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Partners in Design: SAPER GALLERIES with Roy Saper -- McDaniels Kitchens and Bath -- March 2, 2023

A Tour of Lansing-area Black art collections
-- Lansing City Pulse -- February 15, 2023

East Lansing considering collaboration with Artpace on afffordable housing for creative types
-- -- September 30, 2021

Saper Galleries displays for-sale inventory online with live chat feature -- -- November 30, 2020

Spend Locally: Saper Galleries and Custom Framing 
-- -- November 30, 2010

40 Years of the Saper Galleries: Art and Technology --
WKAR Radio -- May 28, 2018

Reality Captured
-- Lansing City Pulse -- August 24, 2017

East Lansing working to continue support of local art galleries
-- The State News -- December 8, 2016

Meet Roy Saper and Nell Kuhnmuench
-- The Estates Magazine -- August 2016

Business Update: Saper Galleries -- City of East Lansing Business update E-newsletter -- Summer 2016

Saper Galleries...Brings Downtown East Lansing
-- -- June 13, 2016

A Passion for Community, Saper Galleries Celebrates 30 years
-- Lansing City Pulse -- June 2, 2016

Saper Galleries Business Beat
-- The Estates Magazine -- February 2016

Saper Galleries to Host Winter Creative Mixer Tonight
-- EastLansinginfo.Org -- January 29, 2016

Rare glass from the West Bank finds a home in East Lansing
-- WKAR Radio interview for Current State -- January 7, 2016

The Story Behind The World’s Largest Collection of Hebron Glass Now Displayed at Saper Galleries
-- The New Citizens Press -- December 27, 2015

Ancient Glass - Saper Galleries showcases glass art from Hebron
-- Lansing City Pulse -- December 1, 2015

Artist Meet and Greet at Saper Galleries: Lou Heiser's Vistas of Michigan -- -- October 2, 2015

How deep the rabbit hole goes: New Saper exhibit threatens to peel the skin off the real world  -- Lansing CityPulse -- December 10, 2014

Personal Touch is Key to International Success for Local Gallery
-- Greater Lansing Business Monthly -- August 2014  

First Sunday Gallery Walk
-- Lansing State Journal online -- August 3, 2014

Today's Feature: Paintings of Parisian Artist Fabienne Delacroix  -- WhoFish -- August 1, 2014

Thelma Cardon Saper - Remembering My Mother's Life  -- Eulogy by Roy Saper May 9, 2014

Michigan's Beauty on Display at East Lansing Gallery --
East Lansing Towne Courier -- March  16, 2014

Art Comes Alive Art Competition --
Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, Ohio -- June, 2013

We're Going to Keep on Going -- City Pulse -- June 5, 2013

The Art of Local Sustainability --
East Lansing Food Co-op TV -- May 14, 2013

Saper Galleries to Exhibit Costa Rican Boxes --
Lansing State Journal -- May 3, 2013

Finding Fair Trade in East Lansing --
City Pulse -- March 27, 2013

Roy Saper recognized by East Lansing City Council
-- February 14, 2013

Exhibit Featuring New Work of Magic Realism Painter Rob Gonsalves Opening at the Saper Galleries
-- Mlive -- February 1, 2013

Saper Galleries unveils "Magic Realism" Pieces --
The State News -- February 4, 2013

Saper Galleries Brings Global Art to Capital Region --
Greater Lansing Business Monthly -- February 2013

Saper Galleries to Exhibit Enchanting World of Rob Gonsalves --
Lansing State Journal -- January 29, 2013 and Towne Courier February 3, 2013.

Hebron Glass Collection on Display in East Lansing
-- The State News -- October 5, 2012

Rare Hebron Glass Collection to be Exhibited in East Lansing --
Towne Courier -- August 31, 2012

Face It!  Exhibit open now  --
MLive -- June 4, 20122

Saper Galleries Hosts Dr. Seuss Exhibition  --
Lansing State Journal -- March 2, 2012

Roy Saper, Juror for Art Comes Alive Competition, 2012
-- ADC web site -- February, 2012

East Lansing's Saper Galleries will exhibit unique boxes, bowls, trays 
-- Towne Courier -- August 28, 2011

Saper Galleries - Art Seller Always Comes Through 
-- Towne Courier -- June 26, 2011

Capital Area Local First Spotlight: Saper Galleries  --
Capital Area Local First -- January, 2011

Saper Galleries in East Lansing exhibits Israeli's work  -- East Lansing Towne Courier -- September 12, 2010

Gallery Displays Michigan Talent, Pride -- The State News -- January 14, 2010

Rockford artist's work featured at exhibition -- Rockford Independent -- January 2, 2010

Framer Helps Food Bank -- Professional Picture Framers Association publication -- January, 2010

Gallery Wins National Award -- Mensa Bulletin -- October 2009

Rooftop Haven - Saper Galleries grows produce for food bank -- Lansing State Journal -- September 5, 2009

Saper Receives Much-Deserved National Attention... -- City Manager's Blog -- August 25, 2009

Saper Galleries Earns Top Recognition -- Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau -- August 12, 2009

Photo of Saper Galleries solar panels and part of roof garden -- -- August, 2009

Saper Galleries' "Dr. Seuss" wins national honor -- Towne Courier -- August 15, 2009

Saper's Gallery: Where art is all that matters --
Towne Courier -- June 28, 2009

Saper Galleries puts a personal touch on art dealing --
LansingCityPulse  -- March 25, 2009

'Oasis' found at Saper Galleries --
The State News -- March 3, 2009

Gallery Exhibits Staying Power --
The Greater Lansing Business Monthly -- January, 2009

Saper Showcases Some Seuss Surprises --
The New Citizens Press -- December 7, 2008

Saper Builds Business Into an East Lansing Mainstay -- Lansing State Journal -- November 17, 2008

Roy Saper's 30th Year -- Admirer of great art, talent -- East Lansing Towne Courier -- November 16, 2008

Saper Exhibit Shows the Many Sides of Dr. Seuss --
Lansing CityPulse -- November 5, 2008

Seuss at Saper - Explore the bright wit, art of the man...
  -- Lansing State Journal -- November 1, 2008

Treasures of Michigan -- August, 2008

Art in a Green Setting -- Michigan Retailers -- July/August, 2008

Painter Callihan's Impressionist Work Tranquil --
Lowdown/State News -- November 15, 2007

Gallery to Show Michigan Artist --
East Lansing Towne Courier -- November 4, 2007

Best Store Event
-- Decor Magazine -- October 2007

Mid-Michigan Collects 25th Anniversary with Roy Saper --
Art Reach of Mid-Michigan -- April, 2007

Take 5 with Roy Saper of Saper Galleries
-- Lansing State Journal -- July 17, 2006

Picasso Exhibit Impresses -- Noise -- May 31, 2006

Authentic Picasso at Saper Galleries -- Lansing State Journal -- May 4, 2006

Picasso exhibit juggles grace, symbolism and whimsy -- Lansing City Pulse -- May 2, 2006

[Nine articles and broadcasts about the 2006 Picasso exhibition at Saper Galleries] --
May, 2006

Bold Art Born of Muscles, Breath, and Sand --
Lansing CityPulse  -- November 9, 2005

Portrait of a Landscape Artist --
Lansing State Journal -- July 20, 2005

A Room with 100 Windows --
Lansing CityPulse -- June 1, 2005

Gallery Resembles Mini Louvre
The State News, Michigan State University -- March 23, 2005

Bending the World with Magic Realism --
Lansing CityPulse -- December 1, 2004

Saper Galleries Hosts Magic Realism Exhibit -- Lansing State Journal -- November 11, 2004

Inside Saper Galleries -- PMA Magazine -- November, 2003

Michigan Framer Receives Award - Roy C. Saper -- Art Business News -- May, 2003

Saper Galleries and Custom Framing Turns 25  -- Lansing City Pulse -- May 28, 2003

Saper Galleries Celebrates First 25 Years with Special Exhibition and Reception -- June, 2002

Mailing Tube Gifts Find Many Uses -- Spotlight East Lansing Public Schools -- June, 2001

Saper Galleries Addition -- Art World News -- June 2000

Tunis Ponsen Exhibition  -- Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, Michigan -- November 19, 1999

Saper Galleries: Providing Valuable Works of Art  -- Greater Lansing Business Monthly -- December 1, 1998

Gallery Addition  -- The State News,  Michigan State University -- June 4, 1998

Picasso and Rembrandt Show 
-- The State News, Michigan State University -- April 17, 1997

By McDaniels Kitchens and Bath, Lansing, Michigan
March 2, 2023

Our 2023 Partners in Design series continued in February with a fascinating event with Roy Saper of Saper Galleries and Custom Framing.

We were very fortunate to welcome Roy to our Lansing, MI showroom for this event, where he shared his extensive knowledge and insights into the art world with our participants. Everyone walked away inspired to seek out art and with a better understanding of the value of the art we purchase and already have in our midst.

All About Saper Galleries
The Lansing community is very lucky to be the home of Saper Galleries, which is a world-renowned, award-winning gallery that serves art collectors from around the world. For 44 years, Saper Galleries has provided a reliable, honest, and quality service to thousands of art collectors. They own and inventory more than 1500 original works of art by 150 artists from 15 countries, which are available to view and purchase.

Their beautiful building houses a museum-like gallery, and they have been in this building for the past 36 years making it a landmark in its East Lansing location. They have updated or added to this building over the years, including a 2,000-square-foot west gallery added in 1998 that was highlighted in the June 2000 issue of Art World News. Saper Galleries prides itself on providing top-quality art for everyone’s tastes and at every budget level. The art styles they showcase range from traditional to impressionist, contemporary, and more.

Saper Galleries and Custom Framing also offers a superior, professional framing service by experts with degrees in art and training in design and color. They have been helping Michigan clients with their framing requirements since the 1970s, and they strive to make the framing process easier for clients by sharing their knowledge and expertise. Their team has the highest regard for preserving the artwork, photographs, and other memorabilia to be framed. Saper Galleries is the only Greater Lansing member of the Professional Picture Framers Association.

The Saper Galleries team is called on to present at national and international conferences, so we were very excited to have them present in our Lansing, MI showroom! Roy Saper is passionate and enthusiastic about art, and his presentation at our event on February 21st was amazing. Roy taught us how to recognize art originals, fakes, and copies. He also helped us understand the value of the art we intend to purchase and that we already own. Roy also taught us how to ask the right questions when purchasing art, having it preserved, and framed.

We could have Roy come back every month to share his encyclopedic knowledge of art with our participants!

A tour of Lansing-area Black art collections
Thursday, February 16, 2023

[Excerpted...] In East Lansing, the Shona people’s art is represented in a dedicated gallery exhibit at Saper Galleries and Custom Framing, opened by Roy Saper 45 years ago. Saper champions the gallery’s ability to bring awareness through art from all over the world and from different ethnicities. A team of one, Saper makes the decisions on the exclusive inventory and, after hundreds of submission reviews over the course of any given year, accepts under 1%. He also attends international art expos to discover unique pieces.

The gallery holds serpentine stone sculptures created in Zimbabwe by the Shona people. An example includes “Dancing Family of 3,” by Francis Chikowore, a 13-inch-tall, hand-carved cobalt stone sculpture of three intertwined people. Saper said the Shona people value ukama, a term that represents the concept or state of togetherness and kinship.

