Saginaw Art Museum gathers both contemporary and classic art in a brick-clad Gregorian Revival mansion that itself is a historical treasure. Originally designed in 1903 by Charles Adams Platt as the Ring family home, the building’s exquisite interior includes dark butternut wood paneling and decorative moldings. Filling the rooms is the museum’s permanent collection of paintings, prints, textiles, and sculptures from American, European, and Asian artists; African artifacts and masks; Native American art; and American and Mexican folk art. A library complements the art collection with more than 1,200 books and periodicals discussing art, as well as Leonardo da Vinci's handmade comic book depicting him as a superhero.
A roster of ever-changing current exhibitions includes showcases of forged metal sculptures, contemporary nature paintings, and the recurring Art in the Heart of the City's ART 4 ALL Exhibitions, which showcase works by local Michigan artists. Visitors peruse temporary exhibits in the exhibition wing gallery, an ultramodern glass-covered hall, or teach flowering plants how to spell “Matisse” in a formal outdoors garden.
To continue arts education outside the gallery, staffers organize themed art history and technique classes for all ages, as well as docent-led tours. They also helm the interactive Visionarea, a gallery space where children delve into art-making, science experiments, and the works of famous artists.
Since 1928, the Flint Institute of the Arts (FIA) has chronicled the cultural history of the city and today continues to influence its rebirth. In that time, the museum has been designated as a National Treasure by the President's Committee on the Arts in 2002 and received the Governor's Award for Arts and Cultural Organization in 2007. As a world-class cultural institution, the FIA draws over 120,000 visitors a year to an array of exhibitions, film screening, lectures, educational outreach programs, and family events that enlighten art lovers and celebrate Flint's diversity. Within the FIA's 150,000 square feet of space, stunning gallleries of over 8,000 objects, including sculptures, paintings, and artifacts, tell the story of Flint's past and future. Its libraries and art school prepare the next generation of artists. The FIA also features a video gallery, a cafe and gift shop, a great hall for large events, and a theater for films and lectures.
The boundaries of children's imaginations expand like a sun on the horizon at the Flint Children's Museum, a creative learning space with more than 40 exhibits. The show-stopping stations are designed to engage tykes of every learning type, whether they figure out their world by experimenting, watching, hearing, or even climbing. At the Discovery Zone, kids explore environments such as the rainforest or outer space by scampering about kid-sized replicas. They get a lesson in cause and effect at the "How Things Work" section by building bridges, and try their green thumbs at urban horticulture in the Sproutside outdoor learning area. While older kids cavort about, their toddling counterparts, ages three and under, can head to the cozy Tot Spot to play with age-appropriate toys.
From art restoration to custom-made frames and gift-able artwork, the framing artisans at Framer's Edge and Gallery consider it all their expertise. Fabricating frames on-site, technicians draw from a collection of more than 5,000 mold samples to create fully customized dwellings for works of art and exceptional report cards. Additionally, the gallery hangs works from local artists and photographers available for purchase, as well as jewelry, pottery, and blown glass.
Ransom Eli Olds was certainly one of Lansing's most prolific citizens. The inventor, entrepreneur, and financier helped revolutionize the automobile industry, specifically through the two companies he founded in the area: Olds Motor Works in 1897 and REO Motor Car Company in 1904.
Impression 5 Science Center provides future Galileos and budding Copernicuses with a vast assortment of hands-on learning opportunities and participatory exhibits. The newly installed Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body will remain displayed until May 15, so young scientists can examine the ins and outs of bodies while learning anatomical trivia, including that Einstein's brain was 10 times bigger than the average mustache. After winding their way through a bevy of exhibits⎯including Throwing Things, which examines energy transference without tranquilizing textbooks⎯explorers can duck into a slime-making workshop to create their own gelatinous blobs. A member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Impression 5 Science Center strives to give guests a chance to learn by doing, acting, and creating, and its enthustiastic staff works to ensure a productive visit for all visitors.