About 35 years ago, a handful of artists got together and made a living masterpiece in North Lansing.
Back then, the small stretch of blocks between Larch Street and North Grand River Avenue was made up of the remains of a once thriving commercial district. Ornate facades were weathered and chipped. Windows were boarded. Heaved sidewalks crept by charred stairwells and alleys filled with rubble.
Whether it’s art on the wall or art for the wall, Tiffany Klein has you (and your walls) covered.
Besides decorative finishes for walls, floors, doors and ceilings, Klein imagines, creates and sells her own artwork. And that’s not all: her gallery also stocks unique rugs; American-made furniture customized to exacting standards; luminous, hand blown glass; lamps to light the dim corners; and handcrafted jewelry.
“We want La Fille to be a destination spot,” said Klein. “We’re hoping to grow at a steady pace and continue to add staff.”
Fireworks Glass Studio in Williamston, just south of the downtown’s four corners is easy to find. Just look for the one store with its front door flung wide open even on the coldest day in February.
The studio is a great place to warm up, according to owner Dave Porter, thanks to the 2,100 degree electric oven that Porter and the other artists use for making hot glass for blowing.
Fireworks Glass Studio has decorative and functional art pieces, from lighting and pendants to sconces, for sale. The studio also does commission pieces and the curious are always welcome to stop in and watch the artists at work, Porter says.
Walking into Saper Galleries makes an art-lover’s heart beat faster: paintings on large canvases and small; landscapes, portraits and abstracts; sculpture in silver, stone, bronze or marble; intricate boxes of polished wood; hand blown glass in gleaming colors or muted hues; mobiles that sway gently overhead.
“The biggest problem people have when they come to my gallery is that there is just so much here that people love,” said gallery owner Roy Saper. “It’s hard to choose.”
Walking through the gallery is like visiting a fine museum where appreciative visitors can find something beautiful to suit every taste, every mood and every occasion. And if the art lover doesn’t find exactly what he/she wants, a word to the owner will suffice.
If you’re like most people, you enjoy painting, but don’t quite have the talent to do so for a living. In fact, that describes about 99.5 percent of us, which, from an economic standpoint, means that a business catering to this market has quite a niche. Add in a vivacious, energetic woman with a zest for her new business, and you’ve just painted the picture of a successful new enterprise in Frandor — Painting With a Twist.
Owner Diane Wey has been in East Lansing since 1977. She raised four daughters, and after the last one graduated from high school she “needed something to do … something fun.” After she went painting at the PWAT location in Ferndale in February 2011, she knew what that something was going to be.
“(I) contacted Painting With a Twist corporate and said, “You know what? I really want to do this in Lansing.” That started the ball rolling, and after a great deal of research and self-educating, which included looking at various options and opportunities for a business like this, she arrived full-circle at the idea of opening a franchise in Lansing.
Some big things come along just once in a lifetime. For Michael Rush, that’s the case with the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.’
“This is the leading contemporary art museum in America,” says Rush, the director of the $45-million museum that opened last November. “And it’s right here in East Lansing. We invite everyone to come on board.”
From day one, visitors have lined up to see a museum that sparks conversations about art before they even enter the lobby.
With its sleek skin of steel and gla