Artist statement for “Michigan Images – a photo exhibit”

Rural mailboxes

Rural mailboxes










My images in this show may be varied and diverse, but each of them brings up a memory of a place and time where my camera lens concentrated my view to awaken a delightful curiosity and caused me to be “in flow.” For me, that is when my mind becomes fully engaged in creative play and the distractions of the word fall away. It is an unlikely combination of my mind racing at full speed, yet feeling calm, connected, happy, and…grateful.

I am grateful for the new ways I am led to see the beauty in a grouping of stones, a giddy row of colorful mailboxes, or even bold graffiti on the side of a rail car. When removed from its larger context, a gold key lock looms like the sun over a green field with golden flowers. A line of sun-lit rust on a red pickup truck invokes vague memories of trips with young kids to the local gas station. Even a dead old stump can play the king’s throne when worshipped by throngs of for-get-me-not flowers.

Sometimes I use “irony” in my images by overlapping related imagery that tells a hidden story. For example, “frozen motion” shows a leaf that appears to be blowing in the wind, yet it is as immobile as can be in the ice. “Reunited” shows leaves lying on top of a rain splattered car windshield rejoined with the barren tree  branches reflected in the glass.

It is a privilege to share these images with you!


Watching an image come to life in a tray of print developer at 11 years old was a moment of delight for me; making an image come to life is still a delight 40 years later.

Many of my current images are symbolic of what is happening in my own life. I use the camera lens to isolate and simplify a subject so it can be shown on its own terms. This is a metaphor for how I try to remove the clutter in my own mind that may cause me to miss hidden beauty, or to judge or jump to conclusions—be it about the world around me, other people, or even my faith life.

In recent years I have been having fun sharing my photos in local shows, publications, contests, and online. This year I started an online photo blog called “selective focus” ( where I am working to articulate my thought process for image making, and how photography informs my faith and even can be a form of prayer.

Bill is thankful for his wife Judy’s encouragement for his photo obsessions –and for carrying his tripod so willingly. He has three children in various stages of college and grad school, and works as the Assistant Director of Technology Support Services at Calvin College.

Bill Vriesema

Lowell, MI

June 2011



12 thoughts on “Artist statement for “Michigan Images – a photo exhibit”

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