West Michigan is home to a talented community of visual artists, and some of their finest recent work will be on display at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in its annual West Michigan Area Show. Since the 1960s, this annual exhibition has showcased the exceptional work of area artists in all media.
A juried exhibition, the Area Show draws hundreds of entries from a 14-county region of West Michigan. This year, 520 works were submitted from 240 artists, in media ranging from paintings, prints and photos to mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and mixed-media works. From these, 106 works by 93 artists were chosen to be included in the exhibition.
This year’s guest juror is artist Vincent Desiderio. Desiderio is acclaimed for his meticulously detailed images that express both intelligence and depth of emotion. His figural and allegorical paintings reference art historical traditions while addressing issues relevant to our own time. Among numerous other honors, Desiderio is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and spent two years in residence a P.S. 1, New York. He teaches at the New York Academy of Art and his work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walker Art Center and Guggenheim Museum, among others.
Cash prizes are awarded to the juror’s selection of the top five works and seven community-sponsored works in designated media. Three additional cash prizes are awarded for a work purchased for the KIA collection, a work representing the magical realism style, and the “People’s Choice”–the work receiving the most votes by April 29. The People’s Choice winner will be announced at ARTbreak, 12 p.m., Tuesday, May 1.