Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Opens 2015 West Michigan Area Show

Posted: February 5, 2015
Source: Katie Houston
Job Title: Marketing & PR Coordinator
Phone: 269-585-9297
Email: katieh@kiarts.org

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is now accepting submissions for the 2015 West Michigan Area Show (WMAS), which offers more than $4,500 in prizes, including a $1,000 grand prize.

A juried exhibition, the WMAS draws entries from a 14-county region by established and emerging artists and students. The submission deadline is March 16 for an exhibition on view May 9 - August 9. The winners will be announced at the opening reception on May 8. For information about submitting work, visit www.kiarts.org/wmas-submit.

This year's juror is Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education of The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, a museum devoted to the exhibition of contemporary art.

"We are delighted to have such a distinguished juror to select the work and the award winners for WMAS 2015," says KIA Executive Director Belinda Tate.

Walker will choose approximately 100 works to be exhibited, including with 14 cash award winners from an expected 300+ submitted entries, ranging from paintings, prints and photos to mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and mixed-media works.

"I feel the WMAS reception is one of the top Southwest Michigan arts events of the year," says Karla Niehus, Associate Curator of Exhibitions. "You can't beat the fun and energy of that evening. It's true that everyone wants to see who wins the awards, but every piece selected for the show is a winner."

Artists 18 years or older residing in these Michigan counties are eligible: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Eaton, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, St. Joseph, and Van Buren. Only original work of the artist's own design, completed within the last two years should be entered. Digital media, 2-D, and 3-D works in any medium will be accepted, not to exceed 72" on any side. Further details available at kiarts.org/wmas-submit.

In 2001, The New York Times called Hamza Walker one of the "seven most influential curators in the country," and "one of the museum world's most talented essayists." Walker won the Ordway Prize in 2010, in recognition of his innovative curatorial work and his wide-ranging thinking and writing about contemporary art. Prior to his position at The Society, he worked as a Public Art Coordinator for The Department of Cultural Affairs. He has written articles and reviews for such publications as Trans, New Art Examiner, Parkett and Artforum.

The West Michigan Area Show is sponsored by Chemical Bank, Meijer, and the Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Exhibition Events
Sunday, May 3: Artist Talk by Juror Hamza Walker, 4 pm at the Light Fine Arts Building at Kalamazoo College, co-sponsored by the college's Department of Art History.
Friday, May 8: WMAS Artist Reception, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, awards announcement 6:30 pm. Free admission to the galleries during the reception.
Saturday, May 9: Exhibition opens, hours: 11 am - 5 pm.