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Kelly Hansen takes her art to the skies through Lansing arts project

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 06:00:51-05

LANSING, Mich. — You don’t have to look too hard to find the work of local artists here in Lansing.

Thanks to the Arts Council of Greater Lansing all you really have to do is look up. You can catch the work of six local artists on billboards in and around the city.

The Arts Council in partnership with Adams Advertising and the Ingham Hotel/Motel Tourism Fund is showcasing six phenomenal artists through their Art in the Sky project.

The winners will have their work featured on digital billboards from Lansing to Jackson for the next year. According to the Arts Council’s communications director, Dawn Gorman, showcasing these artists offers some positivity in a tough year.

“Even though we’ve been through a lot this year, they’re the ones making the community better by creating art,” Gorman said.

Gorman was a panelist in selecting artists like Kelly Hansen to represent the Lansing art community.

“When I got selected, I was thrilled,” Hansen said.

Hansen draws inspiration for her art from those closest to her. Her first showcase with the Arts Council back in February featured a piece titled “Dad,” and her winning painting for the Art in the Sky project features her son.

“I had just finished the painting of my son, which is the one that’s featured, and I was really happy with the way it turned out. My kids are all teenagers and they, in general, don’t even like me to take their pictures,” Hansen explained.

“So the fact that he approved that it would be okay that I paint him, I was really excited.”

She’s loved getting to share this moment with her family. Once she heard that her billboard was up, the whole family hopped in the car for their chance to catch a glimpse at her work.

Even before it was her work on display, Hansen was always on the lookout for art in unexpected places.

“Throughout the years, I tried to spot these billboards that they do every year just because I love to see what other artists are doing and the creativity,” Hansen said.

Hansen teaches arts and culture management at Michigan State University, where she also works as a graphic designer. In a year when everything seems to be changing, she says, art could be the distraction many are looking for.

“There’s a lot to process and you may be using art as an escape from kind of the everyday news reality of things. It’s just a really great way of slowing down and kind of immersing yourself in what you’re doing and kind of shutting down all the chaos of everything else,” Hansen said.

Make sure to share your art sighting with us here at Fox 47 with the hashtag #ArtInTheSky for your chance to have your pictures featured on the news.

Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter