Summer of Love celebrated through art

Sometimes it takes two to create memorable and vibrant art.

Artist Ben Graham designed this week’s cover, but he didn’t create it alone. With the help of his friend Kirk MacKellar, the owner of MacKellar Screenworks, they collaborated using an “Old World printing technique.”

“You should see it in person,” Graham said. “The piece looks fabulous live. The original is a piece of art itself. It’s a six-color screen print, meaning each color was printed one at a time. I am really thankful for MacKellar.”

Serigraphy or silkscreen printing is an ancient printmaking technique, where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas that the ink can’t penetrate because of a blocking stencil. Six different screens were used to print this multicolored, paisley heart design.

This piece is one of 50 from Graham and MacKellar’s Summer of Love series. The two designed and collaborated on it for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love celebration.

Graham has been creating art for over 40 years, both within his career path and throughout his personal life.

After receiving a bachelor’s in fine arts from Northern Michigan University in 1974, he spent his career as a graphic designer, illustrator, art director and creative director.

For the past 30 years he has owned and operated Ben Graham Group Inc., a freelance visual strategy and design business, based in Lansing.

Before founding this business, he worked in advertising and publishing. Today he is an arts patron and working artist who draws inspiration from life experiences, his keen sense of observation and sense of humor.

Although art pieces on City Pulse’s cover during the summer months are usually reserved for the Summer of Art program, sponsored in cooperation with the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, Graham’s is not.

His work is an homage to the 1967 Summer of Love that is the theme of this week’s issue. Artists who would like to be a part of the summer of art may submit online: ow.ly/hK0x30egC9n.

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