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.
Unpainted figurines and pottery pieces stand in single-file lines on the pine shelves of Haze Ceramics and More, patiently waiting for guests to brandish paint-dipped brushes and embellish their blank surfaces with artistry. The studio's instructors lead classes and special events throughout the week, demonstrating techniques for mixing colors and achieving a variety of smooth or grainy textures. Aside from giving children and adults the chance to select a ceramic coffee mug, coin tray, or spiked mace from the studio’s expansive collection, classes include all glazes, paints, and firing fees. Special events, such as ladies' night, fuel outbursts of creativity with wine and snacks, and private parties clear out the room so that birthday boys and girls can gleefully bash away at terra-cotta piñatas.
The entire state of Michigan serves as the stockroom for The Great Lakes Market Place. The market's owners, husband and wife John and Sara LaCroix, scour the pleasant peninsula to fill their shelves with everything from farm fresh eggs, to baked goods, to micro-brewed beers. More than 200 total items arrive regularly from 70 plus Michigan-based producers, including Williams Cheese Co. of Linwood and Little Diablo Salsa of Brighton.
While their goods come from across Michigan, John and Sara model their market's atmosphere after the small-town grocers of old, where neighbors would spend some time chatting about supply-chain economics. They often greet customers by name, before pouring them a cup of hot coffee from The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company or scooping cones of Guernsey Ice Cream. Their market also encompasses The Great Lakes Artisan Village, which displays the creative work of Michigan-based artists including sculptors, painters, and authors.
With more than 30 interactive exhibits and activities, Kids 'N' Stuff Children's Museum provides a safe environment for youngsters to exercise their imaginations and bodies. A veritable microcosm of the world lives between the museum's walls. For instance, a grocery exhibit stocked with produce and frozen goods allows children to fill up their carts, run the checkout lane, and refuse expired coupons. An 8'x16' climbing wall challenges youth to literally reach for new heights of achievement, and an art room equipped with an accessible easel and large-handled paintbrushes invites them to figuratively jump for the sky. As a further enticement to the arts, a drama area encourages wee ones to create puppet shows and dress up in costumes.
Kids 'N' Stuff Children's Museum coordinates with area schools to incorporate and add to the themes from the local education curriculum, helping to reinforce the most important lessons kids are learning. Like NASA's recruitment department, this nonprofit's focus is on children aged 10 months to 10 years.
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.