New Billboards Feature Local Artists

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You might notice a few new additions along the highway on your way into work this morning. The Arts Council of Greater Lansing has partnered with Adams Outdoor advertising to put local artwork on billboards in the region.

The initiative is called "Art in the Sky," and the goal is to promote local artists and bring art to the public in a new way.

"We want to let the community members know that we have wonderful talent here," said Leslie Donaldson, executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. "We want to encourage people to buy local art, to support local artists."

When the Arts Council of Greater Lansing gave artist Kate Cosgrove the chance to put her art "in the sky," it was an offer she couldn't refuse.

"It was just a really wonderful opportunity, and you don't turn down a billboard," said Cosgrove.

Seeing the opportunity become a reality has special meaning for Cosgrove.

"I do a lot of art for kids and my daughter, we adopted her from China last year," Cosgrove said. "So this is the year of the dragon and I kind of made the piece for her."

Cosgrove is one of four artists to have their art featured on billboards this year.

"I knew we were getting a great opportunity on this billboard deal so I jumped on it, and there it is," said Lansing-area artist Valentin Pulido.

Pulido hopes the billboards will raise awareness about the local art community.

"It promotes that artistic presence in the greater Lansing area and that's really important," Pulido said. "People need to know that."

And it's great exposure for the artists, especially in a tough economy.

"If it pushes buyers to my website and helps me sell more art, that's always really great," Cosgrove said.

Both Pulido and Cosgrove say they're excited to hear the reaction from the community, and excited to see their art in such a big way.

"I've done a lot of billboards for other people and companies, but I've never actually seen my own name on a billboard so that was pretty exciting," said Pulido.

Cosgrove was there when they unveiled the billboard last Thursday.

"When I actually saw them rolling it out, it was so exciting to actually see something that big," Cosgrove said.

The billboards will be rotated throughout the greater Lansing area for the next two years, so they will be up in different locations every few months.

This is actually the second year of the program. Five other billboards from local artists were put into rotation last year, so that means there are now nine billboards in the greater Lansing region.

For more information on the program, head to

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