When you Go Great Lakes Bay, the third largest art gallery in Michigan - The Gallery, Art for Saginaw - beckons with modern art by Michigan-based artists, all inside the historic (and historically beautiful) Bancroft Building. And one of the longest-standing community theatres in the country? It's here: Pit & Balcony Theatre, in Old Town Saginaw, offering live, on-stage performances since 1932!
Take ample chances to catch live entertainment at The State Theatre of Bay City, or witness the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra at The Temple Theatre, and don't get us started on mentioning all of the local coffee houses and cafés whose walls are worth exploring! (Hint: Enjoy Intermission Deli in Bay City or Dawn of a New Day Coffee House & Cafe in Saginaw for food and displays of local artwork and photography.)
You'll find this region positively explosive in opportunity to discover art and appreciate artists! But how best to really experience it all? Step into our neighborhood galleries and museums with the inside angle of a local!
Drop into Saginaw's Counter Culture in Old Town, and take in a gallery, music venue and local art hub-and maybe a writing workshop, seminar, or yoga class. This art collective exists to emphasize every area in the humanities, and if you're looking for live music or an urban-vibe gallery experience, Counter Culture is your scene.
Just up the road is Gingerblue Gallery, where urban meets historic elegance through visual arts, including paintings, ceramics, sculpture, photography and jewelry inside the renovated, landmark Graebner Building at the heart of Old Town Saginaw. Look for work from local artists like Saginaw-native Jim Perkins, and national and international pieces.
Amidst a Mansion
The Saginaw Art Museum offers both the experience of appreciating art ... and walking through a living work of art. For this historical 1904 Georgian-Revival Mansion with Italianate gardens and two award-winning modern wings, admission is a mere $5, gaining you access to continually-changing exhibitions and a permanent collection of more than 2,000 objects spanning 4,500 years. With a significant art reference library and collaborative programs available, take a guided tour, catch a lecture or simply peruse. The Saginaw Art Museum doesn't disappoint.
An Artist is Born
With spaces in both Downtown Bay City (exposed brick walls and large, mismatched work tables) and Saginaw (think modern and clean), create-your-own studios at Painterly Pottery are casual, comfortable workspaces where you can let your inner artist loose! From painting your own pottery to discovering glass fusing techniques, you'll find that time slows inside these walls for the chance to truly unwind.
Still searching for another kind of whimsical wonderland? Try Midland's Space Studios. Here, you can sketch, shape, paint, and glaze all the way to sweet release as you dig in, throw some clay, and take the edge off, artfully. Not interested in making a start-to-finish creation? Stop by The Glaze Bar at Space Studios, where you can choose from pre-made pottery, all yours for the handpainting.
Looking to try your hand at converting a canvas into a masterpiece? Get to a Cocktails & Canvas event at Creative 360 Stage, Studios & Gallery in Midland or a Sip ‘n' Swirl Painting Workshop at Studio 23/The Arts Center in Bay City for a guided lesson. You can pick the picture to create, and bring your own libations to enjoy as you learn!
Located in-town, but back along the banks of Lake Linden, a passerby might miss this cultural gem. Locals know, however, that the bamboo gates mark the entrance into this serene wonderland of weeping cherry trees, Japanese art and the only authentic tea house in the Midwest (not to mention, one of the most authentic in all of North America): the Japanese Cultural Center and Tea House.
Step into the traditional sukiya (rustic) style teahouse for an unforgettable Authentic Japanese Tea Ceremony, and discover occasional classes in origami, bonsai, and Japanese calligraphy. Konnichiwa! (Hello, in Japanese!)
Set aside due time to appreciate the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, housed in the Arbury Fine Arts Center on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University. At this free museum, discover a unique collection of more than two thousand works that span the 70-year career of Detroit-based public sculptor Marshall M. Fredericks (1908-1998).
Known nationally and internationally for his impressive and monumental figurative sculpture, public memorials, fountains, portraits, and medals, this permanent exhibit is furthered by The Sculpture Garden, Sculptor's Studio (an installation of Frederick's artifacts) and the changing exhibitions gallery, as well.
Home to the eye-pleasing and the soul-stirring, Go Great Lakes Bay's artful offerings are as expressive as they are expansive. Take the time to come and explore, and marvel at the lively scene from an inside angle!