To Catherine Babcock, the executive director and curator for Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, art is a community effort for both artists and viewers.
“I believe very strongly that all people would benefit from art education,” Babcock said. “It teaches about culture and problem-solving skills. It makes a well-rounded individual.”
To gallery employees of Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, 119 N. Washington Square, in Lansing are searching for artists to commission an upcoming exhibition, “Sculptures in the Park.” If chosen for the exhibition, each artist will receive a $2,000 stipend to produce their work.
Babcock said she wants the exhibition to incorporate work from local artists, including MSU students, who could bring new insight.
“Age plays a big part in art that we make,” she said. “What you’ve experienced throughout life impacts it. It would add a broader dimension to the exhibit if (the pieces) were from all ages.”
The gallery has hosted similar contests since 2011. Babcock said the outdoor displays, which would be designed by each artist, might use technology to bring art education to the public.
According to Babcock, exhibition visitors will be able to call a phone number posted on the signage next to the art work in order to learn more about the piece.
Michelle Word, outreach and programming coordinator for the MSU Department of Art, Art History and Design, said it would benefit students who have a passion for art to pursue such ventures.
“Students sometimes don’t see outside the bubble of MSU,” Word said. “Their time is occupied by what goes on, on campus. It’s important for students to realize the role of community outside of the studio.”
Jane Kramer, the gallery’s program manager, said she would like to see more of a tie between East Lansing and Lansing in terms of student involvement.
“I don’t sense the student presence when I’m here for work,” Kramer said. “I miss that side of it — being around the students. I would like to see more involvement.”