Off of Pine street in Abilene there is a man by the name of Mike Lanier who loves creating art, meeting people, and improving others.
“I love art and I love people. You put the two together and teaching is the next thing,” stated Lanier.
Lanier has loved art since his teenage years and says his calling was closer to mandatory than optional.
“I don’t think I had a choice. I think it was a god given talent.”
He continued the passion through college, set it down for many, many years, and in 2001 picked it back up.
“After 32 years of not painting, I had no idea what kind of subject to paint.”
But he overcame this hurdle and now he, once more, has art on the brain 24/7.
“I wake myself up at night thinking about a painting I want to do.”
When he picked up and dusted off his passion, Lanier created Studio 13, a place that now holds studios for many local artists and is always bustling with activity.
However, Lanier wasn’t content to just paint and be surrounded by other artists.
“I knew that if I got into my art, I would probably start teaching again.”
And he is teaching, something he loves to do and something he feels helps his students with the stresses of life.
“When they come to this studio and they walk through that door, at that point is when they forget everything and they start thinking about their art.”
Lanier says many of his students are now painting on a professional level.
“I have artists that I have taught that are now professional artists, and I feel good about that.”