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Wednesday, April 2,2014

Magazine and be seen

Three Lansing artists featured in high profile art publications this spring

by Kyle Koehler
Word about the thriving Lansing art scene was bound to get out sooner or later. This month the praises of three local artists who specialize in quilting, watercolor painting and Japanese woodblock printing, respectively, are getting national attention — international attention, in one case. Jane Reiter, Mark Mehaffey and Linda Beeman, all members of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, are featured in the April/May issues of high profile art magazines.

Beeman was interviewed for the “Green” issue of Professional Artist magazine (professionalartistmag.com), a publication for professional artists that includes resources for the commerce side of art.

“Itīs not just about creating work — it’s the business behind it,” Beeman said. She said the often-overlooked aspects of art include promoting, business education and “call to art” listings where artists can find galleries and competitions to display their work.

The article featuring Beeman is called “Behind the Green: Artist Questions and Answers.” It focuses green strategies for artists concerned with the environment. Beeman said going green is something she has wanted to do for a while.

“Until recently, artists never knew how toxic our materials were,” she said. “Thereīs a lot of issues with chemicals in art products.”

Beeman said she doesnīt use any oil or petroleum-based materials in her artwork, instead opting to use nontoxic, water-based paint and wood to display her work, as is her practice with moku hanga, or Japanese wood block prints.

“When I found this, it really all came together for me as an environmentalist and as a landscape artist,” she said. She has work on display at the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce (with 10 percent of sales going toward the new ice rink at Bentky Park), and she will feature new work at Leelanau Cellars Tasting room in Omena starting in May.

Reiter’s quilt art is featured in the spring issue of Quilting Arts magazine (quiltingdaily.com). Her miniature prayer flags wave from a one-page article about the art form. She said prayer flags have thousands of years of Buddhist tradition and are still a common sight in Mongolia, China and India.

“You hang the flags outside and the intention is that your good wishes and good thoughts go out into the world — into the universe,” Reiter said. “Thatīs why traditional prayer flags, not art prayer flags, are hung outside. I think a lot of artists now are using them more as an artistic statement as well as expressing a version of spirituality.”

Some of Reiter’s work is on display through June 19 at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. building, 300 N. Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

Mehaffey was interviewed by the magazine The Art of Watercolour (artofwatercolour.com), a European publication based in France that prints in both French and English. The issue is available at bookstores and newsstands. Mehaffey and his work is represented in an eight-page feature story, “From Figurative to Abstract,” which displays some of his watercolor painting. His works fall into both representational and non-objective, abstract categories.

“The art director and editor have probably seen my work in international biannuals or in festivals in this country and saw that I did both types of work,” Mehaffey said. “They arranged a computer interview, and thatīs the featured article.”

The article also includes a progressive, six-step guide to his process, which covers his life as a studio painter and teacher. Mehaffey’s work can be seen at the Lansing Art Gallery in downtown Lansing. He will also open his studio open as a part of the Williamstown Township Art Tour in May.


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