The Lansing Star
LANSING — Nestled between two large buildings in downtown Lansing, the Lansing Art Gallery can be spotted by its distinctive entrance made entirely of colored tiles. The gallery boasts an equally interesting feature: All of the pieces are created by Michigan artists.
Established in 1965, the Lansing Art Gallery is approaching its 50th anniversary. Executive Director Barb Whitney said the three main goals of the gallery are awareness, education and enjoyment of art.
“The Lansing Art Gallery is a non-profit organization with a mission to showcase works of Michigan artists,” Whitney said.
The exhibition at the gallery this month is titled “Of Consequences: Industry & Surrounds”. Created by Sarah Lindley and Norwood Viviano, the pieces include sculptures and prints that represent the influence of industry on communities.
“It’s a little bit different for us. It’s quite contemporary,” said Sara Pulver, the gallery coordinator. “The entire exhibit is topographical.”
The exhibit depicts several aerial views of the land surrounding factories. The sculptures vary in their construction. Some have been created with recycled Kohler products, like sinks. Others have been cut from aluminum with the landscape of Detroit on top.
In addition to exhibitions, the gallery boasts a shop which features Michigan artists year-round.
“We have a little bit more fine craft over here as well as fine art. So we’ll have paintings and sculptures as well as jewelry, pottery, glass, and wearables,” Pulver said. “And this changes all the time. We’re always looking for new artists.”
The Lansing Art Gallery plays an active role within the Lansing community by offering guided tours, hands-on workshops and summer camps for students that last for a couple weeks.
“We offer spring break and summer art camps, adult workshops, teen workshops…a little bit of everything we try to touch on,” Pulver said. “Not only do we offer programming in the gallery outside of gallery hours, but we also have several in-school programs and after-school programs. Right now we’re partnering with the community centers in the area to offer after-school workshops for free.”
In return, the people of Lansing give back to the gallery.
“We receive grants, sponsorships and foundations from different programs,” Whitney said. “We also earn income through the sale of artwork.”
Artists who want their art to be displayed at the gallery need to follow a submission process.
“An email submission works the best,” Pulver said. “You just have to send us some photos of your work along with an artist statement and a CV, and then an inventory list.”
As the Lansing Art Gallery continues to impact the city of Lansing, community members will continue to get involved with the arts.
“It’s really important because it’s another way to express yourself. I feel like it brings good moods sometimes. Making art physically is very relaxing,” said Morgan Kelly, a 22-year-old aspiring artist who has heard about the gallery before. “The world would be so boring without it.”
Of Consequences will run until Oct. 31 and will be followed by an annual holiday exhibition. Admission is free for anyone who wishes to visit.
“The gallery shop kind of takes over the exhibition space so just have more of everything,” Pulver said. “It’s always a lot of fun to have people come down and do their holiday shopping and keep it local.”