Artist displaying at Hannah inspires, is inspired by others

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Owen Oszust

Yvette Robinson got an early start in a home filled with art.

Yvette Robinson has been creating art for a long time. Her passion for it started when she was just a little girl. “When we were getting out of the bathtub at night, my mom had a room with all sorts of crafts, music and books. Before you knew it was a room with an artsy type of communication,” said Robinson.

This early passion for art has continued throughout Robinson’s life as she created many styles of art. Robinson usually does a lot of woodwork as well as painting, but due to certain events it was her painting that she turned to in order to focus on her mental health. “There was an incident in February and I got so emotional that all I knew to do was go into my painting or my music,” said Robinson.

Robinson dove deep into her artwork and created 18 paintings in only 17 days. She poured her emotions into her artwork because it was essential for her to stay uplifted during a difficult time. “It was therapeutic for me to paint all of this because I didn’t have anyone calling me to see if I was OK,” said Robinson.

Woman in gallery looks at painting

Owen Oszust

Carol Jean Weir studies one of the many acrylic paintings in the exhibit.

Carol Jean Weir, who taught art at Kalamazoo Community College for 12 years ,was one of the first people to come see the display when it opened. “I’m so impressed with this new stuff and it’s really exciting from Yvette, ” said Weir.

Weir has gotten the opportunity to show off her art on three separate occasions at the Hannah Community Center, as well, and has formed a friendship with Robinson through this time. Normally Robinson is working to help other artists illustrate their work at the art gallery, but she also loves the opportunity to display her own work. “For me it means I can be a tiny part of what these beautiful artists like Weir do because I’m so busy working with them behind the scenes,” said Robinson. 

Naly El Mais is the 23-year-old artist who is getting the opportunity to unveil her own artwork in April at the Community Center. Her family owns the Bread Bites in Okemos, Michigan, and that’s where Robinson discovered her talent. “Yvette came to Bread Bites and asked me if I wanted to come show my art because it was posted at the store,” said El Mais. 

Robinson thought it was a great opportunity for the young artist from Lebanon to exhibit her craft. El Mais developed her passion five years ago after a professor encouraged her to pursue art. After three years at college in Lebanon she now has to start over at Lansing Community College. El Mais hopes to transfer to MSU and start in interior design and then go into architecture.

“Art teachers inspire me every day and I’m always talking to an artist two to three times a day, ” said Robinson. That passion to always find new inspiration from other artists is what keeps Robinson motivated.

The main focus of her art show is the history of impactful women in her life. “I knew March was going to be Women’s History Month so I painted all the women who have shown me, taught me, and who have been mentors,” said Robinson. Her art will be at the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, East Lansing, through March 29.

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