Elaine Marie Seaman: Poet

Julie Stotz-Ghosh: Poet, Kalamazoo Valley Community College Professor

Julie Stotz Ghosh’s writing has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Quarter After Eight, Poetry Midwest, Dunes Review, Literary Mama, Hippocampus, and Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence. She teaches writing and literature at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Vicki VanAmeyden: Printmaker, Poet, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator, ALCHEMY Project Consultant, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Educator

Vicki VanAmeyden received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI with a concentration in printmaking and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Kendall School of Design, Grand Rapids, MI.  Her diverse and interdisciplinary approach to art making often includes the use of text and non-traditional materials.

Mary Whalen: Photographer, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Educator



Dave Marlatt: Poet, Author

Gail Martin: Poet, Jungian Therapist

Gail Martin’s book Begin Empty-Handed won the Perugia Press Poetry prize in 2013 and was awarded the Housatonic Prize for Poetry in 2014. Her first book, The Hourglass Heart, (New Issues Press), was published in 2003. New work is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry and The Southern Review. She works as a psychotherapist in private practice in Kalamazoo, MI. 

Deborah Mattson: Printmaker

Kathleen McGookey: Poet

Kathleen McGookey’s most recent book is Stay (Press 53).  Her book At the Zoo is forthcoming from White Pine Press in spring 2017.  Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and Quarterly West.  She has received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

Paul Mergen: Metals, Previous Professor Western Michigan University

Marsha Meyer: Poet, Librarian

Marsha Meyer is a mostly retired librarian. She is on the board of Kalamazoo Poetry Festival, Friends of Poetry and helps plan all nature of cultural events at Richland and Parchment Libraries. She writes an occasional poem and is thrilled to be a part of collaborative events that unite all nature of creative spirits like Alchemy.

Denise Miller: Poet, Founder of FIRE, Kalamazoo Valley Community College Professor

denise photoDenise Miller is a professor, poet, vegetarian chef and mixed media artist. Her poetry, art, cooking is a grounded in her commitment to social justice. Her publications include poems in Dunes Review, African American Review and Blackberry: A Magazine. She’s the 2015 Willow Books Emerging Poet, an AROHO Waves Discussion Fellowship awardee, a finalist for the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund, and a Hedgebrook Fellow. Her full-length collection, Core, released from Willow Books in November 2015 has been nominated for an American Book Award and a Pushcart Prize. Additionally, one of her poems from a collection in progress has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her newest chapbook finished this January called Ligatures is forthcoming this December from Rattle. More of her work can be found at

The Concept of Reference

Paul Nehring: Artist, Western Michigan University Educator

Paul Nehring has been working with paint and various sculptural media for more than forty years. He received a B.F.A. in painting from Western Michigan University and a Masters, also in painting from Western Carolina University. Paul teaches part time in the WMU Frostic School of Art. He is currently involved in several audio, visual, horticultural and alchemical experiments.

Sarah Nemire: Metals, Recent Graduate Western Michigan University

Sarah Nemire is an educator, maker, small business owner, activist, inspirer, and always an extremely passionate person. When she began metalsmithing she found her personal and artistic niche. She loves creating every detail of a design by hand, getting to know the personalities of diverse materials: playing and exploring and revealing and empowering. Sarah and her husband runs a full time independent jewelry business, LettersToSarah Metalsmithing.

Amy Newday: Poet, Kalamazoo College Educator

Amy Newday is a poet, farmer, and Director of the Kalamazoo College Writing Center. She holds an MFA in poetry from Western Michigan University and her poems have appeared in journals such as “Poetry East,” “Rhino,” “Notre Dame Review,” “Calyx,” and “Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment.”


