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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Invited Artists-in-Residence: Holly Swift
04/24/2017 - 05/06/2017
Invited Artist-in-Residence with Holly Swift
April 24 - May 6, 2017

The invited artist-in-residence offers a community engagement component during the residency, introducing the community to a specific aspect of their expertise and artistic practice.

All are invited to join us for Holly's artist talk:

In the Landscape and in the Studio
Saturday, April 29 | 12 pm | Founders Hall

Holly Swift’s work is found in both private and public collections nationwide. She has been a recipient of the National Park Artist in Residency at Voyageur National Park and Artist Residency at the Hill Country Foundation in Ingrim, Texas. A native of Illinois, Holly received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. She has 25 years of teaching experience in Drawing, Painting and Design, having taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Hamline University.
Invited residencies are granted to an artist who is mature in practice and has experience with residencies and/or working on in-depth independent projects. 

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The Vocabulary of Art: Artist Talks & Demonstrations
All Artist Talks and Demonstrations are free unless otherwise listed; Goodwill donations are welcome. Click on individual event titles for full descriptions.

NOTE: Locations vary; see below for details.

In the Landscape and in the Studio: My Working Process
Holly Newton Swift
April 29 | 12 pm | Art Colony Founders Hall
Solarplate Printing
Dan Welden
May 24 | 4:30 pm | Art Colony Founders Hall 


Case of the Nomads 
Casey Sheppard
June 8 | 5:30 pm | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall
Influences, Evolutions, and the Work 
Michael Boyd
June 9 | 5:30 pm | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall
Your Unique Voice 
Jennifer Merchant
June 10 | 9 am | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall

Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro
June 10 | 10 am | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall
Panel Discussion: Technological Advancements in Design: Friend, Foe, or Both? 
Michael Boyd, Jennifer Merchant & Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro
June 10 | 11 am – 1 pm | Tuition: $20 (includes catered lunch)
Cook County Community Center
Cold Connections Demonstration
Becky McDonah
June 10 | 1:15 pm | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall

The Brooch: Ideation, Design, and Execution 
Tedd McDonah
June 10 | 2:30 pm | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall
Responsible Supply Chain Sourcing and Sustainable Metalsmithing
Susan Crow
June 10 | 3:45 pm | Tuition: $10 | Art Colony Founders Hall

Before and After: A Landscape
Regan Golden and Jeremy Lundquist
June 20 | 4:30 pm | Johnson Heritage Post Gallery

Artistic Collaborations
Dan Clark and Martha McQuade
July 19 | 4:30 pm | Art Colony Founders Hall

Investigating the Ceramic Form
Ernest Miller
July 26 | 4:30 pm | Johnson Heritage Post Gallery
Integrative Medical Practices and Community Engagement
Donna Bruni
July 29 | 12 pm | Art Colony Founders Hall 
Elements and Properties of Design
Karina Cutler-Lake
August 5 | 12 pm | Art Colony Founders Hall 

Public and Collaborative Sculpture Projects
Greg Mueller
August 9 | 4:30 pm | Johnson Heritage Post Gallery
The Art of Seeing: Developing a Visual Literacy 
Hazel Belvo
September 16 | 11:30 am | Tuition: $5
Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery

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Art Along the Lake: Memorial Day Weekend
May 27 - 28, 2017
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:

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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Findings Jewelry Symposium
June 8 - 11, 2017
The Art Colony, in partnership with the Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild, invite jewelry artists and appreciators to the 2017 Findings Jewelry Symposium.

2017 guest instructors include:

Michael Boyd

Becky McDonah
Tedd McDonah
Danny Saathoff
Susan Crow
Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro
Jennifer Merchant
Pat Robinson Schmidt
Casey Sheppard

In addition to classes with the above instructors, programming includes demonstrations, artist talks, panel discussions, and time for networking.

Registration for individual classes and symposium events is now open!  See the Symposium Schedule by clicking HERE and call the Art Colony today to register.

Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild

Findings Jewelry Symposium is sponsored by the Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild whose mission is to educate the public about handmade jewelry, while promoting the work of their members.

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.
Artwork by Michael Boyd

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The 27th Annual Grand Marais Arts Festival
July 8 - 9, 2017
Join us July 8 - 9, 2017 for this year's festival!

Click here to find more info about being a Festival Artst in the Artist Packet.   

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.

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Clothesline Art Sale Fundraiser
July 8 - 9, 2017
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 July 1, 2017

Submission form can be found here.

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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! Planning is underway for the 2017 event, check back soon for more specific details and timelines. 

