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

The 100 Day Project
January 22 - April 30
Committing to 100 days of creativity.
Excavate your creative spirit through small daily acts everyday for 100 days! 

Creativity is a skill.  The more we practice, the more skilled we become.  Practice takes time.  Practice takes commitment.  Practice is a radical act in this speeded up world.   Through practice, we develop a creative habit.  Through habit, we reconnect with and know ourselves again as a creative being.
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Community Conversations
January 21, February 18
Noon | FREE | bring a bag lunch

February 18 | Critical Response Critique Model w/ Lynn Speaker
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Winter Arts Festival : Outdoor Painting & Photography
1/24/2016 - 1/29/2016
Every winter since 2010, outdoor painters have gathered at YMCA Camp Menogyn on the threshold of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to experience the beauty of northern wilds in the heart of winter, enjoy the camaraderie of other artists, and above all—to paint without distraction in an environment of professional and critical support. This event is in collaboration with the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota.  

Detailed information, including registration and suggested supplies, is available from Allison Ecklund: or 651.592.7858.

Meet-n-Greet at the Art Colony
January 24 | 2:30pm

Pop-up Exhibition at the Art Colony
January 29 | 3 – 5pm
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Northern Fibers Retreat
February 10 - 16, 2016
Celebrate the Art and Craft of fibers in the heart of winter.  This cozy retreat features a variety of classes, Lunch and Learn lectures, a show and share and more, all while celebrating with other fiber enthusiasts.

Co-hosted with the North House Folk School and the Northwoods Fiber Guild.  Classes and programs will be offered at both the Art Colony & North House (NH).
2016 scheduled classes are listed below.

Instructor Exhibition
February 3 - 28, 2016
Opening Reception | February 12, 2016 | 5pm | Art Colony

February 12, 2016 | 7pm
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Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists
March 5 - 6, 2016
Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists
A program of Springboard for the Arts.  Funded in part by Sivertson Gallery and individual donors.

The following sessions are hosted in collaboration with Springboard for the Arts, which exisits to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the resources they need to make a living and a life. All classes are taught by Springboard for the Arts instructors. 

Career Planning & Time Management for Artists
Saturday, March 5 | 9am - 11:30am | $15 

Recordkeeping for Artists
Saturday, March 5 | 1pm - 3:30pm | $15

Pricing for Artists
Sunday, March 6 | 9am - 11:30am  | $15

Social Media Basics for Artists
Sunday, March 6 | 1pm - 3:30pm | $15
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Juried Artist-in-Residence
Juried Artists-in-Residence | March 7 – 20
Applications for 2016 are now closed. Please email the Program Director here to be placed on the mailing list. 

2016 Artists-in-Residence 

Walter Early
Beth Dorsey 

Join us for the Following
Free, Public Events!

Open Studios
Saturday, March 12 | 1 - 3pm

Community Engagement Projects
Saturday, March 19

Printmaking Workshop: Simple, Spontaneous and Fun Beth Dorsey
9 am – noon | Free 
Beth will introduce participants to the pochoir printmaking technique, a simple, stencil process that allows for spontaneity, is low-tech, and comparatively accessible. Participants will make several prints and Beth will also share some of her own work and process.
Artist Exhibition and Talk Walter Early
1pm | Free
To construct his sculptures, Walter gathers formal and material inspiration and creative research elements that are based in both the urban and natural landscapes. In response to the North Shore environment, he will focus his residency on making both autonomous objects and site-specific pieces weaving together two and three-dimensional work. To wrap up his time at the Art Colony Walter will host an exhibition of his finished sculptures and give an artist talk detailing his influences, past work, processes, and themes.


This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature's general and arts and cultural heritage funds."

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Invited Artist-in-Residence: Site-based Installation
Site-based Installation | The limits of knowledge (for William Bronk)
Charles Matson Lume | March 21 - April 3

Informed by the poem, "The limits of knowledge," by William Bronk, Charles Matson Lume will explore the light and space of northern Minnesota as it compares to his recent experiences in Scandinavia. These pairings will lead to a large-scale installation in Founders Hall.

