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Jacksonopolis | December 11, 2018

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Artists In Jackson

Artists In Jackson

Dave Lawrence has made something unique. It is a look into what makes Jackson feel alive, a cross section people and art that bring us together. Check out the Artists In Jackson project for yourself and pick up a copy of the new book.



Here is a short Q&A we had with Dave Lawrence about the Artists In Jackson project.

Q. What motivated you to start this project?

I started a portrait project last winter about the guys in the Central Michigan Model Railroad Club, and wanted to continue doing projects that highlight the personality of our community. What makes Jackson Jackson? Since I want to get more involved in the Jackson arts community, I thought profiling homegrown artists was a natural place to start. That, and I’m super interested in other people’s hobbies and interests.

Q. Can you tell us a little about the art you create and how that fits with this project?

My own artistic outlet is photography. I’ve always been a shutterbug, but I started to take it seriously in 2010. From there, I felt like my art needed to tackle bigger issues and make a difference. Tell bigger stories, maybe get something accomplished. Call it art as a community motivator. There are times when I feel like Jackson needs a kick in the butt when it comes to creative professionals and hobbyists, so I’m using photography to spread the word.

Q. Were there any common themes you found among the artists you featured in your project?

Yes, quite a few. First, many of them are optimistic about Jackson’s artistic future, despite the slow progress. An arts commission and all the non-profits doing good work in town are giving people hope. And second, maybe this is a Midwestern thing, but they all mention how collaborative and friendly the arts community is in Jackson. That’s a great message, and gives me a lot of hope.

Q. Was it easy to find local artists and what are your thoughts on the art community in Jackson?

It was challenging to find some artists, but others I either knew or were referred to me. Again, it was artists helping me find other artists to complete the project. It goes back to that collaborative thing. As for the community, I think the up-and-coming artists and young professionals are going to get some stuff accomplished in this town. They’re ambitious, and they’re organizing. So watch out, Jackson.

Q. What future projects do you have planned or would like to see happen in the community?

For myself, I’d like to continue in this community storytelling vein. I think musicians in town will probably be my next project. But more than that, this project has shaped the way I view my artistic goals. I don’t want to just take pretty pictures and talk about camera gear. I want to shine a spotlight on my hometown.

In the community, I would like to see more attendance at art events and festivals. Maybe the more that pop up, the more people will hear about them. But artists need venues to display their stuff, so let’s work on providing more of those. I’ll also encourage the community not to be cheapskates. Support your local artists however and whenever you can.

Q. Where can people order the book or stay updated with the project? is the home base for the project — you can buy the book and read the artist profiles there. I have more coming out before the holidays with this project, so I’ll encourage people to sign up for my newsletter to get the latest and greatest, including some coupon codes.

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