September 15-21, 2019

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Grand Rapids, MI


Exhibition Venue

Lowell, MI

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Symposium Events

    • 15 Sep 2019
    • 21 Sep 2019
    • ISEA web site

    ISEA 2019 SYMPOSIUM   (US$75)


    28th Annual Juried Art Exhibit and Educational Symposium

    Come and join the celebration. Engaging art, workshops, demonstrations, local tour.

    LowellArts, Lowell, Michigan

    9/7 - 10/26/19  Exhibition

    9/15 - 9/21/19 Symposium

    • 15 Sep 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
    • Crown Plaza Hotel



    Meet and Greet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

    Registration with coffee and goodies in the Glass Atrium.

    5700 28th St SE

    Grand Rapids, MI 49546

    Phone(616) 957-1770

    8:30 - 9:45


    • 15 Sep 2019
    • 17 Sep 2019
    • 3 sessions
    • Thornapple Room, Crowne Plaza Hotel
    • 4
    Registration is closed



    Kathleen Conover Mentoring

    If you want to strengthen your personal painting style, find your creative path or just get some help to finish unresolved work, I invite you to join Kathleen Conover for three days. Mornings will begin with instruction, inspirations or exercises to get the creative juices flowing. After that, Kathleen will share her expertise with individual artists reviewing their bodies of work, answering questions, helping to resolve issues, and coaching regarding artistic goals.   Class time will be divided equally among the class, limited to 15 artists.  Artists must have work to show, either physically or digitally, to Kathleen.

    Visit Kathleen's website.

    September 15  10:00 - 4:00 Mentoring Workshop
    September 16  9:30 - 3:30 Mentoring Workshop
    September 17  9:30 - 3:30 Mentoring Workshop
    12:00 - 1:00 each day

    Buffet Lunch provided in Thornapple Room

    (included in workshop fee)


    Materials List - Click for a printable PDF

    Three days to devote to your artwork is a true gift to yourself.  And you deserve it!  Let’s make the most of this precious time together and start by having all the materials necessary to take the next step in your journey. When in doubt, bring it.  Thinking “Here goes nothing” could be the start of everything! So, be prepared.


    • A variety of paintings to work on: close-to-done, good start, what's missing?, total bomb, etc.
    • Digital images or photos of a few successful previous works to share with me.
    • Paints (or collage) and brushes that you normally use to do your art work.
    • Reference materials: of imagery if you normally paint with imagery. Of course, total non-objective is great!
    • Sketches, thoughts for themes or concepts to explore.
    • Misc.: sketchbook, pencils, scissors, spray bottle, water container...
    • ALL the things you normally use working in your studio.


    Kathleen Conover's Essential Gesso Juice Kit ($15.99).  New, in Cheap Joe's 2019 catalog, pg. 90. This is for making new starts from old watercolor paintings and is the trick to many of my “prize winners”.  

    Don't forget your enthusiasm and a sense of adventure.

    Looking forward to painting with you!  
    Kathleen Conove

    • 18 Sep 2019
    • 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park



    Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

    Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a 158 acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park located in Grand Rapids Township, Kent County, Michigan, United States. Founded in 1995.

    Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

    Visit their website.

    9:30 Meet at hotel front doors for transportation
    10:30 - 11:30 Tram tour around gardens
    11:45 - 1:00

    Designated Lunch time at Meijer Garden Cafe

    (separate checks)

    1:15 - 2:00 Inside tour with docent
    2:00 - 4:00 Enjoy gardens on your own
    • 19 Sep 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Crowne Plaza Hotel, Petosky Room
    • 0
    Registration is closed


    Creative Costumes, Nick Cave Style

    Chicago artist Nick Cave says he has always been fascinated with items cast off by other people. The Missouri native and his team assemble thrift-store finds into life-size creations that are part sculpture, part costume, which he calls "Soundsuits." When you see one, Cave wants you to wonder, "What am I encountering?" Costume, sculpture, and performance - this is what he envisions with his Soundsuits. Fully concealing the body, the “Soundsuits” serve as an alien second skin that obscures race, gender, and class, allowing viewers to look without bias towards the wearer’s identity.

    This workshop is loosely based on his work. The idea is to communicate your individuality through costume and sound. Get out your wild dancin' shoes because we will put on a short fashion show/performance at the celebration dinner on Saturday night!

    Information on Nick Cave

    10:00 - 3:30 each day


    12:00 - 1:00 each day

    Buffet Lunch provided in Thornapple Room

    (included in workshop fee)




    The goal is to stretch our imaginations to create something new and different from our usual work!

    Things to consider: What best represents your fabulous unique self?

