kalamazoo institute of arts

Back in August, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts brought in "Common Ground," a joint exhibit from art museums in Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Flint featuring centuries of African-American art. On February 4th -- almost six months later -- the KIA is putting on a new event, called “Common Threads," where activists, musicians and poets will gather together to perform a kind of “call and response” to the “Common Ground” exhibit and explore how its themes still resonate today. 

James Marcellus Watkins, Victims, ca. 1986, oil on board. Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts;  Director's Choice Purchase Award, 1991 Kalamazoo Area Artist Show.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Common Ground is a multi-city exhibit that shows African American art through the ages, stretching all the way back to the 19th century. Kalamazoo is the exhibit’s last stop in the state after showing in Flint and Muskegon.  The opening reception is August 21st at 5:30 p.m.

Courtesy Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Seventy years ago, Nina Belle Ward was a big deal in Kalamazoo. Ward was one of the founders of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts back in 1924, and she served as the museum’s first and only teacher for nearly two decades. But once Ward passed away in 1944, her works were spread out across the country. Now, with the help of one of Ward’s relatives, the KIA has reconstructed her legacy in a brand new exhibit, called "Rediscovering Nina Belle Ward."

Artists Bring A Brush of Japanese Culture to Kalamazoo

Mar 6, 2015
Courtesy Don Kerr and Sharon Sandberg

CORRECTION: The original story said the lecture was at 11 a.m. The lecture actually starts at 10 a.m.  

Artists Don Kerr and Sharon Sandberg have spent most of their lives in Michigan. But roughly 15 years ago, their worldview changed on a whimsical visit to Japan. That trip turned into four more, as the duo kept traveling back as scholars with the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone . The two will talk about their experiences at a Kalamazoo Art League lecture on Wednesday, March 11th at 10 a.m. at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. WMUK's Robbie Feinberg talked with them about their experiences in Japan and how it affected their art.


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