THE GALLERY • Opening December 13th in Downtown Saginaw

Offering a Spacious Showcase for Michigan Artists

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, ,   From Issue 836   By: Robert E Martin

25th November, 2016     0

It’s time to ring the holiday bells and roll out the red carpet as one the largest commercial art galleries in the State of Michigan prepares to open its doors to the public on Tuesday, December 13thKnown simply as The Gallery • Art for Saginaw, and with nearly 5,000 square feet of space to showcase a divergent array of original Mixed Media artwork ranging from oil & watercolor paintings to pottery, ceramics, and glasswork created entirely by Michigan artists, this formidable artistic resource will be located within the historic Bancroft Building at 104 E. Genesee Street on the corner of Washington & Genesee in Downtown Saginaw.

According to director Lisa Comer, over 50 artists have submitted work for consideration at the new venue and thus far nearly 40 artists have been approved.  “Our mission is to serve the community of Saginaw by providing a spacious downtown location in the historic Bancroft Building for talented Michigan artists to display and sell their artwork,” she explains.

Proceeds from the sale of art at The Gallery will go to the Saginaw Art Museum to benefit the youth of Saginaw through education initiatives, awareness, appreciation, and other programs developed by the museum.  “Our goal is to give 60% of the proceeds from all artwork sold to the artists creating the work and 40% to the Saginaw Art Museum for their Children’s educational programs,” adds Lisa.  “By promoting a love and knowledge of art for today’s youth, we believe this generation and future generations will appreciate the importance of art in society and preserve art for future generations.”

The Gallery will be open Tuesday – Saturday from Noon – 6 PM.  Set up as a non-profit entity, all variety of art will be considered for display, with an emphasis on modern contemporary art. Talented artists that were either born in Michigan, lived in Michigan in the past, or currently reside in the state are eligible for consideration; and submissions will also be considered for artists that attended college in Michigan, even if they currently reside in a different state.

“Many of our featured artists are offering to volunteer their time and conduct classes and demonstrations as we get rolling,” she continues, “and one of our goals is to focus upon educating the public when they walk into the door.  If somebody says they have a certain color couch and would like a particular painting to match the color scheme, I want them to walk out of the door carrying a deeper knowledge about the artwork they purchase.  Additionally, I would like to get different interior designers and builders in here so they know that we have some amazing Michigan artists showcased.  I’ve talked to many artists over the last six months and this is the biggest thing they say we should focus upon cultivating.”

According to Comer, the average price range of featured art will fall in the $200 -$1500 range with an emphasis on affordable art that residents of Saginaw county and the surrounding areas can purchase and display without breaking their bank account.

A few of the artists featured during their opening include Larry Butcher, a retired professor emeritus of art from Delta College, where he taught painting and drawing for 39 years and has exhibited his work since 1965. Butcher has had 21 one-man shows and his artwork is in the collection of the Saginaw Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Alden B. Dow Center for Art & Design, Dennos Museum Center, as well as over 400 private & public collections.

Another featured artist is Alison Bur, a recent graduate of SVSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts photography. Growing up in northern Michigan she developed a deep connection to the natural landscape and harbored a love of photography. After graduation she moved to Maryland and currently teaches darkroom photography at a local community college.  “The camera provides a focused reality that points my view in a different direction and allows me to think and perceive differently,” she explains. “This is my goal in all of my work, creative and professional.”

Also on display is work of ceramist and glass blower Jeff Blandford, who is currently on display at the Saginaw Art Museum. Hailing from the well-known ‘art coast’ of Saugatuck, Michigan, Blandford started throwing pots on the wheel back in 2001 and has earned a BFA in Studio Art from Michigan State University. Using every type of clay and kiln imaginable, Jeff employs a huge variety of styles with his artwork, from Raku to 400-pound bowls to end tables and stools to more traditional and utilitarian works. He often describes his work as a marriage between Charles & Ray Eames and the visions of Dr. Seuss. “Clean lined works whose surface decorations brings a sense of energy and harmony to the forms,” as he describes it.

The Gallery will additionally be displaying the work of students working under the direction of Stephanie Dubbs at the Saginaw Preparatory Academy, which is a PK-8 charter school within the City of Saginaw. Throughout the school year her students are introduced to a variety of mediums, techniques, cultures, and artists that inspire creativity and imagination; and the art pieces on display are from numerous students at different grade levels and abilities and include watercolor, collage, oil pastel, colored pencil, and crayon.

“This is where my passion is,” states Lisa when asked about the student display. “I’m all about getting the kids and youth of our region involved and inspired and my hope is to make them proud when they see their artwork hanging on our walls and on display.”

At almost 5000 square feet, The Gallery will be one of the largest artistic showcases in the state of Michigan. “In addition to being a 1st class gallery with affordable prices so that as many residents of the county can enjoy authentic works of art as possible, The Gallery will host instructional fun art classes for everyone by local art instructors,” adds Comer. “We also intend to combine beginner art classes with wine tasting and more information on dates and times will be posted on our web site.  Another service we will provide is a beautiful location for private parties, political fundraisers, or charity events.”

According to Comer, Downtown Saginaw was chosen to locate The Gallery because of the rapid revitalization occurring and because of the close proximity to the entertainment district.  “The Historic Bancroft building was the choice location because of its historical significance and beautiful flowing space, in addition to its location on the most prominent intersection in Saginaw of Washington and Genesee, with close proximity to the Dow Event Center, Temple Theater, First Merit Bank Event Park, and Saginaw Club, in addition to close proximity of the new Delta College downtown location and Farmers Market that helped seal the deal.”

The Gallery is selectively reviewing art submissions by Michigan artists to display in the gallery. If any Michigan artist would like to be considered for their art being accepted for display; they can access The Gallery website at and review the information and procedures for submitting art

 To find out more, visit their website at and you can also contact Lisa by emailing her at or by phoning her at 989.577.1750.


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