    • The 'suit' can cover your whole body or not. Maybe it's a mask, a hat, a vest?
    • If masks aren't your thing - maybe makeup?
    • To go full body - purchase a painters suit (Home Depot), one has a hood, the other does not. See above photo.
    • Alternatively you could use an old garment as your starting point.
    • Decide on a theme.
    • Will you be painting your 'suit'? Adding glittery sequins? Gluing gems?
    • Following in Cave's footsteps, your suit could make some sort of noise, soft or loud, it's up to you.
    • Embellishing your 'Soundsuit': This is where it really gets wild! Think popsicle sticks, plastic straws, bells, bottle caps, tin cans, fabric strips, twigs, soda cans, beads, fake flowers, beans, metal washers, crepe paper, etc. (The mind boggles.)  Cave uses cast off items from garage sales, thrift stores, etc. Again, what best represents you?
    • How you will attach your items: sewing, pinning, stapling,...
    • We have two days to work, but you can do prep at home.

    A few years ago, I did this project with my middle school art students and it was an incredible experience. I hope you will join me for a what is sure to be a wild ride.

    Here is a link to an adorable kindergarten Nick Cave sound suit production video.  Check out some of their moves.

    If they can do it, so can you!


    Nick Cave was born in Fulton, Missouri in 1959. He creates “Soundsuits”—surreally majestic objects blending fashion and sculpture—that originated as metaphorical suits of armor to confront his identity as a black man and how the suits fuel his impulse to create.

    They h
    ave evolved into vehicles for empowerment. Fully concealing the body, the “Soundsuits” serve as an alien second skin that obscures race, gender, and class, allowing viewers to look without bias towards the wearer’s identity. Cave regularly performs in the sculptures himself, dancing either before the public or for the camera, activating their full potential as costume, musical instrument, and living icon.

    Link to Art21 video interview with Nick Cave

    Supply List - Click for printable PDF

    • Base for your suit: Painters coveralls, old dress/shirt/pants, muslin fabric tunic, or anything else you can think of.
    • Paint for your outfit if desired.
    • Any additions you wish to add to your suit (bring more than you think you'll need, we can always share)
    • Attaching mechanisms: glue gun, needle/thread, safety pins, stapler, glue, etc.

    • 19 Sep 2019
    • 21 Sep 2019
    • 3 sessions
    • Petoskey/Mackinac Room
    • 13



    Create for the Soul

    Jessica Kovan will encourage and challenge participants to find their own personal language in their paintings. The workshop will focus on learning to create strong conceptual work by communicating personal vision/feelings/emotions/concepts in your paintings. Explore how to expand the creative possibilities through mixed media techniques including working with everything from gesso, acrylics, collage, inks, photo transfer and mark making tools.

    Painting for Self-Expression will focus on inspiring individual expression, creating backgrounds that tell a story, and creating mood and emotion in your painting. Discussion will be given to the importance of shape, line, color and texture all working together to communicate a concept. Through demonstrations, candid conversation and individual time Jessica will share her painting style and the versatility of working with acrylics and mixed media.

    Jessica paints from the heart and shares that passion with her students. She believes in having fun, taking risks and her personal mantra is “go with the flow.” Each day will include group instruction, personal attention, individual feedback and painting time. Come ready to choose your own focus, experiment, work deeply, learn and share.

    Visit Jessica's website

    10:00 - 3:30 each day Painting for Self-Expression (3 sessions)
    12:00 - 1:00 each day

    Buffet Lunch provided in Thornapple Room

    (included in workshop fee)

    Supply List - Click for printable PDF

    Acrylic paints, matt and/or gloss medium

    Journal or sketch pad and papers to write on

    Brushes, brayers, whatever tools you use



    Collage material if you work in collage

    Drawing tools such as graphite, pastels, etc.

    Paper towel

    Spray bottle for water

    Container for water

    Substrate - paper, canvas, or wood panels (whatever you like best)

    Works in process to cut up or drastically change

    About Jessica

    My overall teaching philosophy is to help students enjoy the process of making art.  As an adult educator, I believe art is an individual journey. Creativity should be personal, playful, and insightful. I want to help students both experience the journey and find their own way while remaining open to the learning process.

    • 19 Sep 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • LowellArts, 223 W. Main St., Lowell, MI 49331



    Awards Reception

    We are asking you to register so we have an idea of how many will be attending. View the exhibition, meet the artists. Join the fun and celebrate the award announcements. 


    223 W Main St, Lowell, MI 

    Phone: (616) 897-8545


    Travel to LowellArts

    5:00 - 8:00 Awards Reception
    6:15 Awards Ceremony


    • 20 Sep 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • LowellArts
    • 5
    Registration is closed



    Encaustic Demo with Candace Law

    I will be demonstrating the basics of Encaustic, an ancient medium that incorporates hot wax:  a mixture of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment. To start I will give a brief talk about its use in history, then proceed to show the process for this medium:  heating the paint, applying it to a support, and fusing. As I work on a piece of my own art during this demo, I can share a few of the techniques that can be done with hot wax and also some of my own processes.

