Birney Quick - 1947


Birney Quick, an instructor at the Minneapolis School of Art, opens The Outdoor School of Painting at Grand Marais for an eight week summer session.

Minneapolis School of Art 1949


Citing the difficulties of transporting students to Grand Marais and housing them during the summer, Minneapolis School of Art moves the summer session to Red Wing.

Town Hall Art Colony 1952


The City of Grand Marais writes Minneapolis School of Art and asks them to come back to Grand Marais. The summer art school reopens in Grand Marais, using the top floor of old City Hall. The program is renamed the Town Hall Art Colony.

Byron Bradley 1954


Bryon Bradley begins teaching at GMAC, the birth of a long lasting partnership between the two co-founders.

GMAC Independent Business 1959


After the Minneapolis School of Art discontinues the summer outdoor painting school, Birney and Byron reopen GMAC as an independent business.

St. Johns Catholic Church 1963


Birney and Byron purchase the St. John’s Catholic Church Building to be the GMAC’s permanent home. The building is called Founders Hall to this day.

Painting of Birney Quick 1981


Birney Quick passes away and the Birney Quick Endowment Fund is subsequently established in 1997.

Non Profit Status 1984


Nonprofit paperwork is finalized and GMAC becomes an official 501(c)3, nonprofit organization. Sharon Macy (now Frykman) becomes the first director.

Open Year-Round 1991


Furnace is installed in Founders Hall and GMAC begins operating year-round.

Arrowhead Center for the Arts 1998


[Add late 1990s re: GMAC]

Eco-Friendly Printmaking Studio 2005


GMAC opens a Studio Building adjacent to Founders Hall. The addition offers a dramatic expansion of studio space and the ability to specialize in clay, glass, and printmaking. The print studio is one of the first eco-friendly print studios in the Midwest.

Artist in Residence Program 2012


Artist-in-Residence program launched, providing artists with independent work space. An environment of creative freedom supports the process and development of new works, allowing for a combination of aesthetic inquiry, creative risk-taking, experimentation, and artistic development.

Artist in Residence Program 2012


Byron Bradley passes away. The Art Colony Scholarship Fund is renamed in his honor to the Byron Bradley Scholarship Fund.

Historic Building Renovations 2016-17


The Art Colony renovates Founders Hall in celebration of its 100th birthday and GMAC’s 70th anniversary. The renovation includes structural and energy efficiency repairs, including the replacement of all windows, doors, and lighting.

Studio 21 2019-20


The Art Colony purchases the former North Shore Pharmacy building at 21 W Highway 61, along with the adjacent building, 17 W Highway 61. With major support from the IRRRB, the Blandin Foundation and the McKnight Foundation, initial renovations are finished in late 2020, allowing for additional studio, residency, and exhibition spaces.

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