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Today in Lansing: Artist Langston Whitaker at Keys to Creativity Aug. 1


Aug. 1 – Aug. 14

Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m.

Thursday and Friday, noon to 9 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.,

Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Keys to Creativity Gallery

5746 W. Saginaw Hwy.

Click here for event page

Some people have it all — the ability to be an artist and an athlete. Artist Langston Whitaker said it’s not so easy being a walking contradiction.

“I am the best and also the worst of both worlds,” said Whitaker. “When I see someone who is better than me, I don’t want to clap my hands and say, ‘Oh my god! They’re amazing!’ I want to be better than them. I like to be competitive.”

See this competitive zeal from the former high school football player, wrestler, track runner and current soccer, volleyball and basketball player expressed in pen, watercolor, white charcoal and acrylic paint mediums.

“I have six siblings,” said Whitaker. “Out of seven kids, you have to push for that attention and strive to go above and beyond. That’s what I try to do with my art.”

The discipline required to produce realistic portraits is a motivator, said Whitaker.

“I love capturing people. If you can capture a person, you will have a job as an artist for the rest of your life. There will never be a shortage of people wanting portraits of family members or famous people,” said Whitaker.

Whitaker’s white charcoal work emphasizes this point.

“I’ve always loved to bring the picture out of the shadows by using charcoal and black paper. It is highlighting the little intricate details.”

As a more subtle art form, Whitaker said, white charcoal isn’t practiced in today’s art scene.

“People don’t do it anymore, because people go out of their way to be vibrant and make things stand out with colors.”

Outside of his artistic endeavors, Whitaker works as a bar manager and in distributions for the distillery Red Cedar Spirits.

“I didn’t know how much I loved science until I saw how much science goes into making booze,” said Whitaker.

“It is a completely different side of me. The cocktails are the largest part of this art form. When you make a cocktail, everything is key, and that is art in and of itself.”

Gearing up for the gallery show is like getting ready for a big game, said Whitaker.

“It makes me go back to a time when I played sports. Anytime before the game started, I was extremely nervous,” said Whitaker. “Once it gets going it will be a lot easier.”

Today in Lansing:

Mars Closest Approach Viewing

10 p.m. to midnight, MSU Observatory, 4299 Pavilion Dr.,

Distiller’s Night with Iron Fish Distillery

5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Creole Burger Bar & Southern Kitchen, 1218 Turner St.,

Cinnaire’s SilverFest Celebration

4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Cinnaire Home Office, 1118 S. Washington Ave.,


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