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

The Vocabulary of Art: Artist Talks & Demonstrations

/// Reading Faith Sullivan
August 31 | 4:30 pm | Location: Drury Lane Books
/// A Career in Glass: Pivotal Moments and Inspirations Donna Rice
September 2 | 5 pm | Location: Art Colony 
/// Paint with Intention Dan Wiemer
September 16 | 11 am | Location: Art Colony
/// The Art of Seeing: Developing a Visual Literacy Hazel Belvo
September 17 | 10 – 11 am | Location: Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery
Tuition: $5 suggested donation
/// Merging Glass and Clay Helen Otterson
September 28 | Noon | Location: Johnson Heritage Post
More info

Saturdays in the Studio
May 28 - September 3, 2016
1pm | Free
Learn about the creative process while observing artists at work

August 13 | Glass Painting w/ Anna Hess
August 20 | Watercolor w/ Cilla Walford
August 27 | Oil Painting w/ Kathy Weinberg
September 3 | Clay w/ Maggie Anderson
More info

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

More info

Plein Air Grand Marais
September 9 - 16, 2016


2016 Awards Juror: Dan Wiemer
Take a Class with Dan!

2016 Jury Class Juror: Bonnie Paruch

Take a Class with Bonnie!


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.

2016 Schedule
September 9 | Competition Starts!
September 10 | 1 - 5pm | Paint out at Lutsen Mountains
September 15 | 4 - 5:30 | Quick Paint at Artists Point
September 16 | 11am | at the Art Colony | Juror Lecture with Dan Wiemer
September 16 | Opening Reception | 5 - 7pm | at the Johnson Heritage Post
September 17 - November 13 | Exhibition Open | at the Johnson Heritage Post and Grand Marais Art Colony


Want to have the first peek (and chance to buy) the fresh paintings from the week? Become A Purchase Award Sponsor!

2015 event images

2016 Artists

Invite Class
Richard Abraham | Kristin Blomberg | Bob BonawitzCarl Bretzke
Christopher CopelandLee Englund | John Franz
Dave Gilsvik | Paula Gustafson | David Hahn | Catherine Hearding
Matt KaniaCynthia KathCheryl LeClair-SommerScott Lloyd AndersonTom McGregorDan Mondloch | Stephen Ronald
Lawrence RudolechNeil ShermanLisa StaufferBob UptonMichelle WeglerSue WipfStephen WysockiKathie Wheeler

Jury Class
Duane BarnhartChristopher BeebeDouglas BergJerri Jo Brandt
Barbara CaseyMichele CombsJack DantTom DimockAllison Eklund | Wayne Hein | Gary Hittle | Carol HolmbladDebra Howard
Julia Jaakola | Constance Johnston | Laurie Kania | Kathy Litwin
Sara LubinskiRobert Luedtke | Dan MackermanAngie Malin
Doug Malin | DK Palecek | Sandi Pillsbury GredzensGreg Preslicka
Mike Rada Larry SeilerJoyce StaleyRichard StrykerChristine Tierney | James Turner | Kenneth Valentas | Patty Voje | William Whalberg

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Tour d'Art: Beach Houses, a Home Tour Fundraiser
October 1, 2016
A Grand Marais Art Colony Fundraiser:

Tour d'Art Beach Houses

October 1 | Noon | $125

The Art Colony's annual fundraiser and exclusive home tour. The 2016 tour features four dynamic homes along Cascade Beach Road.

Call early to reserve your spot!

The Grand Marais Art Colony will host its fourth annual Tour d’ Art Beach House fundraiser on October 1, 2016.  They have created a rare opportunity to view homes that are located where a boreal forest meets the inland sea of Lake Superior.  Each home uniquely demonstrates how the owners, with the collaboration of a designer or artist, have taken an existing property and transformed the space to meet their vision of living along the shore.

The tour will provide participants with an exclusive opportunity to visit four unique homes in one afternoon.  Homeowners will be present to give context to the story of how their home evolved, how they find solace in the sights and sounds of their special location, and what they most enjoy about their artistically designed space.  Each property owner has created spaces that bring friends and family together, while honoring the history and landscape of the area.
A private reception at the Johnson Heritage Post will conclude the day, highlighting the Grand Marais Art Colony Plein Air Exhibit.
These homes are not open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to see the art, craftsmanship, and design of some of the North Shore’s most interesting homes.  Tickets are limited for this exclusive experience and can be purchased in advance for $125.