Kathy Jennings, Poet, Journalist (Second Wave Media)

Kathy Jennings is a poet whose work has appeared in the Smoking Poet and been presented at many readings in Kalamazoo. She is managing editor of Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave, a weekly online magazine dedicated to social and business innovations across the region ( She is a freelance writer, editor and marketing consultant for the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival, Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, and Partners in Housing Transition. She worked 25 years at the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Michelle Johnson, Poet, Historian, Founder of FIRE, Kalamazoo Valley Community College Professor

Michelle S. Johnson, a public scholar in the fields of African American history, literature and cultural production, co-founded Fire for emerging artists and cultural producers, youth development and creative social justice.  As radio’s DJ Disobedience, she hosts Slip Back Soul weekly and is developing a radio/video documentary series, Syncopate, to accompany her forthcoming collection of oral testimonies from Aquarius Press/ AUX Media Imprint

Arnold Johnston, Poet, Previous Professor Western Michigan University

Arnold Johnston lives in Kalamazoo and South Haven, MI. His plays, and others written in collaboration with his wife, Deborah Ann Percy, have won awards, production, and publication across the country. Their individually and collaboratively written plays have won some 100 productions, as well as numerous awards and publications across the country and internationally; and they’ve written, co-written, edited, or translated nearly twenty books. His poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. His books include two poetry chapbooks—Sonnets: Signs and Portents and What the Earth Taught UsThe Witching Voice: A Play about Robert Burns; Of Earth and Darkness: The Novels of William Golding; and The Witching Voice: A Novel from the Life of Robert Burns. His translations of Jacques Brel’s songs have appeared in numerous musical revues nationwide (including acclaimed Chicago productions Jacques Brel: Songs of Love and War and Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night), and are also featured on his CD, Jacques Brel: I’m Here! Commissioned by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Arnie and Debby’s interactive drama The Night Before Christmas had its highly successful world premiere in December 2012. The New Vic Theatre premiered their chilling comedy Giving Up the Ghosts in October 2013.  Their award winning one-act “Steering into the Skid” appears in The MemoryCare Plays (2014), an anthology of plays about Alzheimer’s Disease that won a 2014 Independent Publishers Book Award. Their one-act “Love Is Strange” appears in Art & Understanding: The Twentieth Anniversary Anthology (2015), a collection of AIDS-related work. From 2009-2012 they were joint Arts and Entertainment columnists for the award-winning national quarterly journal Phi Kappa Phi Forum. A performer- singer, Arnie has played many solo concerts and some 100 roles on stage, screen, and radio; he has also done individual dialect coaching and group workshops in a range of accents. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights’ Center, Theatre Communications Group, Poets & Writers, the Associated Writing Programs, and the American Literary Translators Association. He was chairman of the English Department (1997-2007) and taught creative writing for many years at Western Michigan University. He is now a full-time writer.

Dr. Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Poet, Author, President – Friends of Poetry, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator, ALCHEMY Workshop Consultant

Dr. Elizabeth Kerlikowske is the author of six chapbooks of poetry (Postcards, Her Bodies, Last Hula, Suicide Notes, Rib, Chain of Lakes), a collection of children’s stories (Before the Rain), and a prose poem memoir of her father (The Shape of Dad). Her first full length book of poetry is now available from Mayapple Press (Dominant Hand.) Her work has also been featured in several recent anthologies including Nothing to Declare: a Guide to the Flash Sequence, Solace, and the Michigan writers anthology published by WMU.

She has won the Detroit Auto Dealers Short Story Contest twice, the So To Speak magazine poetry award in 2004, The Binnacle’s 2008 Ultra-short Fiction Grand Prize, and numerous other prizes. She has received fellowships to the Atlantic Center for the Arts twice,  Ragdale twice,  the Georgia Arts and Letters Conference. She has been publishing poetry and fiction in journals and magazines for over twenty years as well as children’s stories in Guideposts for Kids (online) and New Moon, A Magazine for Girls. Most recently poems have appeared in “The Way We Work” an anthology of work-related literature, New Verse News, Tattoo Highway, Iguana Review, nimble, The Binnacle, Poetry Midwest, Quiddity, Red-headed Stepchild, Poetry Repairs, Third Wednesday, Weathervane, Canary, and Farrago’s Wainscot, right hand pointing, Postcards Poetry and Prose, and Driftwood. She has had four Pushcart nominations.

