Discovering talent in all, Great Lakes Artworks promotes unique artists

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Different works of art are displayed in the Great Lakes Artworks gallery. (Photo by Jasmin Rojo)

By Jasmin Rojo
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer

OLD TOWN LANSING- Great Lakes Artworks hosted Wake Up Old Town, a monthly event to communicate with other businesses last Friday.

The gallery

Located in Old Town, Lansing, Great Lakes Artworks is a business dedicated to art that’s expanded throughout the years. With a wide variety of arts such as ceramics, pottery, photography and jewelry. 

“We have 25 artists right now,” said Sandi Lister, financial director of Great Lakes Artworks. “We’re always looking for more artists with unique styles.”

Though her duties are to deposit money, calculate each store item and pay the store bills, Lister also promotes her own  jewelry.

“A friend of mine and I started making jewelry as a hobby,” Lister said. “Both retired, we went ahead and started making jewelry that we later began to sell in the store.”

History behind Great Lakes

Before there was Great Lakes Artworks, there was The Haze Art Gallery. After 14 years, The Haze Art Gallery moved down in down the street and changed its name.

Networking

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Business owners in Old Town, Lansing gather around for the ‘Wake Up Old Town’ event. (Photo by Jasmin Rojo)

Wake Up Old Town is set to help businesses with networking as well as communicating with other businesses.

Richard Lott, public relations director of Great Lakes Artworks, introduced himself to several businesses from Old Town.

“We are artist collective,” Lott said. “Basically artists rent a space and work a couple shifts for a month.”

Lott said artists can rent out the window for displaying it’s work.

“Hosting the Wake Up Old Town event was positive,” Lister said. “People came that never came before and got to see art that they won’t find anywhere else.”

Lister also stated that having social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as a website, helps the business bring in more people to the gallery.

Artists

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Lady handbags crafted by Susan Gann are displayed in Great Lakes Artworks gallery. (Photo by Jasmin Rojo)

Great Lakes Artworks works hard at making sure each artist’s work is displayed and promoted well. For Susan Gann, an artist who creates handbags, states how Great Lakes was a great fit.

“I wanted to put my handbags somewhere and checked into Great Lakes,” Gann said. “I really liked their gallery.”

At 61, Gann started making handbags and knew how to sew since she was a child.

“I started sewing my Barbie clothes,” Gann said. “I’ve been sewing for over 50 years and have really enjoyed creating bags.”

With other hobbies she does on the side like scrapbooking, she mentioned one unique aspect of her collection.

“Every bag is one of a kind and you won’t find a bag that’s the same,” Gann said.

As for networking, Gann mentioned how she has a Facebook page and Made in MichiGann is her logo.

Another artist in the gallery is Mary Kimble who works with pottery.

“I started in high school, love it and continued after high school,” Kimble said. “I took classes in studios and I’ve been working with pottery for 32 years on and off.”

With a visit to Old Town and stopping by the gallery, Kimble decided to showcase her artwork there.

To contact reporter Jasmin Rojo call: (224) 595-2854 or email: rojojasm@msu.edu

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