Art teacher by day, artist forever

One medium of art can indirectly create another. That is exactly what happened to Laura Gajewski when she created the artwork on the cover of this issue.

Gajewski was inspired by a 1921 poem called “The Circus is in Town” by C.J. Dennis. The pieces she created from reading this poem represents how she interpreted the poem.

Already a known artist, Gajewski’s artwork has been published in books by the Oxford University Press. She has won multiple awards and has been displayed for the Pop Up Art: Special Edition exhibit.

Gajewski, who grew up in Portland, Michigan, earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts in drawing and a minor in illustration from Kendall College of Art and Design, where she was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award. She earned her master’s degree in art history from Fort Hays State University.

But the art that Gajewski is typically known for is not the same as the new series featured here. She said she is experimenting with different mediums and that her usual choice is charcoal. The art on the cover, however, was created with the contouring of ink and watercolor.

“These pieces are much more light-hearted and playful than the other work I am known for,” Gajewski said.

Gajewski, 37, is a full-time high school art teacher at Ovid-Elsie High School, but has her very own studio in her home.

“I will forever and always create art,” Gajewski said. “It’s a part of me, like my eye color or my height. I don’t see it able to be separated from me. It is everything, it is who I am.”

Gajewski said she is especially excited about the momentum of the art scene in Lansing. She described the Lansing’s art community as having a snowball effect, with it going just to keep on growing.“Art is a special way to communicate when you don’t have the words,” Gajewski said. “It fills in the rest that you can’t type or speak but can say with your artwork.”