Elizabeth recently retired from Kellogg Community College and completed her doctorate at Western Michigan University in 2007. She is president of Friends of Poetry, an organization in Kalamazoo dedicated to the enjoyment of the reading and writing of poetry. The group runs the annual POEMS THAT ATE OUR EARS contest, sponsors a reading series, and chooses one poem each year, which becomes a poetry mural on a downtown Kalamazoo wall. She also makes visual art that is usually big or illuminated.

Elizabeth King, Artist, Graphic Designer, ALCHEMY Project Consultant

From early explorations in handmade paper and printmaking, Elizabeth King now works with colorful translucent forms using encaustigraphics, a process she developed and teaches through the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, where she is also a founding member of their Board. As a professional graphic artist, she focuses on educational and non-profit clients, most notably designing and producing the original 30 issues of Museography (now “Muse”), the magazine of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

Allison Lee, Poet, Photographer

Allison Lee has been a meeting planner, a copy editor, a greenhouse worker, a baker of bread, and a New York City dog walker. She is the recipient of a  2013 Gwen Frostic Poetry Prize at Western Michigan University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fiction Southeast, The Madison Review, Cheap Pop, Gargoyle Magazine, Texas Review, and others. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Honore Lee, Artist, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator, Kalamazoo Valley Community College Educator

Honore Lee has exhibited her mixed media work in one-person and group shows throughout the U.S. Since 1995, her work has been represented in numerous galleries including Gallery KH in Chicago and the Center of the Earth Gallery in Charlotte, NC.  She has been the recipient of several artist grants from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and arts educator grants from Education for the Arts, including a support grant as a Teaching Artist studying with the Lincoln Center Institute for Education’s Aesthetic Education program, NYC.  Since 2013, she has been studying and developing various handmade book forms with the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and at Oxbow Artist’s Retreat. Most recently she was awarded a KADI grant to develop a body of work, “AfterImage” which was exhibited at the Arts Council of Kalamazoo and combines book arts with printmaking, encaustic, drawing and hand-dying and stitching techniques.  Her work is in both corporate and private collections.



Deborah Gang: Poet

Originally from Washington, D.C., Deborah Gang moved to Kalamazoo to attend grad school and remained there, both for her work as a psychotherapist and the huge freshwater ocean to the west. Her research is published in Education & Treatment of Children, and her creative non-fiction is in Literary Mama, The Driftless Review and Blue Stem Journal. Her poems are seen in Arsenic Lobster, The Michigan Poet, J Journal/CUNY, The Healing Muse/SUNY, Flagler Review and Literary Mama.

Donna Groot: Painter

Donna Groot is an image-maker who lives in Grand Rapids, currently working 9 to 5 caring for the elderly. She received a Masters of Fine Art from Western Michigan University in painting. She has exhibited her work in the US, Canada and Japan. Donna will travel far and wide to have a cup of coffee with a friend, from the potato farm that she grew up on in Alberta to the western shores of Lake Michigan.

Hedy Habra: Poet, Author, Artist, Western Michigan University Educator

Hedy Habra has authored two poetry collections, Under Brushstrokes, finalist for the 2015 USA Best Book Award and for the International Book Award, and Tea in Heliopolis, winner of the 2014 USA Best Book Award and finalist for the International Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American National Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award and the USA Best Book Award. A recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Awards, she was a 2015 five-time nominee for a Pushcart and Best of the Net. Her work appears in Cimarron Review, The Bitter Oleander, Blue Fifth Review, Cider Press Review Drunken Boat, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Poet Lore, World Literature Today and Verse Daily. She has a passion for painting and teaches Spanish at Western Michigan University. Her website is

Maryellen Hains: Enamel Jeweler, Previous Professor Western Michigan University

Maryellen Hains graduated from Brooklyn College in 1964. Her graduate work was at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She taught from 1966 – 2000 in the English Department of Western Michigan University. For eleven years, she taught and was chair of the Department of Jewelry at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts after retiring from WMU. During that period she began curating mixed media exhibitions of local artists.