The limits of knowledge
William Bronk

The unpurposive lights in the sky at night, far
from telling us what purpose is as, say,
there is no purpose (as may, perhaps, be so)
say only how we don't know what it is.

But Venus, tonight, was beautiful in the west.
If I wake toward morning, as many times I do,
and look in the east, Vega, will be there.
What certainties are these? We don't know. 

Artist Talk
Installations: From Germination to De-installation
Charles Matson Lume
March 26 | Noon | Free

As part of his residency, Charles Matson Lume will discuss his process of making installations, from their initial germinations to their de-installation.
Charles Matson Lume’s residency is funded in part by a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.

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Invited Artists-in-Residence: Earth Day Site-based Installation
Earth Day Site-based Installation
April 14 - 24, 2016

Mary Bergs and Lisa Hochstein will work together to create an impermanent, site-specific installation. The installation will occur over the 10-day period preceding Earth Day (Friday, April 22).

Mary and Lisa each have a long history of working with re-purposed materials, largely gleaned from the day-to-day stream of waste and refuse. For this particular project, the artists will use cardboard boxes and packaging materials that have been solicited and collected from local businesses, the recycling center, and from generous community members. The completed installation will explore the re-contextualization of found materials, the architectural space of the gallery, and the challenges of collaboration over time and distance.

The community is invited to the following opportunities in conjunction with Mary and Lisa’s residency:

Open Studios
Saturday, April 16 | 2 – 4:30 pm
Thursday, April 21 | 2 – 4:30 pm

Artist Talk
Repurposing Found Materials
Mary Bergs and Lisa Hochstein
Saturday, April 23 | Noon

As Mary and Lisa wrap up their residency, they will share about their collaborative process in putting together a site-based installation and also discuss their own work.
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Mentor Residency Workshops
April 25 - October 9
Each mentoring artist offers a unique philosophical approach and teaching style. Workshops are cooperative in nature, characterized by critical group dialouge, focused time to work on independent projects and mentored guidance. 

Instructors include: Doug Westendorp, Elizabeth Erickson, Martha McQuade, Dan Clark, David Feinberg, Becky McDonah, Tedd McDonah, Hazel Belvo, Linda Gammell, Mary Leikvold, and Faith Sullivan

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Memorial Day Weekend Art Along the Lake
May 22 - May 24, 2015
Art Along the Lake is a Gallery Tour that celebrates the vibrant art scene of Cook County.  Galleries throughout Cook County will be hosting demonstrations, activities, and live music all weekend.

Join the Art Colony for a family-friendly weekend of art-making: glass, printmaking, photography and more!  

Mosaics: A Way with Water
Pam Collins
May 28 - 30 | 3 days

Community Ink Day: Screenprinting
Mike Swindlehurst
May 28 | 2 - 4pm

Digital Pinhole Photography
Simon Stromberg
May 28 | 1 day

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The 26th Annual Grand Marais Arts Festival
July 9-10, 2016
Applications for the 2016 Grand Marais Arts Festival are now open. Applications can be found here

Please contact to be put on the mailing list.


Applications Open | January 15 

Applications Close | March 11
Notification | April 1

2016 Artist Information


Over 70 local and regional artists set up by the glistening shores of Lake Superior for two days during the peak of summer to showcase their unique handcrafted work and provide insight into their artistic process through demonstration and dialogue.

