May at the MacRostie

MacRostie Art Center is pleased to announce its May 2021 exhibitions. The MacRostie Gallery will showcase the mixed media paintings and collages of Karlyn Atkinson Berg in “Unfolding Odyssey.”  The Minnesota Gallery will host “The Little Big Show,” the MAC’s annual miniatures exhibition with this year’s featured artist Jim Zasoski.  The public is invited to experience the new exhibitions opening May 7 through the MAC’s website or in person at MacRostie Art Center in downtown Grand Rapids. May exhibitions at MacRostie Art Center are sponsored by the Loggy Dome and Grand Rapids State Bank.


“Unfolding Odyssey” offers an invitation to join Karlyn Atkinson Berg's creative journey through her recent series of works including a new panorama of eight side-by-side panels. Together, they comprise a still expanding landscape; an imaginary place of visions, treasures, color, and mystery.

In her artwork, Berg uses a variety of mediums and materials such as pastel, airbrush, acrylic paint, silkscreen, woodcut, and printed images on paper to create elaborate and dreamlike collages. 

“I approach the collage as a painting not a mere assembly of pictures,” says Berg. “As I collect materials, they start to connect individually or in groups and from those materials, and I begin to see an interaction in space and form, colors and shapes… The materials are cut up and fragments are reassembled to create and transform the materials into a new pictorial reality, which like surrealism may result in a juxtaposition of several simultaneous, but unrelated realities.”

Karlyn Atkinson Berg received her BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. In 1973 she traveled to Minnesota to work for the conservation of the timber wolf and served as a consultant and designer for the Science Museum of Minnesota. During this time, she began exploring the relationship between humans, wolves, and wilderness as revealed in the genre of magical realism in literature and art. Using the medium of collage and painting, she has continued to explore the complex relationship humans have with the natural world. Berg lives in rural Bovey, MN, and is a fiscal year 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Sometimes big ideas come in small packages. Now in its thirteenth year, the MAC’s popular “Little Big Show” includes dozens of artists with works that are 12” or smaller in any dimension and priced at $100 or less. The exhibition is open to any artist to submit a single piece, which results in a vibrant showcase of local and regional artistic talent and makes this an annual favorite of the MAC’s exhibit calendar. Submissions include ceramics, textile art, collage, watercolor, acrylic and oil painting, drawing, and more.The 2021 Little Big Show will also feature a collection by the enigmatic local painter Jim Zasoski. His newest series takes inspiration from the Little Big Show in dimensions, with figures juxtaposed to run interference with viewers’ assumptions.


The First Friday Art Walk returns in May with a downtown celebration of art and community. The MAC will be open from 10 am – 7 pm on First Friday. The gallery capacity is limited to 30 people at one time, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the many art walk activities throughout downtown in addition to visiting the new exhibits. A full schedule of First Friday events can be found at 


MacRostie Art Center is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm. The MAC is also pleased to offer the opportunity to view all its exhibits and shop online at  


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