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Today in Lansing: Mural unveiling at Salus Center


Mural unveiling

5 to 6 p.m.

Salus Center

408 S. Washington Sq., Lansing

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THURSDAY, Oct. 11 — Teens from the Reach Studio Art Center’s “Teen Open Studio” project will unveil their mural for the Salus Center, an LGBTQ resource and community center downtown.

“I love art and creative expression. The mural expresses the community we are trying to cultivate here,” Salus Center founder and director Rev. Phiwa Langeni said.

The mural depicts patrons of the center with the organization’s theme of “Salus,” the Latin term for wholesomeness and well-being.

Over the summer, teens spent ten weeks photographing and painting geometric portraits of Salus Center patrons.

Dylan Hunt, Reach Teen Open Art Studio instructor and Muralmatics owner, said mural creation is a great way to teach kids about art and math.

“I’ve worked with students looking to get GEDs, and math held up 90 percent of the youth I saw. This is a way to teach math concepts using visual arts and design. While planning a mural, we get to talk about all different types of mathematical concepts.”

There was a big focus on how to properly represent the center, he said.

“Students bought in quickly, once they heard the reason Phiwa started the center. But there was a bit of trepidation, because a lot of straight white students were tasked with creating something not exactly designed for them.”

The group decided they should focus on representation of the community in front of them with portraits, Hunt said.

Langeni said the mural will further the center’s goal to create a visible space to LGBTQ people.

Langeni opened the center in 2017. It holds queer and trans yoga, queer choir, LGBTQ parenting group and support group events regularly. Langeni also offers a church service, as an ordained pastor under the progressive United Church of Christ.

According to Reach Studio Art Center, Teen Open Art Studio created 163 works of public art for 36 partners since 2010, providing paid opportunities for 46 guest artists and engaging 502 teens.

Other events in Lansing:

Plants and the Geometry of Nature

12:10 to 12:50 p.m., W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, 412 Olds Hall, East Lansing

“Hanging in Here” Opening Reception

6 to 8 p.m., Strange Matter Coffee Co., 2010 E. Michigan Ave. Ste. 103, Lansing

The Mysteries of Autumn, a Piano Portrait

7 to 9 p.m., Turner-Dodge House and Heritage Center, 100 E. North St., Lansing


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