In the East Lansing Public Library on Abbot Road in East Lansing is a small but select art gallery that features local talent. Located just north of the Children’s Room, the North Foyer Gallery is not as well known in this region as it should be. Here, along three walls, is found some intriguing contemporary interpretive art. The limited space available means that only a few artists can be exhibited at any one time. Still, good things frequently come in small packages.
Current exhibits emphasized
The exhibits rotate on a periodic basis. This is somewhat akin to the larger Lansing Art Gallery nearby (see the author’s article at hornface.com}. And, as with that gallery, the works exhibited may be for sale. Usually, the descriptions of the works come with biographical information on the artists who made them. This naturally helps to orient the visitor to the background of the artist, as well as to the current exhibit.
On display now
The Gallery is presently featuring three artists from dissimilar experience but united in the wise use of space devoted to them. One first encounters the works of Margot Evans, a former Michigan State University faculty member whose works have been praised domestically and as far away as Vienna. Her chief work is a larger than life rectangular tapestry called Childhood Scenes. An incredibly complicated work, it is broken down into many subsections, all revolving around the common theme of childhood. One scene, for example, shows children dancing in a circle. Other scenes depict happy visions of goldfish, birds, trees and leaves. Against the sky, a fanciful backdrop of castles is seen, and the whole is bordered by a geometric pattern on all four sides. It took Ms. Evans 2500 hours to complete this work in 1982! The composition was stitched in wood on burlap and is a standout for its vivid colors and its evocation of an idealized past.
Also featuring …
Two other artists are also on current display. One is Margaret Meade-Turnbull, who has exhibited at Alma College and at the University of Michigan, among many other venues. She prefers to work in etchings en route to watercolors, although she began in oils. Six of her works are displayed in a panel series along one wall. They all feature the same blonde woman as a wrapped form wearing a towel, reflecting Ms. Meade-Turnbull’s fascination with the human figure. She has taught at Lansing Community College and has also exhibited at the Lansing Art Gallery. Finally, a third wall is currently devoted to the works of Doug DeLind, who likes to work with clay, although he also does drawings. His works have been displayed at galleries in Peoria, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. His display includes 20 Small Heads, mounted on a stand or suitable for stringing along a necklace. Also featured are an octopus on a stand and three cats. All betray a comic approach to their subjects. He also does male figures, but prefers to do quick sketches in black charcoal on white paper, as opposed to a more methodical style. Nick, a male model, supplied the subject for these works. Interestingly, Mr. DeLind has been juxtaposed with Ms. Meade-Turnbull before, and sees himself as a foil for her work. His position is actually philosophical, and he explains it in terms of the classic Hegelian dialectic; that is, thesis-antithesis-synthesis. As can be readily seen, this small gallery–only dedicated in June 1991–has already come a long way, and has so much to offer. Information for this article was obtained from the gallery visit and the library website.