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.

Joshua Davids / Glass Art Kalamazoo

Joshua Davids says when he looked into the glass that seemed to be alive in the fire, he fell in love. Ekin Deniz Aytac says she was mesmerized by watching glass blowing and was also drawn into the community of glass artists.

In Unblinking (Wayne State University Press, 2019), her new collection of stories, Lisa Lenzo writes about her native Detroit as well as race, class, disability, aging, and family. Her earlier novel-in-stories, Strange Love, was a 2015 Michigan Notable Book Award winner. Unblinking is part of the Made in Michigan Writers Series.

Cate Barry

Oliver Baez Bendorf has written two books of poetry: The Spectral Wilderness and Advantages of Being Evergreen. The first won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The second will appear in September and won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Book Poetry Competition.


Emily Kastner is a cofounder of Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK), which promotes literacy for kids. Now, using the name Emmy Kastner, she’s a full-time children’s book author and illustrator. Her new series, called Nerdy Babies, introduces kids to the exciting world of science.

Melody Warner

Chances are good that you’ve seen Mary Brodbeck’s woodblock prints — maybe at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts gift shop, in a Saugatuck art gallery, or on an Art Hop in Kalamazoo. Brodbeck’s prints are the kind you don’t forget, especially if you love nature. Her landscapes capture the serenity of nature, even if it means a demanding hike to get a scene worth reproducing with the ancient process of Japanese woodblock printmaking.