In The Galleries

The Box Factory for the Arts and the Berrien Artists Guild is proud to showcase our next exhibition,
Series 5: Featuring Michele Corazzo, Carly Norris, Nicole Brown, Maggie Bandstra and Vicki VanAmeyde
If you are interested in purchasing any of the art contact

Whitlow Gallery & Main Stage


Head Menhirs

Michele Corazzo

Valparaiso, IN   |  Sculpture

Artist Statement

I have been a studio artist and teacher my whole career. My artwork includes ceramic and mixed media sculpture, paintings, drawings, and tile murals.

Most of my work has autobiographical roots. These roots become abstracted and manipulated to give them more universal meanings. I often begin with observations of the natural world; otherwise, I may use details from my life experiences.

The Menhir series depicts my long personal relationship with trees. These abstracted tree trunks illustrate my uneasiness with current destructive human interactions with nature by using texture of mass-produced objects for the bark. As time has passed, I saw these trunks becoming torso-like and began to add heads to remind us that we are one with the natural world. Lately these trunks have shown a higher level of disintegration reflecting my anxiety with world affairs in general, not just the environment.





Artist Bio

B.A. Indiana University in French
M.F.A. University of Chicago in Fine Arts
Currently Lecturer at Roosevelt University, Chicago
Currently Assistant Professor at Valparaiso University, Indiana
Extensive exhibits including a permanent floor tile installation at the Field Museum of Chicago

Details are available at and
Contact me at




Whitlow Gallery & Main Stage


From the Ashes

Carly Norris

Niles, MI   |  Mixed Media

Artist Statement

 From the Ashes

A study of forgotten things remembered

From the Ashes shows a journey, with many stops along the way. It is about finding what you have lost, reacquainting yourself with your soul and what truly matters to you. It proves that just because somethings original purpose is no more, it does not mean that its use is over, in fact, the next step can be the best step, the most elaborate chapter of existence.

The materials that comprise these pieces are here as a result of taking a second look around you, and in doing so, being intrigued by what you find, and seeing the possibilities in all things.

These pieces represent having the bravery and sense of self to say, this is what I am going to do, this is what I think is beautiful and worthwhile, this is the direction I choose to take.







Artist Bio

Carly Norris’ work is always about the unexpected. She strives to involve her audience in her discoveries and the treasures that she finds. The cast off and forgotten things and places in this world call to her and she celebrates them using a wide range of techniques, mostly experimental. There is no limit to the materials Carly will use to create her art. She is drawn to the reaction of ink, paint, encaustics, oil and acrylic mediums and more on every possible surface there could be including stone, fabric, glass, metal, bone, animal fiber, and more.

Carly is a seeker, whose passion lies in her love for the unknown, the mystical and unusual side to the world. She creates art that forces you to think, to examine, to challenge your ideas of beauty and embrace one that is not obvious. Carly’s goal is to inspire people to notice the textures of life in a way that will allow them to see things from other angles, to notice the details of life and to be able to enjoy the little things more richly and deeply by these observations.
Carly has exhibited her work in galleries across the Unites States, from Virginia to California. She is the winner of the 2019 Galex 53 Merit Award. She lives on a farm in Niles, Michigan, with her husband, three kids, and a multitude of animals. Much of her materials come from the land she lives on and the animals she lives with.

Contact Carly:





Whitlow Gallery & Main Stage


Heavy Like Floating

Nicole Brown

Saint Joseph, MI |  Watercolor

Artist Statement

 Watercolors have an ethereal nature to them, even when they verge on realism. This is parallel to the concepts of human emotion, to which I have an elusive and confusing relationship with. Expressing the vulnerability of these abstractions is important to the work, as is the breakthroughs and the moments of hope. I employ light, darkness, and physical environments to further emphasize the emotional discord and polarization through the medium of watercolor.

This work is influenced by the many strong women in my life that I look to for inspiration and courage in my paintings. It is their presence and faces that grace much of my work, as does derivatives of myself. They help me tell the stories of the figures in the images I hear, and the poetry I have felt in my life.