“There’s nothing more precious than family, and the tribe expresses that,” he said.

Saper also showed off a sculpture series of Black figures dressed in natural materials such as fur and beads made from coconuts. It was created by Roberto Hollanda, a Brazilian artist that aims to unite the country’s three identities (African, European and Indigenous). Lastly, he introduced Mathias Muleme, a Ugandan artist whose pieces he first purchased back in 1992. Currently, Muleme’s work at Saper Galleries includes the recently sold, “Ring Around 06,” an embossed etching of six children and an adult in motion underneath the sun, like the playground nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie.”

[The full text of this article is here.]


East Lansing considering collaboration with Artspace on affordable housing for creative types
By: Mikayla Temple, WSYM Lansing Fox 47 News
September 30, 2021

Fox 47 news video
Click photo to view interview with Roy Saper and see Saper Galleries highlights!

Saper Galleries displays for-sale inventory online with live chat feature
By: Lauren Shields
November 30, 2020

                      47 News video
Click photo to view Fox 47 interview

Downtown East Lansing art gallery aims to be as responsive as possible to what their consumers want, including bringing its extensive art collection to their homes and answering their questions via live chat.

Saper Galleries, an art gallery in Downtown East Lansing, has listed all its 1,500 works of art—by 150 artists from 15 countries—on its website, organized by artist name, for a user-friendly consumer experience. Owner Roy Saper says that it has taken years to list everything.

"We started some time ago, but now actively, on really a daily basis, we are adding more and more to our website. We're also engaging with social media to share with people new additions to the gallery as they arrive, which happens every single week," Saper says.

Saper and his team have been on the forefront for many years, he says, using technology to share his inventory with consumers, not only in his community, but throughout the world.

"We package and ship the works out that day, so they can be received literally tomorrow, anywhere in the world, and we do that continually every single week from visitors throughout the country and beyond," Saper smiles.

Now, especially considering the rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 safety, art-lovers can view pieces from the comfort of their own homes. On, one can search by artist, find descriptions and sizes of each piece of art and now also ask questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"So, if you're at home and it's past midnight and you have a question about a work of art, just hit the live chat link and you'll be chatting with someone, and it very well likely will be me, still up at that hour, adding works of art to our website," Saper says. "We'll answer questions immediately that way or by email."

The inventory at Saper Galleries has been hand-selected by Roy Saper himself, and there are a large number of works for sale that are well under $100, he says. One can also find local artists on the Michigan Collection page of the website, which features at least a dozen artists within an hour or so drive from the gallery.

"Our focus is on quality—works of art that people really would enjoy displaying in their own home. We don't buy someone just because of their name," Saper says. "We only acquire works of art by people who create works of art that I'd enjoy having in my own home."

The driving force for this art collector is to make his consumers' experience as efficient and enjoyable as possible, whether the art is for the consumers themselves or a gift for a friend or loved one this holiday season.

"We're trying to be as responsive as we can to what a consumer would want, and if a consumer is at the computer at the early hours of the morning, then we want to be there for them so that when others are waking up, we're packaging a work of art and we're running it to a local carrier to get it to your home, and, if desired, we'll put it in our car and drive it to your front porch," Saper says.

Although the art is online, Saper says one can still safely visit the physical gallery Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parking for the gallery is free.


Spend Locally: Saper Galleries and Custom Framing
November 30, 2020

                      Lansing Info 11/30/20
Trinket boxes and vases from Saper Galleries and Custom Framing that would make wonderful holiday gifts.

If you’ve got a hard-to-shop for person on your Christmas list this year, check out Saper Galleries and Custom Framing. The world-renowned, award-winning brick-and-mortar art gallery features an ever-changing inventory of art displays and custom matting and framing services.

Gallery Owner Roy Saper prides himself on his business being a one-stop-shop for unexpected, unique gifts. “A beauty of artwork as a gift is that it is not consumed or put away and forgotten, but rather is displayed, viewed, and enjoyed every day, forever,” he said. 

Saper created a cheat-sheet of his top five gift ideas in the store, including hand-blown glass vases from Hebron in the Palestinian West Bank. “From this region of difficulty comes the beauty that we are displaying at Saper Galleries and that hundreds have purchased as gifts and for themselves to view always,” Saper said. 

Other popular hand-blown glass vases and pitchers come from Californian artist Rick Hunter. Michigan-themed art is always a favorite, with prints and paintings of Michigan artist Kathleen Chaney Fritz – whose work is filled with lakes, dunes, and Mackinac Island. Wooden boxes made of cocobolo wood from Costa Rica, including nested boxes make the list, as well as hand-painted, wooden boxes by Brazilian artist Monica Martinez. 

Gift certificates for professional custom matting and framing services make a unique gift for those with photos, letters, art, awards, and memorabilia in storage. Since Saper’s been around since 1978 and seen many other galleries come and go in that time, the business has years of testimonials, customer referrals, and handwritten thank you cards from happy customers, who Saper now calls family.

“Every student who wrote me a thank-you note for a presentation I gave to their class may be happy to know that not only did I read each of their letters, but I have them all saved as they are precious gifts that I appreciate and value,” said Saper. “Just as I do every single transaction that we’ve had here – the many tens of thousands of works of art and framing services we’ve provided to people throughout the globe.”

Saper Galleries and Custom Framing is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with free parking at the rear entrance (433 Albert Avenue). Customers can preview a majority of the inventory on their website and purchase orders over the phone or via email. Same-day service is provided for shipping orders, and curbside pickup is also available.

Lansing City Pulse

Aug. 24 2017

Reality captured


                              Saper in east gallery
Reality Captured
Saper Galleries displays hyperrealistic artwork


When I walked into Saper Galleries on Monday, Roy Saper, the gallery’s owner, was wrestling with an elegant Eames Lounge Chair, positioning it under a skylight to watch the solar eclipse. He welcomed me, and for about 20 minutes, we sat there and watched the moon pass across the sun. Then he suggested we look at something almost as beautiful and almost as rare as the natural phenomenon we’d just observed: Saper Galleries’ newest collection of hyper-realistic oil paintings.

“They’re just like the eclipse: you just look at them and marvel,” said Saper about the paintings of Manuel Higueras, Carlos Bruscianelli, Almunia de Miguel, Juan Carlos Ospina Ortiz and John-Mark Gleadow, the five hyperrealist artists on display at Saper Galleries.

“It’s that exacting level of precision that makes hyperrealism so amazing,” said Saper as we looked at one of Higueras’ oil paintings entitled “A Bunch of Grapes Plus One,” depicting a group of grapes so realistically that it could be a photo.

“It highlights every little detail, even the imperfections,” said Saper, and those imperfections are exactly what makes these paintings so realistic.


“One might say, ‘just do a photograph,’” said Saper, “but it’s not a matter of if you can paint something that looks like real life, but can you make it feel like real life? It’s a level of realism that goes beyond a photograph.”


As we made our way deeper into the gallery, Saper stopped at a painting by Bruscianelli depicting a glass vase full of fruit.


“It feels like you could reach into the pitcher and grab a piece of fruit,” marveled Saper. “But then you realize this is a two-dimensional painting.”


But don’t just take Saper’s endorsement — even the U.S. government thinks Bruscianelli is a world talent.


“Carlos Bruscianelli has been attempting to emigrate to the United States from Caracas, Venezuela, to paint,” said Saper, referencing the recent turmoil in the painter’s home.


“After many months of negotiation, Bruscianelli has just obtained a work visa to come and paint for Saper Galleries,” Saper said. “In fact, our federal government has said he’s so good that we want him in our country,” he said, producing a copy of Bruscianelli’s emigration papers saying just that.


We walked on and examined the paintings of Gleadow that depicted faux-photographic oil renditions of book spines arranged neatly in a row.


“These are so good that a lady was in the gallery and she said she wanted this painting,” said Saper, pointing to a piece depicting ragged, used book spines. “And she said that this one had a flaw in it.”


Of course, there was no flaw, just an illusion created by paint and brush.


But still-life paintings have been around forever, it’s a near ancient tradition, with origins in ancient Egypt and Greece. Still, Saper said that artists are revamping this age-old tradition.

“Artists are kind of doing a circle; they’re coming back,” said Saper. “In the last 70 years, we’ve been moving away from still-life, hyperrealism and classical painting — there’s more abstraction today.”


And as Saper pointed out, much of art history had been dedicated to realism, with abstraction only becoming popular in the late 1800s. Today, realism often takes a back seat to different forms of Expressionism. Paintings like those Saper is highlighting, paintings that hearken back to the High Renaissance when realism reigned supreme, seem to be out of fashion today.


“But now we’re seeing artists that were trained in this classical style say it’s okay to paint like this again,” said Saper. “Now we revere these hyperrealistic paintings as something new, but people were painting like this in the 1400s and 1500s. There are ebbs and flows in a lot of aspects of culture, this being one of them.”


As I finished up my tour of Saper Galleries, Saper made a joke about how eclipses are rare, but finding artists with this sort of extraordinary talent is even harder to come by.


“Hyperrealism” Through November 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday Saper Galleries and Custom Framing 433 Albert Ave., East Lansing (517) 351-0815.

40 Years of the Saper Galleries: Art and Technology

  MAY 28, 2018

                      Saper with Hebron Glass

For many businesses, hitting one full year can be a big milestone. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley sat down with one owner who just reached 4 decades of operating in East Lansing: Saper Galleries.

Listen to the interview here.

Roy Saper has been bringing art to East Lansing for 40 years. It began when he was in his 20s running a new business out of his home in downtown East Lansing on Bailey Street way back in 1978, but even though many Art Galleries fold quickly, Roy’s grew and eventually needed a change of venue.

"In 1985 is when I bought this land." recalls Saper. "Interestingly, it was owned by Butterfield Theaters, who owned in downtown East Lansing, the Campus and the State Theatres, they owned this land. [A] vacant parcel in downtown East Lansing at the corner of Albert and Division so that nobody would build a movie theatre here. So, I drove to Southfield, I believe it was, and met with the owners of Butterfield Theaters and they quoted me a price for this land that was three times as much as I paid for my Bailey Street home. and I said "yes." And so I came back to the lot after I bought this and the weeds were growing across the sidewalk. And there were posts around the perimeter of the land- peremeter of the property. There were dead trees on the lot. But I went from there with this imagination of a contemporary-looking, really clean, really nice building with a lot of light."

Though the newly relocated Saper Galleries did have a weakness. An outdoor sculpture garden which left some items vulnerable to purloining.

'Wait. Hey, where's that 7-foot tall sculpture that weights hundreds of pounds?' And that's when I realized. - Roy Saper

"It was crazy. I'd come in in the morning, I'm looking out the window into our courtyard, and thinking, 'Wait. Hey, where's that 7-foot tall sculpture that weights hundreds of pounds?' And that's when I realized." says Saper, about the robbery. "So, to handle that, I spent more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars to enclose that courtyard and expand it. Make it a little bit larger. And I'm glad I did, because it brings, with the lighting that we have, it brings the outdoors in. So, you almost feel like you're outdoors. There're plants, it's beautiful location and it's a beautiful venue for viewing art."

