An Interview About Art Classes, Art Galleries, Art Students and the Community CollegeJEAN
In your role providing academic leadership at Lansing Community College, you have been an advocate for the arts in many ways. Could you tell us a little about some things the college has done, and is doing, with the art community?
Over the years we have had collaborative relationships with many local art galleries, including the Lansing Art Gallery, the Creole Gallery, the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Arts (MICA) and Saper Galleries, just to name a few. Because of those relationships, our students and faculty had their work juried, selected, and displayed, giving them experience as working artists.
The LCC Foundation has also supported our student artists with programs to purchase pieces they have created. Internal and external jurors select the pieces, giving our students an opportunity to competitively participate in the business side of art. Those purchased pieces are then exhibited in LCC buildings, including Health & Human Services, Gannon, Technology & Learning Center, West Campus, and East Lansing and Okemos Libraries. For example, the
Zimmerman Art Fund purchased pieces housed on the first floor of Gannon across from Career & Employment Services.
The capstone classes of the photography program exhibit at Creole Gallery and The Old Town Marquee (formerly Perspective 2). Students have their whole portfolio available, with framed pieces on the wall. LCC East held a photo competition and received more than 400 submissions. Many of the winning items are still on display there.
What about the would-be artist or the not-so-serious individual just doing art for fun? Does the college support their activities?
At MICA gallery we have summer youth classes every summer. Cartooning is very popular with young people. There are many photo classes, such as Photo Safari, designed for the amateur. There are also workshops on everything from watercolor, oriental watercolor, drawing, matting and framing. Call the Community and Continuing Education program at (517) 483-1860 for more information.
What would you tell people who would like to make a living as an artist?
First, in your journey as an artist, don’t get discouraged. If your goal is to make a living, it is possible but is very market dependent; you would need to be good at marketing. A common day job is to teach at college or high school, or to offer workshops through galleries or studios.
Think about the business aspects of working with galleries. Gallery owners are looking for someone who can consistently produce the kind of work they are looking for. For them it’s a business venture. If they promote you as an artist they want to know you will produce the same quality of work over and over so they need to have good examples of your work.
Look at as much art as you can, go to galleries, talk to other artists, become friends with other artists, read, go to movies, keep experiencing new things and travel if you can afford to.
Call the Community and Continuing Education program at (517) 483-1860 or visit www.lcc.edu/lifelong for more information.
| || |
Jack Bergeron is the Interim Provost at Lansing Community College, has been an art faculty member at LCC, is a long time-supporter of the arts in Lansing and is himself a well-respected artist who has displayed work at many local galleries.
Jean Morciglio is the Dean of Extended Learning and Professional Studies at LCC where she works with educational and professional programs. She has worked at LCC in several capacities such as faculty member, special populations’ administrator and enrollment manager.