James Veenstra is a Michigan native, currently living on a small ranch in Northern Michigan, just northwest of Manton. Veenstra has lived in the Rocky Mountains west of Fort Collins, Colorado and Sheridan, Wyoming for a good part of his adult life. Consequently, his art glass work reflects the inherent beauty of God’s unspoiled creation in both western and mid-western settings.
Veenstra has formal training in both the Arts and Sciences. He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Environmental Sciences, and his Master of Science degree from Colorado State University in Resource Planning/Hydrology. Veenstra also obtained an art minor at GVSU and has participated in selective art glass seminars and classes.
Veenstra created his artwork simultaneously while also working in the environmental field for over 35 years and has contributed to the delineation and/or clean up of hundreds of contaminated sites. His focus is now on creation of unique art pieces. He has always been an avid horseman, outdoors enthusiast and sportsman, involved in hunting, fishing, outdoor photography, and wilderness backpacking, canoeing, kayaking and skiing adventures. His prolonged duration in Wyoming infected his attitude and philosophy with what is desirably Western. It is this unique blend of art, science, and the vast experience base of the natural world that Veenstra has been privileged with, which forms his particular style and art work.
Veenstra is an active member in a number of resource conservation and wildlife groups including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, and the American Paint Horse Association. Veenstra manages the family “ranch” for wildlife habitat and is currently participating in the National Wildlife Partners Program, and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.
Veenstra’s family consists of his wife Maggie (former elem. teacher 38 years), son Jesse (MD/PhD), daughter and fellow artist BreeAnn (BFA) (www.breeannveenstra.com), yellow lab Bailey, and two horses Flurry & Montana (Tanna).