Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, Minnesota Special Events
120 WEST 3RD AVENUE   PO BOX 626    GRAND MARAIS, MINNESOTA 55604    218-387-2737

Plein Air Grand Marais

September 11 - October 4, 2015

Artists leave the studio and venture into the great outdoors to celebrate the unique beauty of the North Shore landscape. Witness blank canvases become exquisite moments in local history. Competition area is anywhere in Cook County, MN-from the Canadian Border to the Caribou River in Schroeder.


Plein Air Grand Marais 2015
Plein Air Grand Marais is growing due to the support and involvement of our community and artists. We are honored to host so many talented artists in this premiere outdoor painting location. Plein Air Grand Marais will have three different categories for artistic engagement: Invitational, Jury & Open Class. Invitational & Jury Class will be included in the exhibition and be eligable for all juror awards. The Open Class can participate in all competition activities, plus a special event in which one artist will be selected as a 2016 invitational artist. 

2015 Timeline
Jury Open*: January 14
Open Class Registration: January 14 - August 31
Invitations confirmed: January 31
Jury Applications Due: April 6
Jury Notification: April 24

Competition: September 11 - 18
Opening Reception: September 18, 5 - 7pm
Exhibit Open: September 18 - October 4

*Note: Jury applications will be taken online via
Photos from Plein Air Grand Marais 2014

2014 Purchase Award Sponsors

$500 level
The Robb Horstman Family
Jon Weber, Jean Laing-Weber, & Suzanne Weber Family
Backlund Realty
Cascade Vacation Rentals
Orthopaedic Associates 

$350 level
WTIP North Shore Community Radio

$300 level
Don Quest & Lois Clay Quest Family
Anderson's North Shore Resort
Mangy Moose Motel
Dockside Fish Market
Lake Superior Trading Post
Betsy Bowen Studios
Johnson's Foods
Sheila Smith & Perry McGowan
John & Catherine Schoenherr Family
Sivertson Gallery

2014 Event Sponsors
Grand Marais State Bank
Boreal Access
North Shore Federal Credit Union
North Shore Oil & Propane
East Bay Suites
White Pine North
Hedstrom Lumber
City of Grand Marais


2014 Schedule of Events
Competition | September 5-12
Red Suspender Invitational | September 8-12 | Voting is 1-3pm at the Art Colony
Sugarloaf Paint out | Saturday, September 6, 1-4pm
Happy Hour | Papa Charlie's | Saturday, September 6, 4:30-7
Happy Hour | Cascade Restaurant | Tuesday, September 9, 4:30-7
Quick Paint | Artists' Point | Thursday, September 11, 4-5:30pm
Open BBQ Picnic | Artists' Point | Thursday, September 11, 5:30-7:30pm
Juror Lecture | East Bay Suites | Friday, September 12, 11am 
Opening Reception | Johnson Heritage Post | Friday, September 12 from 5-7pm 
Exhibit & Sale | Johnson Heritage Post | September 13-28 from 10am-4pm 

2014 Juror | Bonnie Paruch
Bonnie Paruch is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America. She has been published by International Pastel Artist, and International Artist Magazine, where she was identified as one of “Americas leading landscape painters.” She was heralded as an “Artist to Collect” by Southwest Art Magazine. Bonnie has won major awards at Plein Air competitions around the country. In 2013 Bonnie released her new book, A Brush with Life. She welcomes visitors to her studio & gallery in Door County, WI.

