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

Artist Services

Artist services connect artists with a vibrant creative community and vital resources in order to help them grow their practice, advance their career, and develop sustainable lives as artists. Some services require orientation and/or are subject to fees. Call for more information. 

Professional Development Classes
Studio Access and Other Opportunities
Residency Series

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Entry Points

Explore the Art Colony through Artist Talks, Demonstrations, and hands-on activities open to all skill levels.  Free unless otherwise noted, goodwill donations are welcome.
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The 100DayProject
January 21 - April 30, 2018

The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit to 100 days of creativity and invest in that most essential artistic habit: practice!

The one hundred days begins January 21, 2018 and ends April 30, 2018.

Those who are interested can sign up to participate in the virtual resource and community powered by our sister arts community in Marquette, Michigan. 

Sign up for free by clicking HERE and receive a free, weekly enewsletter filled with creative and motivational tips, inspirational ideas, and shared stories.

At the end of the 100DayProject participants will have the option to submit work to a virtual exhibition. Information on this will be provided closer to the end date.

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Juried Artist-in-Residence
March 5 - 18, 2018
Applications are now closed for our 2018 Artist-in-Residence. 

2018 Artists-in-Residence | March 5 – 18, 2018

Gabriella Boros | To view Gabriella's Community Engagement Project click HERE
David Andree | To view David's Community Engagement Project click HERE
2019 Residency Timeline:
Applications Open: April 6, 2018
Application Deadline: May 18, 2018
Notifications: June 12, 2018
2019 Artist-in-Residence Dates: March 4 – 17, 2019

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Art Excursion: Duluth Gallery Tour
March 24, 2018

Experience a private tour of the Joseph Nease Gallery, the upper midwest's new contemporary art gallery. Get a behind the scenes look at the new facility and view the large painting exhibition of new work by regionally and nationally recognized artists. Have a question and answer session with director Joe Nease as he discusses his passion for art and the artists who make it. A second gallery tour is TBD followed by a happy hour at Zeitgeist Arts Café before returning home.

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Invited Artist-in-Residence: Jonathan Herrera
APRIL 9 – 22, 2018
Invited Artist-in-Residence with Jonathan Herrera
April 9 – 22, 2018

Jonathan will complete his invited residency at the Art Colony by presenting a print-based installation surrounding issues of bodily disappearance and loss of identity. Through a social-political lens John investigates the spaces left behind by bodies to reveal lived experiences, memory, and trauma.

Join us for an Artist Talk with Jonathan Herrera:
The Spaces Left Behind
April 21 | 1 pm
Invited residencies are granted to artists who are mature in practice and have experience with residencies and/or working on in-depth independent projects. The artist is selected as part of a committee process and offers a community engagement component during the residency, introducing the community to a specific aspect of their expertise and artistic practice. If you're interested in learning more about being an artist-in-residence, feel free to give us a call or email

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Annual Members Show & Sale
April 25 – May 6
Exhibition: April 25 – May 6
Member Meeting: April 27 | 3:30 pm
Annual Exhibit Opening Reception: April 27 | 5 – 7 pm
The Grand Marais Art Colony annual Member Show and Sale provides an opportunity for artists to share their inspiration with each other and the public.  You won't want to miss this dynamic exhibition.

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Grand Marais Arts Festival
July 14-15, 2018
Over 70 local and regional artists set up by the 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.

2017 Award Winners
Best in Show: Julie Crabtree
Best Booth: Todd Hawkinson 

The Grand Marais Arts Festival will be held July 14 & 15, 2018!

2018 Festival Applications Open: January 19
2018 Festival Applications DUE: March 17

View the 2018 Artist Guide HERE.
Apply on Zapplication HERE
For Artist Links & PDFs, please scroll to bottom of the Additional Info page.
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Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser
July 14-15, 2018

Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser
(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 June 29, 2018


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Art Along the Lake: Memorial Day Weekend
May 25-27, 2018
A weekend full of art activities, demonstrations, and gallery tours throughout Cook County. Stop by the Art Colony to visit our gallery, see artists at work, and partake in the following activities: 2018 TBA

2017 Activities included:
Pop-up Exhibition and Sale: Made at the Art Colony
May 27 - 28 | Saturday: 11 am - 4 pm | Sunday: 9 am - 4 pm 

Glass Coasters | Mary Bebie
May 27 | 9 - 11 am or 1 - 3 pm
Tuition: $35
Pre-registration required

Printmaking Demonstration | Jerry Riach
May 27 | 1 pm | Free

Community Ink Day: Screenprinting | Mike Swindlehurst
May 27 | 2 - 4 pm
Tuition: $20 (adult t-shirt) or $10 (youth t-shirt or your own clothing item).

