Lansing’s rejuvenating art scene

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Lansing has always appreciated art from local artists, whether that is music, film, or painting and sculpting. There are plenty forms of art that cover the area. Lansing is full of passion and creativity. With on-going art renovations in East Lansing, REO Town, Old Town, and on Michigan State University campus, Lansing may be viewed artistic, once again.

Downtown East Lansing

Downtown East Lansing has a few art pieces throughout the downtown area. Local artists come from all over the city to create a scene that influence more visitors to stay a bit longer. Sculptures, wall graffiti, outdoor galleries, and sometimes street performers, are all reasons to visit the downtown district.

Michigan State Campus

One of the most memorable, and somewhat forgotten treasure on MSU’s campus, is the 4-H Children’s Garden. Jessica Wright, educational coordinator for the gardens, says there was nothing in that area before. In 1993, Spartan Child Development Center asked the very kids they work with, what they would like in a garden. “So, really, the garden is designed by kids, for kids. This is the only children’s garden in the nation, that was designed by children.”

The 4-H Children’s Garden will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

It’s great, really cool stuff. I haven’t seen anything like this before. Anything that interacts with kids and helps them get interested in art,” said Matt Scarbrough, 50, father of Ethan Scarbrough, 3. 

REO Town

REO Town, a small district south of downtown Lansing. The area is surrounded with large art pieces across walls and galleries throughout the town. Heather Frarey, owner at The Record Lounge, says in the last few years, local artists “really exploded” all over. “It’s a great way for a lot of independent people to interact with the area surrounding their home,” said Frarey.

“It’s funny, because not too long ago, a gentleman from Arizona came in, asking about that bird. Turns out, the artist is from Arizona and this guy just recognized his work. So, it’s just ironic, this guy is kind of a icon somewhere and his art just happened to land on a building we moved into,” said Bill Murphy on Parrot Graffiti, allegedly done by HERC.

Old Town

Old Town is the oldest part of Lansing. Hosting two large music festivals, Jazz and Blues, each year, plenty of their art involves music. That and industrial, rustic metal sculptures to represent the industrial era back in 1890s. Barb Whitney, executive director for the Lansing Art Gallery, says “Art is the door to self-expression, and it allows us to interact as humans. We can engage with our community through forms of art.”

I love the art in Old Town, it is very industrial, every where you go, you see steel art and I really like that, it shows the strength we have,” said Tony Valenti, 50, retail manager. 

A new project the Lansing Art Gallery has been preparing for is a 2018 ARTpath. This project will turn the Lansing River Trail into a public art gallery, Ten art sites in three and a half miles.