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August 20, 2018


It was destined for Larry Grudt to become an artist; his father had an intuitive eye into his creativity. Although Larry allowed his artistic bent to direct him to animal science for thirty-five years, he redirected to his natural giftedness for art due to Michigan’s drastic budget cuts which impacted his career.

In 2015, Larry started a “Key in the Cities” project that inspired he and other artists to paint fourteen pianos and strategically place them in public places. The Detroit Institute of Art (D.I.A.) caught wind of his philanthropy and decided to partner with Grudt as he embarked on “Keys to Creativity” which is an off-shoot of “Keys to the Cities.”

“Keys to Creativity” is a 501C-3 art gallery located in the Lansing Mall and has now been in business for three years. This art gallery has a community component that allows an artist to rent space to promote their work. “Keys to Creativity” also has an event gallery once a month that allows visitors to experience musicians along with various art mediums in a public setting. Larry believes that “it’s important to expose art as well as allow people to discover it within themselves.” He also feels that “everyone is an artist in some way” and therefore he’s offering “Learning to See” drawing classes which gives artists various perspectives while developing an intuitive eye.

With an “intuitive eye”, artists can reach new artistic heights by enhancing creativity in painting. His “Strong Drawing” technique classes help promote artistic skills.  Larry strives to be creative while serving the community’s needs. He feels that “if he continues to play a visible role in art, that more people in the community will support each other’s artistic endeavors and expand” into novel areas.

He foresees introducing more metal, ceramic, wood and fabric art in “Keys to Creativity” and also hopes to bring diversity and momentum to the community, although he believes that the Greater Lansing community is not marketing art as much as it could be. Larry envisions the community as a beacon for artistic growth and expansion.

The Lansing City Council is so pleased with Larry’s initiatives that they’ve assigned him the mission of creating the city’s upcoming multi-cultural festival known as “Lansing Harmony Celebration”.  It will take place on September 8, 2018 from Noon to 9:00 pm at Lansing’s Benjamin Davis Park. The event is free to the public and will be filled with food vendors, multicultural music offerings and local artistic expressions of various forms.


This event will allow children and adults to engage in multicultural activities throughout the day.  Larry encourages others to avoid “getting discouraged when giving one hundred percent because only eighty percent is actually used.” He also believes in being thankful for the eighty percent and creating something new with the twenty percent that’s left over. This is the reason that Larry Grudt is so creative and plans to build upon this momentum and grow for years to come.



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