2015 Festival Directory can be found here

2015 Participating Artists

Martye Allen | Maggie Anderson | Robert Briscoe | Barbara Dreyer | Joan Farnam | Anthony Huonder | Bob Husby | Jd Jorgenson | Ernest Miller | Sharon Moen | Martin Pearson | Nate Saunders | Ray Shelerud | Jason Trebs | Melissa Wickwire

Kelly Beaster | Erica Belkholm | Marilyn Cuellar | Sue Rowe | Dave Steckelberg

Julie Arthur | Julie Crabtree | Dawnette Davis | Emily Derke | Jill Hunter | Elise Kyllo | Mary MacDonald | Mary Reichert | Natalija Walbridge

Mary Ila Duntemann | Nancy Hemstad Seaton | Dan Neff

Melissa Carroll | Kristine Danielson | Monica Hansmeyer | Todd Hawkinson | Christina Holland | Anders Idso |  Sharee Johnson | Jennifer Nunnelee | Cindy Mae Swee | Candyce Westfield | Rebecca Wicklund

Jane Meinz

Mixed Media
Nicole Aufderhar | Christine Dregalla | Betsey Harries | Annette Mattingly | Brenna Busse

Gail Anderson | Beth Homa | Candace LaCosse

Douglas Berg | Jan Killian | Dan Mondloch | Jeffrey Niesen | Tim Pearson | Joyce Staley

Dave Angell | David Barthel | John Caughlan | Jim Gindorff | Nace Hagemann | Ryan Tischer | Bill Gillis | Doug Cummelin

Betsy Bowen | Mary Bruno | Jerry Riach 

Tom Christiansen

James Anderson | Bill Brown | Tim Dennison | Jesse Gerhard | Aryn & Courtney Kern | Andrew Kringen | Elizabeth Levitski | Cooper Ternes | David & Kathy Towley

Fika Coffee will be serving coffee in Harbor Park throughout the weekend! Stop on by and have some Grand Marais roasted coffee.

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Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser
July 9-10, 2016
Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser – July 9-10, 2016
(occurring simultaneously with the Grand Marais Arts Festival)

A 5x7 sale of artwork donated by talented artists in support of the Grand Marais Art Colony.
$35 each!

Contact to submit a piece to be sold.  All are welcome to submit work. Deadline is July 1, 2016

Submission form can be found here.

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Plein Air Grand Marais
September 8 - 15, 2016
2016 Jury is now open - applications can be found here

Please email to be placed on the mailing list. 


2016 Awards Juror: Dan Wiemer

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.

2015 event images

2015 Awards Juror: Tom Nachreiner

2015 Awards
1st Place | Clearwater by Bob Upton | sold
2nd Place | Red Rock by Tom McGregor | sold
3rd Place | Cascade Falls Rush by Sue Wipf | $820
Honorable Mention | Bambe by Lawrence Rudolech | sold

Night Paint
Winner | Firelight by Scott Lloyd Anderson | $1450
Honorable Mention | Harbor at Night by Carl Bretzke | $550

Quick Paint
Winner | Waiting for the Sun by Carl Bretzke | sold
Honorable Mention | The Great Freshwater Sea by Robert Hodges-Bonawitz | $450

Red Suspender Winner | Harley's Old Truck by Carl Bretzke | $850

People's Choice Award | Clearwater by Bob Upton | sold


2015 Purchase Award Sponsors
Ari & Susan Fuad

Backlund Realty | Sally & Tom Berg | David Robinson & Janet Ekern

Bill & Dolly Schnell | Betsy Bowen Studio | Dockside Fish Market
Don Quest & Lois Clay Quest | Jean Laing-Weber, Jon Weber & Suzanne Weber | Mangy Moose Motel | Hedstrom Lumber

Event Sponsors
Grand Marais State Bank 
North Shore Federal Credit Union 
Phil Barsody 
Lutsen Mountains

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Tour d'Art: Artful Abodes, a Home Tour Fundraiser
October 3, 2015
A Grand Marais Art Colony Fundraiser:

Tour d'Art
Thanks for a successful 2015 event, stay tuned for information about the 2016 tour. 

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Fall Art Weekend
October 16 - 18
Join us this fall for a weekend of art classes, activites, lectures, and even a field trip. There are options for students of all ages, so grab a friend or your family and expand your creativity! Click here for more information about the weekend!

