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About Varnum

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About the Art

Varnum has been a supporter of the arts for many years, and our offices are virtual galleries of fine art by local and regional artists. Recently we began incorporating the works of some of these artists into our marketing materials, including this web site.

Throughout the site, you will see portions of works by the following artists:

John Baughman

Born in Grand Rapids, Baughman was interested in drawing at an early age. Talented in many areas, he was a successful advertising company owner but decided to pursue his career as an artist full time when he was approached by Rosenbaum Fine Art. Oils play a very important part in John's art, but he is continually experimenting using new mediums. He and his artist wife, Janet Richardson Baughman, have a studio in Ada and find inspiration all around them. Fishing, sports and raising horses are some of John's other pursuits, but "Art is the core of my life." His work is featured in collections around the country including IBM Corporation in New York and Pillsbury Corporation in Minneapolis

Linda LaFontsee

Using a variety of media including encaustic, oil and gouache, LaFontsee conveys the dance of life with an organic freedom, independent of representation. LaFontsee is inspired by color, movement and line, all of which she is continuously constructing and deconstructing through tones, varnishes, burns, molds, melts, and scratches into the surface of her paintings. "I am in love with the eloquence of sparseness and everything to do with the act of painting: the smell, the lushness of oil paint, color." LaFontsee attended Kendall College of Art and Design and has years of independent study and workshop experience.

Gretchen Minnhaar

A native of Argentina, Minnhaar is an architect and artist living in West Michigan. Her painting subjects are often a reflection of her architectural training. "It's the images of cities, roads, people and buildings that form my everyday vocabulary. This is what I paint." Minnhaar's work is featured in private collections in Argentina, Spain and Netherlands and at several corporate offices including Steelcase Corporation in Grand Rapids and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. A proponent of cultural activities, Minnhaar is also a founder of the film series, Chiaroscuro, featuring diverse, international films. A recently-published book of her art is available through her website,

Michael Schaeffer

Schaeffer sees creative expression as translating feelings into color texture, and form. With emphasis on these elements, he infuses intuitive and improvisational marking with order, balance and harmony. "Creating a balance between logic and feeling is essential to creating a successful work of art." Schaeffer attended the Royal college of Art in London and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art & Design. His work is included in the collections of several prestigious museums and corporations, as well as hundreds of personal collections through the United States and Europe.

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