WRITER | LISA BECKER CAMPBELL
Q. What do the following have in common: brightly colored feathers, googly-eye decals, and over 7,000 square feet of loft space devoted to the exhibit of fine art by local, regional, and national artists?
A. They are all available through ART in the LOFT, along with much more.
ART in the LOFT celebrates the power of the arts and outreach in the Alpena community, running the spectrum from creative children’s crafts to important exhibits. The gallery invites the community to enjoy indoor activities until they’ve navigated through the final months of winter in Northern Michigan.
Springtime programming includes spring break celebrations. In the studio, the gallery is designating April as the Month of the Young Artist.
“The gallery is transformed into a kindergarten-through-12th grade art exhibit featuring over 500 works from roughly 20 Northeast Michigan schools,” said Justin Cooper, executive director. “In addition to the exhibit, every Saturday in April will be filled with low-cost, energetic, and creative programming for school-age children.”
As students return from spring break, those with special needs can participate through the R.E.A.C.H. program. The visual and culinary arts are fused in this incredible program serving students from Pied Piper School, Alpena High School, and ACES Academy. Kits include all the supplies and recipes needed to create culinary masterpieces.
ART in the LOFT extends its thanks to those who make the program possible: a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and generous members and sponsors who matched the contribution.
Senior communities are also included in the offerings at ART in the LOFT. Art kits have been created and distributed to Alpena Senior Citizens Center and Besser Senior Living Community. With Art and the Five Senses, seniors learn about color and collage while using their senses to tap into their creativity.
ArtPOP provides the community with easy access to free hands-on art experiences that will create an early interest and passion for the arts in the everyday life of the youngest artist, ages 18 months to 4 years.
ArtPOP from Home offers Pick-Up Kits of all sorts, such as Rainy Day and Mother/Father’s Day kits, all of which come with the supplies and instructions needed to partake in the activity.
As April showers bring May flowers this spring, tots will look to Vincent Van Gogh for flower inspiration. The young artists will be using recycled materials and paints to make two flower projects.
In studio, the Get smART (Saturday morning Art) programs feature experts who walk children and other groups through artistic projects, such as painting scenery.
ART in the LOFT bills itself as Northeast Michigan’s premier fine arts center, and readers of the Alpena News agree, having voted it the #1 art gallery in their Best of the Best section.
In addition, the gallery is also an event venue (weddings, retirements, classrooms) and one of Northeast Michigan’s most active community partners.
The community can help build and grow this programming and create a more beautiful community by participating and volunteering. Northeast Michigan Center for Fine Arts, Inc (aka ART in the LOFT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich the quality of life in Northeast Michigan through an arts center that offers learning opportunities and increases public participation in the arts.