This Thursday, Saper Galleries will open their doors from 5-7 PM to welcome East Lansing creatives for the Arts Council of Greater Lansing Winter Creative Mixer. The event, sponsored by The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, is free of charge, and attendees will be treated to complimentary snacks and beverages.
Gallery owner Roy Saper said the event will provide a platform for all types of creatives to network and collaborate.
“[The event is] bringing together people that have this common thread that ties to an overall larger umbrella that already exists in other areas, like government and politics. People learning to share, exchange and explore in creativity.”
East Lansing boasts a historically friendly relationship with the arts. The Arts Council of Greater Lansing hosts three creative mixers each year, and between the mixers, multiple art and music festivals take over East Lansing’s downtown streets.
In the nearly 38 years since its conception, Saper Galleries has done its fair share of arts promotion within the City. The gallery welcomes between 100 and 200 organizations each year, including East Lansing High School students, MSU education students and ESL students.
Saper said cities thrive when they fully embrace the arts.
“Creativity finds new explorations for a city. Creativity is how progress is made. Communities that don't encourage creativity don't foster and grow.”
East Lansing continues to see growth, due, in part, to events such as Thursday’s mixer. Yet, there is still progress to be made. Saper estimated the City has achieved only five percent of its potential.
According to Saper, the other 95 percent could be achieved by establishing a downtown performing arts venue, constructing an open studio space for artists to create and audiences to watch, as well as create a gallery to display art from the former Kresge Art Museum.
“There are a thousand and one possibilities… East Lansing just needs to take initiative,” he said.
Thursday’s Winter Creative Mixer could be the collaborative platform to springboard such initiatives, but at the very least, the mixer will get East Lansing’s artists together for an evening of conversation, collaboration and inspiration.
Saper Gallery is located at 433 Albert Avenue.