A gallery in less than a thousand words

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The city of Lansing has a lot to offer, but none more than the art from the very citizens that inhabit it.

One of these art galleries, Great Lakes Artworks at 306 E. Grand River Ave., has been in business for 12 years and features art from people not only in Lansing, but also Leslie and Jackson as well.

Michelle Sidel, the director of the gallery since September 2009, said the gallery opened 12 years ago by Haze Hotwagner, who owned a ceramic studio at the time.

“A bunch of artists wanted to have their art featured so she rented some space out to some of the artists, then known as Haze Art Gallery” Sidel said. “She sold the gallery last May to a bunch of artists who were featured in the gallery.”

Great Lakes Artworks features many different kinds of artists and different styles of art.

Sidel said the gallery is artist owned and run, and it features all different kinds of art.

“The gallery has candles, soap, people who paint, knit, take photos, anything you can think of,” Sidel said. “It changes constantly.”

Sidel is not only the director of the gallery, but said she also has her own art featured for displayed.

“I make candles,” Sidel said. “I make them out of soy beans. It’s a renewable resource. Most candles are made from petroleum, which turn black when they burn. Soy candles don’t turn black.”

Rose Homa said she has worked and had her art featured at the gallery for the last month.

“I do graphic designs and I make note cards,” Homa said.

Homa said she loves coming in and looking to see what’s new every time she comes in.

Jessica Kerbawy, one of the artists featured in the gallery, said she has worked at Great Lakes Artworks and has had her featured for the last seven months.

“It’s an artist collective,” Kerbawy said. “So every artist that we have featured here will work a few shifts.”

Kerbawy said she also has art of hers featured in the gallery.

“I do the melted crayon art that’s here,” Kerbawy said.

Kerbawy said she is on the board of directors, which runs the gallery and chooses what to put on display.

This is one of the many melted crayon arts displayed at Great Lakes Artworks by Jessica Kerbawy.

“We have a jury that takes care of filtering which items we want featured in the gallery,” Kerbawy said. “We’ll keep artists as long as they liked to stay.”

Kerbawy said to be featured in the gallery, people just have to come in and they’ll be given information about the gallery, with a question and answer sheet.

“We have an application you would bring in with your artwork,” Kerbawy said. “We’ll have our jury take a look at the artwork and see if it’s something that fits into our gallery and goes along with the image we’d like to present to our customers.”

Rebecca Stimson, who has been with Great Lakes Artworks for six years, said the gallery is always looking to feature new artists.

“We are always looking for creativity, craftsmanship, originality, and variety to showcase in our gallery,” Stimson said.

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