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 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

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

Registration Fee for Open Class: $25
Participating in the Open Class provides the following opportunities:
· Participation in all Plein Air Grand Marais activities, events, or lectures
· Ability to exhibit one painting for sale in the Grand Marais Art Colony Gallery Store starting on Saturday, September 19 – November 15.
· One Open Class participant will be chosen as an Invitation Artist for Plein Air Grand Marais 2016
· Networking with other Plein Air artist
· Exposure to a group of captive art patrons. 
· Open Class artists are not eligible for juror awards


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


2015 Event


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 

Invite Class
Richard Abraham | Kristin Blomberg | Bob  Bonawitz | Carl Bretzke | Christopher Copeland | Lee Englund | Bridget Ertelt | David Gilsvik | Paula Gustafson | Catherine Hearding | Shirley Hove | Laurie Kania | Matt Kania | Cynthia Kath | Rick  Kochenash | Cheryl LeClair-Sommer | Scott Lloyd Anderson | Tom McGregor | Spencer Meagher | Susan  Novak | Lawrence  Rudolech  | Neil Sherman | Lisa Stauffer | Bob Upton | Michelle Wegler

Jury Class
Douglas Berg | Karen Berger | Jerri Jo Brandt | Michele Combs | Patricia Duncan | John Franz | David Hahn | Marva Harms | Wayne Hein | Gary Hittle | Carol Holmblad | Julia Jaakola | Susan Klem | Robert Luedtke | Dan Mackerman | Susan McLean-Keeney | Joanne Meierhofer | Dan Mondloch | Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens | Jason Prigge | Joan ReynoldsLinda Ricklefs BaudryLarry Seiler | Joyce Staley | Richard Stryker | Christine Tierney | Kenneth Valentas | William Whalberg | Sue Wipf | Stephen Wysocki


2014 Winners
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 


2013 Competition Winners
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"

 2012 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


2011 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


Artist Info 2016
Purchase Award Sponsor Information

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