2014 Participating Artists
Richard AbrahamMatt AndersonJudith AndersonDuane BarnhartDoug Berg, Daria Blanton, Kristin Blomberg, Jerri Jo BrandtCarl BretzkeMary Ann Cleary, Elsie Cook, Chris Copeland, Judy Czank-Mayor, Tom Dimock, Virginia Dudley, Allison EklundBridget ErteltAndy EvansenLaura Frykman, Dave Gilsvik, Nancy Gongoll, Paula GustafsonEmily HaddadMarva HarmsCarol HolmbladMatt Kania, Laurie Kania, Cynthia KathJeanne KnightRick KochenashStephen Kraseman, Matt Lebens, Dianne LewisKathy LitwinBob LuedtkeElizabeth Manfredi, Cynthia Markle, Tom  McGregor, Lauren McKinnon, Susan McLean-KeeneySpencer  MeagherBarbara NickersonSusan Novak, Tom  Pace, Tim PearsonDavid Rickert, Stephen Ronald, Kathy Schur, Katherine SegerNeil Sherman, Sheila Smith, Joyce StaleyLisa Stauffer, Peter Stetsko, Richard StrykerBob Upton, Ken  Valentas, Michelle WeglerStephen Wysocki, Ivan Zassavitski

Learn : Observe : Purchase
The North Shore of Lake Superior is juxtaposed between inspiration and recreation with a deeply rooted connection to the arts that is the envy of many communities. Since 1947 the Art Colony has maintained a strong relationship between outdoor recreation and artistic pursuit due to Art Colony founder Birney Quick’s vision to form an outdoor painting school. Many aspiring and professional artists have sought creative guidance and instruction at the Art Colony, all contributing to the growth and formation of this community. 
Plein Air Grand Marais is a great way to connect with the artistic community of the North Shore. The reputation of this festival precedes itself, having become known as the best place to view and purchase a wide variety of local scenic paintings from acclaimed regional and national artists.

||| Artists In Action |||
Fri, Sept 5 – Thurs, Sept 11: County-wide
Plein Air Grand Marais is an outdoor painting competition in which artists have 7 days to capture the 3,340 square miles of Cook County.  Blank canvas turns into fresh works of art depicting this scenic landscape.

Spend the day on the look-out for artists at work. Once an artist has been spotted, watch as the painting unfolds under the mastery of the artist’s brush.

Observe | Sugarloaf Cove Paint Out
Saturday, September 6, 1 – 4pm @ Sugarloaf Cove in Schroeder
Watch artists capture the beauty of Sugarloaf Cove!  One of the best components of the Plein Air Painting Competition is having the opportunity to watch artists work as they turn blank canvas into snapshots of iconic North Shore moments.
View | Red Suspender Invitational
Tues – Wed, Sept 9 – 10, 1 – 3pm @ the Art Colony
Talk shop with artists, learn about their techniques, pry out their favorite painting locations. On display will be work from the Red Suspender Invitational, a bracketed single elimination style competition category.
{What is the Red Suspender Invitational? Click here}
Observe | Artists' Point: Quick Paint
Thurs, Sept 11, 4 – 5:30 @ Artists' Point in Grand Marais
During this category event, artists have 90 minutes to complete a painting.  With a shot gun start and finish, artists battle weather, wind and waves in this entertaining spectacle that produces incredible art!  A great opportunity to see over 50 artists scattered over Artist Point, truly bringing the tombolo’s name to life.  Bring something to throw on the grill and meet the artists after the event.

Watch footage from the 2011 Plein Air Quick Paint event here. To see what it is all about.

Purchase | Exhibit & Opening Reception
September 13-28 (open daily 10am-4pm)  @ the Johnson Heritage Post in Grand Marais
View 200+ Cook County landscape paintings captured by 60 artists during the Plein Air painting competition.  Artists had 7 days to paint anywhere outdoors in Cook County.  View the rugged landscape through the artist eye.  All artwork is for sale.

Opening Reception: Friday, September 12 from 5-7pm

||| Purchase |||

Purchase: This is an excellent opportunity to obtain an original painting of the North Shore for your home or business. As the landscape continues to evolve and change due to population increase, climate change and natural deterioration – a painter has the unique ability to preserve not only the coup d'oeil but also the emotion of the landscape before it is lost forever.

To become a Purchase Award Sponsor, complete and mail this form to the Grand Marais Art Colony, PO Box 626, Grand Marais, MN 55604

||| Participate |||

Artists | Participate: Experience a vibrant art scene against the majestic backdrop of Lake Superior, the greatest fresh water lake in the world, and the Sawtooth Mountains featuring the most vertical relief in the Midwest.


