From the Artist
I strive to view the world through a child-like lens – full of color, whimsy, and honesty. For my entire career, I have often juxtaposed kid-like drawings with “realistic” images. Being a lifelong resident of West Michigan, and this location being near a play structure, I wanted to stay true to the local inhabitants of Spring Lake but create something interactive and playful with lots of little surprises.
About the Artist
Joel Schoon-Tanis’ painting explores God’s creation and stories from a whimsical child-like perspective.
Joel is a celebrated painter who has shown his work around the United States — from Michigan to Florida to Colorado to Washington D.C.. Joel has also shown his works as far away as Kenya where he did an art show in Nairobi to raise money for the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. You may also like to know that while in Kenya he kissed a giraffe. His murals can be found in many schools, children’s hospitals, and churches including murals in Kenya, Zambia, Palestine, and the exotic terrains of northern Wisconsin. Recent painting highlights include working with a group of international artists in Leipzig, Germany creating work on themes of social justice, painting on the separation wall in Bethlehem, Palestine, and having his art presented to the Pope.
As an illustrator, Joel has contributed to more than half a dozen books for children. Most notably, he illustrated the New International Reader’s Version Kid’s Study Bible for Zondervan. He won the “Moonbeam Children’s Book Award” for his book Swing!. In recent years he has worked with Calvin Press on some exciting projects for the church, as well as creating a couple of delightful art books.
In addition to his artistic pursuits, he is also the creator and writer of Come On Over!, a children’s television program that won two National Telly awards and 13 regional Emmy awards, including one for Joel as host of the show.
Joel loves to travel, read, sing (he was in this cool band called the Voice for a solid decade), be outdoors, and play with his female-centric household, i.e. his cool teacher wife, Dr. Kathy Schoon-Tanis and firecracker daughters Harper and Beatrix (both of whom are named for great literary icons).