visual art

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."

Cheri Williams hangs her work at Studio Grill in Kalamazoo
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

At the May Kalamazoo Art Hop, artist Cheri Williams is holding a fundraiser for the YWCA shelter at Studio Grill. The shelter acts as a safe house for victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Robbie Feinberg

Michigan artist Jeffrey Evergreen has never been one to leave his pictures alone. He likes to layer images and distort them until they’re nearly unrecognizable, or blow them up to huge sizes. You can see the results of that work in his new exhibit, called “Mind Your Memes,” which premieres tonight at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.