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 one of the panelists who selected artists such as Stephanie Gregg to represent the Lansing art community.
“When you see it, then the adrenaline starts moving and it’s very exciting and uplifting,” Gregg said.
Gregg and her husband, John, joined the Arts Council in 2012 after their retirement and have been very active in the Greater Lansing art scene ever since.
Stephanie works mostly with paint and collage. John’s focus is photography. The two have been featured in exhibits together through the Arts Council to showcase their work.
“This for me has been a good way to express a lot of my feelings through my art,” Gregg explained as she held up pieces of her work.
She says by working with collage she’s able to see her work change and evolve over time.
“I had tried a couple years ago, and I learned, you know, because that one did not get selected. But that piece went on to live other lives … I’m known for taking my pieces and, if I’m not happy with it, I’ll cut them up and rearrange them. It’s like giving it a new life.”
Her work with alcohol ink and collage has been recognized throughout the greater Lansing area through awards and exhibits. In 2020 she received three awards for mixed media collage from the Mid-Michigan Arts Guild and the Shiawassee Arts Center.
Gregg received one more honor in December: her first time being selected for the Art in the Sky project.
Her work shows a woman reading with gold detail and grand designs behind her. Gregg used a combination of collage, printing and paint to bring it to life.
“So,I cut her out. I don’t think anybody does paper dolls anymore but I used to love paper dolls and I printed backgrounds - a lot of backgrounds before I glued her down,” Gregg explained.
Gregg is an avid reader and her winning design is inspired by the Maya Angelou poem “A Brave and Startling Truth” which Gregg says called her to uplift and learn from others.
“It all played into 2020. So many issues came up. Racial justice or injustice and marches, COVID, climate. As awful as it is with so many people suffering, if we don’t learn from this then shame on us,” she explained. Gregg is grateful to have the Lansing art community in such a difficult year. “Such open minded, such open-hearted people. And that’s been kind of a lifesaver,” Gregg said.
Keep your eyes on the skies. You never know when you’ll come across work by 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.