Ladislav Hanka: Printmaker, Book Arts, Author

Ladislav R. Hanka exhibits mostly in Europe and North America.  His work examines nature as the crucible in which man finds a reflection of his own life – from the ancient trees in which resides the living memory of all that has transpired to a far more ephemeral dalliance with short lived insects – in artistic collaborations with honey bees, upon whose good graces all our food depends.  His works are in approximately 120 public collections and can be seen at

Jana Hanka: Sculptor

Jana Hanka received her MFA from Academy of Fine Arts Prague. Since her move to the US she has been a self-employed artist. She started out as a painter and in 2000 switched to new media using clay or bronze. Jana was thrown from a horse when she was a teenager and she almost died. Much of her work is a tribute to this experience and it embodies the expressive nature of horses. She believes that life is all alchemy.

Amelia Hansen: Painter, Illustrator

A freelance illustrator since 1989, Amelia Hansen specializes in natural science subjects for books and interpretive exhibits. For Alchemy, she plans to explore the transformations that power Earth’s closed-circuit, natural systems. “Our world is made of a finite amount of stuff that is ever-changing in form and content. There are biological, chemical, and physical explanations, but I’m most interested in the intangible power that propels these processes . . . what makes it all go?”.

Tamara Hirzel: Printmaker, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Educator

Tamara Hirzel is a nature inspired printmaker focusing on the relief methods of woodblock and linocut. Her images reflect a fascination with story and natural history. She received a BFA from Maine College of Art and recently completed a seven-month Artist in Residence position at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. She teaches printmaking at the KIA Kirk Newman Art School.

Ariadne (Anna ) Z. Ill:  Printmaker Turns to Ceramic Sculpture and Back Again, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 8.46.47 AMAnna’s images engage the symbolic power of the feminine, she uses this energy as a filter through which to explore life with the creatures of this earth. Anna was drawn to the alchemy of printmaking early in her journey of image-making. Etchings call for attention to the chemistry of acid mixing, soft and hard grounds and the delicate balancing of aquatint. Ceramic sculpture was an organic next step, though it came many years later. The question of clays- eathenware, porcelain or stoneware? Firing high or low — electric, gas or woodfired kiln? Surface treatment of sculptural figures has similarly complex formulas. With the Alchemy Project, Anna turns back toward etching after a decade of sculpture.


Kristin DeKam: Artist, Writer, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator, Kalamazoo Valley Community College  Professor

Kristy DeKam makes images using medium format film and alternative printing processes such as Van Dyke, gum, and photogravure. She is also a writer who lives with horses and a Humanities professor who teaches philosophy and mythology. Currently she is exploring non-predatory models of relationship and being, which is being championed by the field of equine learning and therapy.

Margaret DeRitter: Poet, Journalist (Encore), Western Michigan University Educator

Margaret DeRitter worked full time as a journalist for 30 years, including 22 years at the Kalamazoo Gazette. She teaches journalism now at Western Michigan University and occasionally at Kalamazoo College. She also copy edits Encore magazine and is an avid paddler, aspiring pastel artist and published poet. Her poetry has appeared in New Verse News, Midnight Circus, Melancholy Hyperbole, Scarlet Literary Magazine and Encore. She lives in Kalamazoo with her dog, Murray.

Michael Dunn:  Architect, Artist, ALCHEMY Workshop Facilitator

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.43.34 AMMichael Dunn is an architect and artist in Richland Michigan, where he lives with Marsha, his librarian wife, dogs, cats, deer, hawks, turkeys, coyotes and owls. He draws all day in a little studio behind the house or at the local coffee house or at the Library. Michael can rarely be found without his sketchbook or his camera. At this time, he is also completing photographic essays of springtime and milkweeds. Michael studied art at the University of Michigan and received an MFA from Western Michigan University in painting and printmaking. He exhibits his work regularly. Michael will begin teaching drawing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Kimberly Eberstein: Artist, Educator

