By Kate Luce
Ron Monsma, associate professor of fine arts at IU South Bend, recently had his work published in three publications and is one of the current award recipient at the Midwest Museum of American Art during their Forty-First Elkhart Juried Regional.
Students are not often let into the personal lives of their professors outside of the classroom, but Monsma wants his students to get involved, and hopes to inspire them to take chances and submit their art work. Making art work for exhibitions and publications is part of the life of being a professor and artist.
Monsma’s work was also published in Manifest Press’s Inda 13 and MEA s10. In addition, his work is published in Pure Pastel: Contemporary Works by Today’s Top Artists.
Manifest Gallery is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Monsma was already established in the Cincinnati area with another art gallery. However, he was able to place work in Manifest a few times, and because of this, his work was selected for their publications.
Monsma submitted two pieces to Manifest Gallery, an oil painting titled, The Dream, and a charcoal and conté self-portrait.
“The one piece I submitted to Manifest was for an exhibition. It was titled, The Dream. It was a big oil with a larger than life figure that I worked on over my sabbatical.”
Even after his sabbatical, The Dream was still not complete.
“There is a lot of detail going on… The name of the painting was The Dream, and the name of the exhibition was Dreams. I entered it in a different exhibition by accident. It was the Tri-State Exhibition, which is just fine by me. I was surprised,” he laughs.
As of now, Monsma has been in three Inda publications. Manifest Gallery allows, anyone to submit work for some of their exhibitions, which is why he is trying to urge his students to also submit their work and get their names out there.
“I want my students to become more involved. In fact, a couple of my students have submitted work. It’s not just for drawing, but it’s for painting as well. The opportunities are out there and that’s why I am telling my students, you need to submit work to Manifest. You need to become familiar with Manifest because it’s a great opportunity to exhibit your work, and a great opportunity for residencies and publishing,” Monsma explained.
Monsma had two of his pastel works published in Pure Pastel: Contemporary Works by Today’s Top Artists: Blue and Yellow Vases on a White Table and Lemons on a Blue Tablecloth.
“Publications are a good way to reach a lot of people that cannot go to an exhibition in a gallery. It’s kind of an important thing these days, and of course, you’re online now a lot and you inundated with so much material. It’s a double-edged sword,” Monsma says.
In addition, Monsma won the Tim and Meg Shelly Purchase Award during the Elkhart Juried Regional at the Midwest Museum of American Art for his piece, Midwest Fair.
The Shelly’s are patrons of the arts and own the boyhood home of the important Indiana Artist T.C. Steele.
The Elkhart Juried Regional has different purchase awards, each at different price levels. Typically, Monsma shoots for winning the Best Drawing during this exhibition and declines all other awards. This year, he decided to change it up and put his work in a different category.
Currently, Monsma is working on an exploratory piece to determine what he can do with his techniques after being on sabbatical for the fall 19 semester. It’s a mood still life. It is Monsma’s mission to get his students to branch out more, and let the world see their amazing ideas and visions.