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Community Advocacy Organization

A Look Back at INKTOBER, a Community Art Show Celebrating a Month of Creation

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Photo of Mila Lynn and Torrey Gray at Inkober 22 via Instagram @mindofmila

On Friday evening, November 11, 2022, folks crowded into a warm and welcoming space to enjoy and celebrate art, life, good eats, good beats, and one another. A mix of melodic classics, original rap, and poetry filled the Knapp’s Building downtown, as Mila Lynn and Torrey Gray hosted their third and final Inkober show.

Of this year’s event, on her personal Instagram, Mila said, “This is always my favorite time of year because it's one night that I get to have with all my beautiful friends celebrating what we all do best: CREATE.”

And that, she does; the exhibition at Inkober consisted of 31 different multi-medium pieces created on a unique canvas, recycled vinyl records. The event seamlessly combined Mila Lynn’s gifts as a multi-media artist and Torrey Gray’s gifts as a musical artist.

Gray said "Art has allowed me to express myself in ways speaking cannot. It expresses experiences in ways people can understand." He goes on to say, "I want people to feel peace, love and motivation when they hear my music."

Scan this code to view the visual and musical component for the Oct 27 piece via Torrey Gray's Instagram

The concept of Inkober was born out of an inspiration to create more often. The collaborative artists created a piece each day for the entire month of October to capture deep layers of self-expression, with the hope of gently encouraging others to use their chosen medium to consistently self-express, too.

On the discipline it took to create for 31 days consecutively, Gray shares his encouragement to other artists saying, "On days when you don't feel inspired or motivated- those are the most important days to show up. Inspiration comes and goes. Eventually, that inspiration will comes back."

All 31 pieces were neatly hung up on the wall under the gallery lights. They appeared to convey different emotions and nostalgia. Some seemed designed to debunk certain societal norms and narratives. From ego to kindness to the practice of moderation, these pieces touched so many parts of the human experience.

Of the piece named KIND, Mila wrote on Instagram, “Today’s piece is about the beautiful part of life that you experience when you allow people in and they treat you like only a God would see fit. They nurture you along your journey.”

To view the piece KIND, scan this code to access Mila Lynn's Instagram post

As an independent artist with a following, Instagram and other social platforms have become a great resource for sharing. They open up a forum for discussion about their work and an opportunity for others to appreciate and, sometimes, bid on available pieces.

Local social media consultant and fellow artist Malik Brand said, ”Art is a person’s expression of how they perceive the world and it is important to see other people’s point of view. (social media) is a good thing for us because it gives other people a chance to see our work…” With a smile and a nod, he said, “….and the world would be boring if there weren’t artists.”

With a center stage and tables placed around the room, the event’s setup encouraged movement and mingling, with attendees often hugging and dancing. Keeping it rather simple, there was a bar taking tickets and VegHead Eats, a local vegan eatery, serving up delicious plant-based bites.

Inktober delivered as an art show, celebration and cocktail party while also serving as a community-building event spotlighting some of Lansing’s newest businesses and upcoming entrepreneurs.

Elevated avocado toast with balsamic drizzle served by Local plant-based eatery VegHead Eats

Catering the event, Kari Magee, founder and owner of 'VegHead Eats', served Nashville-style chicken sandwiches, and meatless meatballs, alongside elevated avocado toast with a balsamic drizzle. VegHead Eats is new to town, having opened just 2 weeks prior to the event. The business is one of the first of its kind in Lansing, focusing on serving plant-based comfort food.

Upon taking the stage to welcome everyone, Mila Lynn expressed that she was thankful to offer this as a “safe space” to “enjoy life, together.”

People were invited to bid on pieces that remained from the 31-day Instagram auction. They also offered the stage and opened up the mic to other local artists who felt inclined. It was a special night filled with culture, passion, community, and togetherness.


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