314 S. Park St.
Kalamazoo, Michigan

“A more original form of haberdashery makes its appearance in People, the large public sculpture in the collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.”

“One of the figures in the row of the fashionably elite sports an inverted paper bag, a kind of silly gesture that pops up at parties as social inhibitions loosen. For Newman it offered a way of gently satirizing the game-playing that underlies almost any social interaction.”

Two of his best-known local works are When Justice and Mercy Prevail, Children May Safely Play in Bronson Park, and People, which greets visitors at the KIA’s South Street entrance.

The nine figures that make up that work are “comic, ample, ridiculous, gangly, absurd, lumpy, buxom and perhaps political, enigmatic and appealing,” said the Kalamazoo Gazette in 1974.

Kirk Newman: The Next Step
Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts