“A virtual exhibition was our solution to Michigan’s shelter in place directive by Governor Whitmer,” said Michelle Stempien, KIA Director of Museum Education, adding that opening weekend for the annual exhibition would typically draw thousands of visitors.
“We are approaching 40 years for this exhibition, and of course this is the first time we have shared it online. But we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to offer something so positive to the community — and to honor the hundreds of young artists showing work on the walls,” she said.
She added that education curators turned into videographers early this week, after installing the hundreds of artworks in two of the museum’s first floor galleries. Art teachers from more than 50 public and private elementary and middle schools chose and submitted artwork by their K-8th grade students.
“We hope everyone is inspired by the color and expressiveness of these young artists to bring more art into their own lives,” Stempien said, adding her thanks for the exhibition’s lead sponsor The Tyler-Little Family Foundation, and co-sponsor PLAZACORP.
“We always love seeing the student artwork come in each year; it puts a smile on the faces of everyone who is involved in producing this exhibition,” Stempien said, adding “and we look forward to welcoming the community back to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts very soon.”
The KIA is planning to present a virtual exhibition for upcoming spring exhibitions as needed. This will likely include the juried West Michigan Area Show (April 10) and High School Area Show (April 24).