Student Response:
Originally posted May 28, 2020 on the 'Student Perspectives on the Art Collection' blog. "What catches my attention in this painting is the red-orange glow on what looks to be a small airstream camper. My initial thought is that the glow is from a campfire but the glow seems to be coming from something much larger than a campfire. Matthew Schenk, a local Grand Rapids artist, painted this work and titled it ‘Post Apocalyptic Airstream’. With this title in mind, the narrative of Schenk’s painting changes for me completely. I realize that the camper is being used as a bunker and the glow is likely coming from a burning car or building. The excluded detail of what is causing the fiery glow contributes to the unsettling feeling I get from this painting. The textured grey shell, few windows and closed off metal door of the airstream camper, surrounded by an ominous grey to black gradient, also helps communicate the high intensity of Schenk’s oil painting. Before COVID-19, I never considered living in a bunker, shut off from the world, but as I dodge people at the post office with my latex gloves and fabric mask, a bunker doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Everyone has a different response to crisis or tragedy, and I am realizing this more than ever as Michigan goes on its 71st day of Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home. Stay Safe. executive order." - Megan Daniels, Studio Art major, Public & Nonprofit Administration minor, GVSU Class of 2023
Current Location:
L. William Seidman Center -> 3rd Floor (WSC)
Location Notes:
WSC; 3rd fl., Faculty/Staff Club 3002

Post Apocalyptic Airstream

Matthew Schenk
GVSU Collection
Oil on Panel
Small-scale oil in grays and bright orange. Image of a rounded mobile home, orange pallette in lower right, dark gray background.
Historical Context:
Matthew Schenk is a local Grand Rapids artist who teaches illustration classes at the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Michigan State University in Lansing and received his Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. He has illustrated coloring books and album covers, worked with comics and the fine arts, and also spent seven years working for Sony Animation in Los Angeles, helping with several productions such as the animated version of the Jackie Chan Adventures, Men in Black, Jumanji and others.

Library of Congress Subjects:
Water-soluble oil paint
Apocalyptic art