KIA to Open 14-county West Michigan Area Show

Posted: April 24, 2015

Kalamazoo, MI - The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will open the West Michigan Area Show on May 9, with work by 97 artists on display. Continuing through August 9, the exhibition showcases mediums including fiber, glass, jewelry, sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and mixed media. The show is open to artists in 14 counties.

An opening reception is set for Friday, May 8, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, with awards presented at 6:30 pm by KIA Executive Director Belinda Tate. Admission is free.

Jurying this year was performed by Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education of The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, and KIA Executive Director Belinda Tate. The pair chose 104 artworks out of 581 submissions from 276 artists. Most of the works will be available for purchase.

"The West Michigan Area Show is one of the ways we fulfill our mission to nurture the creation of art in our community," said Tate. "Exhibiting local artists has been part of our heritage from the start. Doing so deepens our connection with the community, and offers the community a chance to realize and appreciate the breadth of talent right here in West Michigan."

Annual community-based KIA shows include the current High School Area Show (on view through May 24), the recent Young Artists of Kalamazoo County, and last fall's Double Take: Artists Respond to the Collection. Upcoming this fall will be the biannual Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review, while the annual Arts Fair, June 5-6, draws artists from all over Michigan and the Midwest.

More than $4,500 in awards are given to artists, including a grand prize of $1,000. At the end of the exhibition, one winner will receive a $500 People's Choice Award, sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and based on votes by gallery visitors over the course of the show. The public will also have a chance to meet several of the artists during three presentations on June 16, June 23, and June 30 at noon.

Award sponsors in the WMAS include the Weavers Guild, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Peepers Stained Glass, Signature Artists Cooperative, Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters, West Michigan Potters Guild, Kalamazoo Knitters Guild, and the family of Martin Maddox.

Corporate sponsors of the show are Chemical Bank, Meijer, and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.