After his youth in Flint, Michigan, Saper came to MSU in East Lansing where he eventually began studying computer science, a burgeoning field in the late 60s and early 70s. . But his love of art collecting shone through and Saper was an early adopter of digital pricing algorithms  and cataloging.  A key to Roy Saper of his 40 years in business.

Technology is the only way that business today can survive. No matter what business it is and we're proud to always be on the cutting edge - Roy Saper

"We were the first gallery, I think anywhere, which used the computer in a way that we still do and more galleries now do." say Saper, proudly. "Now we know every day what countries have visitors on our website and what they're looking at. Technology is the only way that business today can survive. No matter what business it is and we're proud to always be on the cutting edge of that and that's observed by those who find Saper Galleries, even though they might not be able to place Michigan on a map."

Because of its location, just north of MSU, there is a lot of student foot traffic who may have never visited a gallery before and have that deer-in-headlights look just walking into the building.

"I'll tell you what it is: There's this sense of awe and discovery when they come in." says Saper of the wandering MSU students who first encounter the Galleries as a museum of sorts, but with pricetags. "They look around, there first comment it 'I had no idea this place was so large in size.' Its deceiving from the outside. You see a little door. You see a brick wall, but when you come in, it *is* large and when an 18-or-20 year old comes in, often times they look around. They rush out and then about 5 minutes later, they come back with 2 or 3 friends. That's a sign of success as far as I'm concerned."

Last week, Saper Galleries and founder Roy Saper celebrated turning 40 years old. You can swing by and check out the hundreds of works of art in their East Lansing building found on the northwest corner of Albert and Division.


East Lansing working to continue support of local art galleries
By McKenna Ross
Photos by Nic Antaya
December 8, 2016
The State News, East Lansing, Michigan
East Lansing resident Roy Saper poses for a portrait on Dec. 6,Roy Saper 12/8/15 2016 inside of Saper Galleries and Custom Framing at 433 Albert Ave. Saper opened his gallery in 1978 and said, "Saper Galleries provides a resource for everyone who might have (or) who has an interest in art," and that his gallery sells art to clients all over the world.

Tucked away in downtown East Lansing, surrounded by housing and a comic book store on Albert Avenue, stands Saper Galleries — one of several art galleries downtown aiming to bring art and culture to the city.

Roy Saper, the proprietor of the gallery, started his business in 1978 after graduating from MSU. The 6,000 square-foot gallery exhibits work from 150 artists from more than 15 countries with 1,500 pieces of inventory, meaning there’s something for everyone.

“We pride ourselves in that we have artwork for literally everyone,” Saper said. “There’s not a person who would come in here and not find something they like. And (we’re) affordable — we have a ton of artwork that’s under $100.”

Pieces in the gallery range from oil on canvas and pencil sketches to hand-blown glass and wood construction. Saper contributes his success to all the options of art in the gallery.

“It’s a broad range of imagery,” he said. “We’ve found that the clientele that we have is very supportive of this gallery which is why we’ve been here for nearly four decades.”

With only three people on staff, Saper said he works night and day before exhibitions to ensure they open smoothly. He said it’s worth it, though, to see the community appreciate the artwork.
East gallery
Various pieces of art are pictured on Dec. 7, 2016 at Saper Galleries and Custom Framing at 433 Albert Ave. The gallery has numerous windows that allow for the gallery to be illuminated by natural light.

“We like being, and we are, a community gallery,” he said. “A gallery for the people, for the community. That’s been evidence from the shows we’ve had and the response we’ve had to those exhibitions. Around 7,500 clients and they’re very supportive of the gallery, which is nice. We’re in it for the long haul.”

East Lansing has made an effort to be a community welcoming to art. The city has ordinances requiring large projects to dedicate 25 percent of its funds to art, and frequently hosts art and music festivals throughout the year.

City Manager George Lahanas said another way East Lansing supports the art scene is by collaborating with MSU on (Scene) Metrospace, a gallery downtown.

“We split the operation and the costs,” Lahanas said. “They control the content, and we offer free space and some utilities.”

Still, East Lansing’s art scene faces some challenges. Deb Cholewicki, the gallery manager at Grove Gallery and Studios, said it can be hard to make a mark in the city.

“I think overall, a lot of the community doesn’t really get what arts and culture is and that’s starting to change, which is a good thing,” Cholewicki said. “The other challenge is that we have a huge student population. That’s very transient, people are coming and going. Students don’t typically have a lot of money to come and buy art.”
West gallery
Saper agreed. He said when he built his gallery in 1986, he thought he would start a trend in downtown.

“We have a dearth of galleries,” Saper said. “When I bought this vacant parcel of land with nothing on it except a path that went through from Division Street to Albert, my belief was that between here and the Marriott, I thought all these buildings would turn into art galleries. I thought we would start something and all these others would come in, but it’s not easy to run an art gallery.”

When Grove Gallery opened eight years ago, it aimed to add to the art scene. Cholewicki said she thinks it has helped.

“I think it’s constantly evolving and growing,” she said. “I think that every year sees more momentum building for the excitement around the arts.”

The Estates Magazine, East Lansing, Michigan
August, 2016

(Click image below to see larger size text.)

Estates Magazine August

(Click image below to see larger size text.)

City of East Lansing
                                          Business Update Summer 2016

Saper Galleries And East Arbor Architecture Bring Art, Architecture To Downtown EL
Authored on Monday, 13-Jun-2016
Author: Casandra Eriksen
Excerpted from ELI.

Roy, Jennifer, Lou Heiser
Photo: Roy Saper, framing manager Jennifer, and artist Lou Heiser at the opening of Vistas of Michigan: Oil Paintings of Lou Heiser, October 4, 2015

Saper Galleries, long a fixture in downtown Easy Lansing, celebrated its 30th anniversary in downtown East Lansing on Friday, June 3.  Asked how he got started, Roy Saper said, “I opened Saper Galleries in response to the community’s enthusiastic support of the gallery which I was previously operating out of my home at 429 Bailey Street, adjacent to downtown East Lansing.”

Saper emphasized his lifelong love of art “I had been buying art since a teen (from baby-sitting and lawn mowing earnings) and after I came to East Lansing to study at MSU I continued buying art at auctions, selecting what I loved and wanted to own. In the early-to-mid 1970s others enjoyed the art in my collection and asked for my assistance to acquire artworks for them.  By 1978 I created 20th Century Fine Arts, making available to collectors artwork that they told me they would like to own.”

He adds that his business only grew from there. “I continued to buy more artworks that I loved, displayed them in my home, and residents of the East Lansing community called to make appointments to visit and see the collection. Seven years later, in 1985, I realized that there was enough activity that I needed to expand from an appointment basis to a larger gallery with regular hours-and more staff than a sole picture framer who assisted me.”

Saper then hunted for a suitable piece of property for his expanding business.  “I was shown locations of buildings in Okemos and elsewhere in the area but was not pleased with any existing building.  I looked at the house where B/A Florist is (Grand River and Hagadorn) and saw the slate-roofed house as a possibility for the gallery and the smaller house in back as a possible framing facility.  But that just wasn’t right for me.  I considered what was then a vacant tuxedo rental facility which is now a FedEx location on Michigan Avenue near Harrison Roadhouse - but I wasn’t totally happy with that either.”

After some fruitless effort, Saper contacted the City of East Lansing and asked what was available.  He was told that “…the only vacant parcel of property in downtown East Lansing was at the corner of Albert Avenue and Division Street, land that was overgrown with weeds reaching out onto the sidewalk, posts at the perimeter to keep cars off the vacant lot, and overgrown trees.”  Saper then drove to the Detroit area to talk to the owner of Butterfield Theaters who owned the land at the time, and bought it from him for nearly three times for what he paid for his house.

“And now, 30 years later, I have far outgrown the 6,000 square feet (plus lower level) of the existing building and could easily use four-times what we have to better display the 1,500 artworks now in our inventory.  I created the Gallery 30 years ago because our clients then-and now-have been so supportive of what we’ve made available to them.”

When asked what his goals are for the future of Saper Galleries, Saper said “I have goals of every day and the next.  We will continue to serve the interests and needs of every person who wishes to acquire a work of art for their home or office or as a gift.  For those who have artwork that needs to be cleaned, restored or repaired, we will continue to provide the proper treatment to ensure the long term preservation of the artwork.”

He emphasized the diversity of the work at Saper Galleries, stating that their “goals are to add more professional staff so that every task asked of us, from appraisals and research, to providing expert witness testimony in court cases involving art fraud, are handled quickly, professionally, and accurately, so that all of our clients receive the services they request-and more.”

...Saper Galleries is located at 433 Albert Avenue in downtown East Lansing. For more information you can visit their website

A Passion for Community

Saper Galleries Celebrates 30 Years
Lansing City Pulse

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 — Thirty years ago, Roy Saper opened the doors of Saper Galleries and Custom Framing in downtown East Lansing.
Front of Saper Galleries
The gallery celebrates the anniversary with a free event Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The gallery’s collection features over 1,500 works of art by over 150 artists from 15 countries.

Roy Saper, founder and owner of the gallery, has been involved in the East Lansing community since he came to Michigan State University as a 17-year-old freshman in 1969. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Saper discovered his passion for art when he bought three Picasso reproductions at Harvard Coop in Cambridge when he was a preteen.

“I have always loved, admired and have been passionate about the amazing talent of the great artists whose works I was exposed to in significant museums of quality art,” Saper said.

Two of the museums he frequented were the Art Institute in Chicago and the Flint Institute of Art.

“I started buying what I could, attended art auctions as a teen and bought artwork I could afford,” Saper said. “Tens of thousands of transactions later, I have placed original artworks in homes, offices hotels, and other facilities worldwide — and do so every day from downtown East Lansing.”

After graduating from MSU in 1978, Roy Saper started an in-home gallery on Bailey Street in East Lansing. In 1985, he bought land in downtown East Lansing and designed Saper Galleries and Custom Framing. The gallery opened in 1986.

“I am at the gallery Monday through Saturday and the first Sunday of every month,” Saper said. “When I’m not at the gallery, I am generally working at home by computer, handling our international and internet orders, communications with clients, artist evaluations, buying art, processing orders and managing our operations, as well as live chat inquiries.”

A large part of Saper Galleries’ success is its commitment to community. Saper and his family invite schools and organizations into the gallery for special events and educational programs.

“I and Saper Galleries are and have been very actively involved within the Greater Lansing community in many ways,” Saper said. “We support well over 100 organizations.”

Saper was awarded the East Lansing Crystal Award in 1988 for service to the community.
                                    Seuss visitors
“I made a commitment to serve, and that won't be diminished,” Saper said. “True commitment, dedication and passion does not fade. It is part of the heart, a part of the person.”

The 30th anniversary celebration will acknowledge Saper Galleries’ success, as well as an celebrate others who have dedicated time, interest and funds toward promoting arts in the community. Guitarist Elden Kelly will be provide music for the event, which is open to the public.

“Friends and those new to Saper Galleries can enjoy the art, music, beauty and friendships,” Saper said. “This is my living room, where all are welcome — particularly those who have never set foot in an art gallery before or considered acquiring a work of art.”

While 30 years is a great accomplishment, Saper has no plans to stop anytime soon.

“I am 64 and want to keep going another 50 years,” Saper said.