See the Full Schedule of activities throughout the County HERE.
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Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour
September 29 - October 8, 2017
Art Along the Lake is an opportunity to visit artist studios and galleries along the North Shore. During this fun touring event, don't miss the Art Colony’s Gallery Store and cooperative studios in ceramics, glass, printmaking, and painting and observe artists demonstrating their creative process.

Art Colony Demonstrating Studio Artists include:
Ceramic: Hannah Palma Laky, Natalie Sobanja, and Joan Farnam
Glass: Nancy Seaton

For more information about the event and a full schedule of activities throughout Cook County, click here.
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Fall into Art: Family Weekend
October 20 – 22, 2017
The Art Colony hosts family activities for all ages over the MEA weekend. Moose bucks from the Visitors’ Bureau are awarded for participation!
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Empty Bowls Dinner & Silent Auction
November 13
Twelve percent of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Art Colony co-organizes the Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction: a community art fundraiser to alleviate local hunger needs. This year's fundraising event will be held at St. John's Catholic Church on Monday, November 13.
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Mentor Residency Workshops
April 25 - October 9
Each mentoring artist offers a unique philosophical approach and teaching style. Workshops are cooperative in nature, characterized by critical group dialouge, focused time to work on independent projects and mentored guidance. 

Instructors include: Doug Westendorp, Elizabeth Erickson, Martha McQuade, Dan Clark, David Feinberg, Becky McDonah, Tedd McDonah, Hazel Belvo, Linda Gammell, Mary Leikvold, and Faith Sullivan

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Plein Air Grand Marais

Plein Air Grand Marais is a week-long outdoor painting competition that culminates in an exhibit showcasing the North Shore landscape. Artists paint throughout Cook County to capture the beauty of this region.  Chasing fleeting moments of changing light, these artists must both depict what the scene looks like, as well as the feeling it evokes.

Thank you for your interest in Plein Air Grand Marais.  If you woud like to learn more about participating, click here.
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Findings Jewelry Symposium
Love jewelry?  The Jewelry Symposium is for you!  Learn from renowned artists and network with other jewelry enthusiasts to explore the intersection between contemporary and traditional jewelry methods. A great blend of classes, demonstrations, artist talks and a catered panel lunch discussion - you can spend the whole weeked or just come for an individual session.

Findings Jewelry Symposium future event dates have not yet been set. Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter or request a catalog to receive the most up-to-date information.

View the Past Symposium Schedule HERE 
Artwork by Michael Boyd; 2017 Findings Keynote Artist

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North Shore Readers and Writers Festival
Fall 2019
Celebrating The Art of Reading and Writing

The North Shore Readers and Writers Festival locates, celebrates, and fosters the literary arts and engagement with the written word.

Readers, writers, and book professionals will all find a multitude of opportunities through which to learn and engage, including classes, readings, panel discussions, and more. 

Click HERE to see the 2017 festival booklet and join us again in 2019 for more than 35 classes, craft seminars, author talks, and special events.

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Northern Fibers Retreat
February 14 - 18, 2018
Celebrate the Art and Craft of fibers in the heart of winter. This cozy retreat features a variety of classes, lunch-n-learn talks and demonstrations, a show-n-share event, and more, all while celebrating with other fiber enthusiasts.

The Art Colony is excited to co-host this event with the North House Folk School and the Northwoods Fiber Guild. Classes and programs will be offered at both the Art Colony and North House. View North House's course offerings here.

Full event schedule will be available winter 2018. See below for Art Colony classes.
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Exhibition: Swinging the Compass
February 20 - March 3, 2018
Exhibition Opening | February 20 | 5-7 pm
Artist Talk | February 20 | 5:30 pm 

See a short video of the exhibition here and listen to a radio interview with Artist Danny Saathoff here.

Danny Saathoff's exhibition is an artistic response to the effects of climate change on Lake Superior. As we acknowledge and address the issues, we can make a correction, swing the compass so to speak, to slow the effects of climate change and raise awareness.

Danny Saathoff is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

We're excited Mary Dougherty will be coming to speak at the exhibition opening. Mary has been working on a Lake Superior project of her own entitled Words for Water. The project is a simple way to encourage people who live in the Lake Superior basin (or who love Lake Superior) to think and act collectively when it comes to any legislation, industry or regulations that affect water quality. Mary poses the question, “if you could speak for water, what would you say?” and the participant writes their word or phrase on a chalkboard. She takes their photo, adds it the collection of words she’s gathered and stitches it into a collective love story to Lake Superior. Mary has also just published a cookbook, Life in a Northern Town: Cooking, Eating, and Other Adventures along Lake Superior and have recently gotten back into the saddle with cooking classes and she plans to open up a cooking school in the spring of 2018. Check out Mary's cooking blog here and her Words for Water project here

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