Spring’s first Art Hop, held last Friday April 1, drew a larger crowd than cooler winter months this year and featured both artists who have previously showcased their work at Art Hop and artists new to the Art Hop scene.
One artist featured who is familiar to Art Hop was Cathy Germay, a painter and resident of Portage who has her own studio in the Park Trades Center in Kalamazoo and is open to the public on the first Friday of every month during Art Hop. According to her website, Germay’s work is “a response to an illness that resulted in the removal of a portion of her lung and constant, chronic pain.” Much of her work is painted in a style that recalls the artist Frida Kahlo, as Germay feels she relates to Kahlo’s own struggles with illness and pain.
Linda Manguiat-Herzog is another painter whose work can be viewed every month at the Park Trades Center during Art Hop. Manguiat-Herzog’s work has been shown in Kalamazoo’s City Hall and in Bronson Methodist Hospital. Manguiat-Herzog has also shown her work for a number of years at ArtPrize. According to the artist description on the ArtPrize website, Manguiat-Herzog’s work “celebrates the use of vibrant colors, and encompass a range in subjects from landscapes, seascapes and still lifes, to figures and abstracts.”
Photographer and Communities In Schools Volunteer Services Coordinator Kaitlin LaMoine Martin was behind the lens of My Existence Is Resistance, an exhibit new to the galleries of Art Hop, which was sparked by “a curiosity about the different ways Black people resist various systems of oppression,” as stated in the artist statement. The collection features photographs of people from the Kalamazoo area alongside their responses to the questions “What does resistance mean to you?, What does it look like?, What are you resisting?, and How does (whatever you listed) help you to resist?”
“This project is one action toward truth. It is both celebration and exploration of the diverse ways Black people resist systems of white supremacy and dominance,” Martin’s statement says. “Each subject challenges the camera in some way and offers a demand to be seen, to be heard, to be counted. These photos say, ‘I am here, I am living, I exist.’”