Washington Square Art Gallery


Chris Brown oil pastels
Pia Brown ceramics
Gini Cooper jewelry
Charlie Schreiner photography
Emerson Schreiner oils and acrylics
Randy Schroeder photography
Ben Staples ceramics
Christine Towner encaustics
Mary Van Kampen acrylics

Chris Brown

Oil Pastel, $150 - $600

All of my art work is done in oil pastels. This medium is unlike acrylic, oils or water color. Oil pastel is oil-based chalk - like a soft oil crayon, which has its own unique and distinctive characteristic.

I put much thought into each frame and matt so that they enhance the colors and subject of the piece of art. Paper, matt, and glass are archival.

I paint what I am immersed in - food from my restaurant, flowers in my garden and greenhouse, and scenes from my many travels. I am a restauranteur by occupation, and an artist by avocation.


Pia Brown

Ceramics, $8 - $200

Most of my ceramic pieces begin with a thin, flat slab of red or white earthenware clay. I create unique forms that range from functional to whimsical to sculptural.

Most of my pieces can be readily identified with my pressed relief patterns or textured embellishments. Shapes include bowls, platters, boxes and sculptural forms. Colors vary from earthy shades to sherbet pastels and bold bright hues. All utilitarian pieces have glazes that are food safe.

I use two different methods for firing my ceramics. One is a low-fire oxidation technique that optimizes the color and are food safe. The other firing technique is raku - these pieces are decorative and not suitable for use with food.


Gini Cooper

Precious Metal Clay Silver
Lampworked Glass Fish
Fused Glass Earrings

Making glass beads, fusing glass and working with Precious Metal Clay Silver has been an amazing journey of exploration and discovery! In 2000, I won a scholarship to take a bead making class at Ox Bow, the Chicago Art Institute’s summer school in Saugatuck. Since I’d been collecting beads and crafting for many years, I thought it would be such a kick to make my own beads! The week-long class, taught by Jessica Bohus, was incredible! Within a week of my first class, I had purchased a torch, a lot of glass and started working at home. In 2002, I took another class at Ox Bow, again with Jessica, focusing on making glass sculptures.

My discovery of Precious Metal Clay Silver (PMC) was a perfect fit with glass. PMC is made with microscopic pieces of silver from the x-ray and photography developing process and mixed with an organic binder to achieve a clay-like substance. When fired in a kiln, the binder burns out leaving fine silver (a grade above sterling). Therefore, it’s recycled silver!

I recently began fusing glass into earrings, pendanats and small bowls. Soon, I will be making larger pieces for display at the gallery.

I find inspiration everywhere: friends and family, the beach, my garden, rocks and the night sky. Making whimsical pieces are especially enjoyable for me.

I teach both lampworked glass bead making and PMC at Holland Area Arts Council and PMC at South Haven Center for the Arts. My musician husband Jim Cooper and I live in the Saugatuck area.


Charlie Schreiner

Photography, $25 - $499

Charlie received a Masters Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and lives and works along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Awards and exhibits include the George Eastman House; Ohio State University;Tri-Cities Museum in Grand Haven, MI; New England School of Photography; Oakland Museum; the North Light Gallery, AZ U.; A Photographers Place, NYC; The Atlanta History Center; The Henry Ford Museum; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Center for Photographic Art; Grand Valley State U.; Soho Photo; West Michigan Photo Works; Photographer's Forum's Best of Photography Annual 2004; International Fine Art Photography Exhibit; University of WI; Popular Photography, April 2006; The Buhl Collection 2007; Holland Area Arts Council; Center for Fine Art Photography Award 2003 and 2004; 2007 Art Kudos International Competition; Williamsburg Art and Historical Center; C4FAP Alternative Process 2007; Photografi 1-2008; Camera Arts, Mar/Apr 2008; C4FAP Artful Nude 2008;


Emerson Schreiner

Oils and Acrylics

Emerson Schreiner is a graduate of Black River Public high school and is currently a student of the University of Michigan Art and Design program. His work has been exhibited in area galleries and been included in numerous juried shows. Emerson has been painting since he was twelve and drawing for as long as he can remember. He does commission work and can be reached at EmersonSchreiner@gmail.com. Emerson's main passion lies in abstraction. His favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth, Egon Schiele, and Franz Kline.


Randy Schroeder


- Holland native since 1974
- Hope College graduate with social work degree
- Married with two adult children, both are married.
- 26 year employee of the DECC Company, Grand Rapids-Enclave supervisor, quality control, process control and sales engineering.
- Own two LARGE Labrador Retrievers, and enjoy dog training
- Enjoy beach and outdoor activities
- Working out everyday is a priority.
- Have completed 2 Marathons.

Digital photography has allowed me to express myself in ways I never dreamed possible. I favor close-ups with nature and love exploring the camera's features (such as depth of field) to blend backdrops and create compositions not otherwise possible. Factors such as time of day, light, and moisture all make the common, ordinary subject appear simply gorgeous.
I'm grateful to have discovered this passion as a West Michigan resident, where the seasonal changes bring on added dimensions to my photos. Flowers, especially tulips, capture my attention, but so does everything else. I find myself visiting the same boulevard again and again every year, never tiring of seeing the same flowers in a different perspective. I won't go anywhere without my camera.


Ben Staples

Ceramics, $30 - $600

An artist without a statement is like a fish without a bicycle.

You may or may not have read many other artist's statements before. If you have read many of them, you have probably come across a lot of strange phrases that include words like "ephemeral" and "caucophony." Tempting as it is to try to impress you with words like that, I'm afraid it wouldn't really be me. The simple truth is that I like to make pots - especially big ones.

All of my pieces are completely handmade from white stoneware clay. No two are exactly the same; I don't want them to be, and I probably couldn't do it if I tried.

I use an electric kiln to fire my glazes, most of which are the result of my own trials and errors (emphasis on errors).


Christine Towner

Encaustics, $1500 - $5000

I describe my work as a complex, colorful journey into nature. As an abstract expressionist I use the intuitive side of representing nature by choosing organic materials such as the ancient medium of encaustic wax and oil paint. I creatively incorporate objects such as metals, woods and other various materials which allow me to mix my media and create small to large scale paintings.


Mary Van Kampen


My paintings usually begin with a textured background, often black, and evolve into the composition with color and line. I use familiar objects as symbols to express my personal experiences, relationships, and emotions.

Wassily Kandinsky said: “Form is the outward expression of inner meaning”. For me, color and texture provide the nuances, and experimenting with materials and techniques enable me to develop my vocabulary.