Kimberly Hosken Eberstein is a painter/pastel artist and paper maker.  She earned her BFA and MFA degrees from Western Michigan University.  Eberstein has taught foundation art classes for Western Michigan University’s School of Art, K-12 art for Battle Creek Public Schools, paper making classes for the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, and Art for Elementary Teachers for Miller College in Battle Creek, Michigan.  She currently resides in Galesburg, MI.  Her work can be seen at

Sharon Eckstein: Painter, Jungian Therapist

Presently Sharon Eckstein is combining art and psychology through illustrating psychology modalities and has developed therapy cards depicting inner ego states. She lives in the country with her husband, Brian, one cat and abundant woodland creatures, and occasionally writes a poem or two.

Morry Edwards PHD:  Poet, Hospice Therapist

Dr. Morry Edwards has been a medical psychologist for over 40 years and has had several health manuals published including MindBody Cancer Wellness. He has been a teacher at the high school and college level, a writer, and an artist much longer. He has had one book of poetry, Remembering Those Who Sleep Beyond the Dust published. He participated in two earlier group exhibits, HOURS (The Therapy Hours) and HOME (On Selling the Family House).

Debbie Eisenbise: Poet, Pastor

Debbie Eisenbise is a writer and reader, preacher, spiritual director, and currently a church bureaucrat. She received her MDiv from Pacific School of Religion, ordained 27 years. She has had numerous essays, articles, and poems published in various publications, anthologies, and blogs. She enjoys writing poetry, especially in form. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in Kalamazoo.

Heidi Fidler: Poet, Massage Therapist


Lynn Pattison: Poet

Lynn Pattison’s poems have appeared in The Notre Dame Review, Slipstream, Rhino, Atlanta Review, Harpur Palate, Rattle, Smartish Pace, and Poetry East, among others, and been anthologized in several venues. Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, she is the author of three collections: tesla’s daughter (March St. Press); Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press) and Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press). 

Deborah Ann Percy: Writer

Deborah Ann Percy earned the MFA in Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. A book of her short fiction, Cool Front: Stories from Lake Michigan, appeared in 2010 from March Street Press; a full-length collection, Invisible Traffic, appeared in fall 2014 from One Wet Shoe Press, and has recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award. Her plays, and those written in collaboration with her husband, Arnold Johnston, have won awards, publication, and production nationwide, including recent recognition from Arts & Letters, the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the St. Croix Festival Theatre, That Uppity Theatre, Outworks, Developing Acts, and Queer Theatre Kalamazoo. Their books include the following: their full-length plays Beyond Sex (recently broadcast in translation on Romanian national radio) and Rasputin in New York; their long one-act Radiation: 33 Days of Waiting, forthcoming from HP Publishing; a collection of their one-acts, Duets: Love Is Strange; and editions (translated with Dona Roşu) of plays by Romanian playwright Hristache Popescu: Night of the Passions, Sons of Cain, Epilogue, and the forthcoming The President. Their edited anthology The Art of the One Act appeared in 2007 from New Issues Press. Since 2003 they have written over twenty half-hour radio dramas for broadcast on Kalamazoo’s NPR-affiliate WMUK-FM as part of All Ears Theatre. They’ve adapted and expanded one of their All Ears dramas for the stage, and it appeared in 2013 from Eldridge Publishing as Rumpelstiltskin: The True Hero. From 2009-2012 they were joint Arts and Entertainment columnists for the award-winning national quarterly journal Phi Kappa Phi Forum. After a distinguished administrative career in the Kalamazoo Public Schools, Debby is now a full-time writer. Winner of major playwriting grants from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, she is a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights’ Center, the Associated Writing Programs, and the American Literary Translators Association

Austin Peters: Artist, Musician, Graphics, ALCHEMY Branding

Austin Peters is creative editor and graphic designer for, a Chicago-based artist discovery platform that gives talented up-and-coming bands a platform to be seen and heard at no cost to them. As well, he is the founder and guitarist of the instrumental progressive metal band, Outrun the Sunlight, who are known for blending dynamics of several musical genres to form emotional and epic songs. He holds a B.A. of Cinema Arts + Science from Columbia College Chicago, and his current free time is spend producing his band’s third full-length album, while also spending time with his girlfriend, Andrea and her dog, Gustave.

