By Kayla Robinson
Entirely East Lansing
EAST LANSING, — The Public Art Gallery has a new exhibit featuring works of artist and musician Tom Cocozzoli called “Digital Artography and More.”
Cocozzoli putting his work on display was not his initial intention.
“In all honesty, there has been no previous works in this area and that is why I was so surprised to be invited to exhibit at the East Lansing Public Art Gallery,” Cocozzoli said. “They took a chance on a ‘rookie’ and it has turned out well so far.”
Dee Careathers, the pool manager at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, said Cocozzoli’s artwork seemed to distinguish itself from other exhibits she has previously visited.
“I thought it was interesting how he used the photography to flip images, and add water. I also like how he used all different kinds of material for his work; it’s very creative,” Careathers said.
Cocozzoli said he is self-taught.
“I have no formal training in art or photography, but I do have a ‘creative mind’ and have always enjoyed taking pictures that were unusual/off-kiltered/different, etc.,” Cocozzoli said. “Once, I stumbled upon a software program that could take a normal picture and let me manipulate it into something abstract—it was too much fun! I decided to start printing these images out and once I framed them, it brought the images to a whole new level.”
Gyvette Robinson, the Public Art Gallery director, said artists and sales help pay for shows at the Community Center.
“The artists pay an application fee to exhibit their works at the Public Art Gallery, and the gallery incurs 25 percent from the sales of each monthly exhibit,” Robinson said.
Robinson also said the possible future for the Community Center would still be in good hands, if anything were to ever happen to it.
“We live in the city of the arts, so whatever happens to the Hannah Community Center in the future, there will be many other opportunities and locations for artists to showcase their artwork,” Robinson said.
Cocozzoli said there is no underlying message in any of this exhibit.
“There is nothing too serious going on with these photos—no great message or theme I’m trying to get across. I’m hoping people just enjoy them. I also feel that maybe I could inspire someone else to tap into their creative side, even going so far as them thinking, ‘Gee, if this guy could do this, why can’t I?’”