A WORK OF ART : Banyan Gallery Old Town’s Newest Art Gallery is now open

LANSING, MI — Banyan Gallery, newest art gallery in Lansing’s historic Old Town,  held its Open House, Saturday, June 11, 2005 at 1208 Turner Street, just north of East Grand River.
    The not-for-profit gallery, operated by Old Town Business & Art Development Association (OTBADA), provides quality artwork at reasonable prices in a real gallery atmosphere.
    “In Asia, merchants would congregate to sell their goods under the Banyan trees and the tree propagates through through its traveling roots.  The Banyan tree symbolizes both sheltering of artists and the spreading of art,” said Sam Mills, poet and OTBADA Board member.
    “There are twenty-two artists who display exclusively and continuously at the gallery,” said Banyan Gallery Director Richard Galosy.
    “Banyan Gallery is a continuation of OTBADA’s goals of promoting Michigan artists and providing quality arts programming for the community,” said Terry Terry, president of OTBADA.  “It is another artistic venue, located in an historic building that OTBADA restored, that will complement our annual Lansing JazzFest and Old Town BluesFest.”
    The gallery displays a wide variety of art including paintings, photos, sculpture, mixed media, glass, pottery, pastels, cloth and paper. In addition to art work there is also antique furniture for sale at the gallery.
   Galosy said the gallery also provides professional assistance in selecting art works for businesses and homes.
   Banyan Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, by  appointment and participates in the Gallery Walk on the first Sunday of each month.
     The Old Town Business & Art Development Association (OTBADA) has helped to revive Lansing’s historic commercial district through their extraordinary support of the arts and cultural community in "Old Town" Lansing.
     Highlighted as a model program in August by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the revitalization of "Old Town" Lansing started with the help and support of the OTBADA and the Neighborhood Main Street Initiative. For the last seven years, OTBADA has provided leadership and sponsorship of arts and culture in the Old Town area.
     The Association has made significant contributions to the arts by developing programs and projects like Otherwise Gallery, dedicated to featuring experimental and socially significant artwork. Major projects of the Old Town Business & Art Development Association include the Lansing JazzFest, Old Town BluesFest, First Sunday Gallery Walk, Friday Night Music Series and Burning Desires…afternoon of love poetry.
     On a typical Friday night in "Old Town" OTBADA might sponsor an art forum, a musical concert giving local bands an opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, and a poetry reading.
     The generous support of the OTBADA lead to the creation of the "Old Town" Bluesfest, a two day music event that brings exceptional local, regional and national bands, to an audience of up to 20,000 people from the tri-state area. Held on the streets of "Old Town" amid Lansing’s historic commercial district, BluesFest offers a unique music experience.
     The Old Town Business and Arts Development Association is dedicated to making arts and culture a vital part of "Old Town" and a cornerstone in its revitalization.