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FRIDAY, Oct. 18 — New to the capitol city, mixed-media artist Jamie Moriarty missed having access to a studio after graduating from New College of Florida in 2018. She said back home in Sarasota, Fla., a studio space started at around $700 a month, and she leaped when she heard there was one spot left at the Cedar Street Art Collective.
The former secondhand store turned artist hub showed off its fully renovated space Thursday at the Arts Council of Greater Lansing's Fall Creative Mixer. In addition to a networking event, it was a celebration of the two-year project converting the second floor into nine artist studios.
“I think the great thing about studio buildings with other artists is there is a certain energy to it,” Moriarty said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get yourself going, so working around other people gives you that energy to push you.”
Moriarty said she integrates “programming and neural networks” into her paintings, depicting everything from sex robots to computer motherboards.
Since 2017, Annie Signs has managed Cedar Street Art Collective, a gallery space operating out of a former Dicker and Deal. For two years, Signs has worked with residents of Lansing’s Baker-Donora neighborhood and local artists to overhaul the second floor and install windows, wooden floors and brand-new studios.
At Cedar Street, rent ranges in price from $150 to 650 a month and Signs noted that there is still one space available in a “little house studio” in the back of the building.
“Five of the nine artists have been there since the beginning and two of the five have upgraded to larger studio spaces,” Signs said.
Moriarty’s grayscale color schemes contrast with the warm oil paintings of Emily Kibbe, a Canadian who studied art therapy in Chicago, who rents out a space across the hall.
A mother of two, Kibbe is inspired by flittering moments with her family, which she captures and archives on her cellphone. “I see these snapshots in my Google photos. I have a bazillion of these, but it’s not the same as when I’m sitting in front of my easel recreating a memory,” said Kibbe.
The artist recreates the brevity of peace of a walk at Hawk Island park with her son or a quiet moment nursing her child in the middle of the night. Her work is deeply personal, from painting family portraits to pencil drawings for clients of their deceased relatives. Kibbe’s capacity for empathy is evident in the curiosity in which she honors her subjects.
Kibbe also attends life drawing classes at Cedar Street on Tuesdays and will have her work on display as part of a group figure drawing show.
The evening also included performance artist Nat Weaves leading hula-hoop tutorials. Weaves hosts weekly classes at the space. She walked guests through basic tricks and shared about how the activity helped her to overcome postpartum depression.
Alcohol-ink artist Helene Murray gave live demos while patrons walked from room to room gazing at the gallery walls. The sweet, acoustic tunes of Creature One reverberated throughout the first floor.
The collective continues to grow each year with new studio artists and workshops. To see their fall events, visit facebook.com/LansingArt.