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 Jacob Erickson to represent the Lansing art community.
“It’s just very encouraging,” Erickson said.
Erickson found the arts council through a school project back in 2012 and loved their work but only recently joined.
“I didn't feel that confident as an artist at the time. So I kind of wanted to work on myself and my art before I joined officially,” Erickson explained.
As his confidence grew, he took the next step, joining the council. His winning painting painting features a bright and colorful skeleton blowing bubbles over a blue sky background.
Erickson challenged himself to use more color in this painting - he said he's always struggled the most with color theory - and the design meant a new beginning.
“That one is probably my favorite thing I've ever painted that one I created shortly after leaving my job as a graphic artist … everything I was making was for someone else. I couldn't do anything for myself,” Erickson told Fox 47 News.
Even with the recognition of his peers, the global pandemic and the government-mandated shutdowns made 2020 difficult for Erickson as a creator.
“I had absolutely no desire or want to create. I didn’t make any art during the shutdown.”
He still hopes to help other artists find their own desire again as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
“You’ve just got to put pencil to paper, paintbrush to canvas. You’ve just got to do it.”
So keep your eye on the skies, you never know when you’ll come across the work of a Lansing artist. 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.