Holland Area Arts Council Presents: Seeing Through Dutch Eyes, an Exhibition of Dutch Landscapes 1952-2018

The Holland Area Arts Council is happy to present Seeing Through Dutch Eyes an exhibition featuring the work of Dutch American artist Chris Stoffel Overvoorde beginning Friday, January 11 with an opening reception at 6:00 pm.

The exhibit: Seeing Through Dutch Eyes, recognizes a natural pattern. Overvoorde was born in the Netherlands (Capelle aan de IJssel) to two Dutch parents. It is therefore essential to recognize, that the artist, can only see through the eyes he has been given at birth. But, it is not just the mechanics of seeing, that is important, it is also the cultural and spiritual vision that will modify his perception of the world. He left the Netherlands at age of 22 and is now 84, which means he has lived 62 years in the US and yet he is still a Dutchman in the way he looks at this world. The exhibition is divided into 5 components: Early Years / The Shipyard, Learning Period/Drawing, Transitions/Acrylic and Oil Paintings, and Self Portraits.

Chris Stoffel grew up with the sounds of the shipyard. His Grandpa den Braber and his uncles Dirk, Jan, and Chris were ship-carpenters. From age 14, he worked in a large shipyard as a metalworker and later as a diesel mechanic. Shipbuilding was an integral part of his growing up. Many of his early works are drawings.

Today drawing is an essential part of his creative process for it is the basis for his paintings. He almost always starts by making a drawing first and then works from the drawing. Drawing is a way of learning, of seeing, of discovering, and a way of defining.

Watercolor has become a playful exploration in capturing the rain loaded clouds of the Dutch skies when he returned for a study period and studied the Dutch 19th Century landscape painters in the late ’70s.

Later, the switch to acrylic and oil followed as he began to explore the Midwest landscape and sky in the 1980s, searching for the spiritual in nature. That search continues in the 90 in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada on the edge of the mountains and the open spaces of the prairie. Space and light have become his companions.

The last works in the flow of the exhibit are explorations of these Dutch eyes that look at this world with the mind and soul of a Dutchman and smiles in between.

The exhibit will open with a reception on Friday, January 11 from 6-8pm complete with light snacks and refreshments. The exhibit will be on display through February 25. The opening reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

The Holland Area Arts Council is a nonprofit organization working to educate, engage and challenge the community through the arts. The Arts Council is located at 150 East 8th Street. Call (616) 396-3278, email or visit for more information.