Peter Johnson is a native of Amherst, Massachusetts. He spent much of his formative years in coastal
Maine and northern Vermont. His first connection with art was as a young child. “Nature, artwork, and
human beings were the most interesting things I saw. Making sense of how they all work together has
been a life long pursuit. I am a student of the human condition.”
He is a graduate of Albion College, Albion, Michigan, where he studied ceramic arts with Richard
Leach. He taught pottery in the Albion College adult education program and at Alfred University, New
York, where he was also a teaching assistant in graphic arts. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree
while at Alfred.
He has traveled extensively in Europe and in South America. Recently he has studied ceramic art in
Hawaii and in Hong Kong. He has worked in both glass and pottery and has experimented with a wide
range of forms and surfaces. Besides sculptural pieces, some on a large scale, he has been working on re-
statements of functional forms.
For over forty years Peter has owned a pottery, sculpture, and tile business south of Whitehall,
Michigan, on the corner of Michillinda and Lamos Roads, called Terrestrial Forming Pottery Studio
His pottery can be found at his studio showroom, the Gallery Uptown in Grand Haven, and the White
River Gallery in Montague.
When asked why he teaches at the Nuveen Center, Peter responded with the following poem:
We live here in the village
you and I
I show you that.
As an avid gardener, nature lover and tactile learner, Cara O'Brien finds herself studying leaves, bark,
bugs, trees, fungi, stones, bones, grass, dirt clumps, pine cones, water, or whatever is currently at hand.
Bit by bit these little natural lines and textures find their way into her artistic ideas. After working
concepts on paper, she turns to clay, metal, plaster or paper to complete the final work. From small scale
jewelry and tiles to large sculptures and group projects, making is its own reward.
The three works in this exhibit were created from handmade porcelain tile that were drawn on with
liquid clay or black wax resist. These works where then glazed and high fired in an electric kiln. The
designs were inspired by nature of course!
Although she received a BFA from Central Michigan University, the majority of her art education took
place in places off the beaten track. The most important of these being a summer in Italy and 10 years at
Ray Jansma’s studio in Fremont, Michigan. Together Jansma and O'Brien created a life size bronze for
the Fremont Area District Library. This first large project opened many doors to other large art
commissions, including mosaics for schools and other public works for libraries and cities, such as the
kinetic sculpture Windwave, located outside the White Lake Community Library.
O’Brien currently lives and works full time out of her studio in Whitehall, Michigan and operates under
the business name of O’Brien Objects, LLC. She dedicates time to teaching classes at the Nuveen Center
because she believes in the importance of providing opportunities for the community to get creative.
I've loved everything about most forms of “art” since birth. My mother always said “that girl was born
with a crochet hook in her hand” (ouch). Nevertheless, I earned a degree in the medical administrative
field and have worked in various positions in the medical field since college.
Currently I am retired from work in the outside world. Now I’m self-employed and loving every minute
My work with polymer clay goes back ten years or so. I had an arthroscopy (knuckle replacement) on
my left hand. Therapy involved squeezing on a hunk of clay. Can you see where this is going? Anyway,
I started “squeezing with a reason” and made my first piece of sculpture. I was hooked.
I strive with each and every piece I produce to turn it into something that someone would be pleased
and proud to wear on their person or have displayed in their home.
I teach at the Nuveen Center because I love taking what I've learned and passing it on to others. The
more passion I can create in others the better. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to “lose”
yourself in the creative process.
Paul K. Petersen
Paul K. Petersen was born in Northfield, Minnesota in 1950, the son of a Lutheran Pastor. As he grew,
his family lived in many areas of the Midwest; Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska and
Wisconsin. Growing up in a family of outdoorsmen, he learned early how to fish and enjoy the out-of-
doors. When he was 12, a school teacher gave him a camera and taught him how to develop film. His
love of photography continues to this day.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Resource Management and Biology from the University of
Wisconsin. After a career in Construction and Development, serving as a Developer, Project Manager
and Director of Marketing and Business Development, Paul decided to turn more of his attention to his
hobby—photography. It soon became his full-time business, though he continues to consult in
construction for churches and businesses in Michigan.
Since his introduction to photography at age 12, Paul has amassed a large body of Architectural,
Nature and Portrait work. As a photographer, Paul is self taught and has developed his own unique
style. His understanding of nature, his love of people, his energy and attention to detail bring an
amazing ability to capture images that show the subtle emotions and sights he sees in life and nature.
Paul honors God for the talents given him and feels blessed in being able to share them with others. He is
excited to begin teaching at the Nuveen Center because, “I love to share my knowledge with others!”
Linda Busse is a local artist and a retired Montague elementary school teacher. Her paintings are on
display at the White River Gallery
Corene Kufta has been a visual artist, with a focus in painting for 20 years, but has worked in film,
photography, and theatre. She recently completed a painting sabbatical at The School of the Art at the
Institute of Chicago.
Melissa Morrow studied Graphic Illustration at the Center for Creative Studies and is currently pursuing
her career in art. Her acrylic work has recently been displayed in exhibitions at the Grand Rapids Art
Museum, Holland Arts Council, and Muskegon Museum of Art.
Pat Miller is attempting to save and savor our natural environment by capturing it with artwork. She
sees teaching workshops as an opportunity to share her knowledge and love of watercolors with others.
Katie Trzaska has been acting, directing, and producing in the theater arts in Muskegon and Green Bay,
WI for ten years. She has 16 years of dance training and has a BA from St. Norbert College in
communications, and theater.
|Promoting the Arts in the White Lake Area
Located in Downtown Montague, MI
|Meet Nuveen's Artist/Teachers!
|All site content © www.artscouncilofwhitelake.org