(credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Spring is coming to Michigan and along with it are a few great art fair and festivals. The true festival season really does not arrive until late June and July, but for those who want to get an early start, the events listed below should not be missed.

Michigan Gem & Mineral Show
Jackson County Fairgrounds
200 W. Ganson St.
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 522-3396
Dates: March 15-17

If you are interested in the beauty of gems and minerals, then you will not want to miss the 51st Michigan Gem & Mineral Show at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. The theme this year is “Gems of Green in Twenty-Thirteen” and on display will be some of the finest examples of green gems and minerals. There will be over 20 dealers on hand offering items for sale ranging from raw minerals to beads, gems and minerals to handmade jewelry.

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“No Plan B” – Exhibit

River Gallery Fine Art
120 S. Main St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
(734) 433-0826
Dates: Now through March 16

For the past 10 years, the River Gallery in Chelsea has offered visitors the chance to view some of the best artwork created by local and national artists. This year, the “No Plan B” exhibit if presenting the creations of long-time River Gallery artists and a selection of the work of a group of new artisans that have recently begun displaying their work at the gallery. Throughout the year, River Gallery maintains a collection of statues and artwork throughout the downtown Chelsea area, making it a must to walk through the quaint downtown when you are done at the gallery.

Livingston County Home Show and Taste of Livingston County Show
Howell High School Field House
1200 W. Grand River Ave.
Howell, MI 48843
(517) 546-3920
Dates: March 22-24

In its 50th year, the Livingston County Home Show will offer a chance to view some of the most interesting home decor and renovation projects around. But this is not all, there is also a weekend-long art exhibit and, since the show also talks about a Taste of Livingston County, there will be cooking demonstrations by area chefs. This is an event for the entire family, with a petting zoo, the Easter Bunny for the little ones to talk to and balloon sculptor Tim Thurmond who will dazzle everyone with his 20-by-8 foot balloon creation. There will be over 200 exhibitors to take in so make sure you are ready for a day of home decor discussions, food and fun.

Handcrafters Spring Fling Artisan Market
Northville Community Senior Center
303 W. Main St.
Northville, MI 48167
Dates: March 22-23

Too many times when you go to an art or craft show, you will find some vendors with mass-produced items, but not at the Handcrafters Spring Fling in Northville. For the 34th year, you will find exactly what the name of the show states: arts and fine crafts that are handmade by the artists. Over 75 artists and craftsmen from across the nation will be on hand for this juried show displaying the best they have to offer. Items run the gamut from glass work and custom jewelry to items for home decor to gourmet foods. There will be something for everyone.

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Connected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 E. Beltline Ave. N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
(616) 957-1580
Dates: Now through April 28

If you are a fan of sculpture, then you owe it to yourself to head to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to take in the work of Dutch sculptor Hanneke Beaumont. His sculptures have garnered widespread acclaim for the highly visceral and carefully rendered presentations they represent. The figures are unique in that they represent a “universal type, neither tellingly male nor female,” which communicate a deeply pensive mood. In addition to the sculptures, which Beaumont works with first in the mediums of clay and which then are translated into bronze or iron, there are will also be several of his drawings on display. This is an art show and exhibit that should not be missed by any fan of this unique art form.

Award winning freelance writer and photographer Lawrence DiVizio is based in Southeast Michigan and works to convey in words and images the world around us. His work can be found at