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Artists in Residence Add to their Experience at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts artists in residence

Lauren Schildberg obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in jewelry from Western Michigan University, and her plan was to continue creating out of her studio, selling jewelry through Etsy, and subcontracting for an area jewelry firm while she figured out her next move. When Schildberg learned of the Post-Baccalaureate Residency program through the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA), that next move presented itself.

Schildberg shared, “The art school facilities are great. I have access to an incredible array of tools I don't own, so I am able to create work I couldn't do before.”

The Kirk Newman Art School welcomed its second cohort of resident artists in September. The nine-month program is designed to strengthen practice, technique, and development for degreed artists seeking a career in the arts.

Lauren and six other artists will study and work with faculty mentors through May. Included in the program are printmakers Anna Hunt and Stephanie Modlin; ceramists Kaylon Khorrsheed and Sarah Parr; and photographers Alicia Chiaravalli and Ashley Rolfe.

Anna Hunt had been to the KIA as an area high school student, through KRESA’s Education for the Arts program. Returning to the KIA after her studies at Grand Valley State University and time in New York was a ‘dream opportunity’.

Hunt went on to share, “I've been so happy to collaborate with my fellow residents and faculty. It's been great to learn various techniques and feel comfortable enough to give my work the space to develop.”

“Mentor Vicki VanAmeyden, head of the printmaking department, is amazing. She's an incredibly open minded and dynamic person. I feel very lucky to have the chance to work with her,” said Hunt.

This winter Hunt will assist in screen-printing classes with instructor Sue Caufield, teach a workshop on eco-printing this summer, and pursue a master degree in art therapy after that.

Executive Director Belinda Tate sought to develop the program to further the KIA mission to support artists of all ages.

"Developing artists need somewhere to hone their ideas and further develop their craft??"and we wanted to offer that space," Tate said. "We know they will grow and learn in the supportive community of the art school."

Each resident receives a materials stipend and tuition for two art classes per term. They participated in the KIA Holiday Art Sale and will be part of the annual KIA Arts Fair in June. They’ll also discuss their work with ARTbreak audiences this spring, and have an exhibition of their art in May. The program is generously supported by a gift from Rosemary and John Brown.

Printmaking resident Stephanie Modlin was also planning on graduate school before joining the KIA program. When she finishes, she’ll have new techniques under her belt, teaching experience, and an exhibition to add to her resume.

“I am always excited to learn new techniques, and my first printmaking classes were in forms I have never learned: polymer relief and collograph relief,” said Modlin.

She went on to say, “I can come in any time the studios are open and work. The print studio is wonderfully equipped with four different presses, and all the supplies I need, so I can work in various forms of printmaking. I love being able to learn from other printmakers, and this residency is a great way to do that.”

Interestingly Modlin treats her residency like it is her job. “When I am not at work or sleeping, I am in the studio working on my projects.”

Learn more about the 2017-18 residencies program and how to apply or call 269-349-7775. Applications will be accepted until June 1.

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