I hope for these works to allow the viewer to find a small piece of themselves, even if it is not the same emotion that went into creating the piece. I strive for the work to be infinite in its meaning as reflected through the viewer. The work challenges one to face their own life experiences through tiny moments. Capturing a feeling, clinging to that moment in time when the world was crashing down, uncertainty was engulfing, or weightlessness is orbiting in one’s consciousness: that what I am chasing with this series.





Artist Bio

I was born and raised in rural Michigan and from an early age had an inclination towards creating. Having exhausted my school’s art curriculum, I spent my senior year of high school following an independent study art program.

At Western Michigan University, I started full time in the Gwen Frostic School of Art. However, a tendency towards curiosity of many subjects found me fascinated by the world of advertising. I spent much of my time at WMU in a dual world, bouncing between presentations in marketing classes at the business school, and weird explorations of the creative mind at the art school. Within a class setting, I didn’t seem to fit fully in either. However, when I landed two different advertising internships, one at Biggs|Gilmore in Kalamazoo, and one at Isobel in London, UK, my duality was a perfect fit in that world.

Upon graduation in 2008, I entered the job force with a career in graphic design. Over the course of many different types of businesses and products, I developed into an art director, photographer and brand designer.

As I built my advertising career, my fine arts vocation fell by the wayside. But several uprooting life changes, both physically and mentally, lead me back to my roots. First as an outlet, and soon as a more intense focus. Watercolor has always been a favorite medium to push the boundaries of the paint and the substrate.

I currently live in St. Joseph, Michigan

Instagram: @NBrownDesign






Whitlow Gallery & Main Stage


Nature Abstracted

Maggie Bandstra

Grand Haven, MI  Mixed Media

Artist Statement

 Surrounding the viewer with beautiful colors and peaceful natural forms is the purpose of my work. Exploring natural forms that one might find in the forest, an open field, or even in a neighborhood flower garden creates moments of escapism. Creating images that provoke joy is a privileged contribution during these traumatic days of the ever-changing world. I transform these familiar, mundane, everyday images into joyful, and rapturous visions on the canvas. These works signify our layered human existence in the world and how we are all connected.
The artworks I create are made with layers of dye, ink, acrylic, and oil paints that depict abstracted forms and colors found in the natural world. Hand stretching the substrates traditionally with copper tacks and infusing patterns and colors found in nature is an acknowledgment of the early Arts and Crafts movements ideology. William Morris says, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Having these items in your environment gives the space more joy, therefore, giving life more pleasure.







Artist Bio

Maggie Clifford-Bandstra (b.1970) United States. In 2021 Bandstra completes her MFA in Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Bandstra has a Masters in Educational Leadership from Michigan State University and a BS in Education from Loyola University of Chicago. She has been building her studio practice alongside her full-time job as an arts educator. She currently lives in Grand Haven, Mi. with her family. She calls her paintings nature abstracted. The human connection to nature inspires her paintings and pottery. She extrapolates the simple forms and colors that she finds in plant life and the landscape. She is using an exaggerated scale, movement, and patterns to deliver a healing message through her work. She is encouraging us to take notice of the beauty in the world around us.  Her work is in many public and private collections.

Facebook: Bandstra Studio

Instagram: MaggieBandstra







Whitlow Gallery & Main Stage


Objections: Democracy Under Pressure 2015 –

Vicki VanAmeyden

Battle Creek, MI  | Mixed Media

Artist Statement

 Inspired by political, social, racial, and cultural climates in our beloved United States of America, this collection interprets and reflects upon these conditions.

The spirit of OBJECTIONS resonates with a quote from American author and editor, Professor Toni Morrison:
“…All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.’ …it (art) has to be both: beautiful and political at the same time. I’m not interested in art that is not in the world. And it’s not just the narrative, it’s not just the story; it’s the language and the structure and what’s going on behind it…”






Artist Bio

 Vicki VanAmeyden received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Western Michigan University with a concentration in printmaking, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Kendall School of Design.

Her diverse and interdisciplinary approach often includes the use of text and
non-traditional materials.

VanAmeyden’s work has been exhibited and acknowledged with awards in regional and national venues including a Lila Acheson Wallace Award for Illustration.