Current Exhibitions at the KIA

Wadada Leo Smith, Pacifica, 2007
Wadada Leo Smith: Ankhrasmation, The Language Scores, 1967-2015
October 15 - March 5, 2017

Can a musical score be a work of visual art? Trumpeter, composer, educator, and visual artist Wadada Leo Smith is a pioneer in the fields of contemporary jazz and creative music. During the 1960s and early '70s, Smith was based in Chicago, where he was a key member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). A significant organization in the history of jazz, the AACM created a vibrant discourse between improvised and formally scored music. Smith was one of the most active and articulate proponents of this exchange, legitimizing a formal ideology around improvised music and the illustrated score that he continues to build on to this day. Ankhrasmation--a neologism formed of Ankh, the Egyptian symbol for life, "Ras," the Ethiopian word for leader, and "Ma," a universal term for mother--is the systemic musical language that Smith has developed over nearly 50 years. The scores represent the composition with color, line, and shape, still providing instruction for the seasoned improviser, but while allowing musicians room for their own expertise and individual strengths.

Organized by the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the exhibition is curated by John Corbett and Hamza Walker.

Marcia Wood Procession 2016
Scaled up: Sculpture by Marcia Wood
October 1-December 31, 2016

Always focused on human-scale experiences, Marcia Wood (1933-2000) sculpted visual metaphors for personal relationships to community, nature, and architecture. Among Kalamazoo's most accomplished sculptors, Wood sought an alternative to the intimidating, minimalist sculpture that she saw dominating public plazas and parks in the latter part of the 20th century. Her public art encouraged public interaction, rewarding not only distant views but also inviting intimate, close-up examination. In large and small scale, her work distilled fundamental human relationships and basic elements of nature into sculptural forms.

Renee Stout, See-Line Woman, 2009
Renee Stout: Tales of the Conjure Woman
July 23-October 23, 2016

Washington, D.C., artist Renee Stout is best known for her exploration of vestigial retentions of African cultural traditions as manifested in contemporary America. For many years, the artist has used the alter ego Fatima Mayfield, a fictitious herbalist/fortuneteller, as a vehicle to role-play and confront issues such as romantic relationships, social ills, or financial woes in a way that is open, creative, and humorous. The exhibition focuses on the artist's assumed role through an array of works in various media. As Stout explains, "The common thread running through bodies of my work of the past several years is the continuing need for self-discovery and the need to understand and make sense of human motives and the way we relate and respond to each other."

The exhibition was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts, in collaboration with Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts and the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College

Ahn, Mirror Drawing #23, 2013   Reaching into Infinity: Chul Hyun Ahn
July 2-November 6, 2016

Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn creates sculptures utilizing light, color, and illusion as physical representations of his investigation of infinite space. His works create an optical and bodily illusion of infinity through apparent limitless space. Ahn s sculpture urges the viewer to consider man s boundless ability for physical and spiritual travel while exploiting illusions of infinity and the poetics of emptiness. Born in Busan, South Korea, Ahn moved to the U.S. in 1997 to study at Eastern Michigan University before receiving a Master of Fine Arts from the Mount Royal School at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2002. This exhibition will travel to Eastern Illinois University.

The exhibition has been organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in conjunction with the Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University. We acknowledge the cooperation of C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, in facilitating loans for the exhibition.


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