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It took more than a fire and the death of a well-known member of the local art community to extinguish the desire of artists to maintain their network. In February, 42-year-old John Bolan died in a fire at the Lansing Eastside Gateway, a location that was deemed a safe space for local artists. Although some members of Gateway stepped away while mourning the loss of Bolan, many of the members, such as ARTspace founders Lindsey Ventre Gomez and Bridget Doyle, drew closer together.
Gomez and Doyle founded ARTspace in July 2018 with a mission to bring low-barrier opportunities to Lansing’s underserved artists. Saturday’s pop-up market celebrates the group’s first year as a registered nonprofit. The event will feature an array of visual art vendors from the Gateway community, as well as fresh produce from Ancona Farms and a performance from The Habibi Dancers.
For Gomez and Doyle, curating a mixed-bag of talent isn’t merely for show, but stems back to the diverse environment created at Gateway. “One thing we all agree upon however is that this energy and the values that formed our community will live on,” Gomez said.
The two of them have been serving the art community not only as ARTspace leaders, but as artisans too. Doyle runs her own organic skincare company, Organic Roots, and Gomez is a multimedia artist specializing in acrylic painting that she sells through her company, Neon Lizard Art. As working artists, the two believe that a lack of awareness about the local scene makes it a challenge for emerging artists to feel rewarded for their work.
“I challenge you to really get to know the people you buy from,” Gomez said. “It feels good to be connected with someone's artistic journey and to put your dollars into small business.”
ARTspace is additionally supported by board members Ann Wright, Scott Reidsma, Janice Hironaka, Claire Christensen and Ron Holsworth, who contribute ideas, organize events and volunteer at the local markets. The team uses ARTspace to diversify the community culture and create a supportive network for artists. The organization provides discounted vendor fees and has goals to host classes on topics ranging from art to business, networking events and performances from local musicians and dramatic artists.
“It’s a community before anything,” Gomez said. “ARTspace is an organization where if you are an artist, you can belong.”
ARTspace Birthday Pop-Up Market
Saturday, Aug. 10
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
2116 E. Michigan Ave. Lansing, MI
More information can be found on Facebook @ARTspaceLansing or eastsideartspace@gmail..com