Local art studio reaches out to animal shelter

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By Kirstie Kipfmiller
Lansing Star staff writer

Hands and paws conjoin when a community art gallery raises money for a good cause.
On Sunday, Nov. 6, Gallery 1212 Fine Art Studios hosted their first fundraiser for the Ingham County Animal Shelter in Lansing’s historic commercial district, Old Town.

From 12-5 p.m., Lansing residents received the opportunity to gaze at art, listen to live music, eat snacks, and ultimately purchase artwork such as numerous animal pieces and, featured artist Tim Kranz’s work. Several kittens were also on display for immediate adoption.

“It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this,” said Rebecca Stafford, 56, co-owner of Gallery 1212. “This is the first time the shelter has had anything like this in a gallery.”

Shirley Renwick, a member from the Mason Area Art Guild (MAAG), had the idea to do some sort of fundraiser. After getting in contact with fellow members and friends, it was decided to hold a fundraiser for the animal shelter. The MAAG donated numerous paintings. All of the proceeds will go directly to the shelter.

“The ones that don’t sell here will go to the shelter, and they can continue to sell them and keep the money,” said Donna Randall, 65, co-owner of Gallery 1212. “The artists don’t want any money from them. So, they (Ingham County Animal Shelter) can sell them for whatever they want to.”
To spread the word, Gallery 1212 advertised on several radio stations, in Lansing’s City Pulse newspaper, on television, and on Facebook.

“We have had really good turnouts for everything for First Sunday, so we’ve been busy since the door opened,” said Randall.

Sue, 55, and Gary Phelps, 57, purchased a ceramic piece as a gift for their daughter-in-law.

“I knew that my friends were going to be here,” said Sue Phelps. “We have to support our friends.”

They fundraiser was hoping to raise at least $500.

“They’ve had people donate about $150 in cash,” said Randall. “We were shooting for around $500. The total of all of the paintings comes to $800.”

While some came to purchase art, others came to admire the kittens.

Owners Donna Randall (left) and Rebecca Stafford (right) hold the newest member of their gallery, Mootsie

“I think the cats are very cute,” said 10-year-old Kyra Kelley. “I want to take one home.”

“We try everything we can to get dogs and cats healthy and try to find them homes,” said animal shelter volunteer, Terri Valentino, of Mason, Mich. “I mean, that’s the whole goal.”

Gallery 1212 celebrates its one-year anniversary on Monday, Nov. 7. The gallery plans to hold more fundraisers in the future.

“It’s important that we keep Old Town alive,” said Sue Phelps.

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