Learn from the Best! GRCC visual arts professors Filippo Tagliati, Tatsuki Hakoyama earn honors in LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition

Students in the Photography II class getting a location lighting lesson from teacher Fillippo Tagliati.

A West Michigan art competition includes the work of two instructors in Grand Rapids Community College’s Visual Arts Department.

The annual LowellArts West Michigan Arts Competition, which draws submissions from a 25-county region, selected “Progress,” an oil painting from adjunct Tatsuki Hakoyama, and “Sundial,” a photograph by professor Filippo Tagliati, to include in this year’s exhibit. Both earned honorable mention awards in the exhibit.

LowellArts is hosting an open house for the artists and public from 1-4 p.m. March 20 at its gallery at 223 W. Main St. in Lowell. Gallery hours for the exhibit, which runs through April 16, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

“It’s good being selected for an art competition and even better to get an award, but you have to keep in mind you are not doing this for prizes or awards,” Tagliati said. “You are an artist because of the experience and the process, you want to be part of the community and the conversation and also you want to stay close to your teaching practice. You are doing what your students are doing in class, and this makes more sense than anything else. It keeps you young and fresh.”

Tagliati, who joined GRCC’s Visual Arts Department in 2007, teaches photography and video courses. Born in Bologna, Italy, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna and a master’s in fine arts from Arizona State University.

Hakoyama is a native of Japan who has taught drawing classes at GRCC since January 2021. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s in fine arts in painting from Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design.

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