Saper Galleries 30th Anniversary Celebration
5-8 p.m. Friday, June 3
Saper Galleries and Custom Framing
433 Albert Ave., East Lansing
(517) 351-0815,

The Estates Magazine, East Lansing, Michigan
February 2016

(Click image below to read in larger size)

The Estates Magazine,
                                      February 2016

Saper Galleries To Host Winter Creative Mixer Tonight
Thursday, 28-Jan-2016
Author: Caitlin Leppert

Saper Galleries this
                                          winterThis Thursday, Saper Galleries will open their doors from 5-7 PM to welcome East Lansing creatives for the Arts Council of Greater Lansing Winter Creative Mixer. The event, sponsored by The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, is free of charge, and attendees will be treated to complimentary snacks and beverages.

Gallery owner Roy Saper said the event will provide a platform for all types of creatives to network and collaborate.

“[The event is] bringing together people that have this common thread that ties to an overall larger umbrella that already exists in other areas, like government and politics. People learning to share, exchange and explore in creativity.”

East Lansing boasts a historically friendly relationship with the arts. The Arts Council of Greater Lansing hosts three creative mixers each year, and between the mixers, multiple art and music festivals take over East Lansing’s downtown streets.

In the nearly 38 years since its conception, Saper Galleries has done its fair share of arts promotion within the City. The gallery welcomes between 100 and 200 organizations each year, including East Lansing High School students, MSU education students and ESL students.

Saper said cities thrive when they fully embrace the arts.

“Creativity finds new explorations for a city. Creativity is how progress is made. Communities that don't encourage creativity don't foster and grow.”

East Lansing continues to see growth, due, in part, to events such as Thursday’s mixer. Yet, there is still progress to be made. Saper estimated the City has achieved only five percent of its potential.

According to Saper, the other 95 percent could be achieved by establishing a downtown performing arts venue, constructing an open studio space for artists to create and audiences to watch, as well as create a gallery to display art from the former Kresge Art Museum.

“There are a thousand and one possibilities… East Lansing just needs to take initiative,” he said.

Thursday’s Winter Creative Mixer could be the collaborative platform to springboard such initiatives, but at the very least, the mixer will get East Lansing’s artists together for an evening of conversation, collaboration and inspiration.

Saper Galleries is located at 433 Albert Avenue.

Rare glass from the West Bank finds a home in East Lansing

Broadcast on Current State, January 7, 2016

                                    Hebron glass pitcher as it appears
                                    normally and when illuminated.
A Hebron glass pitcher as it appears normally and when illuminated.    KATIE COOK / WKAR

Hebron glass is a type of hand-blown glass made in the Palestinian West Bank, and Saper Galleries in East Lansing has the world’s largest collection of it outside the Middle East. We hear from Roy Saper about this beautiful glass.


 Gallery owner Roy Saper admires
                                  some pieces of Hebron glass from the
Gallery owner Roy Saper admires some pieces of Hebron gl
ass from the collection.


The Story Behind The World’s Largest Collection of Hebron Glass Now Displayed at Saper Galleries

Sunday, December 27, 2015
©2016 The New Citizens Press
By TNCP Staff

Second and
                                  third generations in HebronRoy Saper stands with second and third generations to the elder Hamzeh Natsheh, all involved in the family glassblowing business just as were the many generations of the Natsheh family before them over more than 700 years. They are preparing to package the 30 Hebron glass vases. Saper suggested that he would be back later to pick them up.  He was told he would not succeed in getting through the checkpoint back into Israel with them. They were shipped.

For more than 2,000 years hand-blown glass has been made in Hebron, the largest city in the Palestinian West Bank.  Although, the beautiful glass works are rarely seen outside of the Middle East, Hebron artisans created 100 of the unique, swirl-colored hand-blown glass vases, decanters and pitchers for the opening of The Hebron Glass Collection at Saper Galleries located at 433 Albert Avenue in downtown East Lansing.

However, according to Roy Saper, the owner of the gallery, there is so much more to the story, and extraordinary events led him to find and seek out these beautiful works of art.  He has always worked intuitively when choosing the pieces for his gallery.  Motivated by the traditions of the ancient craft of glass blowing Saper was willing to take the arduous trip to find the historic glassblower's shop that held the art that represented struggle, life, death and history within the vessels. 

Saper's desire to bring the vividly colored art back to Michigan was a journey that he and his family will not soon forget.

The Trip

Due to political, security and other challenges in the Hebron area, it is difficult for the glass artists to export their creations and the lack of tourism reduces the opportunity for the world to see, enjoy and collect the hand-blown glass that artisans have learned to create from their parents as passed down from prior generations.

In 2012, Saper and his wife, Nell Kuhnmuench and son, Jay, visited the one remaining family-owned business, which is still making glass in Hebron, a small hot and dusty town, in the West Bank of the Palestinian territory.

Saper said, “On a very hot afternoon we went through shelves of glass and hand-selected 51 vases to be sent to us in the United States for the visitors to Saper Galleries.” 

Saper said, "I was immediately captivated by the swirling colors achieved by the glass-blowers, unlike any other blown glass I've seen before or made in any other country."

"This glass truly is unusual and is also Fair Trade.  The glass blowers are paid fair wages and use sustainable methods in their operation."

Saper's son was selected to serve as an intern for an American Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Nablus, West Bank where he collaborated with local university students to teach young Palestinian refugees.  Jay's focus was teaching the arts, particularly music and drama, to young children in an ancient city known for training suicide bombers during the Palestinian uprisings 12 years ago.  Saper and his wife went to Nablus toward the end of the summer of 2012 to pick Jay up after his couple month experience of teaching and working with the Arab children.

It was not an easy trip for the couple.  After picking up Jay in the West Bank they were detained for three or four hours at an Israeli check point near an Israeli settlement.  They were ordered out of their car. 

Saper said, “Nell and I were separated from Jay and each put in metal holding cells while we were each interrogated and searched before we were eventually permitted to pass into Israel after quite an extensive ordeal that caused me to wonder if we would ever be reunited with our son.”

The harrowing experience included the presence of dogs, automatic weapons, and guards who kept them in place until another interrogator would arrive to ask them more questions after they grilled Jay. 

The concern of their interrogators was whether they would be a risk to the security of Israel after having spent time in the West Bank said Saper. 

“My camera showed that we were associating with Arab Muslims such as an artist who showed us her city including the rubble of bombed out homes that were destroyed by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  The Arab artist from Nablus became a friend of my older son, Adam, who also interned at the NGO a couple years earlier.  We were in an area where there were no tourists, certainly no Americans, and we posed a concern to the IDF at the checkpoint who were there to protect Israel from any potential risk,” said Saper.

The Long History

Hand-blown Hebron glass is a Palestinian tradition that is centuries old.  The artisans today blow glass in Hebron just like their parents and grandparents and prior generations did before them.  Hebron glass dates back 2,000 years and the city is said to be the oldest continually occupied city in the world.  It is mentioned in the Bible 87 times and is said to have been founded more than 3,700 years ago. 

Hebron artisans use long metal hollow tubes to pick up a slurry of molten recycled glass in an 1,800 degree furnace and blow through the tube to expand the glass, turning the tube and using metal tools to form the glass into the desired shape.  Additional molten glass is added to the blown shape and is swirled into the magical designs that define the style of Hebron glass.  The functional glass vessels are often of ancient Phoenician designs and are largely amber, green or blue colors made from molten recycled glass and cobalt.

An article written by Gail Simmons entitled “Hebron's Glass Factory” in ARAMCO World, the writer was told, “Twenty-five years ago, hundreds of tourists came to Hebron every day, and we had no export market. Now that Hebron is off the tourist map, we're trying to open new markets, exporting to European countries, the USA, Canada."

The owner of the glass studio Saper visited Hamzeh Natsheh who told him that all the glassmakers other than his family are no longer making glass.  

From the above referenced article, Natsheh said: "When I was born, there were around 15 glass manufacturers in Hebron, based in the old city  Now, my cousin and I are the last two glassblowers in our family. This is a very hard job."

The glassmakers in Hebron were dealt a big blow when the unrest began.  Most of the glassmakers in Hebron are out of business as there is no tourist traffic to Hebron.  However, that did not deter Saper from taking the time to pause and reflect before his trip to Palestine.  His goal was to bring a family heritage of glassblowing going back centuries to this country.  The deeper-rooted issue of the unstable nature of the area and the fact that artisans were able to push beyond those limits and still create were in the forefront of his decision to pursue the creative glass pieces.

The Future

There is clearly a chance that glassblowing in Hebron will cease to exist.  Natsheh 's family has been making glass in Hebron for 700 years and it will continue only if the younger generations maintain the traditions of their ancestors and keep the family glassmaking secrets in production.  Natsheh told Saper he is concerned about China mass producing glass and the possibility of that cutting into the market for original hand-made Phoenician glass from Hebron. 

In an effort to increase demand for Hebron glass, Natsheh's family is at the early stages of engaging in some export while starting to expand the range of items made in their glass furnaces.  But as the elder glass blowers age, their reliance on the younger generations in their family becomes critical in keeping the tradition of Hebron glass alive. "We are fortunate to have the original Hebron glass still being produced, but as the younger glass blowers face competing interests in a more global society, the future of Hebron glass as it has been known for 2,000 years is at risk,” Saper noted.

Saper was pleased to see young people working in the shop, he said, “I was at Hamzeh's glass workshop, I was also served by what may have been his son and his two grandsons, all working.  The grandsons looked to be school-age children -- and the future of Hebron glass.”

The Reality

The reality is that terror and danger in and around Hebron and throughout much of the Palestinian territories is destabilizing for businesses.  The United Nations provides weekly reports showing evidence of the continual daily conflicts between Israelis and the Palestinian territories. 

Saper recounts, “When I was walking to my car parked in a large area of building rubble, two Arabs starting running fast toward me and when they approached me they looked scared and pleaded for me to do whatever I could to help them from the terror they are experiencing in Hebron.  The Muslim Arabs were in fear because of the terror they were experiencing from Israeli settlers and the IDF.”

He added, “In all the interactions and exchanges I had with Arab Muslims driving throughout much of Palestine, they each were peaceful, welcoming, warm, sharing drinks and fresh figs with us during Ramadan (when they were not able to eat or drink), wanting to have their photos taken with us.  We were invited to homes, given food to take for the road, taken to places we wanted to visit, and treated like invited guests.”

While there does not seem to be an end in sight to the conflict, Saper remains optimistic. 

He said, “Since visiting Hebron three years ago I have since re-ordered nearly 200 glass vases and pitchers to be made for me by Hamzeh's family of multiple generations.  Hamzeh sends me photos of glass that they've made over the years and I select the styles, colors, and sizes of those I like -- and several months later the boxes start to arrive.  Each glass vase was made explicitly for us based on what I love -- and know others will as well.  There is no collection of Hebron glass anywhere in the world as large as what we have here.  As long as Hamzeh's family continues to make them for us, we will continue to have them on display at Saper Galleries.”

