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Chris Stoffel Overvoorde (1934-2019) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Chris Stoffel Overvoorde (1934-2019)

Historical Note:

Chris Stoffel Overvoorde was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on November 24, 1934. Before becoming the artist and art professor, he is known as today, Overvoorde attended Technical Schools and eventually the Royal Technicum PBNA to pursue a career path as a diesel engineer. In 1957, Overvoorde immigrated to the United States as diesel engineer. However, in 1961 he enrolled in Kendall School of Design to pursue visual design. He went on to the University of Michigan earning his B.S.D. degree in 1964 and his M.F.A. degree in 1966.

A big year came to Overvoorde in 1966; he not only became a U.S. citizen, but also became faculty of the Calvin College Art department. He started out as an instructor of art and eventually made his way to associate professor of art. He also served as director of exhibitions and chair of the Art Department.

Overvoorde is also known for his personal works of art. He has worked as a painter, printmaker, muralist, graphic designer, and stage designer. His work can be found in both public and private collections. His work has been involved in competitions and exhibitions. Four of Overvoorde’s paintings, depicting Dutch contributions to American life and culture, had made its way to Washington D.C. in 1976.  The four paintings were displayed at the Great Hall of Commerce.

On a personal level, Overvoorde is married to Greta Duifhuis. Together they have four children. He has served as a deacon and treasurer for the Christian Reformed Church. He has served his community by being a board member of the Grand Rapids Art Museum and a chairman for the Municipal Art Advisory Commission of Grand Rapids. Overvoorde reach emeritus status and retired in 1997.

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