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.

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.

Kalamazoo Community Foundation

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Kalamazoo, in partnership with the Kalamazoo Public Library, the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network, and others, are sponsoring the Great Stories Book Club for young people aged 12 to 21. It features books that invite them to explore identity, social justice, and community.

David Small

Graphic novels are like comic books; the vivid images do the talking. David Small has illustrated more than 40 books, many of them for children, often in collaboration with his wife, author Sarah Stewart. You may have seen his work in the New York Times or in The New Yorker. His graphic memoir, Stitches, was a New York Times bestseller. Now Small has a new graphic novel off the presses: Home After Dark (Liveright, 2018).