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Annual Members Show & Sale
October 30 - November 22, 2015
The 2015 Member Show & Sale is themed! The theme is Wabi-sabi, or beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
Wabi-sabi aesthetic includes asymmetry, roughness, irregularity, simplicity, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

Friday, Oct 30

Annual Member Meeting - 4pm
Opening Reception - 5-7pm

Exhibit runs through Sunday, November 22

The Grand Marais Art Colony annual Member Show & Sale provides an opportunity for artists to share their inspiration with each other and the public.  You won't want to miss this quality exhibit with dynamic pieces in a variety of price ranges.

Attention Artists - Artwork is due by Monday, Oct. 26
Call the office for details: 218-387-2737 
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North Shore Readers and Writers Festival: A Minnesota Voice

There is limited space in the following events:

MN Presses Panel Discussion | Sat, Nov 7 | 7pm
HOMES: The Great Lakes Project | Sun, Nov 8 | 9am

Call the Art Colony today to check for availability.

The Art Colony, along with Drury Lane Books and the Grand Marais Public Library, are pleased to host the:
North Shore Readers and Writers Festival
A Minnesota Voice
November 5 - 8, 2015

Keynote Author: Lorna Landvik

Event Registration is open and sessions are filling up quickly! Click on the Festival Registration Packet below for full event details.

The packet is a writable pdf that participants can fill out with Adobe Reader. 
Please note that sending payment information in via email is not a secure route. Instead, please send in a check with the registration packet or call to complete your registration by phone.
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Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction
Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Silent Auction accompanies the Empty Bowls Dinner. All funds raised through the Silent Auction support the expenses to organize Empty Bowls so all dinner proceeds can go directly to alleviate hunger needs.

Empty Bowls 2015
Thursday, November 12 | St. John's Catholic Church
11am - 1pm and 5 - 7pm

Soup: $5
Handcrafted Bowl: $10


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April 23
The Grand Marais Art Colony and Leah Thomas are excited to announce the creation of the Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award, in memory of Leah’s brother Eric (1956 - 2013).  This annual scholarship will provide full tuition and cost of materials for a young Cook County artist to attend a Grand Marais Art Colony class of their choice.
This scholarship is open to youth who are currently a sophomore or junior in highschool.

Application can be found here and is due annually on April 23.

Listen to a RADIO clip from an interview about the Award with Art Colony director Amy Demmer, Highschool Art Teacher Mary MacDonald and Selection Committee member Michael McHugh
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PAST EVENT | Findings: A Jewelry Symposium
June 11 - 14, 2015
[fahyn-ding] noun
1. A thing that is discovered; related to awareness, uncovering, invention, creation, exploration
2. Pieces that jewelers make and use to join jewelry components together to form a completed article

Full Schedule can be found here

The North Shore is a landscape filled with long horizon lines over Lake Superior, spires of old-growth boreal forests, rivers and waterfalls cutting through jagged rhyolite and basalt. Artists have long retreated to the North Shore to explore the lines, contours, and patterns of nature and abstract them into pieces of art. Ours is an emotive and tactile landscape, resonant with the nature of jewelry.

The Art Colony, in partnership with the Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild (MNJag), is pleased to host Findings: A Jewelry Symposium, June 11 – 14, 2015. The four days will be filled with classes, demos, discussions, and lectures for the novice to professional artist, art appreciators, and the broader community to learn more about the art of jewelry making. Come to Grand Marais and let the landscape inspire you!

Listen to the radio interview with Soren Priede and Danny Saathoff here
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PAST EVENT | Liminal Space: Lynn Speaker Solo Exhibition
January 9 - February 1, 2015
Liminal Space  /   Lynn Speaker
Opening Reception January 9, 2015 4-6 pm

This exhibit features new work by Lynn Speaker, which are records of investigations that embrace uncertainty & transition. Speaker’s work is informed by the North Shore landscape & what she finds around her— stones, bones, plants, trees, animals. In searching & discovery these found objects are ultimately remnants of place, time, memory, & experience. 
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