News Bites: Alum Unveils Latest in Series of Paintings Capturing Michigan’s Natural Beauty
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) alumna Kathleen Chaney Fritz (‘73, BFA Painting) has made quite the name for herself in Michigan with artwork that expertly translates the state’s natural wonders to the canvas.
Chaney Fritz’s paintings of the lakeshore and Western Michigan landscapes are incredibly popular, selling as both original paintings and smaller prints. Her latest Michigan masterpiece, a scene of Little Traverse Bay viewed from the veranda of the Perry Hotel in Petoskey titled "Bay View Gardens," was unveiled during a meet-and-greet event at Stafford’s Art Gallery in Petoskey this summer. There, Chaney Fritz was available to talk with guests and sign prints of the painting.
"Bay View Gardens" by Kathleen Chaney Fritz (image courtesy of the artist)
On developing her subject matter and style, Chaney Fritz says, “I’ve lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan my whole life, so my work is concentrated on Western Michigan, a little in the Upper Peninsula, and some places in Door County, Wisconsin. When I first started I was doing watercolors and I did that exclusively for about 20 years before gradually moving into oils. My style has changed over the years, that’s for sure.”
After graduating from KCAD, Chaney Fritz worked as an illustrator for an advertising agency for several years before eventually deciding to pursue a career in fine art. She and her husband teamed up to do a watercolor commemorative art poster for the 1985 Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair, and from there her career as a fine artist quickly grew.
“My husband and I both have done this full time and now we live off of originals and prints. We’re so lucky. We’ve been through good times and tough times, changes in the business, but we’re still here,” says Chaney Fritz. “It’s not been static, that’s for sure, but I just end up following what I feel like doing. It’s been really good.”
See more work by Kathleen Chaney Fritz at chaneyfritz.com.
Learn more about KCAD’s Painting program at kcad.edu/painting.