Look around campus; art is everywhere -— from the magnificent Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum to sculptures scattered across East Lansing into campus. What you might not know is that the art is not just created by award-winning artists, but also by your peers here at MSU.
Over the past few years, MSU has given more and more opportunities to students to have their work featured on campus and in the community in big ways. East Lansing’s new beautification initiative is one of these major opportunities for students. The initiative is a new way to connect the talented student artists on campus and the East Lansing community.
Recently, Ben Duke, associate professor in the art history and design department, took a group of students to Grand Rapids, Detroit and New York City to see some of the most notable works of public art. These students then came back to East Lansing with a new eye and were tasked to create a mural in East Lansing. They put their newfound knowledge of public art together to create a long-lasting piece of work in the community, from conception to completion.
Richard Tanner, studio art major and one of the study away participants, enjoyed the experience from start to finish.
“Being able to immerse myself in the design of this mural that will express ideals and views of the community that is meaningful, and having the opportunity to have it on display for everyone in East Lansing to see has been incredible,” Tanner said.
Find their mural in the Grove Street Alley.
More Student Art in East Lansing
You may have seen senior graphic design major Chloe Jennings’ and senior graphic design and packaging double major Malarie French’s work on display while waiting for your food at Panda Express.
French worked alongside professional writing and graphic design alumnus Will Mianecki to create a piece of work for the competition with the theme of American Chinese told with Spartan Spirit. Their design includes many local motifs that East Lansing residents and students are familiar with, such as Zeke the Wonder Dog and the classic take-out boxes. On the backside of the restaurant you’ll see Jennings’ design: a wall of fortune cookies with MSU-related fortunes such as “Cherish your Spartan family” and “Sparty will soon come into your life.”
“It can be difficult to be a designer and receive recognition for your work, but this mural gave me a boost of confidence in showcasing my abilities,” French said. “I can see my work at any point and enjoy seeing the way people interact with the piece; it’s so gratifying.”
Find other student work on display in rotating exhibits at the galleries inside the Kresge Art Center, the MSU Union Art Gallery and (SCENE) Metrospace (110 Charles St.).