2013 Competition Winners See all the Main Competition, Quick Paint & Night Paint paintings on Facebook.

Artists | 2013 Artists (FULL! waitlist available)
Richard  Abraham, Judith Anderson, Connie Ash, Brenda Behr, Doug Berg, Daria Blanton, Kristin Blomberg, Robert Bonawitz, Jerri Jo Brandt, Carl Bretzke, Mary Ann Cleary, Kathy  Clouse, Christopher Copeland, Rita Corrigan, Mary  K. Cowan, Jack Dant, Derek Davis, Tom  Dimock, Virginia Dudley, Allison Eklund, Joi Electa, Lee Englund, John Franz, Laura Frykman, Jonathan Gaetke, Dave Gilsvik, Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens, Paula Gustafson, John Heckman, Peter F. Hinze, Gary Hittle, Kari Hogden, Carol Holmblad, Shirley  Hove, Isaiah Johns, Matt Kania, Laurie Kania, Cynthia  Kath, Susan Klem, Jeanne Knight, Mark Larson, Matt Lebens, Cheryl LeClair-Sommer, Diane Lewis, Kathy  Litwin, Bob Luedtke, Dan Mackerman, Ken Marshall, Kenneth Marunowski, Tom  McGregor, Spencer Meagher, Jay Meagher, Joanne Meierhofer, Kim Mikulich, Susan Novak, Pat Owen, Cindy Pawluk, Kathleen Schur, Katherine Seger, Neil Sherman, Joyce Staley, Lisa Stauffer, Holly Stone, Richard  Stryker, Geraline (Gerry) Tostenson, Bob Upton, Ken Valentas, Michelle Wegler, William Whalberg, Steven Wysocki

2013 Juror: Ken DeWaard
Ken DeWaard finds there is nothing more rewarding and challenging than painting under an open sky, surrounded by the scents and sounds of nature, with its ever-changing color and harmonies to excite one's creativity. Ken has worked en plein air for the past 24 years and participates in many national competitions. Trained in the figure in Chicago, Ken evolved his style by traveling on location to learn about the artists who preceeded him. Ken resides with his wife and children in Wisconsin.

2013 Purchase Award Sponsors
$1,000  -  Backlund Realty 
$500  -  Cascade Vacation Rentals
$500  -  Grand Marais State Bank
$400 -   Lake Superior Trading Post
$300  -  Dockside Fish Market
$300  -  Betsy Bowen Studios
$300 -   Don & Lois Quest
$300 -   North Shore Federal Credit Union
$300 -  Hedstrom Lumber Company
$300 - Johnson's Foods
$300 - Jon Weber & Jean Laing-Weber, Suzanne Weber
more to be announced...

Event Sponsors
Cascade Lodge & Restaurant

Congratulations to our 2012 Plein Air Competition Winners!

1st Place: Susan Novak
2nd Place: David Gilsvik
3rd Place: Spencer Meagher

Night Paint: Matt Kania
Quick Paint: Christopher Copeland
People's Choice: Lisa Stauffer

2012 Plein Air Juror : Jan Sivertson

2012 Participating Artists (updated weekly-check back often)
Scott Lloyd Anderson, Heidi Arneson, Duane Barnhart, Doug Berg, Edna Blanchard, Kristin Blomberg, Jerri Jo Brandt, Mary Ann Cleary, Christopher Copeland, Rita Corrigan, Mary Cowan, Derek DavisKarlyn Eckman, Joi Electa, Lee Englund, Bridget Ertelt, John Franz, David Gilsvik, Paula Gustafson, Jay Hanson, Marva Harms, Megan Heikes, Kari Hogden, Aaron Jacobs, Matt Kania, Jeanne Knight, Donna LaBeau, Cheryl LeClair-Sommer, Dianne Lewis, Bob Luedtke, Kenneth Marunowski, Tom McGregor, Spencer Meagher, Dianne Michels, Susan Novak, Kara Pavelich, Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens, Neil Sherman, Lisa Stauffer, Richard Stryker, Ann Tristani, Bob Upton, Ken Valentas, Michelle Wegler