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Book Arts Weekend
October 1 - 2, 2016
Join us for a weekend of book arts, papermaking and letterpress activities hosted in partnership with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Please register with MCBA here

Decorative Techniques on Paper: Suminagashi and Orizomi | October 1 | 9am - Noon 

Cross Structure Binding | October 1 | 9am - 12pm 

Letterpress: Table-top Platen Press | October 1 | 9am - 12pm 

Drum Leaf Binding | October 1 | 1pm - 4pm 

Letterpress: Show Card Press | October 1 | 1pm - 4pm 

Coptic Binding | October 1 | 1pm - 4pm 

Cherry Blossom Box: Book Arts | October 2 | 1pm - 4pm 

Long and Link Stitch Binding | October 2 | 1pm - 4pm 

Letterpress: Single Sheet Books and Alternative Processes | October 2 | 1 - 4pm 
More info

Fall Art Weekend
October 21 - 23
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!

Drop-in Activities for all ages

Watercolor Resist Painting
October 21 | 10 am - 1 pm | FREE
Monoprints in the Print Studio
October 22 | 1 - 4 pm | $5 | Pre-registration requested
Glass Baubles in the Glass Studio
October 22 | 1 - 4 pm | $5 | Pre-registration requested


Influence and Process Daryn Lowman
October 21 - 23 | 3 days

Spotaneous Process Painting Bevie LaBrie
October 21 - 22 | 2 days

More info

Annual Members Show & Sale
October 28 - November 20, 2016
The 2016 Member Show & Sale theme: Ode to the Ordinary 
There is delight in a ritual as simple as a morning cup of coffee or seeing a favorite rock leaning on the windowsill. These things may serve as a reminder or provide peace and grounding. Ode to the Ordinary honors the beauty, humor, resiliance, and steadfastness of the everyday. 

Friday, Oct 28

Annual Member Meeting | 3:30 pm
Opening Reception | 5-7 pm

Exhibit runs through Sunday, November 20

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. 24
Call the office for details: 218-387-2737 
More info

Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Twelve percent of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colony co-organizes the Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction: a community art fundraiser to alleviate local hunger needs. 


Help make bowls to donate to this event while learning the basics of pottery and fused glass. Open to all levels and ages. Register early!

Make-a-Bowl: Clay
September 17 – 18 & October 15 – 16 | one-hour sessions
Saturday: 9 am – 2:30 pm; Sunday: 11 am – 3 pm
Tuition: $5 | Pre-registration required

Make-a-Bowl: GLASS
October 25 & 26 | 6:30 - 7:30pm
Tuition: $5

October 29 | 10am - 2pm
Tuition: $5

Empty Bowls 2016
Thursday, November 10 | St. John's Catholic Church
11am - 1pm and 5 - 7pm

Soup: $5
Handcrafted Bowl: $10


More info

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
More info

Northern Fibers Retreat
February 16 - 19, 2017
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).
2017 scheduled classes are listed below.

Instructor Exhibition
February 3 - 28, 2017
Opening Reception | February 17, 2017 | 5pm | Art Colony
More info

Juried Artist-in-Residence
March 6 - 19, 2017
Grand Marais ARt Colony
Juried Artists-in-Residence
March 6 - 19, 2017

Applications for 2017 will become available September 30, 2016 and will be due mid-December. Please email the Program Director here to be placed on the mailing list for 2017. 


More info

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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Artist Services

Artist services connect artists with a vibrant creative community and vital resources in order to help them grow their practice, advance their career, and develop sustainable lives as artists. Some services require orientation and/or are subject to fees. Call for more information. 

Professional Development Classes
Studio Access and Other Opportunities
Residency Series

More info

April 23
Congradulations to the 2016 receipients: Cassie Burkett & Samantha Scalise!

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 high school.

