As guests at a recent art walk we were overheard saying how much we liked a particularly beautiful art piece of paper layers. The artist, AmyWellington who did the work, generously explained the process.
As the conversation continued she explained how she also develops art shows for groups all over the state through Michigan ArtShare. I described my work, gave her a card and mentioned that one area of my work comes from a love of dunes. She asked us to put together a proposal for an art show emphasizing dunes that would go up in a few weeks at the Michigan EconomicDevelopment Corporation (MEDC). We did, she accepted and we were very quickly on to the next stages of building an art exhibition.
Each stage includes many steps before its presentation to the public.
The first stage is planning availability of the physical space. So we took a little trip to downtown Lansing, Michigan with the map provided in materials from Michigan ArtShare. The space for the art is in a good sized corridor adjacent to the lobby of the MEDC which also shares building space with other appropriate sources including Pure Michigan.
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After we got a good vison of the size requirements we set to work finding the paintings in my inventory that would accomplish the theme of Michigan dunes. The title for the show came, after many attempts on our part, when “Mom” wisely said just keep it simple, This Is Michigan.
There are many unseen decisions that the casual viewer may never consider and we had to learn over the years as we picked up processes from past art shows including labeling, framing consistency, size layout, colors. Each site and expectations are different per site, but the common thread that flows through each exhibition is to help viewers experience the intended message, in this art show that message --- This Is Michigan.
We encourage everyone who appreciates Michigan’s gift – the Great Lakes and surrounding dunes – to stop by MEDC throughout the summer: 300 S. Washington, in beautiful downtown Lansing, open week days 8 to 5, for a casual view of over a dozen Joel F. Ellis visual art expressions of the dunes.
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