The hand-blown Hebron glass collection will be available at Saper Galleries through February [or until sold out].  Videos showing the glass-makers creating the glass in the ancient tradition are on the Saper Galleries website,   The gallery, now in its 37th year, is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the first Sundays monthly from 1 to 4 p.m. at 433 Albert  Avenue in downtown East Lansing, MI.  The gallery, fully accessible and welcoming to all, may be contacted at 517-351-0815 and 

Lansing City Pulse

Dec. 1 2015

Ancient glass -- Saper Galleries showcases glass art from Hebron

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 — For over 2,000 years, hand-blown glass has been made in Hebron, the largest city in the Palestinian West Bank. Rarely seen outside of the Middle East, 100 of these unique, swirl-colored hand-blown glass vases, decanters and pitchers made by Hebron artisans will be on display at East Lansing’s Saper Galleries.Square decanter with stopper

Hebron artisans use long metal hollow tubes to pick up a slurry of molten recycled glass in an 1,800 degree furnace and blow through the tube to expand the glass, turning the tube and using metal tools to form the glass into the desired shape. Additional molten glass is added to the blown shape and is swirled into the unique designs that define the style of Hebron glass. The functional glass vessels are often of ancient Phoenician designs and are largely amber, green or blue colors made from molten recycled glass.
Many artisans learn the glass blowing craft from their parents as it is passed down from prior generations. In 2012, Saper Galleries owner Roy Saper and his family visited one of the few remaining family-owned businesses in Hebron that is still making glass based on Phoenician traditions. Residents of the region claim that nearly a dozen other glass blowing studios ha
ve closed in recent years.
"I was immediately capt
Ancient style vaseivated by the swirling colors achieved by the glass-blowers, unlike any other blown glass I've seen before or made in any other country," Saper said. "This glass truly is unusual and is also Fair Trade. The glass blowers are paid fair wages and use sustainable methods in their operation."
Due to political, security and other challenges in the Hebron area, it is difficult for glass artists to export their works. The lack of tourism reduces the opportunity for the world to see or purchase these hand-blown glassworks.
Since 2012, Hebron artisans have collaborated with Saper Galleries to create a variety of exclusive glass items for the gallery. The 100 vases, pitchers and decanters created this summer for the gallery is the largest collection of Hebron glass designs ever exhibited together outside of the Middle East.

The Hebron Glass Collection at Saper Galleries opens Sunday with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. at Saper Galleries. The opening is free, open to the public and is fully accessible.  The exhibition will continue through January 2016, and the gallery is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month.

Artist Meet And Greet At Saper Galleries: Lou Heiser's Vistas Of Michigan


Authored on Friday, 2-Oct-2015

Author: Rosalind Arch

Artist Lou Heiser and Saper
                                Galleries owner Roy Saper

Artist Lou Heiser and Saper Galleries owner Roy Saper

This weekend, discover artist-eye views of Mother Nature that exist far closer to home than you might imagine.

Artist Lou Heiser will take viewers on a journey through the beautiful landscapes of Michigan with his collection of oil paintings entitled “Vistas of Michigan.” The exhibition will be opening this Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 1 to 4pm at Saper Galleries in downtown East Lansing. It is free and open to the public.

Saper Galleries is a long-standing East Lansing gallery that has acquired its much deserved attention over the past 37 years by serving both the local community and art collectors from all over the globe. Owner, Roy Saper started the business in 1978, in his first home at 429 Bailey Street in East Lansing. Even then he was committed to a philosophy of sharing quality art with fellow residents. “I create these exhibitions, always free to everyone, as a commitment to community and love of sharing,” says Saper.

Over 1,500 original works of art by 150 artists are available at Saper Galleries, and the inventory is always changing. “I like original artwork that connects with people,” Saper states. He adds that the gallery strives to stock one of a kind art and diverse collections that appeal to all different tastes and that only a few talented individuals are selected every year from an incredible number of artists vying to be represented in the collection. Lou Heiser is one of those few.

Saper recognized the quality of Heiser’s work immediately, and has displayed his oil paintings since the artist approached him in 2009. “What I like, in particular, about Lou Heiser’s paintings,” reflects Saper, “is their relevance, and that he has a technical proficiency and maturity that allows him to achieve the results he is seeking.”

Heiser is a successful architect and landscape painter from Chicago, Illinois. He has designed houses all over the country, including homes in Leelanau County, Michigan, and his oil paintings are featured in various galleries across the state.

Vistas Of Michigan explores the nooks and crannies of Michigan in a collection of oil paintings that reflect the allure of nature and the artist’s imagination. “The paintings portray scenes that he visits near where he lives up north,” notes Saper, “and he captures the exaggerated colors as a reflection of what his mind's eye sees. He does not paint for an audience, he paints for himself, and the joy and exuberance in his paintings is evident.”

The artist will be in East Lansing to meet with gallery visitors during the First Sunday Gallery Walk, Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 1 to 4pm at Saper Galleries, 433 Albert, in downtown East Lansing. The exhibition will continue through December, Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and the first Sunday monthly from 1 to 4pm. Further information can be found at

Wednesday, December 10,2014
How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes
New Saper Exhibit Threatens to Peel the Skin Off the Real World

by Jonathan Griffith

While browsing the eclectic works along the walls of East Lansing’s Saper Galleries, it’s easy to feel like you’ve tumbled down one hell of a cultural rabbit hole. The pieces come from eras throughout time and from all over the world, with styles and media as varied as the subject matter. If there could be a factor that lends consistency to this artistic smorgasbord, it’s the enthusiasm for the works by the gallery’s owner, Roy Saper. With energetic aplomb, Saper can illustrate the ways of how well deserved an exhibit’s home on his walls can be.

On the gallery’s walls, you’ll witness the all out naval combat of John Bentham-Dinsdale’s warships as well as serene windows into early 20th century life by Fabienne Delacroix.  But if Saper’s new collection of still-life paintings of fruit and jars by Colombian born artist Juan Carlos Ospina Ortiz seems a little dry at first, don’t be so quick to dismiss it.  Just think of Saper as Morpheus from the late ‘90s cyberpunk actioner “The Matrix” in the pivotal scene where he proffers the film’s hero with a perception-altering choice: Believe what you want to believe and walk away or listen to Saper and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

“This guy is a master of his style and that is evident by his technical skill,” Saper said while admiring one of Ortiz’s pieces.  “That’s the kind of artist that deserves attention and that’s why we brought his collection here.”

The works in Ortiz’s collection convey a complexity that the casual observer might not notice at first glance.  The still life works feature the subject matter one would expect from the form: Bowls of fruit and pitchers set atop platforms that are draped in cloth.  But it’s when the duration of your viewing passes a “moment’s glance” that the works really come to life. Everything down to the leaves on the grapes is rendered in stunning detail.  Those very leaves are one of many details that Saper feels serve as testament to the mastery conveyed in the works.

“A great artist sees details that others don’t see,” Saper said. “You might see a leaf, but (someone like Ortiz) sees 30 shades of green.  When you look at them in the painting, you feel like you could touch them.”

But the rabbit hole goes deeper still.  Ortiz repeats several objects in the works that have reflective surfaces like steel pitchers or glass jugs.  These objects might initially seem banal or incidental at first, but if you look closely at the reflection of the surfaces, it’s almost like an entire other work.

The tiny details of the environment in which the work was created bend and diffuse around the object in a manner that you almost expect to see your own face as you look at the painting.  You can even see the lamp that brightly illumined the workspace and dictated the lightning dynamic of the objects that were rendered.

Saper receives thousands of submissions per year, but he admits Ortiz’s garnered his curiosity. It wasn’t until Ortiz’s works were in front of him, however, that Saper’s attention was piqued.

“Ortiz is the Tiger Woods, the concert master of the orchestra,” gushed Saper.  “He’s a talent that just so excels, I just want to share it.”

The technical prowess on display in Ortiz’s work is undeniable.  It would seem that no detail is too small for him tackle, be it the labyrinthine reliefs on a stand that holds fruit or the tiny reflections of light in the seeds of the fruit itself.  If talent seeped in the classic style is not enough to give you moment to garner your interest, Saper has one more facet to share that may win your attention.

“It’s these kinds of works that encourage us to look at things in a new light,” Saper said. “It’s gives us cause to pause and reflect. To take in and appreciate all that’s out there that costs nothing to enjoy.”

The Greater Lansing Business Monthly


Original article here.

It’s 12:45 in the morning and Roy Saper is sitting by his computer, signed on to his gallery’s website. Why? Because it’s 2:45 p.m. in Australia and that’s where his customers are. Or they’re in Japan or Spain or anywhere else in the world where Saper’s eclectic collection creates interest . . . and sales.

Roy Saper in the east gallery

Saper Galleries and Custom Framing, from its tucked-away corner of Albert Avenue and Division Street in East Lansing, navigates the international art market in ways that reflect Saper’s personal approach to his artists and customers.

His inventory includes 1,500 original items drawn from a roster of 150 artists. There are works by masters such as Rembrandt etchings and Picasso lithographs. He has modern works by popular artists like Peter Max, Norman Rockwell, Fabienne Delacroix and Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. There are glass vases, sculpted ceramics and cocobolo wood bowls from Costa Rica.

“I buy them all for only one reason,” Saper said. “Because I like them. What I don’t do is buy what other people are selling.” Unlike other galleries, he says he doesn’t require artists to deal exclusively with him or set their prices. “I ask only what they would like for their art.”

His lower-cost location in East Lansing offers pricing advantages that benefit artists and customers. “They’re not paying the premium that they would at a big city gallery.” But for the right works, they can still pay handsomely. There is art in his studio priced as high as $140,000.

But that isn’t what sustains his base of 7,000 active customers. “A great gallery doesn’t have to be expensive,” Saper said. Some of his art sells for as little as $20. It is the mix of works, styles and price points that Saper says account for the 10,000 transactions he’s made since opening for business in 1978. He cited revenues over that time of “eight figures” or, more broadly, “a million dollars a year over 36 years.”

It’s the personal touch, the attention to customer needs, that has made him successful. Saper manages his gallery as if it were his home; customers are welcomed as guests and they often leave as friends.

Saper started his gallery business in his first home on Bailey Street before moving to Albert Avenue in 1986. He designed the gallery, which is recognized for its creative use of lights and space. It reflects his artistic side, music, most notably. While a student at MSU, Saper played viola in the school’s chamber orchestra and symphony and later sat with the Lansing, Saginaw and Flint Symphonies. His academic studies have a harder edge — computer science, engineering and economics. Together, these create a very savvy business persona.

And no, Saper does not paint or sculpt. “There is no need for me to ever attempt it,” he said. “I’d rather enjoy what others are doing.”

What Saper has been able to do is translate a passion for customer service to his website which, while not particularly sophisticated, is functional, friendly and informative.

“There’s not a lot of flash” he said. “This is what people want: see it quick, see what it costs and communicate with the seller.”

“The website cost us zero to build,” added Saper. “A large percentage of the people will have a good experience and will come back. And then the next week they come back and order something else. It’s the basics: show people what you have, respond quickly. We respond so quickly people can’t believe it.”

Customers praise Saper the gallery website. There are dozens of testimonials from across the globe — a power sales tool, according to Saper.

Nagisa from Wakayama, Japan writes “Hi Roy, actually, that was such quick delivery, so I was surprised. Delivery was perfect. The art works are splendid. Thank you.”