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, High school Art Teacher Mary MacDonald and Selection Committee member Michael McHugh
More info

Creative Self-Care Workshop Weekend
April 30 - May 2
Creative Self-Care Workshop Weekend
Story, Self, and the Creative Journey
Foster restorative habits through creative expression

If we are perfectly honest, most of us could use a focused weekend to refresh and revitalize. In 2016, the Art Colony is pleased to serve those in our community who are looking for that extra space, time, and guidance to consider the intersections between our inner and outer worlds through the vehicle of creative exploration. Connect in more meaningful ways with your own story and developing sense of self, dialogue with others in the helping professions, and acquire new artistic and therapeutic tools and vocabularies by which to deal with life’s challenges. Whether you are a caregiver, an educator, a health professional, a parent, or another type of professional, consider joining us this spring. Along with the one-day classes below, the weekend will include yoga sessions, panel discussions, an outdoor excursion, and more! Call for full event details and to register.

The Art Colony has MFT Board approval to provide 6-23 CE hours. Credit are be available for LAMFT and LMFT professionals, as well as ATR professionals. Individual therapists may also obtain a document of completion from the Art Colony following their class for their own use. 

This event is sponsored in part by Johnson Heritage Post Gallery and Harbor Inn.

Full event booklet can be found here

Classes offered: 
Personalized Journal Making Bevie LaBrie
Creative Play and Emotional Resilience Kelly O. Finnerty
Exploring Your Journey Through Story Cloths – Arpilleras Tessa Larson
More info

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.

More info

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.
More info

Memorial Day Weekend Art Along the Lake
May 28 - 30, 2016
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!  

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

Glass Demo: Mary Bebie
May 28 | 1 pm | Free

Learn about the world of fused glass, including basic materials and techniques by watching an artist at work.

Masterpiece Puzzle-a-thon
May 29 | 9am - noon | Free

Drop in at the Art Colony and try your hand at putting together a puzzle of a masterpiece painting. Bring your friends and family and enjoy the challenge. Participants who complete an entire puzzle will receive a prize. 

More info

North Shore Readers and Writers Festival
November 2 - 5, 2017
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the readers and writers festival in 2016. The Art Colony, in conjunction with the Grand Marais Public Library, and Drury Lane Books, are thrilled to host this event biannually. We look forward to seeing you in 2017. Meanwhile, check out the Art Colony's expanded literary arts offerings in 2016. 

Please email us to be placed on the mailing list for 2017

More info

The 27th Annual Grand Marais Arts Festival
July 8 - 9, 2017
THANK YOU for a wonderful 2016 Grand Marais Arts Festival
Join us July 8 - 9, 2017 for next year's festival!
Artists - applications will open via zapplications mid-January 

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.

/// 2016 Arts Festial Directory ///

2016 Artists
Martye AllenMaggie AndersonRobert Briscoe, Greg Cheesebro, Nicholas Earl, Joan Farnam, Bill GossmanLuci Haas
Anthony HuonderBob HusbyJD Jorgenson, Lenore Lampi
Megan Mitchell, Ray Shelerud,  Melissa Wickwire, Paul Zoldahn
Jeff Niesen
Julie Arthur, Dawnette DavisJill Hunter, Elise Kyllo, Andrea Martin, Mary McDonald, Mary ThereseNatalija Walbridge
Mary Bebie, Art Ciccotti, Tom Crosby, Mary Ila DuntemannDan Neff, Nancy Hemstad Seaton,  Donna Rice
Kristine Danielson,Robert Hale,
Monica HansmeyerSharee JohnsonNadine KingJenny Levernier
Cheri Meyer,  Jennifer Nunnelee, Kate Qualley PetersonKirk Sklar, Barbara Stellmach, Candyce Westfield, Rebecca Wicklund
David DeMattia, Stuart Lenz
Nicole Aufderhar, Julie CrabtreeBetsey Harries, Jan Killian, Annette Mattingly
Gail Anderson, Emily Derke
Douglas BergTim Pearson, Joyce Staley
David Barthel, John Caughlan, Jim GindorffNace Hagemann, Peter Juhl , Eric KingBenjamin Olson, Ryan Tischer
Betsy Bowen, Bradley Hall, Jerry Riach
Bud Bullivant
/// WOOD
James Anderson, Bill Brown, Jesse GerhardAryn Kern
Andrew Kringen, Benjamin Leatham, Elizabeth Levitski, Cooper Ternes 

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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.

More info

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