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Wednesday, February 25,2015

Self portrait in salmon

Cynthia Foley exhibit features surreal animals, unexpected faces

by Jonathan Griffith
Cadillac-based artist Cynthia Foley smiled warmly at a crowd of wide-eyed attendees at the opening reception of her new exhibit, “Imagining Context: Seeing and Being Seen,” which opened Friday at the Lansing Art Gallery. One look at her complex works, layering textures and illustrations, and you immediately appreciate her presence, hoping you can steal some of her time — as much as to inquire about her work as to express your admiration for it. And while you can’t help but want to analyze the works being exhibited, Foley’s coy demeanor suggests you just look on and enjoy. The following exchange is exemplary.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Beyond Batman

Feb. 20

by Jonathan Griffith
The mainstream comics industry is something of a mess these days. The big two, Marvel and DC Comics, are so busy grooming their characters in hopes of making millions of dollars with movie adaptations that revisions and reboots have become as expected as Batman handing the Joker his own teeth. With so much effort to turn the medium into a multi-media product, it can be easy to overlook the fact that comic books can achieve an artistry that few other mediums can.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Crazy in love

MICA Gallery kicks off a month of events built around the idea of love

by Jonathan Griffith
For the last 14 years, Old Town’s MICA Gallery has celebrated Valentine’s Day with its “Burning Desires” event, a live reading of poetry exploring all the complexities and pleasures surrounding the emotion of love. But this year Katrina Daniels, MICA’s program director, wanted to take it up a notch by enveloping the gallery’s space in an art exhibit inspired by the gallery’s ode to all things that make you feel warm and fuzzy. A call to artists was sent, outlining what Daniels had envisioned for the exhibit, but nothing could have prepared her for the response she got.
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Wednesday, January 7,2015

The tuber mensch

Williamston artist puts potatoes in the spotlight

by Jonathan Griffith
The world of culinary arts is replete with all sorts of accouterments featuring potatoes, the fourth largest food crop in the world, but it has seldom found a home within the confines of a frame. Sure, van Gogh painted “The Potato Eaters” in the late 19th century, but it’s more about the weathered subjects and their way of life, than the starchy tubers.
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Wednesday, December 31,2014

Dance away to the blues

Friday, Jan. 2

by Jonathan Griffith
There is something decidedly retro about Lansing’s REO Town. Granted, it’s a revitalized corner of town built on the historic grounds where some of the world’s first automobiles were massproduced, but even the area’s residents would admit that the throwback vibe is pervasive. Come on, they have a restaurant called Vintage Café, people. It only makes sense then that for a couple Fridays out of the month, REO Town hosts an event where you can slick back your hair, grab your best girl and dance the Cake Walk. Enter Sugar House Blues
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Wednesday, December 10,2014

How deep the rabbit hole goes

New Saper exhibit threatens to peel the skin off the real world

by Jonathan Griffith
While browsing the eclectic works along the walls of East Lansing’s Saper Galleries, it’s easy to feel like you’ve tumbled down one hell of a cultural rabbit hole. The pieces come from eras throughout time and from all over the world, with styles and media as varied as the subject matter. If there’s could be a factor that lends consistency to this artistic smorgasbord, it’s the enthusiasm for the works by the gallery’s owner, Roy Saper. With energetic aplomb, Saper can illustrate the ways of how well deserved an exhibit’s home on his walls can be.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

Comic Book U

Aspiring comic artists and graphic novelists showcase this semester’s work

by Jonathan Griffith
Just as the Justice League recruits rising talents who fight for the forces of good, so shall the world of graphic novels and visual storytelling greet its newest champions at East Lansing’s Hollow Mountain Comics next Wednesday. The students of Michigan State University’s Comics and Visual Narratives have completed their semester’s work and are ready take up arms in the never-ending battle against poorly paced layouts and unoriginal ideas.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

Holiday events

Friday, Dec. 5-8

by Jonathan Griffith
The Holidays are here in Greater Lansing and with them comes a deluge of events and activities with a little something for everybody. There is so much to do that even the anti-Santa spirit Krampus would put down his rusty chains and bells and get tanked on some eggnog.
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

Strange beauty

Coffee house photo show captures everyday splendor

by Jonathan Griffith
Coffee shops in the 17th and 18th century were convergences point for great minds. Scholars, scientists and other brainy types would drink coffee, debate and discuss ideas with their peers, and as such they were known as “penny universities,” because coffee only cost a penny. Eventually, the plague came, and society put a pin in the whole coffee shop fad for a while.
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Wednesday, October 22,2014

Cut-and-paste aesthetic

New art exhibit celebrates Michigan´s place in the Rust Belt

by Jonathan Griffith
Despite the absence of corporate backing in production, Midwest creatives of all varieties with a desire to produce works have proved since the ‘80s and ‘90s that if there is a will, there is way. In “Substrate,” (SCENE) Metrospace’s new exhibit opening Friday, visitors are shown the many ways in which, albeit on a smallscale, people are taking production back.
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