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 - October 4, 2015

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.


Plein Air Grand Marais 2015
Plein Air Grand Marais is growing due to the support and involvement of our community and artists. We are honored to host so many talented artists in this premiere outdoor painting location. Plein Air Grand Marais will have three different categories for artistic engagement: Invitational, Jury & Open Class. Invitational & Jury Class will be included in the exhibition and be eligable for all juror awards. The Open Class can participate in all competition activities, plus a special event in which one artist will be selected as a 2016 invitational artist. 

2015 Info for artists can be found here


2015 Juror: Tom Nachreiner
Take a class with Tom!

Your Authentic Plein Air Voice
September 19 - 21 | 3 days


2015 Timeline
Jury Open*: January 14
Open Class Registration: January 14 - August 31
Invitations confirmed: January 31
Jury Applications Due: April 6
Jury Notification: April 24

Competition: September 11 - 18
Opening Reception: September 18, 5 - 7pm
Exhibit Open: September 18 - October 4

*Note: Jury applications will be taken online via

2015 Awards
1st Place: $1000
2nd Place: $500
3rd Place: $250
Cash prizes also given to the winners of Quick Paint, Night Paint, & People's Choice

Photos from Plein Air Grand Marais 2014


Learn : Observe : Purchase
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.

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.  Bring something to throw on the grill and meet the artists after the event.

||| Purchase |||
 This is an excellent opportunity to obtain an original painting of the North Shore for your home or business. As the landscape continues to evolve and change due to population increase, climate change and natural deterioration – a painter has the unique ability to preserve not only the coup d'oeil but also the emotion of the landscape before it is lost forever.

To become a Purchase Award Sponsor, complete and mail this form to the Grand Marais Art Colony, PO Box 626, Grand Marais, MN 55604

||| Participate |||
Artists | Participate: Experience a vibrant art scene against the majestic backdrop of Lake Superior, the greatest fresh water lake in the world, and the Sawtooth Mountains featuring the most vertical relief in the Midwest.3,340sq miles of paintable terrain
Picturesque landscape combined with abundant outdoor adventure


2014 Purchase Award Sponsors

$500 level
The Robb Horstman Family
Jon Weber, Jean Laing-Weber, & Suzanne Weber Family
Backlund Realty
Cascade Vacation Rentals
Orthopaedic Associates 

$350 level
WTIP North Shore Community Radio

$300 level
Don Quest & Lois Clay Quest Family
Anderson's North Shore Resort
Mangy Moose Motel
Dockside Fish Market
Lake Superior Trading Post
Betsy Bowen Studios
Johnson's Foods
Sheila Smith & Perry McGowan
John & Catherine Schoenherr Family
Sivertson Gallery

2014 Event Sponsors
Grand Marais State Bank
Boreal Access
North Shore Federal Credit Union
North Shore Oil & Propane
East Bay Suites
White Pine North
Hedstrom Lumber
City of Grand Marais

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 

2014 Participating Artists
Richard AbrahamMatt AndersonJudith AndersonDuane BarnhartDoug Berg, Daria Blanton, Kristin Blomberg, Jerri Jo BrandtCarl BretzkeMary Ann Cleary, Elsie Cook, Chris Copeland, Judy Czank-Mayor, Tom Dimock, Virginia Dudley, Allison EklundBridget ErteltAndy EvansenLaura Frykman, Dave Gilsvik, Nancy Gongoll, Paula GustafsonEmily HaddadMarva HarmsCarol HolmbladMatt Kania, Laurie Kania, Cynthia KathJeanne KnightRick KochenashStephen Kraseman, Matt Lebens, Dianne LewisKathy LitwinBob LuedtkeElizabeth Manfredi, Cynthia Markle, Tom  McGregor, Lauren McKinnon, Susan McLean-KeeneySpencer  MeagherBarbara NickersonSusan Novak, Tom  Pace, Tim PearsonDavid Rickert, Stephen Ronald, Kathy Schur, Katherine SegerNeil Sherman, Sheila Smith, Joyce StaleyLisa Stauffer, Peter Stetsko, Richard StrykerBob Upton, Ken  Valentas, Michelle WeglerStephen Wysocki, Ivan Zassavitski


2013 Competition Winners ----------------------------------------

 2012 Plein Air 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 Plein Air 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


2015 Artist Information

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