    Visit Candace's website

    9:30 Travel to Lowell Arts
    10:00 - Noon

    Encaustic demo

    • 20 Sep 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Lowell Arts, 223 W. Main St. Lowell, MI 49331
    • 0
    Registration is closed



    Cold Wax Demonstration

    This demo will give you the technique of using cold wax and oil paint. This medium is a way of using wax without heat.

    You will learn about proper substrates, tools, mixing, types of solvents, application, plus techniques of mark making, adding collage, scraping and more.  There will also be an opportunity for “playing” on your own.

    We will provide examples, substrates, wax, tools and some paints.  You may wish to bring some of your favorite colors.

    12:00 - 2:00 Lunch on your own
    2:00 - 5:30

    Cold Wax demo with hands on time


    What is Cold Wax Painting?

    Cold Wax Painting is antype of painting that heavily utilizes Cold Wax Medium into oil colors. In its own way, Cold Wax Painting blurs the line between oil painting and encaustic painting.

    What is Cold Wax Medium?

    Gamblin Cold Wax Medium a mixture of natural beeswax (wax pastilles), Gamsol and a small amount of alkyd resin. The term “cold” in Cold Wax Medium and Cold Wax Painting refers to the fact that heat is not required for working with this wax medium – as it dries by solvent evaporation (Gamsol), rather than the cooling of the wax, as in encaustic painting. As the Gamsol evaporates out of the medium, the soft wax hardens to the density of a beeswax candle. Unlike other Gamblin painting mediums, which increase the flow and gloss of oil colors to varying degrees, Cold Wax Medium makes oil colors thicker and more matte.

    Cold Wax Painting Techniques

    Cold Wax medium is a dense paste, it is excellent in creating a variety of textures within a painting. It has a “short” characteristic and gives a clean break off of the brush or knife, retaining the sharp peaks of impasto. These working properties allow for expressive brushmarks and the ability to carve into paint layers with palette knives. Cold Wax also gives oil colors a beautiful translucent quality, similar to the seductive surfaces of encaustic paintings. Cold Wax Painting utilizes experimental approaches, including the use of brayers, stencils, and textural elements such as bubble wrap or wire screens. The possibilities are endless!


    Cold Wax Medium is compatible with oil colors, alkyd/oil colors, alkyd-based painting mediums, and Gamsol. Fast-drying mediums such as Galkyd and Galkyd Gel will increase the tack when mixed with Cold Wax Medium. Neo Megilp, our silky, soft gel medium gives the wax a smoother feel and will round the peaks of impasto. These alkyd mediums will increase the gloss level of Cold Wax (just as adding Cold Wax lowers the gloss level of these mediums). Adding Gamsol to Cold Wax Medium will make it more fluid without adding gloss.

    • 21 Sep 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Crown Plaza Hotel
    Registration is closed


    Celebration Dinner

    Celebrate with fellow artists and guests at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Grand River Room. Enjoy the buffet dinner with new and old friends. View artwork and the fashion show of embellished clothing created during the symposium. A great way to say your farewells after all the fellowship and artistic adventures!

    6:00 - 7:30

    Celebration Dinner

    8:45 - 9:00

    Farewells from Patti Sevensma




Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids Airport

5700 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids MI, 49504

Phone: 616-957-1770

Need a roommate?  Please let us know and we will try to help.

pattisevensma@gmail.com          support@iseaartexhibit.org

Discount Room Rate: $119

Use Code: SEA

Rates are subject to applicable taxes and assessments: 15%


223 W Main Street, Lowell, MI 49331




The LowellArts stated purpose is:
  • To encourage the understanding, appreciation, and importance of the arts in the schools and communities we serve
  • To provide expression and enjoyment of the arts to all segments of these communities.


Lowell was founded as a trading post on the south bank of the Grand River in 1831 by Daniel Marsac. In 1847, he purchased land on the north side of the river and platted it as "Dansville". In 1851, a post office was established there named "Lowell" after the township.

LowellArts is made up of arts enthusiasts who are committed to the mission of connecting artists and audiences through the visual and performing arts. In the coming years, the staff, volunteers, and supporters will continue to make exceptional, heartfelt efforts to bring exciting artwork and performances the community.


A vibrant art scene and eclectic shopping district add character and charm to this largely rural city 20 minutes east of Grand Rapids. Historic downtown Lowell spans six city blocks alongside the scenic Flat River, close to numerous parks, lakes and golf courses.

From fast food to fine dining, Lowell offers a range of culinary experiences. Favorites include Flat River Grill, offering traditional favorites with creative flair; Keiser’s Kitchen, a classic family-style diner; and Mynt Fusion Bistro, boasting made-from-scratch Pan-Asian fare.


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