In 1991 with her first son off to college and the second a junior in high school, Patti Sevensma breathed a sigh of relief and headed off to become the artist she had always wanted to be. Watercolor had intrigued her for years so she signed up for classes with teacher and mentor Loretta Sailors. Loretta, whose degree is in abstract art, was very encouraging. It wasn’t long before Patti was being pushed to think outside the box.

  With winter came classes dedicated to experimentation and Patti found she liked those months best of all. New materials and methods were introduced as well as opportunities to learn in workshops with other instructors. During a mixed media course at the local community college, Patti’s instructor found out that she had never taken life drawing. Patti was encouraged to sign up and spent the next two and a half years developing better drawing skills.

  The community college art department offered occasional trips abroad and Patti was able to join them for 18 days of study in Greece. She became hooked on art and travel. With a camera in hand, she started taking photographs everywhere she went. It wasn’t long before Patti had an extensive photo collection and realized that, she loved taking photos, and people seem to enjoy perusing them as well.

  Patti’s goals started to change. She felt the need to combine her love of painting, drawing, and photography in some way. She started with several printing methods, such as Lazertran and rice paper. Those images would then be collaged into her painted work or onto other photographs. She also experimented with hand coloring some of her photographs. Mixed media and collage were very rewarding techniques but Patti really wanted to use all her own imagery.

  In November of 2001 Patti joined the computer age, which would help her with editing and expanding her photographic skills. She started doing montages and collages that were being accepted into regional and national exhibits. During an opening held in Fort Worth, Tx., Patti was able to see an exhibit by Andrew Keifer. He had taken gouache to his photographs, which unified his subject matter and design. This was an eye opener for Patti. As she started experimenting with this method on both glossy and matte papers, Patti developed a series of nine pieces using her own photography, combining them together in collage and using gouache to unify these pieces.

  This is just the beginning of the evolution of Patti’s art. Who knows what she will try next? Thanks to her family and art friends, Patti has been allowed time to play and develop her own style as an artist.

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  • ArtPrize 2009, 2010, 2011 Huntington Bank, Grand Rapids, MI
  • International Experimental Artist’s Exhibit, Muncie, IN 2002, Chicago 2003, Wales, UK 2004, 2005, Fort Meyers, FL 2004, Forth Worth, TX 2005 Signature Award, DeVos Art Museum, Marquette, MI 2006, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz CA 2007, Cutting Edge Award, Houston, TX 2008, Cutting Edge Award, FHFAC, Grand Rapids 2010, 3rd Place, Shelton, WA 2011
  • National College Society, Postcard Exhibit, New York, NY 2005 Award, 2007, Award 2009 Annual Juried Exhibit, Salem, Ohio 2005, Cornell Museum, Delray Beach, FL 2007, Signature Membership, on line exhibit and calendar 2011
  • The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO Intimate Floral Exhibition 2005
  • Muskegon Art Museum Regional Competition, 2003, 2004, 2005 GVSU Purchase Award, 2006, 2008, 2011 Purchase Award
  • Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts 1999, Purchase Award 2002, 2005, Purchase Award 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Winter Festival, Gallery Uptown, Grand Haven, MI 1999, 2000, 2001, Honorable Mention 2002,2003, GHAAC Award 2005, Mayor Award 2006, Honorable Mention 2007, Third Place 2008, Third Place 2009, 2010
  • “Fresh Art”, Muskegon Art Museum 2010, 2011
  • Orchid Society Exhibit, Photography 3rd place 2003
  • Van Singel, Gainey Gallery, Invitational, “Influences” 2002
  • Lowell Regional competition 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010
  • Meijer Gardens, Active Member Show 2000
  • Hospice MASK Project, Aug. 2000, Community Contest Finalist “Something Fishy” Project, Artist, Lowell Arts Council Butter Fly Project, Artist
  • Rivertown Artist’s Guild, Artist of the Year 1999,2nd Place 2000, 3rdPlace 2001
  • Celebration - First Methodist Church, 20002003, 2004,2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010
  • Hackley Hospital, Muskegon, 2 Purchase Awards
  • Holland Friends of Art, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010
  • Lansing Art Gallery
  • Chesterton Art Gallery, Chesterton, IN


Coffee Gallery, Spring Lake, MI 49546, Cherie Inn, Cherry St., Grand Rapids, MI 49506 Mullaly’s 128 Studio & Gallery, Elk Rapids, MI, GPD Gallery & Studio, Shelton, WA Patti’s Art & Soul, Grand Haven, MI 49417, Fire & Water Gallery, Lowell, MI49331


Cascade Gallery
Meijer Gardens
St. Cecilia, Terryberry Gallery
Holland Friends of Art
Lowell Arts Council
Van Singel Gallery, Gainey Arts Center
Gallery UpTown, Grand Haven
Alliance Artists

Franciscan Life Process Center, Lowell, Artist in Residence 1998, 2001,2004 Private collections in North Carolina, Washington, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, California, Michigan, Montana, & Germany

“Be thankful for mistakes. They may lead you to solutions you never would have discovered before.” Marilyn Hughey Phillis