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 - November 15, 2015
2015 Exhibition Open at the Johnson Heritage Post and the Grand Marais Art Colony through November 15

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: Artful Abodes
Saturday, October 3 | NOON | $125
The Artful Abode Exhibit is open to the public: October 4 - 15 
An exclusive home tour, reception, and exhibit highlighting the art of architecture, home design, and functional art.

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, the architect and/or designer that inspired their imagination, and the art that enhancesc their living spaces. On display will be architecture and designs by John Howe, Dale Mulfinger, Richard Olson, and David Salmela.

The tour culminates in an exhibition of functional art and reception at the Art Colony. Participants will have the first opportunity to view and buy from this exhibit featuring functional artwork for the home by renowned Minnesota artists, builders and designers including Eastvold Furniture, Ernest Miller Ceramics, Brienne (Handmade by Brienne) and Anton Moody (Taiga Design Build), Melissa Wickwire (Wickwire Clay Works), Tandem Made, Tom Christiansen, and Jeanne McGee.

The exhibit will be open to the public October 4 - 15, 2015. 

These homes are not open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to see the art and properties 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. | (218) 387-2737
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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
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 now open! 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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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 schedule can be found here

Instructor Exhibition
February 3 - 28
Opening Reception | February 12 | 5pm | Art Colony
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Grand Marais Art Colony
March 7 - 20, 2016

Application materials will be made available in October of 2015


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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: papermaking, bookbinding, screenprinting and more!  Plus, visit the Gallery Store and help us put together a masterpiece puzzle.

May 22
9am - noon | Hand Papermaking with Amanda Degener

May 23
9am - noon | Introduction to Letterboxing with Jill Levene
9am - noon | Paper Marbling with Amanda Degener
2 - 4pm | Community Ink Day: Screenprinting with Mike Swindlehurst
2 - 5pm | Natural Dye and Bookbinding with Amanda Degener

May 24
9am - noon | Asian and Western Bookbinding with Amanda Degener
1-6pm | Masterpiece Puzzle-a-thon
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The 25th Annual Grand Marais Arts Festival
July 11-12, 2015
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


for PlaceBase Performance at the Grand Marais Arts Festival
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 11-12, 2015
Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser – July 11 - 12, 2015
(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, 2015

Submission form can be found here.

2015 Artists to be released soon!
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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 | Art Excursion: Twin Cities Tour
New Dates & Price! 

April 24 - 26, 2015 | $225
The Grand Marais Art Colony is pleased to host a weekend art excursion to the Twin Cities. The plans for this tour began with the knowledge that George Morrison’s Modern Spirit exhibit would be coming to the Minnesota History Center in the spring of 2015. George was born on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation just northeast of Grand Marais. Along with his numerous artistic accomplishments, George was great friends with the Art Colony’s founder, Birney Quick, and formerly married to longstanding teaching artist, Hazel Belvo. Along with teaching at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, George also taught at the Art Colony.
The Grand Marais Art Colony Art Excursion package includes the following itinerary:
  • Meet and Greet wine party at the home of Hazel Belvo and Marcia Casey Cushmore
  • Behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Minnesota History Center’s art collection
  • Guided tour of the Modern Spirit exhibit with artist, Hazel Belvo and Dr. Kristin Makholm, Executive Director of the Minnesota Museum of Modern Art
  • Lunch discussion at the Minnesota History Center
  • Exclusive guided home tour of Minnesota art collector
  • Private guided Northeast studios tour with Grainbelt building artist, Lynn Speaker
Please see registration document below for more details or call the Art Colony with questions!
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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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PAST EVENT | Instructor Show
May 9-June 11
Come celebrate the creativity of our instructors!

Opening Reception | Friday, May 9, 5 - 7pm

Pictures from Instructor Show 2014
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PAST EVENT | Warren MacKenzie Pottery Exhibit
Friday, June 6 - Sunday, June 29, 2014


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