Artist Highlight: Rae Lang
Artist, parent, Michigan native, lover of adventure and the outdoors, and general incredible human being – we’re so excited to introduce you to Rae Lang, the owner and artist behind Woosah and Outside Coffee Company.
Throughout the years, Rae has been involved in programming at the SCA – teaching kids camps and classes, designing logos for events, and showcasing their iconic works in various spaces within the SCA campus.
Naturally, when we heard that Fresh Coast Film Festival asked Rae to design their festival poster for the 2023 festival season – we were giddy to learn more about the design process.
Before we jump in and tell you more about Rae, we want to make sure you know that you have the opportunity to meet her in person when Fresh Coast Film Festival hits the road to the SCA on Thursday, September 28. Rae will be on site signing and selling festival posters, as well as inviting you back to the After Party at Outside Coffee Company.
Alright. Let’s get to know Rae.
Rae owns and operates two locations of Woosah Outfitters + Outside Coffee Company with her wife, Kelly. The original location in Grand Rapids opened in 2018, followed by Douglas in 2022. The designs and drive behind Woosah revolve largely around woodcuts and the outdoors. Each design and product is hand crafted in Grand Rapids in limited edition runs.
Rae and Kelly live in Grand Rapids, but loved to visit Saugatuck to hike in the dunes and explore the landscape. On every trip to Oval Beach, Rae would build up dreams of occupying the building that was previously Just Add Water – until one day there was a for lease sign on that building. They did a U-turn, called the realtor, and signed the papers a week later. Now, Rae and the team in Douglas provide art, community, and of course, coffee year round.
Designing for Fresh Coast Film Festival
Rae got involved with Fresh Coast Film Festival through co-founders Aaron Peterson and Bugsy Sailor. For years, they had been in communication about doing some sort of a project together, finally coming to fruition in 2023.
Aaron and Bugsy gave Rae creative freedom to find inspiration in the beauty of Michigan landscape. A river runs through the middle of the piece, which is a metaphor of people coming together, meeting in one place; the rocks represent a piece of Marquette – the Black Rocks; and a little birdy flew by telling us all about the festival.
Rae rarely does freelance work anymore – as the majority of time is spent curating works for the Woosah stores. Freelance work was one of the ways that Woosah grew to be what it is today, past freelance jobs include larger outdoor companies such as Merrell or Chaco. There are only a few slots every year that Rae can take on, but it has to align with her mission and goals. This project was one she was genuinely excited about because Fresh Coast sparked her imagination with what they were doing.
This piece is also a new medium for Rae, created through digital art. While Rae will never stop wood carving – leaning on the digital aspect allows for more flexible creative freedom.
About Fresh Coast Film Festival
The Fresh Coast Film Festival (FCFF) is the first of its kind: a documentary film festival celebrating the outdoor lifestyle, water-rich environment and resilient spirit of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. The festival gathers the best in environmental and cultural filmmaking from around the world while creating a venue for, and building a culture of, Great Lakes storytelling.
Rae and Kelly experienced the Fresh Coast Film Festival first-hand in Marquette 3 years ago on their way to the Porcupine Mountains – and Rae is excited to go back up this October to see it again.
“I remember this film from our last trip about a family that went backpacking with their kids, they had a newborn and a toddler,” Rae reminisces. “They struggled so much just to make this trip, but mixed in these moments of joy, fun, and bliss while making memories for their family. That’s what it’s all about.”
A Taste of Michigan: Fresh Coast Films Roadshow
Take a seat in the boutique theater at the SCA for an immersive film and food experience featuring local artists, a film-inspired culinary journey, and, of course, a series of Michigan-produced short films curated by Fresh Coast Film Festival. A Taste of Michigan: Fresh Coast Films Roadshow hits the big screen at the SCA on Thursday, September 28 at 6:00 pm.
Tickets are available now for $40/person, which includes the screening of shorts, a film-inspired culinary journey provided by SCA Creative Fellow Chef Mindy Trafman, the opportunity to meet Rae and purchase signed copies of the film festival poster, and an invitation to an exclusive after party at Outside Coffee Company.
Rae will have the firepits roaring, s’mores going, and new fall menu specials launched. Rae gave us a little tip on her favorite new item – a spicy mocha. Woosah will be open for shopping and launching the brand new fall products that night.
We’ll see you around the fire.