Sydnee Peters: Artist, ALCHEMY Project Director, Western Michigan University Educator

Sydnee Peters has been an instructor in the capacity of higher education since 1985. She has taught at Kendall College of Art and Design, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and since 2005 exclusively in the Western Michigan University’s Frostic School of Art Foundation program.  Sydnee also works for the College Board in numerous roles concerning Advance Placement learning. In 2014 Sydnee was awarded The Excellence in Teaching award from  Western Michigan University. She has been awarded numerous grants including the Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative, for a community project of select regional artists and writers under the theme, HOURS, after The Book of Hours, a medieval monastic tradition of meditation at certain times of day. The project was multifaceted and included workshops, an exhibition, a reading, a suite of prints, and a book. HOURS was a great success in that it inspired another project culminating in 2015 called HOME: An Artist’s and Writer’s Project and coordinated by Mindi Bagnall. Currently, Sydnee, Project Director, with Friends of Poetry, are teamed on a new project, slated for 2017, fashioned after the others, and titled ALCHEMY: An Artist’s and Writer’s Initiative. The roots of this concept are based in early chemistry and Jung’s notion of the transformative self. Sydnee works in a variety of mediums including drawing, print, photo, book arts, installation, assemblage, carved wood, and/or metal, enamel, and poetry. The materials in which art can be made, and how they can affect idea is a lifelong interest that she brings to personal work and into the classroom through workshops for her students such as bookmaking or drawing machines. She has exhibited throughout Michigan; as well, New Mexico, Utah, Chicago, Iowa, Canada, and Tokyo. She received an MA in Lithography, and an MFA in Painting with an emphasis on Drawing, from WMU. Her BFA is in Multi-Media Drawing with exclusive study with Hans Breder from the University of Iowa; and a minor in Photography. She lives in the deciduous Michigan forest with her family, which includes a big dog, a little dog, and a bird.)


Robert Post: Writer, Kalamazoo Valley Community College Professor

A participant in Hours and Home, Robert Ed Post has published over 60 poems, prose poems, and flash fictions in various journals, including Kansas Quarterly, Passages North, Red Cedar Review, and Wayne Review. He has taught writing and literature at Kalamazoo Valley Community College since 1986.

Susan Ramsey: Poet, Author

Susan Blackwell Ramsey earned her MFA from Notre Dame, where she was given the Mitchell Award. Her book, A Mind Like This, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and her writing has appeared in journals including The Southern Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest and The New Ohio Review.

Billy Reynolds: Poet

Billy Reynolds was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama (“The Rocket City”). His awards include scholarships in poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems have been published in 32 Poems, Chattahoochee Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Sewanee Theological Review, and Zone 3, among others. Currently, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Linda Rzoska:  Mixed Media Artist, Printmaker, ALCHEMY Facebook and Blog pages, Kalamazoo Valley Community College Professor Emeritus

My PhotoLinda Rzoska is an artist and teacher. She was educated as a fine artist using traditional media for painting and drawing, later working as a graphic designer and illustrator, she became involved in digital media. She joined the faculty at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in 2000 as a founding member of KVCC’s academic unit the Center for New Media teaching design and illustration classes. In April 2016 she was granted the title of Professor Emeritus.

Rzoska has received a number of awards for her illustration and fine art; notable are two International Awards of Excellence from the Society of Technical Communications, Best of Show in the 2016 Carnegie Center for the Arts Juried Regional Fine Arts Competition and Second Place in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 2016 West Michigan Area Show. Rzoska’s artwork has been selected for numerous juried shows and is represented in many private collections in the U.S. and Europe. Two of her most prominent solo exhibitions were in It Skilderhuis Atelier in Leeuwardern, The Netherlands and the Burren College of Art, Ireland



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

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