Explore Michigan Weather at the Michigan Historical Center

What’s your favorite season? No matter how you answer, the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing has you covered with its new exhibit which explores Michigan weather in all seasons! Today, chief curator Maria Leiby gives us the inside scoop. 

These relics are from The Rockaway, which sank in November 1891 off of South Haven while hauling lumber from Ludington to Benton Harbor. All hands were rescued.

The exhibit takes its title, Lake Effects, from a major influence on our weather—the Great Lakes that surround us. Weather systems generally approach Michigan from the west or south, but the lakes add interesting twists in all seasons.

The Lake Effects exhibit is open now until Aug. 24, 2014 at the Michigan Historical Center.

This lightning rod was once on top of the Traverse City State Hospital.

Everyone who’s ever lived in Michigan, from Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to school kids today has paid attention to the weather. In addition to information about earlier ways of predicting the weather, the exhibit looks at how Michiganians’ work and play are weather-influenced. Artifacts as varied as early spouts for collecting maple sap, a lightning rod from the Traverse City State Hospital, hunting decoys and a circa 1970 brown-and-orange snowmobile suit build a seasonal mosaic that gives visitors of all ages opportunities to learn, reminisce and tell family stories.

The exhibit also focuses on memorable weather events from Michigan’s past. Survivors of the tragic Great Lakes storm of November 1913 may have passed from the scene, but you might know someone who remembers the heat wave of 1936, one of Lansing’s numerous 20th century floods or an opening day at Tiger Stadium when the weather was actually spring-like!

This small child's sled was made in 1910 by an employee of Durant-Dort Carriage Company, in Flint, for his grandson.

Younger visitors can offer a weather report or forecast at a magnetic weather map or dress a magnetic figure for the weather — actual or hoped for. A full slate of programming beginning in December includes monthly family sessions on second Saturdays, a spring kite festival and an exploration of extreme weather.

The museum also invites you to share photos of your Michigan weather experiences on our Flickr page. Send them to icy27ran@photos.Flickr.com with the photo title in the subject line. You can include the story in the body of the message.

For more information about visiting the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing, including admission fees and hours of operation, go to www.michigan.gov/museum. Admission to Lake Effects is included in the regular admission price each day. While at the Center, don’t forget to visit the museum’s store for several Michigan-related books and gift options.

What do you love about Michigan weather? 

Maria Leiby is the chief curator of the Michigan Historical Museum.

5 Fun Photos from ArtPrize 2013 in Grand Rapids

ArtPrize 2013 is well underway in Downtown Grand Rapids! Through October 6th 2013, the city of Grand Rapids is transformed into an art gallery where artists and visitors come to display and view over 1,500 pieces of artwork. So far, we’ve seen some very striking photographs of the artwork at this year’s competition. Below is a roundup of some fun ArtPrize photos shared with us by Experience Grand Rapids. 

A colorful view of Grand Rapids during ArtPrize 2013 [Photo courtesy of eightWest]:ArtPrize in Grand Rapids 2013

Artists and visitors enjoy a beautiful day viewing the many displays of unique artwork:ArtPrize 2013 in Grand Rapids

A cool shot of a dragon on display at ArtPrize 2013 from Instagram user @sleepymonkey629:A piece of artwork on display at ArtPrize 2013

The Grand Rapids Public Museum  pays tribute to Grandmothers from around the world with this photography exhibit, Grandmother Power:Grandmother Power

ArtPrize visitors stop to marvel at an artist’s work:Viewing an artists work at ArtPrize 2013

ArtPrize 2013 runs through October 6th. Have you been to ArtPrize this year? What was your favorite display? 

Six Steps to Making the Most of ArtPrize 2013

If you’ve never explored the unique buildings or graced the diverse streets of Grand Rapids during ArtPrize, you may be wondering where to start. No worries, there are few simple things you can do to make visiting the world’s largest art competition simple, fun and inspiring. Todd Herring, Director of Communications for ArtPrize, shares these steps with us below.

Step 1 – Get Inspired – Visit artprize.org click “FIND ART.” Artists from all over the world will be showing at ArtPrize 2013.  Their work and their stories are inspiring, challenging and beautiful.  Browsing 1524 artist entries might seem daunting, but you can filter your search by choosing specific venues, types of artwork and descriptive tags like “music” and “photography.”  When you find artwork that you’d like to see, simply click the button marked “Add to Collection.”  This feature allows you to create multiple collections or “lists” that you can reference when you visit.

Step 2 – VOTE! – Voting takes you from passive observer to active participant.   There are two ways to register.  If you have an iOS (apple) or Android smart phone, simply open the ArtPrize mobile app while you’re in the ArtPrize district and you’ll be registered to vote in a snap.  Or you can check in at any ArtPrize voting site.  When you check in, you’ll get your free ArtPrize map, be registered to vote and able to purchase the complete ArtPrize event guide and transportation wristbands. All that’s left to do is GO SEE ART!  Cast your votes on the ArtPrize mobile app, online at artprize.org, or via text.  Go to artprize.org/visit to learn more!

Step 3 – Keep Moving – Here at ArtPrize, we’re all about experiencing ArtPrize in the most active way possible. Take the bus, ride a bike, or walk the ArtPrize district! This year we have five walking path options, all roughly 1-2 miles in length. They all begin at Rosa Parks Circle and will take you into our local neighborhoods: City Center, Heartside, Westside, Monroe North, and Hillside. Each neighborhood brings it’s own perspective to the ArtPrize event–eclectic, historic, natural, cultural, near the water or right in the heart of it all. Each walking path will help you explore the city and sample everything ArtPrize has to offer.

A display from ArtPrize 2012.

Step 4 – Stay in the know – Every morning ArtPrize will publish a Daily that kicks out the news, daily schedule of events, major announcements and an Epic Events recap of the day before. The Daily can be found at www.artprize.org/daily. You can even contribute to the Daily with your very own Epic Events video clips by downloading the Epic Events app from the Apple App Store. Checking out @ArtPrize for daily interactions and updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will also keep you up to date on all things ArtPrize.

Step 5 – Attend ArtPrize Events – From ArtFitness bike tours to Grand Prize Jury panels to Internet Cat Video Festivals, there is something for everyone. For a full list of events, visit artprize.org/events.

Step 6 – Make it Your Own. – Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s a perfect starting point to plan your own adventure. You choose the views, how much art you want to see or how long to linger.  ArtPrize is not the creation of one individual or team, it is the culmination of hundreds of thousands of independent voices, ideas and perspectives. It is art, creativity, culture and adventure, and it’s all waiting for you at ArtPrize.

Will you be checking out ArtPrize in Grand Rapids? Tell us in the comments section below!

Todd Herring is the Director of Communications for ArtPrize, an international art competition that annually draws more than 400,000 visitors to Grand Rapids, Michigan. With a background in product development and innovation, Todd now specializes in crowd sourced engagement models and speaks regularly on collaborative design, urban engagement and arts management.