Volunteer Spotlight: Connie Henslee

An Ongoing History and Creative Story

Connie Henslee has a long and ongoing history with Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center. Many years ago she first entered the gallery as a prospective customer. At the time she was working for the state government and would often try to find a nice, relaxing place to go to after having with a tough or stressful day. She found that the gallery offered her the atmosphere she needed. She had been a lover of art from a young age.

“There’s all different varieties of different ages, but there’s such a youthful spirit and such a creative spirit, that [the gallery] is rejuvenating and uplifting.”.

The Many Roles of A Lover of the Arts: Volunteer, Member, Artist, Donor

After she retired from the state government, she decided that it was natural for her to commit to being a gallery volunteer. At that point, the gallery and its employees had become like a second family to her. As a volunteer, Connie works on an as needed basis during regular hours, special events, and whenever her help is needed. She also regularly volunteers at St. Vincent’s Catholic charities, and always has many projects on the side to keep her busy.

Building Memories and Inspiring Others

Connie has many wonderful memories from working with the gallery over the years. From working with artists and trading art, to problem solving during outdoor summer exhibitions, her time with the gallery has been very fulfilling. She also loves having the opportunities to talk to artists about what inspired them and why they started creating. But overall, she enjoys the creative, different, and fun things that have gone on over the years.

An Artist in Her Own Right

Connie’s art varies depending on medium and inspiration. She has done grocery bags made out of recycled plastic made into yarn, but she also knits and quilts a variety of things. For previous holiday shows at Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, she had ankle warmers, leg warmers, mittens, and more. Her inspirations are endless, as she strives to work with what she has around her in order to come up with new and different ideas.

Written by Madison Kautman, August 23, 2017