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.