Or from Lynn, in Calgary, Alberta Canada “Roy, I just wanted to quickly touch base and let you know that my son absolutely loved the Jeff Margolin sculpture that we got for him for graduation. This special occasion was made even more so by this unique art piece, and I have you to thank for making that all possible.”

Closer to home, from Lansing, Bill wrote “Thanks for your enthusiasm and knowledge of the contemporary art scene and for helping us put together a collection, which we are very happy with. I love visiting your gallery and feasting on the artists’ work you represent.”

The flow of conversation is continuous. Saper Galleries’ website tracks communications with a live feed feature, which highlights minute-by-minute testaments. It adds immediacy, credibility and trust to his operation.

“It’s opened up a world that we never really knew existed,” Saper said. “We communicate with people overseas like we are talking with people next door.” And sometimes it happens at 12.45 in the morning.

Author: Mickey Hirten
Mickey Hirten is an award winning writer and editor. He has been executive editor of the Lansing State Journal, the Burlington Free Press in Vermont, and was the financial editor and a columnist for the Baltimore Evening Sun. He is the current president of the Michigan Press Association. His wife, Maureen Hirten, is director of the Capital Area District Library.

First Sunday Gallery Walk
Lansing State Journal online
August 3, 2014

Fabienne Delacroix
Robert Killips | Lansing State Journal
Roy Saper of Saper Galleries in East Lansing talks about the work of French artist
Fabienne Delacroix he has on exhibition.  The gallery is open for the First Sunday Gallery Walk.

Hilary Eddy
Robert Killips | Lansing State Journal
Jackie Borszich looks at the smooth and luminescent oil paintings of Hilary Eddy
at Saper Galleries in East Lansing as part of the First Sunday Gallery Walk.

Hebron Glass
Robert Killips | Lansing State Journal
A man looks at the pottery on display at Saper Galleries in East Lansing Sunday.

Today's Feature: Paintings of Parisian Artist Fabienne Delacroix
East Lansing, MI

8/1/2014 - 9/30/2014
433 Albert Avenue
East Lansing, MI

                                                          DelacroixFabienne Delacroix is a painter whose works are steeped in the poetry of another time. Like her father, the renowned artist Michel Delacroix, her quiet, lyrical canvases are windows on the past - that legendary era of memory and desire, when life was sweet and pleasures innocent and simple. She paints this simpler time with a nostalgia that seems surprising in one so young, until one remembers that the word nostalgia has its roots in an ancient Greek term meaning "to return home."

Home for Fabienne Delacroix is the inspirational landscape of her beloved country, France. Her province is the harmony that reigned during the Belle Époque (the "beautiful era" in France and Belgium between 1871 and 1914), that carefree period when people flocked to the French Riviera to take country walks and bathe in the waters off their shores. This point of departure, amid the glorious natural beauty of the South of France, only further illuminates Fabienne Delacroix's love of romance and extraordinary natural gifts as a painter.

Fabienne's natural gifts developed with intimate schooling that few painters are fortunate to have received. Born in 1972, she is the third and youngest child of Michel Delacroix. To this day, she remembers the long afternoons of her childhood when she played away the hours in her father's studio as he quietly worked away at his easel. By the age of 10, following her family's return to France after a brief stay in the United States, she began to paint. Two years later, she showed her work for the first time at a gallery in Carmel, California, where it proved so popular that it sold out.

Unlike Michel, who is best known for his cityscapes, Fabienne more often paints seascapes and pastoral landscapes.

While she shares many of her father's interests, she is very much an artist in her own right. Her style and choice of subjects, often pastoral landscapes, are uniquely her own and her palette and management of color are marked by her own strong character. Fabienne displays a mastery of light and color that is similar to that of French Impressionism. She uses vibrant colors and each composition is full of detail. The mastery of her medium and her intuitive capacity to distill the essence of a land and seascape in her images have already established Fabienne Delacroix as a noteworthy artist.

This summer Fabienne Delacroix's painting are being exhibited in Boston and New York and she also had recent solo exhibitions in Washington, DC, San Francisco and Japan. The artist contacted gallery owner Roy Saper about displaying her work in East Lansing earlier this year and the first seven paintings just arrived depicting families in a simpler time and place enjoying shared leisure activities in parks, villages and at sea.

The paintings are small, intimate and inspired by the artist's early childhood memories in French literature and poetry. Delacroix recently returned to her native France after living in Madagascar where the earthen colors have influenced her palette.

Saper Galleries is displaying the original paintings by Fabienne Delacroix through September at 433 Albert Avenue in downtown East Lansing Monday through Saturday 10am to 6pm and the First Sundays monthly from 1 to 4pm. Phone 517-351-0815 for more information or visit to link to photos of Fabienne and her artw ork.

Award-winning Saper Galleries has been providing artwork and custom framing services to East Lansing and the world since 1978. The gallery displays 1,500 original works of art by 150 artists from 15 countries.

Michigan's beauty on display at East Lansing gallery

March 16, 2014            Towne Courier

EAST LANSING — Kathleen Chaney Fritz paints Michigan scenes such at boating on its lakes, lighthouses, Mackinac Island, vineyards, harvests, sand dunes and families sharing Michigan's beauty.

Pictured RocksNew oil paintings by the Michigan artist are on display at downtown East Lansing's Saper Galleries.
"Her imager
y is timeless; her paintings awaken the senses and allow us to revel in the beauty that is unique to our Great Lakes state," observes gallery owner Roy Saper.

A graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design, Chaney Fritz worked for many years as a freelance illustrator, honing her skills in drawing and her ability to quickly deliver on a variety of projects.

Since 1986 she has been a professional artist, painting Michigan scenes that viewers recognize and enjoy.

More than 300 of her creations have been acquired by visitors to Saper Galleri
Silent Nightes since the gallery started representing her five years ago.

Her Michigan scenes display her talent to convey a special feeling, using paint, brush and palette knife .

The water reflections, the shadows, the brilliant sun, the textures of flower petals, vistas all come to life in her paintings.

Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave., downtown East Lansing, will continue to display the paintings and limited editions of Kathleen Chaney Fritz Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and March 2 – and all first Sundays monthly – from 1 to 4 p.m.

Art Comes Alive Art Competition
Cincinnati, Ohio
June, 2013


Roy Saper is the creator and owner of Saper Galleries and Custom Framing, a full service fine arts gallery based in East Lansing, Michigan, USA. Saper Galleries serves customers world-wide with an actively accessed website which receives inquiries from nearly 100 countries from where 48 languages are spoken. In 1986 Saper designed and built its present 6,000 square foot contemporary gallery which has won numerous awards for its design, efficiency and use of large skylights to bathe the gallery interior with natural daylight. Saper has also won awards for its marketing successes, use of computer technology, and creative management. In August, 2009 Saper was recognized with the Art Business News Gallery Excellence Award, the top honor in the United States presented to an art gallery for the success of it exhibitions. Saper Galleries was recognized by Décor Magazine as the number one American gallery in 2007 for its Picasso exhibition. The 2009 award was for its Dr. Seuss art exhibition. Saper has been recognized as the Outstanding Small Business Person of the Year by the Lansing Michigan Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the Business Arts Award by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. Saper regularly juries art exhibitions throughout the United States and lectures on all aspects of collecting art and other topics such as the challenge of modern art, art and architecture, fakes and forgeries, art-in-public places, and other art topics. He is called on to serve as an expert witness in legal cases involving art fraud and insurance cases. Saper also serves as an art appraiser for community art evaluation events, advising people of the value of their artwork, and as a consultant to various arts organizations. | 1 Gallery Contract Award

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
'We're going to keep on going'
After cancer surgery, Roy Saper is proudly back to 'not normal'

by Lawrence Cosentino
City Pulse

                                                          Saper, June
                                                          2013 Roy Saper was getting high in his kitchen last week from making chocolate chip pecan waffles. Pour, sprinkle, press, sizzle.

I told him I needed to stop at one waffle.

“No, we’re going to keep on going,” he said. “That’s the deal.”

The owner of East Lansing’s Saper Galleries is persuasive enough when he’s hawking a Jiang Tie-Feng serigraph or a Tunis Ponsen watercolor. Now that he’s trumpeting the benefits of early cancer detection, he’s unstoppable.

Before Saper’s cancer surgery March 14, almost everything flipped his hair-trigger enthusiasm switch. Now everything does, period.
“I wore a catheter for two weeks, which is kind of cool,” he beamed. He explained that it helped him multitask. “You don´t have to go to the bathroom. It´s doing it for you.”

Saper, 61, said he feels “a thousand percent better” after a radical prostatectomy and a difficult post-operation month. His doctor doesn’t guarantee he’s cancer-free, but Saper is sure that the operation saved his life.

“If I can make it to five years, that´s good,” he said. “If I can make it to 10, that´s really good. I´m going for 50.”

Saper’s diagnosis in early March, after a biopsy came up positive for aggressive prostate cancer, was just a hair short of there’s-no-point-in-operating. He considers any chance to tell his story, including this one, to be another reward for his "temporary inconvenience."

“Waiting too long could be an end-of-life decision,” he said. “There is no question but that if I didn´t bother getting retested in early 2013 and waited a year or so, that would have been too late.”

If he did nothing, Saper was told, he had two to five years to live. The cancer cells were doubling every four months.
"You´d like your investments to do that," he said.

Saper is an art dealer, but his training is in quantitative economics. He plots and graphs everything, from the maple syrup he makes in his kitchen to his utility bills for the last 20 years. He keeps a spreadsheet on the sap yield of each tree on his lot for each year, how much syrup was produced and how long it took to boil it down.

From December 2010 to January 2013, another spreadsheet on Saper’s computer tracked an alarming 64 percent increase in prostate specific antigen. As men get older, PSA goes up, but not that fast, unless something is wrong. In January, his doctor felt a lump on his prostate and sent him to a specialist.

“People who don´t go to a doctor for a physical, who don´t get a PSA test, it´s like never taking your car for an oil change after 50,000 miles,” Saper said. “It will die. It has to. It has moving parts that need to be fixed.”

Saper told the doctor he was planning to go to Costa Rica to pursue one of his latest discoveries, handmade boxes made from cocobolo wood, for his gallery.

"Go ahead, but don´t schedule any more trips," the specialist told him ominously. A biopsy at Sparrow Feb. 23 came back positive for cancer. On the Gleason scale, used to measure the aggressiveness of cancer, scores of 8 to 10 are often considered inoperable because the disease has probably spread to the bones. Saper’s Gleason score squeaked in just under 8.

Ever the empiricist, Saper tossed a jar of crystalline syrup marked “March 9” onto the table.

“It takes 42 gallons of sap to make one gallon,” he said. “I just boil it up here while I’m doing computer work. Free maple syrup. You can’t get any more local than that.”

Five days after Saper boiled that jar of syrup, he was in pre-op at Sparrow Hospital.

“They used the Da Vinci laparoscopic robotic method to do a radical prostatectomy,” he said, arching his art dealer’s brow at the mention of Da Vinci. “It was the coolest thing.”

While waiting on the operating table, he peered across the room at the surgeon’s console.

“His fingers are in little rings and there are foot treadles, like on an organ,” he said. “It´s totally science fiction.”

The Da Vinci machine is used in several types of operations, including prostate removal, to minimize invasiveness and increase precision.

