February 27, 2003                                                  Contact: Angela Berry

                                                                                           Phone – 517-487-6340 x 19


Roy C. Saper Honored at
Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce  Annual Dinner

Lansing -  The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized East Lansing businessman Roy C. Saper of Saper Galleries as its 2003 Outstanding Small Business Person Award recipient. The award was one of five presented during the Chamber’s 91st Annual Dinner held at the Holiday Inn South on February 27.


The annual Outstanding Small Business Person Award is presented to the owner of a local small business that meets the criteria of stability, innovation, commitment to community, perseverance, and commitment to diversity.


Roy Saper has been in the art business for 25 years, after a successful career as an economist with the state of Michigan. He created 20th Century Fine Arts in 1978 to provide high quality unique and limited edition works of art to individual collectors as well as custom framing. He successfully ran the business out of his home for eight years until there was no longer sufficient space to manage the volume of activity and growing inventory. After purchasing property in East Lansing, Saper meticulously planned and designed both the exterior and interior of his gallery designing a 4,000 square foot building that would be a work of art as well as innovative in the art world. In 1986, Saper Galleries opened its doors and has since hosted more than two-dozen major art exhibitions including Rembrandt, Picasso, Normal Rockwell and Peter Max and has garnered a client base of 7,500. He was one of the first in the art field to utilize computers, even creating a program that showed clients the exact cost of every component of their framing order years before it became standard practice. The gallery expanded in 1998 adding over 2,000 square feet and Saper continues to make innovative improvements in lighting, display and security.


Since its inception, Saper has been involved in all aspects of the business from human resources, finances and public relations to record maintenance, client and artist relations. He has overcome hurdles such as start-up financing, break-ins, destruction and loss of property and increasing demands of his time. He has supported diversity by offering the community works of art from artists of every culture, mentoring and supporting minority artists and hiring a broad range of employees including one who was homeless.


Saper’s expertise has been utilized by countless local and national organizations to jury art exhibitions, lecture on all aspects of art for all age groups, to share industry innovations with others in the art field and to serve as an expert for legal cases involving art fraud. Saper has won three international DÉCOR magazine awards for gallery design, creative management and advertising and promotion. He has also received the East Lansing Crystal Award and the Business Arts Award from the Arts Council Center of Greater Lansing.


Among many others, Saper’s community service includes president of the Friends of Kresge Art Museum, Chairman of the Dean’s Community Council of the College of Arts and Letters, co-founder of the Greater Lansing Association of Galleries and Museums and chair of the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority. He is a member of the East Lansing Fine Arts Commission, East Lansing Arts Festival Board, Economic Development Corp. and Greater Lansing Food Bank.


The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to identifying and serving the needs of business-small and large-by providing services to members, promoting members’ growth and facilitating economic development of the greater Lansing area.



Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce

300 E. Michigan Ave.    –    Lansing, MI  48901    –    517-487-6340   –