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Wednesday, July 29,2015

Geometric system

Mark Piotrowski finds art in geometry, patterns

by Jonathan Griffith
The key to understanding how Bay City artist Mark Piotrowski executes his brand of vibrant and complex works is the concept of fractals, geometric shapes that repeat and scale, creating self-similar patterns. It all starts with a singular shape that expands upon itself, repeating in va...
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Wednesday, July 1,2015

Navigation inspiration

Elisa Schmidt infuses maps with artistic memories

by Jonathan Griffith
If you’re unfamiliar with topography, it is, simply put, the art or science of making maps that illustrate the height or shape of a particular expanse of land. Artist Elisa Schmidt has attempted something similar with her latest works. But rather than give the viewer an idea of the lay the land, she is, through her own artistic implementations, actually showing you a memory of it. The show features a collection of nautical maps and atlases which Schmidt has altered. Illustrated on the maps are scenes that Schmidt has pulled from various photographs she has taken, which relate to the maps she has illustrated them on. The illustrations were created using a variety of mediums, such as charcoal, watercolor pencils, drawing inks and even one piece solely in acrylics. Schmidt had some reservations with her choice of mediums and the way they’d react to the map paper but was pleasantly surprised in the end.
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Wednesday, June 3,2015

In the market for art

River City MRKT brings creative art and crafts to REO Town

by Jonathan Griffith
Great things always seem to come in pairs: peanut butter and jelly, Hall & Oates and Calvin and Hobbes, just to name a few. And while the individual components of famous pairings are extremely enjoyable on their own, it’s always exciting to experience the new life a duo can bring to ideas when they’re together. So it can only mean good things when two Lansing creatives pair up to create a new art event in Lansing’s historic REO Town. Local artist/photographer Debbie Carlos and jewelry designer Amalia Boukos had the simple idea of bringing more beautiful things to Lansing, but have created something altogether new and unique in the process.
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Wednesday, May 13,2015

Canvassing the city

Detroit artist makes his mark on the walls of Lansing

by Jonathan Griffith
A unique take on pizza and fancy beer aren’t the only new things Sam Short and company have brought to Lansing with the Cosmos and the Beer Grotto. Visitors to either place have certainly noticed there is just as much artistry on the walls as there is in their pint glasses or on their plates. Meet Detroit-based artist Jeremy Harvey. Harvey is owner of the interior art company inFUSE Murals and the man behind the science fiction-themed interior of the Cosmos and the fantasy-laden vista found in the Beer Grotto. It wasn’t until his gig at the Cosmos that Harvey’s work had really found its way out of the Detroit area, but, given the response, it seems his work in Lansing’s newest pizza joint was only the beginning here in Lansing.
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Wednesday, April 29,2015

Conventional wisdom!

Lansing comic convention looking for a successful formula

by Jonathan Griffith
It’s no secret that comic book creators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee were aping the formula created by DC Comic’s “Justice League” books when they set out to create “The Avengers” for Marvel Comics. The legendary duo were tasked by their publisher to create something similar when sales of DC’s all-star super-group comics greatly overshadowed anything Marvel — then known as Timely Comics — had on the stands. It took several years for the middling publisher to establish a roster of characters as iconic those assembled in DC’s Justice League, but flash forward 52 years and there’s not a single summer that goes by without Captain America, Iron Man or Thor plastered over t-shirts, billboards and TV screens everywhere. While comic enthusiasts could (and do) argue all day about the merits of the two groups, “Justice League” and “The Avengers,” while similar in their concept, are both unique.
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Wednesday, April 15,2015

Be our guest

by Jonathan Griffith
Located in a modest-sized house on North Sycamore Street, Loaves and Fishes Ministries has been offering Lansing'euro;'s homeless a place of hope and healing since 1982.
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Mythical journey

Bradon Badeau’s art uses mythology to tap into the universal

by Jonathan Griffith
Mythologist, writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell spent a fair amount of time convincing people of the timeless qualities found in myths and what our interpretations of their meaning can mean to us. He described an archetype, referred to as the Monomyth, that sees all mythic narratives as variations of one great story. He came to this conclusion based on the observation that there is a striking similarity of thematic elements found in the narratives of myths, regardless of their origin or time of creation.
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Wednesday, March 18,2015

Provocative by design

MSU Museum showcases the movie posters of Art Sims

by Jonathan Griffith
Graphic design can be a peculiar art form, especially in terms of appreciation for the people behind it. Teams of artists can put hours of effort into the creation of project that, upon completion, has the potential to become highly memorable and iconic. And while in the past, artists who worked in similar fields had the benefit of being able to sign their names to their works — like the printwork of Toulouse Lautrec — today’s graphic designers go largely unnoticed.
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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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