Monday, August 8, 2022

ArtPath opens with a focus on improving community through creativity

June 9, 2018
Art Path volunteer Connie Henslee walks alongside “Follow Your Bliss” by Jane Reiter at the Lansing Art Path on June 8, 2018.
Art Path volunteer Connie Henslee walks alongside “Follow Your Bliss” by Jane Reiter at the Lansing Art Path on June 8, 2018. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

The Lansing Art Gallery's ArtPath project opened to the public on Friday night, with artists from all over the state bringing their visual and audible works to the capital city.

More than 100 people came out to the riverside pavilion beneath the Lansing Center to celebrate the project's opening reception. 

The ten installations, six of which were created by Lansing-area artists, included:

  • "Symbols," a sculpture by Maureen Bergquist Gray at the historic Turner-Dodge House;
  • "Break Free," a mural by Tea Brown under the Shiawassee Street bridge; and
  • "Entropy," a sculpture and chime by Jacquelynn Sullivan and Samuel Gould in Pocket Park near the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum.

The husband-and-wife art team of Sullivan and Gould said art has a way of changing people's understanding of space, something that's important to a city's morale. "Entropy," similar to a large wind chime that people can create sounds with, had drawn compliments on the beauty of the music since it was unveiled, Sullivan said.

"Any time you make something that is meant to make a space more inviting and welcoming for people they treat it differently and they approach it differently," Sullivan said. 

Gould, who said the piece's auditory focus was inspired by his work as a musician, said the duo hoped to bring community members together over the enjoyment of sound.

"Music and art in general is something that can be a common denominator that everybody understands," Gould said. 

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, in his speech to open the reception, said he has made promoting the arts a goal of his since his mayoral campaign, largely because of its attractiveness to all community members. He spoke of the work of Lansing's creatives with high regard, even comparing it to other vital services in the city. 

"Yes, we are going to fix the roads and yes, we are going to work on the infrastructure," Schor said. "But when young people and seniors and workers and everyone alike wants to come into a community, they want to go to a community with creativity." 

Barb Whitney, executive director of the Lansing Art Gallery, echoed Schor, saying the reception and the ArtPath project in general was executed with a focus on promoting positive interaction among residents.

"Our theme this evening in many ways is about the arts and momentum -- momentum for the arts that can affect long-lasting change in our community," Whitney said. 

Whitney said plans for the next iteration of ArtPath are even more ambitious, the gallery hopes to organize 20 artists and installations next year and Sullivan is likely far from the only one who is excited to see the project continue.

"I hope we have more events like this, because this is a good thing to see in our community but, also a good way to bring lots of people interacting with art and in this case, with music too," Sullivan said. 

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