Artist

sTEPHEN sCHOUSEN

Profile | Statement | Biography


Stephen Schousen • Profile

Raised in Chicago, Stephen Schousen recalls growing up around Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Even as a small child, he was drawn to their minimal decor and extreme geometry. Today, using a printing method almost five centuries old, Schousen combines images of architecture and nature to produce intriguing series of intaglios. Walls, doors, arches and floors, etched or engraved with engineer-like precision, juxtapose organic objects rich in shape and texture. Inviting the viewer to enter a dense collage of distorted and fragmented images, Schousen challenges us to identify and consummate disjointed figures suggested among small groups of arranged abstract forms. The collage of many images onto one plate and the distortion of an image into an unreadable abstraction, Schousen believes, parallel the processes of thinking and dreaming, of design and the ordering of space - a metaphor of the human mind.

The initial spark for much of Schousen's work is simply his direct reactions on copper plates to a small group of forms and shapes he finds visually compelling. He then masterfully employs a variety of intaglio processes to explore and develop the suggested abstract shapes, textures and tones from the original image. Any successful or gripping fragments of representational form from the initial drawing are developed and, at times, repeated to create the final ordered and rhythmic product.

Schousen received a Bachelor of Arts from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio and studied Life Drawing and Printmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. He went on to graduate from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Currently an Associate Professor of Art at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he divides his time between his family and teaching.


Stephen Schousen • Statement

In these images, I seem to be intrigued with the idea of combining a variety of representational fragments which when juxtaposed with abstract textures and tonal areas, hint at a narrative that remains unexplained or at least open to multiple interpretation. Ironically, I am consciously involved with this narrative only as the image nears resolution. The initial spark for much of this work is simply my direct reactions on copper plates to a small group of forms and shapes, which I find visually compelling, usually arranged in a shallow, recessed space. From there, the image develops in two directions. Abstract shapes, textures and tones suggested in the initial image are explored and developed using a variety of intaglio processes. At the same time, successful or compelling fragments of representational form, from the initial drawing, are developed and at times repeated. As these two processes collide and overlap, the initial image is lost and new, unexpected images emerge. This process continues until the balance of tone, line, edge and texture is clear and restful. It is my hope that in addition to creating a recognizable image, this process results in a combination of formal elements that will strike a responsive chord within the viewer and encourage participation in the resolution of the image.


Stephen Schousen • Biography

EDUCATION

1982
Master of Fine Arts, Printmaking, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

1978 
Teaching Certificate, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio

1977-78
Studied Life Drawing and Printmaking, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

1977 
Bachelor of Arts, Art, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

1982-Present
Associate Professor of Art, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1991-1994 
Chair, Art Department, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1980-1982 
Teaching Associate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

1981 
Teacher, Continuing Education Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

1979-1980 
Teacher, Parkersburg Central High School, Wood County Schools, Parkersburg, West Virginia

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“Unusual Suspects”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2012   
“25 Year Gala", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
           
“Fresh Squeezed and Locally Grown", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
           
“Act II”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2011    
“Come Out and Play", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan
           
“Fall at The Lakeshore”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
           
“Summer Fun”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2010   
“Loeschner Art Competition”, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Artprize, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2006   
“Steve Schousen: Sabbatical Exhibition”, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2003
"Holiday Muse", Group Exhibition, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1999 
"Scene and Unseen", Three-Person Exhibition, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1998 
"Metamorphosis", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Sabbatical Exhibition", Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Jump Start Your Heart", Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1997 
LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1996 
Faculty Exhibition, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1995 
Two-Person Show, Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"9th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition", Kenosha, Wisconsin

"25th Annual Works on Paper", San Marcos, Texas

1994
"International Print Biennial", New Canaan, Connecticut

"67th Annual West Michigan Juried Competition", Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan 

1994 Solo Show, Marywood Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1992 
Faculty Exhibition, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"21st Annual Works on Paper", South West Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas

"13th Annual Paper in Particular", Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri

"Kansas Seventeenth National Small Painting, Drawing and Print Exhibition", Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

"65th Annual West Michigan Juried Competition", Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan

1991
Faculty Exhibition, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1990
Faculty Exhibition, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Prints and Drawings: Sabbatical Exhibition", Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1998
Juror and Guest Lecturer, Newaygo County Public Schools Annual Art Exhibition, Newaygo, Michigan

Guest Lecturer, Mixed Bag Series, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1997
Visiting Artist, Calvin College Printmaking Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1996
Juror, South Haven Arts Council Annual Art Exhibit, South Haven, Michigan

1994
Juror, Calvin College Alumni Art Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1992
Guest Lecturer, Mixed Bag Series, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

COLLECTIONS

Alma College, Alma, Michigan

Steelcase Corporation, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dulin Gallery of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts

University of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

University of Hartford, Hartford Art School, Hartford, Connecticut

Nova Scotia School of Art, Newfoundland, Canada

University of Maine, Orono, Maine

Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

Private Collections in the United States and France

PUBLICATIONS

2012   
“25 Year Book”, LaFontsee Galleries

2000  
Book of Poetry by Linda Nemic-Foster, Cover

1999    
“On the Town” Magazine, Cover