2012 Purchase Award Sponsors:

$500 - Cascade Vacation Rentals - "Reflecting Artists Point" by Lisa Stauffer & "Welcome" by Pat Owen
$500 - Joynes' Ben Franklin - "Cascade River" by Bob Upton
$500 - Grand Marais State Bank - "Falls at the Kadunce" by John Franz
$500 - The Weber Family - "Old Shore" by David Gilsvik & "Distant Shore" by David Gilsvik
$300 - Dockside Fish Market - "Fishing Shacks" by Spencer Meagher
$300 - Lake Superior Trading Post -
$300 -North Shore Federal Credit Union - "Sailing into the Light" by Diane Michaels
$300 - Johnson's Foods -
$300 - Hedstrom's Lumber - "Retired" by Jay Hanson & "Superior Hiking Trail" by Richard Stryker
$300 -Grand Marais Family Dentistry - "Grand Marais Across the Bay" by Lisa Stauffer

Event Sponsors:
Cascade Lodge, Restaurant & Pub
Solbakken Resort

2011 Participating Artists ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cheryl Anderson, Michael Anderson, Scott Lloyd Anderson, Connie Ash, Mary Beams, Edna Blanchard, Daria Blanton, Kristin Blomberg, Jerri Jo Brandt, Mary Ann Cleary, Christopher Copeland, Mary K. Cowan, Carolyn Dry, Scott Eckberg, Karlyn Eckman, Joi Electa, Allison Eklund, Jan Marie Erickson, John R. Franz, David Gilsvik, Nancy Gongoll, Paula Gustafson, Rosemary Guttormsson, David Hahn, Kari Hogden, Mila Horak, Sara Leadholm, Cheryl LeClair-Sommer, Diane LaMere, Misha Martin, Tom McGregor, Pat Owen, Matt Kania, Jeanne Knight, Susan Novak, Sandi Pillsbury, Neil Sherman, Lisa Stauffer, Holly Stone, Richard Stryker, Michelle Wegler, Ken Valentas

Congratulations to our 2011 Plein Air Competition Winners!

1st Place: Scott Lloyd Anderson
2nd Place: Susan Novak
3rd Place: Christopher Copeland

Night Paint: Michelle Wegler
Quick Paint: Neil Sherman
People's Choice: Lisa Stauffer

A big THANKS to our 2011 Purchase Award Sponsors:
$750 Sponsor Level
Lake Superior Trading Post - 218-387-2020
selected: Christopher Copeland's "Artist Point, Breaking Dawn"

$500 Sponsor Level
Joynes Ben Franklin - 218-387-2233
selected: Cheryl Anderson's "Water Blessing" & Kari Hogden's "The Milky Way"
Grand Marais State Bank - 218-387-2441
selected: Joi Electa's "Under the Bridge at Judge Magney"
Cascade Vacation Rentals - 800-950-4361
selected: Paula Gustafson's "Cascade River"

$300 Sponsor Level
North Shore Federal Credit Union - 218-387-1312
selected: Holly's Stone's "Old Timers"
Laing-Weber Family
selected: Kristin Blomberg's "Rocks on Artist Point" & Kari Hogden's "An Evening at Artist Point"
Dockside Fish Market - 218-387-2906
selected: David Hahn's "Hjordis"
Hedstrom Lumber Company - 218-387-2995
selected: Cheryl Anderson's "Backroad Pond"
Grand Marais Family Dentistry - 218-387-2774
selected: Kristin Blomberg's "Summers End" & John Franz's "Deronda Bay" & "Sailboat. Dry Dock"
Ciceron Creative. Business. Marketing. People. - 1-877-275-9805
selected: Chery LeClair-Sommer's "As Dusk Settles In" & Michele Wegler's "Nocturne"

$200 Sponsor Level
Fabyanske Family
selected: Allison Eklund's "Rain, undecided" & Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens' "Sugarloafing with Allie"

Places to Paint
Schedule of Events
Rules & Guidelines
Red Suspender Invitational Info

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