Art Beat

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

Fridays in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Andy Robins / WMUK

Writing and translating poetry across cultures is tricky. Just ask Hedy Habra, a poet and artist who taught Spanish at Western Michigan University. Habra is of Lebanese origin, grew up in Egypt, and also lived in Belgium and Greece before to coming to Kalamazoo in 1981. Habra revisits her early cultural roots in her newest poetry collection, Taste of the Earth (Press 23, 2019).

Mark Wedel / SW Michigan's Second Wave

Like so many neighborhoods, Kalamazoo’s Eastside has seen its economic ups and downs. To raise community pride and foster a resurgence of the neighborhood, the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, Vibrant Kalamazoo, and the Eastside Neighborhood Association came together to create "Eastside Voices." It’s an intergenerational oral history and book project with stories from current and former Eastside residents.

Carolyn Fink

Until a friend invited her to come along to a class in 2005 about felt-making, Dawn Edwards knew nothing about this ancient fabric. But it wasn’t long before the Plainwell resident developed what she calls an obsession.

Colleen Woolpert is an artist, inventor, and stereograph curator based in Kalamazoo. She creates still and moving images as well as interactive installations rooted in photography that explore the meaning of vision. Woolpert creates stereographs and is the inventor of the TwinScope Viewer exhibition stereoscope.

Kristina Spitzner

Kristina Spitzner loves a nature walk. But it’s not enough for her to take it all in as she passes by. With a background in advertising and graphic design, Spitzner now devotes her time to working as a botanical artist and natural science illustrator.