Co-owner; 29 Years Art, Framing and Gallery Experience
For over half his life, Scott LaFontsee has developed LaFontsee Galleries 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” 17 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; 29 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, 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. 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 with a minor in Art History. She has learned accounting skills on the job. Marlene loves gardening, rowing, outdoors, and anything to do with her beautifully fun and charming daughter Marijke.
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.
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.
Frame Design & Art Sales
Originally from Milwaukee, Blaire moved to the Grand Rapids area in 2011 to pursue a liberal arts education, with an emphasis on the "arts". Her practice is in the form of drawing, painting, photography, graphic design and any aspect of the day that has potential for creative direction. A holistic approach is what led to framing, in which she is interested in the entire process of visual communication.After graduating from Grand Valley State with a BFA in Illustration in 2015, Blaire joined LaFontsee in the summer of 2016 as a part of the frame design and art sales team for the Grand Rapids location.
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. 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 artist profile.
Molly joined LaFontsee Galleries in 2013. She's a master of many trades, and she remains flexible for special projects. In both GR or Douglas, Molly's handiwork is apparent in the beautifully maintained grounds and buldings.
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
Tracey joined LaFontsee Galleries in Spring 2013 as part of our frame design and art sales team. She has almost two decades of gallery management and art sales in various locations across the country.
Tracey has been very involved in area theater arts for the past 30 years both directing and performing in numerous theatrical productions. She is a recognized regional soprano soloist as well.
Art Handling & Installation; Frame Design & Art Sales
Dale’s life is seemingly absorbed in his passion for art. While just a recent graduate of Aquinas College with a BFA in Sculpture and Painting, his artistic interest and talents have driven him notable hands-on experience. In 2013, Dale began a two year internship in the sculpture department at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids where he was familiarized with exhibition and installation procedures, sculpture handling, maintenance, and conservational work, and more. Regular cleaning of glass works by Dale Chihuly, as well as working with international artists such as David Nash, Masa Uki, Ai WeiWei, are highlights for Dale.
These practices led Dale to an Art Installation position at LaFontsee Galleries in 2015. The job requires transportation, handling and installation of a variety of works in a full range of environments. When not serving in client spaces, Dale works on the gallery floor as a Frame Designer and Art Salesman.
Dale is invested in his own art as well. He currently fosters sculpture work, primarily woodwork and assemblage.
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, mostly focusing on web development & design.
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 & moved back to her native Grand Rapids from a 2 year stay in Taiwan. Megan graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor in business administration in May 2008.
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.
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. 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.
Fay joined LaFontsee Galleries in the spring of 2014 in our production framing department.
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 LaFontsee Galleries, 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 with an emphasis in Sculpture and Photography.
Archiving & Artist Relations
Michaela is highly personable and particularly organized, making her a valued liaison between the gallery and our artists. While keeping track of artist information and inventory, Michaela plays a key role in caring for both the art catalogue and the artists themselves. She is involved in the full cycle of archiving as she receives, processes, files and promotes new art. Michaela’s attention to detail is also exercised as she writes, gathers and processes information for individual Certificates of Authenticity.
Michaela is a long-time Grand Rapids resident. In 2011, she received a BFA from Aquinas College, where she majored in Drawing and Photography and minored in Art History. Michaela gives back to her community by volunteering at a YMCA retreat program at Camp Manitou-linfor young adults with special needs. “I LOVE this job and all my campers! They are all very near and dear to my heart,” says Michaela.
Jenny joined LaFontsee Galleries in the fall of 2014. Being part of the Creative Services team, she gets to create visual materials for print and web and helps in marketing and advertising.
Jenny graduated from Calvin College with a BA in Fine Art, but then decided to get a degree in Graphic Design from a school in Florence, Italy, mostly as an excuse to go over there and party and meet friends from all over the world.
In her free time you can probably find her riding a bike, eating snacks, or taking too many photos of her dogs. She loves biking of all kinds, whether it's braving a winter storm on her fatbike, on the local mountain bike trails trying not to break her jaw...again, bikepacking around awesome places in Michigan with her fiance, or getting all kinds of cool bruises playing bike polo with her buds, being on two wheels is what makes her the happiest.