The work of West Michigan’s talented community of visual artists is on display at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ annual West Michigan Area Show. Since the 1960s, this annual juried exhibition has showcased exceptional work in all media, drawing hundreds of entries from a 14-county region. Each year, an experienced juror chooses the artists from more than 500 submitted entries, ranging from paintings, prints and photos to mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and mixed-media works.
Chicago-based photographer Dawoud Bey juried this year’s show. Born in Queens and a graduate of the Yale University School of Art, his career was launched in the late 1970s with his seminal series photographing the people and places of Harlem. Today, Dawoud Bey is an internationally recognized photographer of the African American experience, and professor at Columbia College, Chicago. He was recently named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and awarded a “genius” grant. Rooted in traditions of portraiture and documentary photography, Bey has focused on picturing marginalized communities.
The exhibition was organized by Karla J. Niehus, Interim Curator of Exhibitions, and sponsored by Chemical Bank and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Additional support provided by David Isaacson in memory of his wife, Helen Sheridan. Opening reception sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.