kalamazoo book arts center

Kathy Jennings (left) reads her poem inspired by Michael Dunn's (right) drawing that he's holding
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

“I sit in waiting rooms of doctor’s offices and airports - and whenever normally you’re getting impatient or frustrated, I’m drawing,” says Kalamazoo architect and artist Michael Dunn.

Dunn’s drawings are layered with many images, popping out at you from a fog of scribbles. They’re part of a new exhibit at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center called “Drawing on Words” - which will have its opening reception during Friday's Art Hop.


Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Venice is the fabled city of canals and piazzas on the Adriatic that looms large in the dreams of artists, writers, and millions of tourists. But Venice is also a major destination for those interested in typography, printing, and the art of making physical books. Some students from Kalamazoo went there this summer to find out more about that aspect of the city's history and they've created a new exhibition inspired by the trip.


Handmade paper by Joan Khaled
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Though we’ve become a digital society, there’s still probably at least a few pieces of paper in your desk or a receipt in your car. In some ways, paper reminds us of the drudgery of daily life: memos, school papers, to-do lists. But spend just a few minutes with The Paper Guild in Kalamazoo and paper might amaze you.

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

For 20 years, Chad Pastotnik has printed handmade books in Mancelona, Michigan. Pastotnik’s exhibit 20 Years of Deep Wood Press will be at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center through the end of this month. He uses a lot of natural fibers in his work, but one common ingredient is missing.

Aaron Cooper

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center director Jeff Abshear has spent part of the past decade teaching book arts in Venice to Italian children, but this summer’s trip with was the first time he taught Americans there. Eleven students from the Frostic School of Art and Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University went with Abshear to Venice this summer to study book arts. They attended a printmaking school and studied at a letterpress museum.