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Kendall Students Exhibit at Kroc Center Opening

Posted November 10, 2010

On October 22, the opening reception was shoulder-to-shoulder, as 700 guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres in the shadow of an indoor rock-climbing wall. Sparkling grape juice flowed from fountains underneath a glass-walled balcony where shiny new treadmills, elliptical machines and spinning bikes were precisely lined up.

In remarkable contrast, the freshly painted hallways were lined with dozens of beautiful photographs and sculptures created by Kendall students and alumni.

No, it wasn’t a usual gallery opening, but a donor gala for contributors to the new $65 million Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, a 20-acre education, recreation and cultural arts and worship facility located at 2500 South Division Avenue on Grand Rapids’ south side. Kendall students and alumni in the Photography and Sculpture and Functional Art programs were invited to display their work at the opening donor recognition gala.

Made possible by a substantial gift from the late philanthropist Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, as well as the generous support of individuals, organizations and families throughout West Michigan, the Center is one of only nine centers in the country, and will provide a variety of programs for individuals of all ages. 

Displaying work were Photography majors Ellen Harz, Nataliya Chekhovskaya, Sara Fifarek, Amanda VanVels, Amrine Tomlinson, Brittanie Bondie, Jaclyn Clark, Lauren Wagner, Katie Zychowski, Kristen Eakin, Myles Cronk, Nicole Turner, James LaCroix, Jennifer Elias, Bud Kibby, and Justine Gunneson; and Sculpture and Functional art alumni Jovannah Nichols and Timothy Maddox.


Adam DeKraker

Photography Professor Adam DeKraker adjusts a  photograph by student James LaCroix.


In attendance were juniors Amrine Tomlinson and Jaclyn Clark, who were guests at the event as a reward for spending the previous day with Photography professor Adam DeKraker hanging the photographs and arranging the sculptures. “It was a lot of work, selecting the work that would appear in the show,” said Tomlinson. “The Kroc Center staff was very specific about the type of work they wanted.” Clark agreed, “Yeah, it had to be family-friendly and appropriate for the Center, which meant we had to leave out a lot of work by our friends that was really cool, but inappropriate for the opening.” I mentioned that the two had their first experience curating a show, and their eyes lit up. “You’re right! We did!”

Amrine Tomlinson

Amrine Tomlinson with two of her pieces.


Jaclyn Clark

 Jaclyn Clark and one of the pieces she exhibited.


After the dinner and presentations, our group took a tour of the fabulous Center. Our motivation to visit the entire facility included our desire to see all the remarkable work by the students, and to be honest, to visit the dessert stations located throughout the Center.

The Salvation Army’s new Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center opened to the public on November 1. 

- Pam Patton


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