Czechoslovakian-born Jaro Hess moved to Grand Rapids in the 1920s as a landscaper and gardener, but his occupations encompassed a wide variety of interests, most memorably his artistic projects. Humorous, dark, mischievous and always whimsical, Hess’ paintings and drawings are windows into a vibrant imagination. Hess created the lion’s share of his illustrations, paintings, and his most well-known illustrative map, “The Land of Make Believe,” in Grand Rapids. The exhibition will provide a brief overview of Hess’ colorful career and explore the nature and place of Hess’ work in Grand Rapids.


The Calvin College Department of Art and Art History is proud to present JARO HESS (1889-1977): “A Truly Free Life” on view April 15 – June 17.