It's been a long pandemic, but there might be some bright spots. For example, with children at home more, maybe the time spent there has brought out some surprising aptitude toward art; real talent rather than something hung on a refrigerator door. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has announced its annual celebrations of young creativity has been combined into one show. The annual High School Area Show (9-12th grade) and Young Artists of Kalamazoo County (K-8th grade) will be one show this year, beginning May 1st. The show will allow continuing to put a spotlight on what the KIA calls the "immense amount of artistic talent, delighting visitors of all ages for over 40 years".

Here's the Young Artists age group (K-8) information:

"Following the theme, I am a Genius, young artists can create 2D artwork using markers, pencils, charcoal, paint, glue, glitter, ribbons, crayons, paper collage, and more. Show us what makes you special: It could be your favorite hobby, strong friendships, the ability to speak another language, or another amazing talent! Your work will have the chance to be included in the YA Showcase at the KIA and will complement the current exhibition, Unveiling American Genius."

Submission have to dropped off from March 31st thru April 3, and April 6 -10th from 9am-5pm, and make sure to take photographs, so that the work can be displayed virtually, too.

High School Area Show Information is this:

"The KIA is welcoming submissions from all high school artists living in Allegan, Barry, Barrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren Counties. Artists can submit their work online through CaFE from now until March 15, with an entry fee of $3 per artwork. Submissions will be juried by Dr. Cindy Todd, 2019 National Art Educator of the Year."

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is pointing out that it "believes that art is for everyone and we would like all talented young artists who want to participate to be able to do so." They're working on alternative drop-off locations, so if young artists want to participate but don't have access to art supplies, they have a limited number of free art supply kits available. More information is available here.

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