Vintage MCC Artworks Form ‘Hidden Gems’ Exhibit March 13-April 23

Artist: Rein Vanderhill

Artist: Rein Vanderhill

Students in MCC’s Visual Art Entrepreneur Degree program are reviving seldom-seen artworks from the college’s permanent collection for an exhibition titled “MCC’s Hidden Gems: Early Works from the Permanent Art Collection,” which runs from March 13 through April 23 in the Overbrook Art Gallery.

A public reception is planned for Thursday, March 23, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the gallery.

“In the process of preparing works for viewing, the students are finding bits of Muskegon art history and they hope viewers of the exhibition will be able to add to that history,” explained MCC adjunct instructor Keith Downie, who is teaches the course and is coordinating the exhibit.

More than a half century old, MCC’s art collection – like all art collections – requires care and monitoring, he added.

“In the rapidly growing art-care industry the first responsibility of art museums, art centers, and commercial art galleries is to insure that no harm comes to artifacts in their care” he said. “This process is referred to as ‘preventive conservation’ and it is continually becoming more specialized and professionalized. “

Artist: Delbert Michel

Artist: Delbert Michel

“One of the college’s more recent classes has been built around that very process,” he continued. “Students in the Visual Art Entrepreneur Gallery Practicum course learn about procedures and protocols associated with the handling, presentation, and storage of fine art objects using the permanent collection as their laboratory.”

This semester, students are getting the unusual opportunity to plan, prepare, and install an actual exhibition in Overbrook Gallery on the MCC main campus. “Hidden Gems” will focus on works from the collection made before 1990. The oldest of the works, a painting by Pete Caesar, came into the collection in 1965.

“A small collection like this one does not contain many ‘masterpieces,’ but there are many very fine works that represent the efforts of regional artists, and perhaps most importantly, these works document significant local art history,” explained Downie. “We’re working hard to uncover this history before some of it gets lost.”

The students hope that the exhibit elicits feedback from the viewers about the featured artists and their works.

For more information, contact Keith Downie at (616) 566-1102 or by email at