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.
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.
Settled inside an art gallery heralding myriad international works of art, Danielle Peleg Gallery’s skilled framers draw on more than 33 years of experience to professionally flank canvases with high-end frames. Customers can enlist framing services for treasured family photographs, cherished artwork, or third-place elementary-school spelling-bee certificates in sizes ranging from 16”x20” ($85–$100) to 30”x40” ($250–$350). Trimming technicians suggest frames and mounts to complement styles and customers’ tastes before fitting and framing each piece. The experts also furnish a glass casing as protection from the fingers of barbecue-eating art aficionados.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (most for under $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24x36 pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Mary Starring realized her goal of helping local artists step into the spotlight when she opened her gallery in 2005. Since then, Mary's space has featured the work of more than 50 talented creators, each showcased during Northville's First Friday Experience. This monthly after-hours collaboration by the town's merchants unites the community in appreciation of the work of these local artists. To further highlight this local talent, Starring populates her shelves with their art and gifts—elegant, locally blown glass, original paintings, and stylish jewelry. A regularly rotating selection of crafts helps returning customers find the perfect birthday present or replacement for a macaroni necklace they mistook for dinner.