The jury is open February 1-April 9 for the jury class. Find the application here. Register to be a part of the open class any time by calling or emailing

Opening Reception: Friday, September 15 from 5-7pm 
Exhibit: Saturday, September 16 - Sun, Oct. 29

2016 Plein Air Grand Marais Artists

Invitational 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

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Book Arts Weekend
Early October, 2017

Stay tuned for 2017 book arts offerings.  Below are examples of past classes:

Decorative Techniques on Paper: Suminagashi and Orizomi | October 1 | 9am - Noon 

Cross Structure Binding | October 1 | 9am - 12pm 

Letterpress: Table-top Platen Press | October 1 | 9am - 12pm 

Drum Leaf Binding | October 1 | 1pm - 4pm 

Letterpress: Show Card Press | October 1 | 1pm - 4pm 

Coptic Binding | October 1 | 1pm - 4pm 

Cherry Blossom Box: Book Arts | October 2 | 1pm - 4pm 

Long and Link Stitch Binding | October 2 | 1pm - 4pm 

Letterpress: Single Sheet Books and Alternative Processes | October 2 | 1 - 4pm 
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Fall Art Weekend
October 19 - 22, 2017
Stay tuned for upcoming 2017 drop-in activities and classes for all ages!

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North Shore Readers and Writers Festival
November 2 - 5, 2017
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the readers and writers festival in 2016. The Art Colony, in conjunction with the Grand Marais Public Library, and Drury Lane Books, are thrilled to host this event biannually. We look forward to seeing you in 2017. Meanwhile, check out the Art Colony's expanded literary arts offerings in 2016. 

Please email us to be placed on the mailing list for 2017
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The 100 Day Project
January - April, 2018
The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate artists and creative seekers to commit to 100 days of creativity. 

Creativity is a skill. The more we practice, the more skilled we become.  Practice takes time. Practice takes commitment. Practice is a radical act in this fast-paced world. Through practice, we develop a creative habit. Through habit, we reconnect with and know ourselves again as a creative being.

Stay tuned for information about the 2018 100DayProject!
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Northern Fibers Retreat
February 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.

Co-hosted with the North House Folk School and the Northwoods Fiber Guild. Classes and programs will be offered at both the Art Colony & North House.
View the 2017 schedule below
and check back late fall for the 2018 schedule of events:

Off the Cuff: Stitchery with Julie Crabtree | Feb 16 
Decorative Pins with Julie Crabtree | Feb 17
Eco-printing with Native Dyes with Cyndi Kaye Meier | Feb 17 | Lunch
Hand-printed Lampshades with Jeanne McGee | Feb 17 - 18
Needle Felted Wool Landscapes with Jaana Mattson | Feb 17 - 18
Button it up with Glass with Mary Bebie | Feb 18
Soy Wax Batik Basics and Beyond with Cyndi Kaye Meier | Feb 18 - 19
Cut Paper Art - Mini-session with Andrea Martin | Feb 18
Cut Paper Art - Full-session with Andrea Martin | Feb 18 - 19

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Juried Artist-in-Residence
March 5 - 18, 2018

2018 Artists-in-Residence | March 5 – 18, 2018
Applications Open: April 7, 2017
Application Deadline: May 19, 2017
Notifications: June 13, 2017

Find the application form HERE.

Note that there are several free jpg to pdf converters available. HERE and HERE are two places to begin or search on your own.

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Annual Members Show & Sale
Details pending re: the 2017 Annual Member Show, stay tuned!

For more info email:

Details from the 2016 Event:

The 2016 Member Show & Sale theme: Ode to the Ordinary 
There is delight in a ritual as simple as a morning cup of coffee or seeing a favorite rock leaning on the windowsill. These things may serve as a reminder or provide peace and grounding. Ode to the Ordinary honors the beauty, humor, resiliance, and steadfastness of the everyday. 

Friday, Oct 28

Annual Member Meeting | 3:30 pm
Opening Reception | 5-7 pm

Exhibit runs through Sunday, November 20

The Grand Marais Art Colony annual Member Show & Sale provides an opportunity for artists to share their inspiration with each other and the public.  You won't want to miss this quality exhibit with dynamic pieces in a variety of price ranges.

Attention Artists - Artwork is due by Monday, Oct. 24
Call the office for details: 218-387-2737 
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Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction
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. 


Help make bowls to donate to this event while learning the basics of pottery and fused glass. Open to all levels and ages. Pre-registration is Required for the Bowl making sessions.

Stay tuned for details regarding the 2017 event!

Make-a-Bowl: Clay
DATES TBD | one-hour sessions
Saturday: 9 am – 2:30 pm; Sunday: 11 am – 3 pm
Tuition: $5

Make-a-Bowl: GLASS
DATES TBD | 6:30 - 7:30pm
Tuition: $5

DATES TBD | 10am - 2pm
Tuition: $5 | No registration required

Empty Bowls
Serving Lunch & Dinner with hand-crafted community-made bowls in effort to raise funds to alleviate hunger in Cook County.
Soup: $5
Handcrafted Bowl: $10


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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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