Art Beat

A weekly look at creativity, arts, and culture in southwest Michigan, hosted by Zinta Aistars.

Fridays in Morning Edition at 7:50am and at 4:20pm during All Things Considered.

Andy Robins / WMUK

Everyone loves a good movie. We all hear about the big showstoppers: the movies with big stars and flashy special effects. But they may not be the best movies. For 30 years, the mission of the Kalamazoo Film Society has been to show first-run, world-class, independent and foreign films that would otherwise not be offered locally.

Elaine Seaman

Creative people often express themselves in more than one medium. Elaine Seaman is a fabric artist. She also writes poetry. Her quilts are personal statements, capturing aspects of her life. Her poetry collections include the chapbook Bird at the Window and Rocks in the Wheatfield (Finishing Line Press, 2004).

Courtesy Ann DeHoog

Living in the backcountry of Allegan County, sandhill cranes and wandering deer often hear Ann DeHoog playing her flute by an open window. For many years, she was flutist for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Now DeHoog’s passion finds her working in her studio, creating jewelry with Michigan stones for her business, Almond Branch Designs.

Phillip Angert

On Elisa Albert’s website, you see a woman in a straitjacket, pencil clamped tightly in her bright red lips. That’s how Albert writes, despite pressure to conform or live a lie. Albert is all about brutal honesty. In her newest novel, After Birth (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), a young woman learns how to cope with becoming a mother. It isn’t pretty. But when reviewers peg her book as being about post- partum depression, Albert pushes back.

Courtesy Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Larry “Pun” Plamondon was a troublemaker as a kid. It got worse as he grew older. Drawn to the bottle and petty crime by the time he was 14, the court sent him away to a reform school. But as soon as he was out, he ran away. At 19 he became a union organizer. And by 27 he was accused of bombing a CIA building in Ann Arbor, and Plamondon wound up on the FBI’s "Ten Most Wanted" list.