“It’s fascinating,” Saper said. “These five robot arms go inside my body. One´s a camera, one´s a light. He´s got cutters, slicers, suture things. Look on YouTube for videos.”  (Note to male readers: Do not do that.)

Saper said they removed his prostate, seminal vesicles and “some other stuff,” including the part of the urethra that passes through the prostate.

“They hack that off, then they take the bladder, and bring it back down and connect the urethra to it, stitch it back up,” he said. “Total reconstruction of your insides.”

Anesthesia might have something to do with Saper´s blithe description. All he remembers about the five-hour procedure is quizzing the anesthesiologist on the function of each person in the room as she wafted the mask in his face.

“After about three of those, I was in the recovery room,” Saper said.

But the memory of what happened after surgery tripped Saper’s hard-to-find “pause” button.

“This is terrible," he said softly. "This is terrible.”

After surgery, they rolled him to his room, put his feet on the floor and told him to take two steps to bed.

“No way,” he said, and fainted. He bit his lower lip as he fell, spurting blood.

A few days later, when they tried to get him out of his bed into a chair, he fainted again. Never a man with flesh to spare, Saper hadn’t had anything to eat for days. Anemia and fluid loss were a major worry. His weight neared 120 before finally inching back up.
“I wanted to die,” he said. “I thought, ‘I just can’t do this.’”

In the weeks after his surgery, Saper’s savor for life was tested further. His well-traveled world shrank to one corner of his art-filled home, designed by modernist architect Alfred Browning Parker for a General Motors executive in the 1960s, now pressed into service as an infirmary.

For a month, Saper barely got up from the low-slung leather sofa in his living room. Next to the couch, a black slat coffee table designed by modernist George Nelson was festooned with a Foley catheter bag and drainage tubes. Staying hydrated was a constant problem.
“I watched the fluids drip, trying to imagine whether I would ever go back to work and the computer and ever eat a real meal or dine in a restaurant again,” he said.

Saper still looks alarmingly thin, but he got his restaurant wish. Over the Memorial Day holiday, he went on a 1,700-mile road trip with his wife, Nell Kuhnmuench, to visit their two sons: Jay, 22, graduated that weekend from Middlebury College; Adam, 27, goes to law school at New York University.

One of the first things Saper did upon recovery was to resume a genealogy project he started back in the 1970s.
“When I feared I was checking out, that was the first thing I thought of,” he said. “That’s the greatest gift I could leave my kids. I’m anxious to get this going.”

This month he dug into a backlog of art-related inquiries. He gets frequent requests to help with court cases involving art fraud and evaluates art for estates and probate cases.

“I had a two-month break, but now I´m back at it,” he said.

“I’m not a retirement kind of guy.”

Saper is also looking after his own parents. His dad, 96, lives half a mile away and is “slowing down.” His mother, 95, has Alzheimer’s and doesn´t always recognize him. He visits them both nearly every day.

But the main focus of his life, other than family, has always been the gallery.

Saper Galleries started shortly after its namesake came to Michigan State University in 1969 to study music therapy. For a while, Saper took a detour from art under the influence of a charismatic professor, Carl Page (father of Google co-founder Larry Page), ending up with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Department of Computer Science. After graduating, Saper did economic forecasting for then-Gov. James Blanchard, but his side job — an art dealership he ran from his house on Bailey Street, was more rewarding.

“I needed to do the art thing full time,” he said. “I remember going to the Harvard Co-op at 12, 13 and buying prints. Some people collect music or books or go to films, are fanatics about baseball. That was the thing I connected with.”

Saper’s itch for quantification still came in handy. When he talks about art, the fusion of passion and commerce is so complete it’s a wonder he ever considered any other vocation.

“When one sees a work of art that is a joy, if you like it, you have to get it,” he declared. “I guess that´s maybe what love is, if there is a definition: when you see something, someone, and you want to have that connection, long term.” That can be slippery concept in love, but in the art market, long-term connections are neatly quantified.

For years, Saper’s routine was to get to the gallery a little after 8 a.m., work a full day, go home for a family meal, and return to the gallery until midnight. But Saper is too gregarious with clients and walk-ins to be as productive as he would like at the gallery. In recent years, he started doing more work at home, a habit that set him up well for the latest phase of his working life. Last week, he started coming back to the gallery for short trips.

“I´d rather be going to work every day than to be visited by relatives every year, 6 feet under,” he said.

Work is just one of a long list of things Saper wants to do with his next 50 years. There are books to read, ancestors to trace, sons to advise. Chances are he´ll do more than one of those things at once.

He’s reaching new heights in Saper-tasking, even without a catheter. Standing at the kitchen counter, brushing his teeth, he exercises his legs with a rubber therapy band while reading a trade magazine, listening to music and scanning the computers out of the corner of his eye for new emails.

He isn’t getting chemotherapy or radiation treatment, but every Thursday, he goes to the doctor’s office for physical therapy and white-knuckle electrotherapy to further wake up his bladder muscles.

He admits that electric butt probes are no fun, but it’s part of a trade-off for which he is profoundly grateful.

“It´s no big deal,” he said. “I can walk, I can see, I can think. The mind is the same. It´s just a lot of parts were cut out. I am back to my old normal, which is proudly not normal.”

The Art of Local Sustainability
Published on May 14, 2013

Roy Saper, owner of Saper Galleries in East Lansing, MI talks about the importance of doing business locally, and how that ties into the bigger picture of sustainability. Creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial, Roy shares his thoughts on how art might hold some of the answers to the questions we're dealing with as a culture.  (Starts at 0:57)

Saper Galleries to Exhibit Costa Rican Boxes
Lansing State Journal

 May 2, 2013

                                                          round box with
                                                          lidEAST LANSING — Highly-polished, unique boxes crafted from wood from cocobolo trees in Costa Rica, will be featured at the first exhibition to celebrate Saper Galleries' 35th anniversary this Sunday, May 5 from 1-4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

In 2011, gallery owner Roy Saper discovered the rosewood-like richly grained and colored boxes and brought back to his downtown East Lansing gallery dozens of the boxes.

Having sold most of those he purchased soon after returning to Michigan, Saper returned to Costa Rica in March, 2013 to track down the artisans and select more than 200 boxes to bring back for the gallery's first 35th anniversary exhibition opening this Sunday at Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave., downtown East Lansing.

Saper Galleries opened Art Festival weekend in 1978 and has grown from a local business to one with a sizable international clientele from more than 100 countries, winning many awards for its exhibitions over the past 35 years.

In rural Costa Rica, Saper located the artist workshops which were found by continually asking locals while driving the countryside. "The workshops do not have addresses and emails and phones just don't exist for most," observed Saper.
Nested boxes
"That is why I revisited Costa Rica: to find the artists and bring their creative craft back to the United States." Saper Galleries is the only North American gallery carrying the cocobolo boxes as the artists do not export them out of their country.

"It is fascinating to watch logs of cocobolo being transformed into polished boxes that collectors will use to contain their jewelry and special mementos," noted Saper.

"The process involves sawing logs of the rare but sustainable cocobolo tree to smaller pieces that are trimmed, shaped, assembled, sanded and polished by hand in sawdust-laden workshops open to the air in the rural countryside."

Galleries is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the first Sundays monthly from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information and tour detail, contact the gallery at (517) 351-0815 or through the Web site.

City Pulse
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Finding fair trade in E.L.
by Terry Link

Fair trade or free trade?  How many understand the differences between them?  As many of you know, I prefer fair trade, buying local when possible and linking the local with the global. Perhaps you’ll see the advantages as I do.

I recently visited Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave. in East Lansing, and marveled at the breathtaking art Roy Saper showcases from around the world.  Two exhibits caught my eye immediately.  One was elegant glass pieces from Hebron, the other handcrafted wood creations from Costa Rica.  I asked Saper about his method for finding such artwork from remote places and getting them back to mid-Michigan.  The stories are, in typical Saper fashion, rich in detail and a feast for the ears.

It turns out his venture to Hebron was ostensibly to visit his son Jay, who was doing a semester abroad in that region.  He had heard about the glasswork done by some artists in Hebron and had seen a few pieces at Kirabo, a fair trade store a few blocks west of the gallery (see below).  So, despite warnings not to travel to Hebron, he and Jay made the journey to find an artist still creating these unique glass works.

Perhaps more interesting is Saper’s approach to buying art when he visits artists around the world.  He asks them what they want for it and simply pays it.  No quibbling, no seeking discounts for buying multiple pieces.  If Saper likes the art and feels others will, he wants the artist’s trust so he can come back in the future and acquire more.  The pieces he brings back may not be “certified” fair trade, but what could be fairer than paying the full price the maker asks?

The woodworker in Costa Rica — whose beautifully crafted boxes and other pieces mesmerized Saper in a market there — was harder to track down.  He had to rent a car and drive into the rural areas to find him.  Limited language skills prevented an extensive conversation but, again, Saper paid the artist what he wanted for his work.  How many of us get paid what we think our time and talents are worth?  Saper not only brings our community great beauty and tremendous craftsmanship from the hands of gifted artists, he supports their work and helps make them more prosperous.  He links the local and global, as we should.

Gail Catron sells handmade goods from around the world at her East Lansing shop, Kirabo, 225 E. Grand River Ave.  Catron doesn’t do nearly the amount of globetrotting Saper does, but she is committed to selling only fair-trade products in which the artisans receive fair wages and treatment.  Catron finds and uses suppliers who themselves are Fair Trade Federation members, which requires them to meet a fair trade “Code of Practice.”  Gail also has relationships with others she has met, like Ugandan activist and author Jackson Kaguri, who is building schools in rural Uganda.  Kaguri provides her with handmade items that she sells at Kirabo, with 100 percent of the sales returned to help fund the development of the schools.  Where we shop matters!  Adding these beautiful things to our lives from locally owned shops committed to fair trade can simultaneously build a better society here and abroad.  [article clipped.]

(Consultant Terry Link was the founding director of MSU’s Office of Campus Sustainability and recently retired as director of the Greater Lansing Food Bank. He can be reached at

Exhibit featuring new work of magic realism painter Rob Gonsalves
 opening at the Saper Galleries in East Lansing

 By Zeke Jennings |
on February 01, 2013

Rob Gonsalves' "The Chalkboard Universe," depicting Albert Einstein lecturing to students in front of a chalkboard where equations gradually morph into the cosmos. The Chalkboard Universe

EAST LANSING, MI – A special exhibit featuring the work of Canadian magic realism painter Rob Gonsalves will open Sunday, Feb. 3, at the Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave.

Gonsalves’ artwork has been displayed all over the world and has been the subject of several books published by Simon & Schuster.

Gallery owner Roy Saper describes Gonsalves’ work as “appealing to all ages.”

“This is a wonderful indication of the universal language of art and the reason for now displaying Gonsalves' most recent images which have not been seen before in this area," Saper said.

The opening reception will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The exhibit will remain on display through March.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. The gallery is open from 1 to 4 p.m. the first Sunday of each month.

Admission is free. For more information, visit or call 517-351-0815.

Saper Galleries Unveils 'Magic Realism' Pieces

By Brytanie Killebrew
The State News
February 4, 2013

Saper Galleries and Custom Framing brings realism, surrealism and illusionism to East Lansing.

