Learn From the Best: GRCC professor Kimberly Overdevest brings enthusiasm to her art lessons

Grand Rapids Community College professor Kimberly Overdevest considers herself fortunate to have a career she is passionate about. 

Overdevest always knew art would be at the center of her professional and personal goals. She first pursued a career in graphic design and fine art, and ultimately pivoted to art history and teaching. Now Overdevest has been teaching at GRCC for more than 16 years.

“I wish that I spent less time worrying about if I was making the right choices, and instead channeled my energies toward pursuing my passion. Luckily, I learned early on that fear should not make my decisions,” Overdevest said. 

While Overdevest was pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Kendall College of Art and Design, she took multiple classes led by Sue Eberle. Dr. Eberle is a recently retired art historian who demonstrated professionalism and passion in her teaching, allowing her to connect with her students. 

“I fell in love with art history in part because of her enthusiasm and passion for the profession,” Overdevest said. “Her students were enthralled when she spoke – no matter what subject she was teaching. I used her teaching style as a basis for building my own style”.

During the pandemic, Overdevest challenged students to earn extra credit by recreating a work of art they have studied this semester — and they have to include themselves in the recreation. She wanted to come up with something students would enjoy during the pandemic and share with the class. 

Overdevest enjoys teaching alongside a caring and talented community of professionals. The Visual Arts Department provides a solid foundation of knowledge and skill to students as they prepare to transfer to four-year schools. The professors are active in their field and are passionate about their student’s success. 

Overdevest graduated from the Kendall with two bachelor’s degrees, and earned, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master’s of Philosophy and working toward a doctorate from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. 

More information about the Visual Arts Program can be found here.

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