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


About Us

NOW HIRING | Due Jan 21
Program Coordinator | Full Time
Print Studio Intern | 8 weeks for 15 hours/week during summer
Employment Application Form

About the Art Colony
The longest-lived art colony in Minnesota, the Grand Marais Art Colony, began in 1947 as a summer refuge for artists seeking study in the wilderness. In the early years, the Art Colony was blessed to have a series of "founding artists" who helped to birth a vision.

Birney Quick
Birney Quick, one of the region's acclaimed artists and a faculty member from the Minneapolis School of Art (now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design), came to the remote village of Grand Marais to create the Outdoor School of Painting. With support from MSA, Birney became the first director and instructor, developing a strong artistic vision which has allowed the Art Colony to evolve and flourish even after his death in 1981.  The Birney Quick Endowment Fund was established in his honor to support the Art Colony in perpetuity.

Byron Bradley
Byron Bradley, then Minneapolis-basd artist, joined Quick as an instructor in 1954 and soon the two became a successful team. Bradley operated K-B Art Gallery, which was on of the first galleries in the Twin Cities and also the BEST art supply resource for Twin Cities' artists.  He was a quiet, competent artist and together with Quick, they hosted Monday evening painting demonstrations, lectures, concerts, and dances. In 1959 MCAD shifted direction and Birney and Bryon took over the leadership of the Art Colony, firmly establishing themselves and the Art Colony in Grand Marais.  Byron continued to operate the Art Colony for a few years after Birney's death before it became an independent nonprofit in 1984.  Byron passed away in 2016 and the Byron Bradley Scholarship Fund was established in his honor for low income participants and youth.

Harvey Turner
Harvey first came to Grand Marais as a seasonal visitor and, from 1959 to 1965, took two-week classes from Quick and Bradley. Harvey's experience with the Art Colony inspired him to return to the University of Minnesota for a degree in art education. In 1966 Quick and Bradley asked Turner to join them as a youth instructor, teaching the Saturday Morning Youth Art Classes for many years. Until the 1980s, Quick, Bradley, and Turner were the artistic trio of the Art Colony.

Hazel Belvo
Inspired by the North Shore since 1960, Hazel Belvo - professor emeritus from MCAD and painter - has been teaching at the Art Colony since 1981. She describes painting the Grand Marais landscape as, "The artist's response to what she or he is seeing...part of the experience it to be in tune with nature. What happens on canvas is the artist's documentation of that includes all the senses, and the more present one is with that experience, the more descriptive the painting." 

Many others have shared their talents along the way including Frank Gillis, Doc Evans, George Morrison, Sharon Frykman, Betsy Bowen, Dave Gilsvik. These artists, among many others, have contributed to the Art Colony's transformation and on-going legacy.

People come from all over the US and Canada to participate at the Art Colony - to learn from experienced mentors, have time and space to create work and to be part of a creative community.  Novice to professional artist and instructors alike experience these North Shore retreats with life-changing results.

The Art Colony currently hosts over 200 classes year round in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, pottery, glass, jewelry and writing, among others!  The Art Colony also hosts beloved events such as the Grand Marais Arts Festival, Plein Air Grand Marais - an outdoor painting competition, Tour d'Art - an annual home tour fundraiser, the Member Show & Sale, Empty Bowls Dinner, and a variety of rotating art excursions and conferences.

Grand Marais Art Colony Staff:

Amy Demmer, Executive Director

Jessica Markusen, Office Manager

Kathi Polley, Development Director

Ruth Pszwaro, Program Director

Molly Rider, Marketing Manager

Abby Tofte, Temporary Administrative Assistant

Grand Marais Art Colony - Board of Directors
Executive Committee:
Sally Berg - Board Chair
Grand Marais, MN

Lynn Speaker - Vice Chair
Minneapolis & Grand Marais, MN

David Quick - Treasurer
Grand Marais, MN

Ann Possis - Secretary
Lutsen, MN

Board members at large:
Hazel Belvo
Minneapolis & Grand Marais

Mike Carlson
Grand Marais, MN

Howard Hedstrom
Grand Marais, MN

Tessa Larson
Grand Marais, MN

David Morris
Lutsen, MN

Jolita Rysdahl
Tofte, MN

Clare Shaw 
Grand Marais, MN 

Scholarships & Admissions Policies

Financial Need Based and Youth Scholarships are available!

Adult financial-need scholarships for tuition are made possible through the Byron Bradley Scholarship Fund.  Scholarships for class supplies are available through the Orrin Richards Supply Scholarship.  

Youth of any age and financial need may apply for the Eric Thomas Youth Scholarship to take youth or adult classes (see age policies regarding adult classes).

Please contact the office to request more information - (218) 387-2737.

Admission Policy: The Art Colony welcomes all students regardless of age, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.  Adult classes are open to students of all skill levels from novice to professional (ages 16 and older), unless otherwise noted.  Contact the Art Colony if special circumstances apply

ADA Statement: The Grand Marais Art Colony is committed to ensuring that its programs and services are accessible to the broadest range of people with disabilities. The Grand Marais Art Colony does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission, access, or employment in its services, programs, or activities.

 Upon request the Grand Marais Art Colony, will make its best effort to provide reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in all Art Colony services, programs, and activities.

Visit Grand Marais, Minn.

Experience all that the vibrant art scene of Cook County has to offer. 
What's it like in Grand Marais today?

For lodging and activities, check out:
For news and activities, visit:

50th Anniversary Article by the Minnesota Historical Society

2011 Lake Superior Magazine Feature

Art Business News - Page 36-42

Coastal Living "Top 10 Artist Colonies" 2011

Volunteer Application & Opportunities

Employment Application Form

Program Coordinator Job Description

Print Studio Intern Description

Apollo Pursuing Daphne, by Birney Quick
"Apollo Pursuing Daphne" by Birney Quick

Birney Quick, Grand Marais Art Colony Founder

Fish Fry with Birney Quick and Byron Bradley

Plein Aire on beach in Grand Marais

Clothesline Art Sale

© 2008 Grand Marais Art Colony     Design by Looner Graphics