Assistant Dean of Admissions Stephanie Gregg may have retired from WMU-Cooley in 2012 after 25 years of service, but her heart continues to support the law school's historic equal access to justice mission through her talent as a local artist and advocate. In creating her art she finds an outlet to express her feelings.
The Arts Council of Greater Lansing selected her entry for its Art in the Sky Billboard Project. Gregg's winning piece was a labor of love, and was inspired by the Maya Angelou uplifting poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth.”
“It all played into 2020. So many issues came up. Racial justice or injustice and marches, COVID, climate. As awful as it is with so many people suffering, if we don’t learn from this then shame on us,” Gregg explained in a FOX 47 interview. She credits the surrounding arts community with keeping her hopeful. “Such open minded, such open-hearted people. And that’s been a lifesaver.”
She also spoke to City Pulse about her vision and meaning behind her piece, which is of a figure holding a book and reclining on a bright red heart.
“The heart becomes a billboard-sized shout-out of admiration, respect, love and hope that together, 'We, (this) people, are the possible, the miraculous and the true wonder of the world. That is when, and only when we come to it,'’’ said Gregg quoting Angelou.
Gregg explains more. "The three monoprint panels of acrylic paint become a background reflection of her aura—her power; the power to fashion for this earth a climate where every man and every woman can live freely without sanctimonious piety, without crippling fear."
Retirement hasn't slowed down Gregg at all, but has been a celebration of creativity and more time with family and friends.
Check out the Art in the Sky Billboard contest winners, visit: Lansingarts.org/programs/billboard-project
Photography credit: John Gregg