Art Hop came to downtown Kalamazoo last Friday to celebrate local art, creativity, and community, brought to us by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and its many sponsors.
Art Hop is a free event that takes place every first Friday of the month, where locals share and sell their art with the rest of Kalamazoo. Local small businesses, studios, public libraries and more open their doors to let the community explore these make-shift art shows. Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College hosted a few works from local artists, and a few K College students also had the opportunity to exhibit their work.
Malak Ghazal K‘15 had a few pieces on display in the offices of The Kalamazoo Gazette last Friday night. She first became interested in participating in Art Hop after taking a class through the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts with Mark Bugnaski, a photojournalist for the MLive Kalamazoo Gazette.
“I’ve always loved taking pictures, but have never had a social edge to them, until now.” Ghazal had three photographs on display last Friday,” Ghazal said.
In the Rare Book Room of Upjohn Library, the College also hosted one exhibit by local artist and K alum, Ladislav Hanka, on Friday evening. His collection will stay on display until November 19.
Hanka’s work is primarily black and white etchings and drawings of creatures found in the natural world. This year marks Hanka’s 40th anniversary of his graduation from Kalamazoo College.
Liz Tyburski K’16 is another K student with work in Art Hop. Her entire Advanced Studio class participated in this event, held in the Parks Trade Center space downtown.
Tyburski had two sets of prints in the show, each consisting of three panels. She said “It was really difficult for me to watch people look at my art,” and that she kept wondering “What are they thinking of my work? Do they get it? Should I talk to them?” Outside of those anxieties, being at the show last weekend was “a privilege.”
“My peers are so talented at what they do,” Tyburski added.
When thinking of this experience as a whole, Ghazal said, “I’m an average college kid and I was able to get something in a local art show. That’s pretty cool.”
Besides photography, Ghazal is on K’s swim team and is a writer and photographer for The Index.
Tyburski noted that it is really interesting to see what the other venues have to offer during Art Hop, as “there is a huge art scene here in Kalamazoo, which is awesome considering the size of the city.”
To find more information on Art Hop for the coming months, or to learn about showing your own work, head over to kalamazooarts.org.