The gallery, 433 Albert Ave., opened “The Magic Realism of Rob Gonsalves” exhibit to the public yesterday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saper Galleries owner Roy Saper, an MSU alumnus, was excited for people to experience Gonsalves’ work.

“This guy is so inventive,” Saper said. “I really like his work and he’s a great person.”

Rob Gonsalves is a Canadian-born artist whose work captures both surrealism and illusionism.

The exhibit contained 11 of Gonsalves’ framed and unframed works that are available for purchase.

Each piece is something Saper believes is understandable for both children and adults.

“This is art for the 100 percent, not the 1 percent,” Saper said. “Rob Gonsalves would appeal to everyone.”

Saper admires how effortless and “outside of the box” Gonsalves works are.

“He starts with a white box and turns it inside out,” Saper said.

It has been nine years since Saper Galleries held an exhibit of Gonsalves’ work. In 2004 the gallery displayed 67 pieces by the artist, who also attended the event.

According to Saper, Gonsalves’ work, along with every piece displayed in the gallery, was chosen because of his personal enjoyment.

“I wanted to introduce the community to an artist who is current, young and significant worldwide for his work,” he said.

Aside from displaying works, Saper said he also enjoys working with MSU students.  “I love MSU students coming more than anyone else,” he said.

“Too often on campus (they’re) stuck in the grind of going to class, going to the cafeteria and studying. This place offers students a break.”

Saper believes the gallery is a great place for students to discover and learn about art.

In the past, he has spoken to a group of education and poetry students about art and poetry, as well as human medicine students about the calming effects of art.

“A lot of classes come here. This is a classroom … And what better place to learn and discover than here?” Saper said.

MSU alumna Michelle Jekel attended the exhibit and appreciated Saper’s wide selection of works.  “I always come back to roam MSU’s campus. I’m really glad I came in,” she said.

Suzanne Lowe, who considers herself an appreciator of art believes Saper Galleries is great for the community.

“We are very fortunate to have Saper Galleries here,” she said.

“The Magic Realism of Rob Gonsalves” will be displayed throughout March.

Saper Galleries Brings Global Art to Capital Region

The Greater Lansing Business Monthly
February 2013

Walking into Saper Galleries makes an art-lover's heart beat faster: paintings on large canvases and small; landscapes, portraits and abstracts; sculpture in silver, stone, bronze or marble; intricate boxes of polished wood; hand blown glass in gleaming colors or muted hues; mobiles that sway gently overhead.

"The biggest problem pRoy
                                                  Sapereople have when they come to my gallery is that there is just so much here that people love," said gallery owner Roy Saper. "It's hard to choose."

Walking through the gallery is like visiting a fine museum where appreciative visitors can find something beautiful to suit every taste, every mood and every occasion. And if the art lover doesn't find exactly what he/she wants, a word to the owner will suffice.

Besides everything on view, there is an impressive collection that isn't currently being displayed. And, failing that, Saper can probably find just what the buyer wants by searching it out though his connections with the art world and making it available to the purchaser. With 1,500 pieces of art in the collection and work by more than 150 artists from 15 countries, Saper Galleries is the end of the rainbow for those looking to enhance their environment with art.

Saper, the man behind the galleries, has been fascinated by art from an early age. He studied viola as a boy and attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy where he was surrounded every day by the arts in all their diversity. Even at the age of 14, he began collecting pieces of art that spoke to him. After high school, he attended Michigan State University, initially with the intention of majoring in music therapy. However, he found himself drawn to a completely new field — computers. This was in the late 1960s when the world of technology was in its infancy. Saper ended up as one of the first-ever MSU students to graduate with a degree in computer science. He went on to complete the course work for a Ph. D in economics, but his path led him in another direction.

"In 1978, I started selling art out of my home. My first customers were not people in the area. Rather, because I had unique works of art, people from outside the community traveled to purchase pieces from me," said Saper. "I acquired the land, the last vacant parcel in downtown East Lansing, for the current gallery in 1985. In preparation for my first show in the new space, I contacted well-known community figures and asked them that if they could acquire any work of art, what would it be? Then I went out and bought art by the artists they had chosen. I had work by Calder, Chagall, Picasso and other well-known artists. That's how I began building the collection I have now."

For 34 years, Saper has been making available to people the works of art that people want, works of high-quality that are very desirable.

"Our phenomenal success came about not only because of what we have available but also because we treat every single person who comes through our doors with respect," said Saper. "We give them time, courtesy and dedication; we are interested in their opinions. It's more than the Golden Rule; we treat people the way they would like their parents and grandparents to be treated! You can see by the testimonials on our website that our customers appreciate the way we do business."

Saper travels the world to buy pieces of art; he was recently in Israel where he purchased a quantity of ceramic relief work by Ruth Faktor. He has traveled to Costa Rica for hand crafted boxes, bowls and trays made of cocobolo wood. He goes often to New York City and others centers of the art world. But he also welcomes artists to his gallery who come in to show Saper their work.

Close to 1,000 artists each year visit Saper hoping to interest him in their work. He says, '"If I like it, I buy it. And I don't buy just one piece. When I visited Israel, I ended up purchasing 150 pieces by Ruth Faktor. I don't look at resumes, reviews or lists of where an artist has exhibited. What's important to me is whether or not the art speaks to me. "

Saper is always learning, he says. He continues to seek out work from relatively unknown artists, and his interests are vast. His expertise is similarly panoramic. He is often called upon to make presentations, write articles and even testify in cases of art fraud.

Saper Galleries offers art at prices ranging from $20 to six figures. There is also a full-service framing center. He says, "Our business model is different from most businesses. Yes, we want to make money, but we want to do it in a way that honors our customers. We offer everything at a fair value and always keep respect for our customers and our artists foremost in our minds. That model has served us well."

For Saper and his three employees, the art "business" isn't 8 to 5. The gallery has an interactive website, live chats, and they are always available by phone. They do a great deal of business with people outside of Michigan and outside of the United States via phone or Internet. And, even though the gallery is busy, every customer can expect personal service and a genuinely positive experience.

The gallery itself is large with art at every turn. Natural light flows throughout the rooms, and art is grouped to its best effect. It's easy to understand why people find visiting the gallery a moving experience. And it's easy to see that Saper's artistic vision has created an environment that is filled with beauty, imagination and inspiration.

Saper Galleries
433 Albert Ave.
East Lansing, MI
Phone: (517) 351-0851

Saper Galleries to exhibit enchanting world of Rob Gonsalves

Lansing State Journal
Jan. 29, 2013

 Tower of
Books stacked high become Towers of Knowledge on tables where students are studying under mysterious lighting. / Courtesy photo

EAST LANSING — Imagination and creativity inspire Rob Gonsalves’ magic realism.

What appears at first glance to be normal, realistic scenes, can become mesmerizing, captivating depictions of an enchanting world to an observer.

A Gonsalves’ image is a visual double entendre, a second meaning appears to counter the expected, often eliciting a smile, according Roy Saper, owner of Saper Galleries in East Lansing.

For example, In Gonsalves’ “Sailing Islands,” tall pine trees by a water's edge morph into sailing ships with tall masts.

Books stacked high become his “Towers of Knowledge” on tables where students are studying under mysterious lighting.

A view across a river of a Manhattan-like skyline with lights dotting skyscraper windows at dusk changes to a forest scene, the tall buildings becoming a thick forest of evergreens in a snowfall in Gonsalves’ “Light Flurries.”

An exhibition of Gonsalves’ artwork will open at Saper Galleries Sunday, Feb. 3, 1-4 p.m., in downtown East Lansing. It is the second time the local gallery has exhibited his work.

"Since we first displayed 67 Rob Gonsalves artworks in 2004, collectors have purchased from us close to a thousand of his prints on canvas and paper ... ," Saper said.

"We have shipped them worldwide as guests from more than 100 countries have viewed the Gonsalves images on our web site ... .”

Saper Galleries first exhibited Gonsalves artwork with a major exhibition of 67 limited editions on canvas and paper in late 2004.

Simon & Schuster has published three books of Gonsalves' paintings, the award-winning "Imagine a Day," "Imagine a Night," and "Imagine a Place".

“This is a wonderful indication of the universal language of art and the reason for now displaying Gonsalves' most recent images which have not been seen before in this area," Saper said.

Saper Galleries, in its 35th year in downtown East Lansing, has won numerous national and international awards for its exhibitions.

In this Rob Gonsalves work, entitled, 'In The Chalkboard Universe,' a professorial Einstein is lecturing to students in front of a chalkboard where equations gradually morph into a depiction of the cosmos. / Courtesy photo
If you go...The exhibition of artwork by Rob Gonsalves opens Sunday, Feb. 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave., downtown East Lansing, phone 517-351-0815.  The exhibition continues through March.  Hours of operation: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the first Sundays monthly from 1 to 4 p.m.

The State News
Michigan State University

Hebron Glass Collection on display in East Lansing
By Katie Ziraldo | Published October 5, 2012

Elementary education student Alyssa O’Connor looks at Hebron Glass Collection vases at Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. O’Connor was there with her poetry class. Julia Nagy/The State News

Hidden away in Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank, is a form of artwork rarely seen outside the Middle East. Using a long metal hollow tube, the artist picks up molten recycled glass in an 1,800-degree furnace and then blows through the tube to expand the glass.

The efforts result in a type of artwork most Americans would be unfamiliar with. That’s why Roy Saper, the owner of Saper Galleries, 433 Albert, wanted it for his gallery.

“I knew about the Hebron glass, and I knew it was really rare and nobody could ever go to Hebron because it’s a war zone,” Saper said. “It’s a very dangerous place to be, like much of the Middle East. But I knew I had to go there.”

A Hebron Glass Collection vase is on display at Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.

Saper’s mission was easier said than done. He said the experience of going to Palestine with his wife and son was unreal.

“What I learned is it’s easy to get in, but hard to get out. To get out you have to go to Israel, and they don’t let just anybody out. If you have some kind of Palestinian connection, there will be difficulties.”

Saper said the Hebron glass now is a rarity.

“There were 14 studios in Hebron making glass, and now there is only one family, after glass has been produced in Hebron for a couple thousand years at least,” Saper said. “They’re down to the last family. My feeling was I have to go there and get that glass and bring it back … It’s really exciting to get to share something with our community like that, that they would never see otherwise.”

The owner’s drive to display rare artworks is not a new passion.

“For 34 years what I’ve done is make every effort to display for our community works of art that they otherwise would never see,” he said.

It is this quality that makes Liz Fuller, a Saper Galleries employee, so pleased with her work.  “Every day is a learning experience,” Fuller said. “It’s an amazing place to work, especially being an artist and getting to see everything we have here.”

Art history and visual culture professor Susan Bandes said it is important for people, especially college students, to experience art from other parts of the world and know its history.

“I think it gives us a broader perspective than we normally would have, and it also puts current events into a cultural context,” Bandes said.

Saper said the collection is the perfect opportunity for Americans to experience other cultures.

“It’s totally unique and different, and nobody will see it this large and significant anywhere else in this country,” Saper said.

The Hebron Glass Collection will be on display at Saper Galleries for the month of October.

Rare Hebron Glass Collection to be Exhibited in East Lansing

Towne Courier
Aug 29, 2012