Making his mark

Artist Michael Pfleghaar has works hanging in collections throughout GR.
Michael Pfleghaar. Photo by Teri Genovese

Michael Pfleghaar came to Grand Rapids in 1983.

His art education resume is impressive, from his youth at Toledo Art Museum and Toledo Artist Club to his formative higher education at Kendall College of Art and Design and Grand Valley State University, followed by his master of fine arts at Lesley University College of Art & Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Now, his art can be found throughout Grand Rapids — including Steelcase, Varnum and GRAM collections — enough so that he’s voted the best visual artist in Grand Rapids.

GRM: Do you have a favorite project or piece you’re particularly fond of that Grand Rapidians can visit?

Pfleghaar: I have many favorite projects throughout my years in Grand Rapids. Working with students through Artworks at UICA, creating murals and other projects.

But as far as public art that Grand Rapidians can visit, Grand Valley State University probably has the largest public collection of my work and people often mention the large painting “Wide Interior 1,” which currently hangs on the Pew Campus, downtown in the Devos Center, second floor.

GRM: What is your dream project?

Pfleghaar: My dream project would be world peace. On a more realistic level, I would like to do a large-scale public painting or mural. Even though I feel murals are becoming over used in some cases, it still is a great way for an artist to leave a semi-permanent mark on a city, whether that be Grand Rapids or afar.

This story can be found in the January/February 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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