Candice B. Groot
Personal Collection
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Teach Me

Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection - white shield on a face

"My sisters would teach me various art forms. One Christmas, one of my sisters gifted me a silk screen and ink, then showed me how to use it."

Candice B. Groot  /  CIR 2014

Candice B. Groot and her sisters. Photo taken for Christmas.
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From Learning Under Her Sisters to Leading in Art

Born into a family that encouraged the creativity of the arts, Candice was always surrounded by art from a young age. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs as the youngest of five sisters, their childhood home was teeming with creativity. While her mother, a trained English teacher with a knack for painting, often took Candice and her sisters to explore the treasures at the Art Institute of Chicago, her father’s early passing became a poignant memory that perhaps intensified the family’s unity and love for artistic expression. Each sister had a unique creative pursuit, from painting and printmaking to weaving and even archaeology.

The Family Roots of Candice's Artistic Journey

Although Candice’s early education in Dutch religious private schools didn’t offer formal art programs, her passion for art was self-fueled and nourished by her family. Holidays were special occasions where art supplies became cherished gifts, allowing Candice to delve into her creative instincts. She would eventually receive her B.A. in Studio Art and Art Education from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and her MFA at Texas Tech University in Texas. There, she honed her skills in ceramics, sculpture, and papermaking under the guidance of esteemed mentors like Verne Funk.

I remember...

As soon as you crossed the threshold, you'd be greeted by an array of sculptures that seemed to dance in their stillness. Each piece had its story, like the ceramic figure by the doorway that seemed to welcome you with a mysterious smile. A few steps further, and you would find a contemporary painting hanging with bold strokes and daring colors.

Profession, Pedagogy, and Passion

After stepping in to teach for a semester, Candice eventually pursued her tenure at Gustavus, bringing with her refreshing ideas and concepts to her students. As an educator, Candice inspired her students to push creative boundaries with their work, and in recognition of her contributions to the field, she received the Award for Regional Excellence from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in 2014. The dedication she witnessed in her students helped spark the conception of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation—understanding that artists need time and support to continue to make art without limitations.

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Candice B Groot's Vacation Home

Candice would later make her Evanston home her sanctuary—a living gallery filled with her art, surrounded by her beloved pets Iris, Rose, Willie, Jack, and Felix. Her collection was rich with diverse artists, but notably, it also included works from her students. Her influence on her students extended well beyond their graduation. Many remained in contact with Candice, a reflection of her enduring impact and genuine kindness.

Shy yet passionate, modest but incredibly focused, Candice B. Groot was a beacon in the world of art. To her nieces and nephews and those who follow, her life stands as an enduring testament that art is not just about the aesthetics you see; it’s a complex, beautiful mystery with layers waiting to be uncovered. Each piece she created, each recognition she received, echoes her belief that art is a language of the soul, deeply enriched by the family and community that nurtured her.

Growing up informs art creation, and conversely, the act of creating art shapes understanding of life, serving as both mirror and window into endless complexities.

Candace B. Groot's Studio