Jeff Abshear: ALCHEMY Workshop Presenter, Painter, Printmaker, and Book Designer

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 5.57.16 PMJeff Abshear is a painter, printmaker, and book designer. In 2007 he was a Fulbright Research Scholar to Italy, where he studied Italian book arts hosted by the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, and Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, a member of the Association of European Printing Museums. As a letterpress printer Mr. Abshear has worked with writers to produce hand-printed books and broadsides, including the Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, and the Minister of the Arts of Great Britain, Grey Gowrie. Mr. Abshear’s Buckner Press publications are in the Special Collections of libraries throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. He has taught painting, printmaking, book arts, art history, and writing in the Frostic School of Art and Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University since 1996, and during the summer program at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He also teaches annual book arts workshops to young Italian students in Sardinia, Italy, and leads WMU students on study abroad trips to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium through the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. He is the founder and Director of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, a nonprofit organization supported by the Iriving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts, to produce publications, host artists and writers, and teach workshops in book arts, printmaking, and creative writing. Mr. Abshear has also worked as a translator of Italian essays and interviews published in contemporary art exhibition catalogs for galleries and museums in Venice, Milan, Verona, and Florence.

Dr. Steve Bertman: ALCHEMY workshop facilitator, Western Michigan University Chemistry Professor

Marion Boyer: Writer

Marion Boyer, professor emeritus for Kalamazoo Valley Community College has published three poetry books: The Clock of the Long Now, a Pushcart Award and Lenore Marshall Award nominee; Green; and Composing the Rain, winner of Grayson Books 2014 chapbook competition. Boyer’s essays have appeared in a numerous magazines and journals, most recently The Tishman and River Teeth. Her art was selected for Grand Rapids’ 2016 Art Prize and the Kalamazoo Area Show 2015 and 2016.

Mary Brodbeck : Woodblock Artist, Filmmaker

Mary Brodbeck has studied, employed, and taught the traditional methods of Japanese woodblock printmaking since 1998. In 2014, she completed her first documentary film, Becoming Made, deemed “Highly Recommended” by Video Librarian. The calm aesthetic and Zen-like qualities of Mary’s work has received critical acclaim in both Japan and the United States. Her landscape prints can be found in the permanent collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts and in many private collections worldwide.

Autumn Brown: Medalist, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator, Western Michigan University Educator

Autumn Brown is a native of Augusta, Georgia.  She recieved her BFA in Metalsmithing from the University of Georgia in 2006 and her MFA from East Carolina University in 2010.  Currently Autumn coordinates the Metals/Jewelry Area for the Frostic School of Art and instructs both beginning and advanced metals/jewelry classes.  Prior to her appointment at Western, Autumn instructed metals classes for Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina where she also helped establish their metalsmithing area.  She has also served Interlochen Center for the Arts as summer metals faculty for the past six years, where she most recently started a concentration in silversmithing for their summer programming schedule.

Outside of the classroom Autumn has curated, lectured and exhibited on a national scale.  She volunteers as a fundraiser for the Society of North American Goldsmiths and as a board member for the Yuma Arts Symposium in Yuma, Arizona.  Recently Autumn participated in the residency Smitten Forum and was also represented in “vol. 1” of the jewelry collaborative Jewelry edition.

Autumn’s current technical research focuses on the cross pollination of traditional metalsmithing processes with ceramic material in order to create non-traditional adornments and art objects made of metal and ceramic, or “cerametal.”  Recurring themes addressed in her work are the structure of the unconscious psyche and the interplay between elements of modern technology and the human sensorium.

Autumn Brown combo

Bonnie Campbell: Author, Poet, Western Michigan University Educator

Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (W.W. Norton, October 2015) and the bestselling novel Once Upon a River, She was a National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for her collection of stories, American Salvage, as well as a Guggenheim Fellow. Her collection Women & Other Animals won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. She’s won a Pushcart Prize and the Eudora Welty Award

Sue Caulfield: Printmaker, KIA Educator, Western Michigan University Holistic Health Professor

Sue Caulfield focuses on the integration of print making with natural, hand-dyed fabrics to create meditative and contemplative wall hangings, as well as one-of-a-kind clothing and smaller art pieces.  Trained in screen printing, intaglio, relief, transfer, linoleum cut and heliographic processes, as well as letter press, when not creating her own art, Sue teaches screen printing at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art.

 James M Croteau: Poet

Jim Croteau lives with his partner of 31 years, Darryl, and their two Labradors and works as a professor of counseling psychology at Western Michigan University. He grew up white, gay and Catholic in the U.S. south in the 60’s and 70’s and his poetry was born there. He thinks it’s important to be aware of how we carry our history in tow. His poems have appeared in Chicago Literati, Melancholy Hyperbole, New Verse NewsAssaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South and others. He has a chapbook upcoming in 2016 from Red Bird Chapbooks.

He blogs about his writing occasionally at

Used to Not Seeing


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