Humans of the East Lansing Art Festival
To recent Central Michigan University alumni Kerri Bolen, the East Lansing Art Festival is a new sight. That’s one of the requirements of the “Emerging Artists” sector of the festival, located strategically in the center and labeled by thick, purple banners. What was Bolen expecting going into her first-ever festival?
“Nothing,” she said with a laugh. “I clear my expectations and I can’t be disappointed. I’m hoping to make half of what I’ve lost and that's about it."
She’s armed with a collection of her own digital artwork, priced to sell. She applied to be a vendor at the art festival when it was brought up in one of her art classes.
“I’m doing all right, since I’m a lot cheaper than other people, I think, it’s helping a lot,” Bolen said.
Her aim is to someday sell her artwork at conventions, not dissimilar to ELAF.
“That’s the goal,” she said.
One of few truly local artists at the East Lansing Art Festival, Ingrid Blixt hails from Lansing, MI. She described her art as graphite drawings with inspirations from Byzantine iconography. This year was her third time at the East Lansing Art Festival, having to sit out last year to have her daughter.
“Meeting, seeing so many people that I haven’t seen and wouldn’t normally,” Blixt said of her favorite things about the festival. “Seeing everybody is really great.”
Blixt is from Romania, but lived most of her adult life in the US. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Cluj Napoca, Romania and has been a Lansing resident for four years.
“My main source(s) of inspiration are nature and Christian philosophy,” Blixt said.
Blixt’s artwork can be found here.
Steve Anderson’s work is hard to miss—metal structures in the shape of birds and leaves jut out of his booth, some swaying in the wind. The Cedar Springs, MI resident calls himself a three-dimensional and occasional kinetic sculptor. He usually works in metals, and prefers stainless steel and copper.
“I've got a fine arts degree, I graduated (from Grand Valley State University) in ‘75,” Anderson said. “And when you have a fine arts degree, you’ve done all the different aspects (of art), painting and sculpting and jewelry and everything, and I just fell in love with three-dimension.”
Anderson said he’s been showing his creations at the East Lansing Art Festival for more than 30 years now.
“(In) East Lansing, people are really nice,” Anderson said. "We don’t have any problems here. This is a good area for me to come. I enjoy it here—they buy stuff from me, which is another good thing. It’s a very well-put together show, it always has been and they understand what the artist needs and they do what they can to make sure we have it.”
What inspires Anderson? Nature and it’s creator, he said.
“Whatever God makes, I just do my best at making my interpretation of it," he said. "I am a nature sculptor, everything I make has some type of—I mean, he’s the main designer and I just kind of go from there.”
More of Anderson's artwork can be found here.