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WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27 — Sometimes words can't describe the unique qualities of a relationship. Thankfully, the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center's "Michigan Made" exhibit is filled with affordable fine art that exemplifies the intricately beautiful bonds we share.
In lieu of Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30, might I suggest your hometown spree begin with local artists? With the ability to transform love into the shape of a curvaceous vase or handprinted journal, an artisanal gift will imprint your giftee's mind — no matter how small.
Even if fine contemporary wall art isn't in your budget this season, "Michigan Made" features plenty of functional pieces that will make great gifts.
Gender-neutral earrings by Meg Tang
Meg Tang's elegant jewelry has been popping up at artist markets across mid-Michigan. Her sleek and sturdy designs range from studs to ear cuffs. Ask a gallery sales consultant for prices. A portfolio of Tang's work can be found at megtang.com/earrings.
A great gift for your ultra curious friend to document their adventures or observations. The journal ($20) is bound by hand. Matching greeting cards are sold separately.
Not sure of a relatives' aesthetic? When in doubt go rustic. These smooth vessels are rugged, yet precious. Compared to glass bowls to store your beloved jewelry, the leather bowl-like sculptures offer a less fragile way to keep your drawers and dresser looking sharp.
Clean up that chaotic drawer full of matches you picked up at restaurants for a sealable bottle. These tiny organizers ($8-11) will come in handy when the flood of regifted scented candles comes your way.
Holiday greeting cards by Batwing Designs
Lansing's own Laura Wiseman, creator of Batwing Designs, is making wishing your friends a "Happy Chanukah" a little easier this season. Her humorous, yet empathic printed keepsakes go for $6.
Sealable woodfired ceramics by Ben Chamberlain
The details of Ben Chamberlain's woodfired collection holds exquisite tactile energy. But what got me really going were the sealable tops, perfect for encasing olive oil, wine or any other potion. There are teacups for $25 each and larger vessels for around $60.
Air succulent holders
"Michigan Made" features a handful of quirky ceramics to hold your low-maintenance house plants. The air succulent holders (succulent not included) make great gifts for aspiring plant parents who want some ornamental green in their life without all the fuss. Hang this puppy up on the wall, or thread a thick fiber through the drilled holes and suspend it from your ceiling.
East Lansingite Sue Hale has been working with fibers for over 35 years. Her hand-dyed pillow ($84) featuring a Rumi quote is a great gift for your yogi friend looking to complete their private sanctuary.
It's easy to convince ourselves, women especially, that we need to lug around all our emergency gadgets (or expired coupons in my case) in our purses. Martha Brownscombe gently reminds us of the bare necessities needed for a quick run to the store our evening outing. Her "skinny" wallets go for $16.
A no brainer for the entertainer who likes to gorge their guests with delectable trays of cheese, cured meat and fruit. The slender chopping block is also a clever gift for the at-home chef with limited counter space in their downtown rental. Sunny House's cutting boards are priced at $45 each.
The Chelsea-based company specializes in small-batch body care products, but have an impressive line of soy candles and room sprays. This box ($32.00) features all of the above items, including their signature plant-based soap bar.
"Michigan Made" Holiday Exhibit
Through Dec. 23
119 N. Washington Sq. Suite 101, Lansing
Closed Monday & Holiday Weekends
Tuesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
1st Sunday of the Month: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
(517) 374 6400