For the first time ever, the KIA galleries will be filled with the art of both the High School Area Show and Young Artists of Kalamazoo County at the same time! The High School Area Show is a unique opportunity for high school artists to enter perhaps their first ever juried exhibition, with the chance to win scholarships and see their work on a museum’s walls. The 2021 juror is Dr. Cindy Todd, the 2019 National Art Educator of the Year. Scholarships were awarded on April 30 at the Virtual Award Ceremony, with universities such as WMU’s Gwen Frostic School of Art and the Milwaukee Institute of Art (and more!) offering everything from pre-college summer program scholarships to annual financial aid.
In another KIA first, the Young Artists of Kalamazoo County exhibition was crowd-sourced. To help our beloved art educators during a particularly trying year, we asked students all over Kalamazoo county to bring their work directly to us! Using social media, word of mouth, and our art educator network, we spread the word to young artists that their work could be displayed at the KIA. To ensure that this new model was equitable, Jessica Sundstrom, Assistant Curator of Youth and Family Programs, partnered with the Kalamazoo Public Library to distribute 500 free art supply kits which also generously included a free book from the library. The KPL Mobile Library went out to community sites and set up with staff from KPL, the KIA, and art teachers from Kalamazoo Public Schools to encourage young artists to create art. In addition, art kits were supplied to the Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo and El Concilio.
The KIA is always thrilled to display the work of artists K-12, and never more so than after the year of 2020. Our community is the reason we thrive as a museum, and we are honored to showcase the joy, creativity, and talent of our youth. Make sure to come and see this KIA first before May 30!
Submissions for the High School Area Show opened on January 24, 2022. Click the link below to learn more on how to apply.