and execution of all day-to-day operations within the shop. Dana merges both her love of visual display and art, providing inspiration for designers and shoppers alike. Working side by side with a number of interior designers and their clients, she is the source for both corporate and home accessories. If Steelcase is looking for accessories to complete a project or showroom, Dana at the Underground Studio is at the top of their list.
In addition to her duties as the gift and décor manager, Dana is also a gifted portrait artist whose work is commissioned through the gallery. She graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Digital Media Illustration and attended Western Michigan University with a fine art painting emphasis.
Artist Contact & Inventory, Special Projects, Public Relations
Heidi joined LaFontsee Galleries in 2007 with responsibilities including art consultation, artist contact, exhibition planning, and public relations. Heidi handles incoming and outgoing art inventory, and specializes in working with interior designers and facility managers, recent projects including Mercy General Health Partners, Ernst & Young, Porter Hills Retirement Community, and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. Heidi is fluent in three languages and works closely with our European artists and galleries.
Prior to joining LaFontsee Galleries, Heidi was curator of Houston North Gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for four years. She graduated from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, majoring in Fine Arts and Modern Languages, and has attended Universität Tübingen in Germany and Université du Québec in Trois-Rivières, Québec.
James is one of our key design minds when it comes to unique and unusual framing projects. If our clients want something imaginative or new, their project goes to James.
James began professionally framing in 1999 and joined our team in 2005. At the Underground Studio, he has been a workhorse in our production framing department. His ability to complete tasks efficiently is an asset when working on large volume projects with tight budgets. With over ten years of framing experience, James particularly enjoys specialty mounting, shadowbox design and problem solving.
James earned his BFA from Eastern Michigan University cum laude with an emphasis in Sculpture and Photography.
Joel has been an integral part of our framing department since 2006 and is our primary in-house custom frame builder. He manages moulding orders and inventory as well as our stock of glass, mat boards and supplies.
Joel graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2005 with a BFA in printmaking. He is a resident and member of the Avenue for the Arts in downtown Grand Rapids, participating in open studio/gallery hop events, artist markets, and group exhibitions. He has volunteered as an artist mentor for the ArtWorks: Art-Around-Town program at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. His paintings have been featured in three recent Festival of the Arts Regional Juried Exhibitions, receiving a Purchase Award and a Jury Prize.
Joel's artwork is available at LaFontsee Galleries/Underground Studio. Working primarily in black and white, his work explores the convergence of chance and control. Joel's work was featured on Rapid Growth Media in July 2010, and more can be seen on his LG/US artist profile.
Justin joined LaFontsee Galleries in August 2010 as a member of our custom framing team. He brings a variety of skills with his background in woodshop and framing, and specializes in stretching canvases. He’s also responsible for organizing incoming orders and glassing, and assisted with the artwork installation at the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Justin graduated from CMU in 2007 with a BFA in painting as well as a BFA in sculpture. He continued his education at Kendall Collage of Art and Design and received an MFA in painting in 2010. He currently teaches the Observational Drawing: From Pencil to Paint and Outdoor Drawing adult education courses at Kendall.
Justin is also an award-winning artist who is represented by LaFontsee Galleries/Underground Studio. His work focuses on the balance between abstraction and the natural world, has been shown both locally and nationally. See more on his artist profile page.
Frame Design & Art Sales
Vicki joined LaFontsee Galleries in Summer 2009 as part of our frame design and art sales team. Vicki has a strong background in home décor, having previously managed the workroom of a local custom home furnishing store. With over 15 years of experience (completely self-taught!) Vicki went on to open her own successful business creating and selling custom home furnishings, specializing in pillows and bedding. Vicki is a graduate of Grand Valley State University.
Frame Design & Art Sales • Print & Poster Manager • Photography
Jessica joined LaFontsee Galleries in Fall of 2009. She began in frame design and art sales, and has had her responsibilities expand to include in-house photography as well as the management of our stock of thousands of posters.
Jessica graduated with honors from Kendall College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, and was awarded the Studio Excellence Award in Photography in her graduating class. Her work has been displayed in several venues including the Governor’s Mansion in Lansing, Michigan, West Michigan Photo Works, The DAAC, The Art Depository, Kendall College of Art and Design Gallery, and the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Jessica is also a volunteer and mentor for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Kyle joined LaFontsee Galleries in 2011, right in the middle of our relocation from 820 Monroe to 833 Lake Drive. He was hired onto a special projects team focused on the move & construction at the new site. In the winter of 2013 he began working in the custom framing department, gathering skills from many separate areas, he become a jack of all trades. As of more recently, his focus has grown to include project management.
Kyle has been an active contributor to the West Michigan art community for years. He is a founding member of the artist collective Dinderbeck, and part owner of the printmaking and letterpress business Dinderbeck LLC. Kyle has interned as an event organizer for Art.Downtown, and curated multiple Free Radical Gallery spaces. He graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in May 2012 with a BFA in Printmaking and a minor in Photography. His works have been shown at many spaces including the UICA, Kendall, the Free Radical Galleries, Michigan: Land of Riches, Site:Lab, and Dinderbeck.
Marketing, Design & Fine Art Printing
Megan joined LaFontsee Galleries in 2011 as the graphics and web designer. Early Spring 2013 she facilitated the growth of a brand new department: Fine Art Printing. She currently works on a variety of special projects in print, photography, design, web, marketing, and events management.
Megan has cultivated a career filled with interesting twists and turns from professional portrait photographer, ballroom dance instructor, kindergarten English teacher, to graphic designer. She has experienced travel in over 15 countries, dabbles in 3 languages & has recently moved back to her native Grand Rapids from a 2 year stay in Taiwan. Megan has worked and studied at GRCC, earning an Associate Degree in web design & graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor in business administration in May 2008.
Frame Design & Art Sales
SaraJane joined LaFontsee Galleries in Fall 2011 as part of our frame design and art sales team.
She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from Western Michigan University then moved to Los Angeles where she lived and worked in the film/television industry for 15 years. SaraJane started her career in the film industry as a Production Assistant quickly advancing to Art Department Coordinator, then Set Decorator’s Buyer, Set Dresser, On-Set Dresser, and Assistant Property Master.
The Flintstones – Viva Rock Vegas, NCIS, Boston Public, Big Love, and Dexter are some of the projects she has worked on.
She has also studied Set Design and painting at UCLA Extension.
Kelly Vanden Bosch
Kelly joined LaFontsee Galleries in Spring 2012 as an intern in our graphics department. She is currently majoring in Graphic Design at Grand Valley State University, with a minor in Advertising and Public Relations.
Outside of school, Kelly spends much of her time renovating older homes into rental properties. Along with a wealth of practical knowledge, this hobby gives her experience envisioning what something is going to look like before any action is taken, a skill Kelly looks forward to applying in her career as a graphic designer.
Kyle started at LaFontsee Galleries in the summer of 2013. Coming to us with previous framing experience, he shifts from fitting, to mat cutting, to mounting as well as maintaining and organizing the framing studio.
Kyle graduated from Grand Valley State University, earning a BFA with emphasis in printmaking and a minor in art history. He has been consistently active in the region’s art community since graduating. Kyle has shown his art in such venues as Live/Work 42, CultureWorks, the DAAC, 1111 Godfrey and Padnos Gallery. He has organized and curated events on the Avenue for the Arts, and currently sits on the Avenue for the Arts Council. He recently finished a curatorial internship at the Grand Rapids Art Museum where he monitored and catalogued the works on paper department.