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

Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award

April 23, 2017

Congratulations 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

Eric Thomas grew up one block from the Grand Marais Art Colony.  As a child, he took classes there and developed a life-long appreciation for the work of north shore artists.  Leah Thomas said, “This award is designed to support and encourage gifted young artists and to remember my brothers’ spirit of generosity, love of the north shore, artistic talent, and appreciation of fine art.” 
Cook County high school students who are completing their sophomore or junior year, or the equivalent home school program, are eligible to apply.  The winning scholarship recipient will demonstrate clear artistic interest, originality, and motivation.  “This is such a great opportunity for our students to expand on what they are learning in school.  Art allows students to hone artistic skills but also gain confidence and explore something they’ve never done before,” said high school Art Teacher Mary MacDonald.
Applications are available and must be submitted by April 23.  More information and applications are available from the Art Colony or Mary MacDonald. The scholarship will be presented at the annual ISD 166 award ceremony each spring. 
Art Colony Executive Director Amy Demmer commented, “The Art Colony is honored to offer this scholarship in partnership with the Thomas family.  The arts have been a part of Cook County culture for a long time.  It is important that local youth have the opportunity to experiment creatively as part of their legacy of growing up here.”
In addition to this new scholarship, the Art Colony offers youth and financial need-based scholarships available so that everyone has the opportunity to access artistic education.
Contributions may be made to this scholarship fund by contacting the Art Colony at 218-387-2737 or


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