visual art

Gloria Badiner (left) and David Smallcombe help customer Lisa Huff check out at the counter at the Signature Artist Gallery. The gallery is only open during the month of December.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

At some point in their lives, every artist has probably heard someone say something like, “That’s a nice hobby, but you’ll never make a living.” Sometimes they’re right - with lots of competition and not as much financial support for artists, it can be hard to make ends meet. 

But that’s not necessarily true for members of the Signature Artist Cooperative. Artists in the group teach each other the business of selling art.

Bob Psalmond's art at Kellogg Community College's library
Kellogg Community College

Five years ago, Kellogg Community College noticed that a large number of veterans were enrolled in its classes. So it started a writing project to help bring those veterans together.

From Quintapata's "DNA"
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

What do you think of when you think of the Dominican Republic? Maybe baseball or merengue. Maybe you think of sunny beaches overlooking a turquoise ocean? You likely don’t think of contemporary art. 

Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

On Kalamazoo Mall, MRC Artworks looks like any other art gallery. It’s got acrylic paintings, jewelry, and pottery. But MRC doesn’t just sell art—it provides jobs for about 60 people living with disabilities or mental illness.

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."