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

Sept. 8 - Oct. 29, 2017

2017 Plein Air Competition
We are pleased to announce that our 2017 Juror will be Kami Mendlik! After the event, Kami will be teaching Composition and Color in the Landscape on September 16 & 17; find details here. Call (218) 387-2737 to register for this class. 

Check-in for Competition: Friday, September 8 from 9am-4pm 
Pincushion Paint-Out: Saturday, September 9 from 1-5pm at Pincushion Overlook
Lunch Discussion: Outdoor Painters of Minnesota
Monday, September 11 | Allison Eklund | 12 pm - 1 pm
Quick Paint: Thursday, September 14 from 4-5:30pm at the Harbor
Invite and Jury Paintings Due: Friday, September 15 from 8:30-10am at the Johnson Heritage Post
Juror Lecture by Kami Mendlik: Friday, September 15 at 11am at the Grand Marais Art Colony
Open Class Paintings Due: Friday, September 15 from 1:30-2:30pm
Opening Reception: Friday, September 15 from 5-7pm at the Johnson Heritage Post
Exhibit: Saturday, September 16 - Sun, Oct. 29 at the Johnson Heritage Post & Grand Marais Art Colony

Click here for full Artist Packet! 

2017 Plein Air Grand Marais Artists

Invitational Class

Richard Abraham | Kristin Blomberg | Bob Bonawitz | Jerri Jo Brandt | Carl Bretzke | Christopher Copeland | Lee Englund | John Franz | Dave Gilsvik | Paula Gustafson | David Hahn | Matt Kania | Cynthia Kath | Cheryl LeClair-Sommer | Tom McGregor | Dan Mackerman | Dan Mondloch | Tom Nachreiner | Elizabeth Oppenheimer | Mike Rada | Larry Seiler | Neil Sherman | Lisa Stauffer | James Turner | Bob Upton | Michelle Wegler | Sue Wipf | Stephen Wysocki | Kathie Wheeler

Jury Class

Douglas Berg | Ed Cacek | MaryAnn Cleary | Jack Dant | Derek Davis | Steve DeLaitsch | Patricia Duncan | Patty Dwyer | Allison Eklund | Bridget Ertelt | Robert Hagberg | Marva Harms | Carol Holmblad | Joni Jurek | Laurie Kania | Sara Lubinski | Robert Luedtke | Leisa Luis-Grill | Doug Malin | Sandra Maxwell | Spencer Meagher | Pat Owen | Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens | Joan Reynolds | Katherine Seger | Joyce Staley | Jon Strand | Richard Stryker | Kenneth Valentas | William Whalberg | Chris Willey

Open Class

Mary Jo Ellis |  Gary Olson |  Irene Tait |  Nancy Gongoll |  Wendy Goriup |  Kathleen  Weinberg |  Susan Aamot |  Jeannie Knight | Mary Olson |  Angie Malin |  Judy CM Mayor |  Susan Estill |  Cindy Pawluk |  Pete Hinze

There is still space available in the Open Class. Call the Art Colony for more details about participating in Plein Air through the Open Class. 

Special Thanks to our Plein Air Event Sponsors!
The following have helped to make this event possible:
Eagle Ridge Resort at Lutsen Mountains
Visit Cook County

Contact to be placed on the mailing list for Plein Air information


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 ||| 

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.

Lutsen Mountains Paint out
This is a great opportunity to see artists paint a different part of the county. Take the gondola to the top of the mountain, soak up the incredible view, and spot some artists working along the way.
Artists' Point: Quick Paint
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. 

||| Purchase |||
 This is an excellent opportunity to obtain an original painting of the North Shore for your home or business. Artists capture favorite North Shore buildings and iconic vistas.

To become a Purchase Award Sponsor, please email the events coordinator. Information available here



Main Category
1st Place | Carl Bretzke, "Behind the Fish Dock"
2nd Place | Dan Mackerman, "Dingy Dance" 
3rd Place | Bob Upton, "Sunny Surf"
Honorable Mention | Neil Sherman, "Thompson Falls"

Night Paint
Winner | Kathleen Wheeler, "Spinning Yarns" 
Honorable Mention | David Gilsvik, "Back Door Holiday Gas"

Quick Paint 
Winner | Sue Wipf, "90 Minutes on Ancient Rocks" 
Honorable Mention | Tom McGreger, "The Rock Walkers"

Sense of Place
Winner | Christopher Copeland, "Red Rocks Near Grand Portage"

Red Suspender
Winner | Dan Mondloch, "Walking on Artist Point" 

People's Choice Award | Bob Upton, "Rugged & Serene"

Open Class Best in Show | Liz Oppenheimer, "Night Lights at the Harbor"

1st Place | Clear Water by Bob Upton 
2nd Place | Red Rock by Tom McGregor 
3rd Place | Cascade Falls Rush by Sue Wipf 
Honorable Mention | Bambe by Lawrence Rudolech 

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

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

Red Suspender Winner | Harley's Old Truck by Carl Bretzke 
People's Choice Award | Clearwater by Bob Upton 


Main Category
1st Place:Bob Upton
2nd Place: Paula Gustafson
3rd Place:Dave Gilsvik
Honorable Mentions:Andy Evansen, Lisa Stauffer
Night Paint
Winner:Andy Evansen
Honorable Mention: Bob Upton
Quick Paint
Winner:Chris Copeland
Honorable Mention: Tom Dimock
People's Choice Award:Dave Gilsvik
Red Suspender Invitational winner: Dave Gilsvik

Pictures from 2014 can be found here 


1st Place: Carl Bretzke "Pincushion View"
2nd Place: David Gilsvik "Setting Sail"
Also People's Choice & Red Suspender-aka-Artists Choice
3rd Place: Lee Englund "Sugarloaf Cove"
Honorable Mention: Bob Upton "Sugarloaf Cove"
Honorable Mention: Derek Davis "Sky Show"
Night Paint Winner: Carl Bretzke "Tavern Backside"
Quick Paint Winner: Richard Abraham "Sky Pools"


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


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


Artist Packet
Purchase Award Sponsor Information

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