“Hogan-Minded”: Race and Place in Georgia O’Keeffe’s Southwest

Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, 1994, oil on canvas. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

This Thursday at the KIA: a talk by Art History Professor James Denison!

Thursday, April 11, 6:00 – 7:00pm | Kalamazoo Institute of Arts | 314 S Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007

A native of the DC area and a graduate of Bowdoin College, James Denison recently completed his PhD in Art History at the University of Michigan. During the summer of 2023, he joined the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Kalamazoo College as the Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow.

In a talk drawing on his dissertation research, Denison will argue that past interpretations of Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexican paintings have obscured her engagement with Southwestern Indigenous cultures. He will highlight the influence of tourist contexts and period racial thinking on her work, describing how it relied upon and perpetuated romantic stereotypes about those cultures circulating within interwar New Mexico and the Manhattan avant-garde. Ultimately, her paintings and writings make clear that she saw the region much as countless others had before: as both deeply informed by the presence and history of its Native peoples and as open, empty, and ripe for claiming.

This ARTful Evening is presented jointly by the KIA and Kalamazoo College. The lecture is free to attend, but preregistration is encouraged!

Call for Submissions: Art & Art History Department Show

General Information

Current art students are invited to participate in the Art + Art History Department Art Exhibition, which will take place at the Kalamazoo College Community Studio (KCCS) during spring quarter. The show is open to all students majoring or minoring in art, and all students are encouraged to submit something!

Artwork submission will be held during Week 10 from Wednesday, March 13th through Friday, March 15th. The exhibition will take place on Friday, May 3rd. Please see below for submission information

The exhibition will be up for May Art Hop (May 3rd) at the Park Trades Center. The event will run from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM and will include a reception hosting snacks and beverages. The Park Trades Center is vibrant and lively stop for Art Hop so invite your friends and family to join us for a great night!   

Art Submissions 

Wednesday thru Friday of week 10 (March 13th – 15th), 10am – 6pm. 

Bring artwork to Marissa Klee-Peregon, Art Department Office Coordinator, in FAB 120. 

If you have any questions about submissions or are unable to drop work off during the times listed above, please contact the Post-Bac Jacob Converse (jacob.converse@kzoo.edu).  

Artwork Requirements 

  • 1 work of any size, medium, or topic 
  • Clearly label your works with the following information:
    • Your full name
    • Title
    • Medium
    • Your email address
    • Installation instructions
      • An arrow indicating which way is up (on tape or sticky note)
      • Any special instructions about installation. You are welcome to submit installation works, but we may require that you be available during the week leading up to the show to install.
    • Photos and digital artwork must be printed and ready to hang.
    • Video work may be emailed to Jacob Converse (jacob.converse@kzoo.edu) by the end of the day on Friday, March 15th. Please use the subject line “Department Exhibition Submission” 

Your artwork will be stored safely until the exhibition, and will be returned to you afterwards. 

Art History Submissions  

Students at any level may submit a paper or project to be displayed. Submissions should be turned in to Marissa Klee-Peregon/Jacob Converse in the Art office (FAB 120) by Friday, March 15th. 


If submitting a short paper (3-10 pages) print and submit the following:  

  1. Title page containing a. title of paper b. your name and information (such as pronouns, major/minor if declared) c. course title, quarter, and year  
  2. An abstract on its own page (for help with this, work with Dr. Butler). 
  3. The paper.  

If submitting a long paper (10+ pages, e.g. a SIP) submit 1 and 2 above, along with 3. an excerpt of the paper of up to 10 pages. Indicate at the beginning of the paper that this is an excerpt from the project. 

Amalia Scorsone ’24 – Short Documentary Screening

Intro to Documentary Video student Amalia Scorsone will be screening her short documentary “Premium Orange” as part of the upcoming Kalamazoo Film Society Filmmakers Showcase. The Showcase will take place at 6:30 pm, March 13 at Celebration Cinema in Portage. Tickets are $5.00.

A still from "Premium Orange." A group of mostly-white college students pose onstage during a rehearsal.

Premium Orange

An a cappella group gets ready for their upcoming show and reflects on their experiences with Premium Orange

Alum Spotlight: Heather Boersma

Headshot of Heather Boersma

We were so pleased to have Heather Boersma ’89 present her show Covid Purse Diary at K in fall 2022. While we were setting the show up, we chatted with her about her work, her time at K, and her path after graduation.

Heather majored in English when she studied at Kalamazoo College. She didn’t start painting until her junior year, but she fell in love with it immediately. For her SIP, she created a series of poems that were paired with paintings.

Q & A with Heather

In Covid Purse Diary, you use a wide variety of found and repurposed materials. Can you talk about what significance those materials have for you?

I began going for nature walks during lockdown and found Witch’s Burr that looks just like pictures of the Covid 19 virus. When I discovered tiny liquor bottles on my runs, I began to wonder about ways we were dealing with the stress of the pandemic. Once I started collecting objects like artifacts telling the story of the pandemic, everything from torn flags to Monopoly money began to take on a symbolic power.

Covid Purse Diary seems to speak to collection and accumulation. Each work is comprised of collected materials, and when installed, the work collects or accumulates on the wall. How do you think about collection and accumulation within your practice?

There is a power in numbers that cannot be denied.  Usually, we admire car, jewelry, or vintage handbag collections, but I wanted to surprise people with traditional overlooked materials like the delicate design of burrs or mushrooms, even toilet paper tubes. 

  • an off-white Covid Purse by Heather Boersma, made of natural materials

Tell us a little bit about your path after college. What are you doing now, and how did you get there?

I discovered the joy of teaching children while leading workshops as a Teaching Artist. Now that my children have grown, I devote more time to creating art or showing my art in other cities.

Tell us about something you’ve done that you’re really proud of or happy with, or that you feel fulfilled by. This could be professional or personal!

Creating this collection during the pandemic was both creative obsession and therapy. Whenever I was tempted to panic, I would create a piece of art, knowing that others were struggling too. When my mother was in the hospital for a month in Maryland, I watched her dog in a hotel and made Covid purses out of hotel keys, dog food, and pinecones.  Later she came to live near me and created her own Covid Survivor purse that I treasure.

Do you have any advice for current K students or recent grads?

Never give up your passion even if you need to find other ways to create an income. Your practical job can teach you skills you can apply to your art later. 

More about Heather

See more of Heather’s work on her website

Follow Heather on Instagram

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Distance Learning Spring Term 2020

 Kalamazoo College announces a move to distance learning for Spring term 2020. This difficult decision was made based on rapidly evolving recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and our local and state governments. This action is being taken with an abundance of caution. The health and safety of all members of our community and their loved ones must be paramount.

Michigan Governor's message to stay home and stay safe