Art can be many different things to many different people. Drawing and painting, or sculpture for instance. These are the fine arts, or those whose creations are primarily aesthetic and for visual pleasure. There are also the performing arts. Theatre, dance, and music – all of which have enjoyed a rich history in this community – are included in this category. And then there are the industrial arts, such as drafting and engineering.

Wait...What? Engineering? Art?

Absolutely. Just ask Bill Dufour, the Computer Aided Design and Pre-engineering instructor at the Delta Schoolcraft ISD. “This program is unlike many others in that it allows a student to come up with an idea, design that idea and then ultimately build it.”

That sounds suspiciously like art. Which may be why the work of Dufour’s students, along with items from the robotics teams of the Escanaba and Gladstone high schools, will be on display at the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center in their upcoming exhibit, “Kid Produced: Industrializing Education.” Opening on June 25, the purpose of the exhibit will be to promote the marriage between the arts and science in education.

This is not new territory for the Bonifas. Their Fourth Grade Afield program exposes and introduces fourth graders in Escanaba to the scientific method of gathering and documenting data through art and nature journaling. And this past year they partnered with the Rapid River Schools on an Arts in Education grant through the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs where students explored science and local culture through a delivery of the arts.

With the “Kid Produced: Industrializing Education” exhibit, the task of the Bonifas is slightly different than with previous programs. In this case, all the hands-on work has already been done so instead of helping to educate students, this time the Arts Center is helping students to educate the public.

Dufour recognizes the value in this. “The potential of the program is not just what it provides for the students,” he says, “but what it gives to the community as well.  People who visit this exhibit will have an opportunity to see the creative side of these students and hopefully understand that given the right tools, students are capable of designing and building anything they put their minds to.”

Tim Barron, the coach of the Gladstone high school’s BraveBots team, echoes Dufour’s excitement over the interconnection between the students and their community. “We have an excellent group of adult mentors. They assist the kids with the building of the robot and help them with many of the hands-on type skills they need to be successful. By the end, most of the students turn out to be experts in their particular facet of the robot.”

“Everything on display in this exhibit has been designed and/or built by students,” Dufour points out.  “Every picture, every robot, every piece was an idea that was thought up by students. Their minds conceived it and their hands had to draw it. That’s not merely science, that's art.”

“Kid Produced: Industrializing Education” will run in the gallery of the Bonifas until July 30. There will also be an Open House in conjunction with sidewalk sales on July 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. Exhibit viewing and the open house are both free to the public. For more information, contact the Arts Center at 786-3833




April showers bring...May showers. And May showers bring...more showers in June. So what do June showers bring? Summer programming at the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, that’s what.

July heats up at the Arts Center with a series of workshops and classes.

Studio Safari returns this summer with instructor Eddie Moritz. “Get Drawn Into Summer” is a four week exploration that meets on Thursdays, July 9, 16, 23, and 30, from 10:30 to noon, and again at 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Each week students will learn about the background and techniques of four vastly different artists. Focusing on the drawing styles of Rembrandt, Georgia O’Keefe, Norman Rockwell, and M.C. Escher, each class will give students a new perspective and set of skills as they complete four unique drawings of their own. The cost for the Studio Safari program is $5.00 for individual sessions, or $16.00 if pre-registered for all four weeks.

On Wednesday and Thursday, July 15 and 16, from 10:00 A.M. to 4 p.m., Saugatuk artist Anne Corlett will work on location in the beautiful countryside surrounding Escanaba when she leads her workshop on Plein Air Painting. Using her own process as a basis for her instruction, Corlett will teach students how to fine-tune their focus, work dark to light, and start with big shapes.

“A blank canvas presents a challenge and a promise,” she says. “I think about value first, then color and mark-making. In this way I experience my subject – and life in general – without words.  The static and chatter in my brain ceases, creating true freedom.” This two-day retreat-style class is $125.00 for Bonifas members or $156.00 for non-members.

In addition to her Plein Air workshop, Corlett will also host a workshop discussion on the Creativity of Crowdfunding on Friday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. As an entrepreneur and an artist Corlett has used the online Kickstarter Project – crowdfunding – to amplify her own exposure and raise funds for her “Easel on Down the Road” project. With this workshop discussion artists and inventors alike will get tips and strategies on how to amplify their own campaign’s exposure.

Following Corlett that afternoon from 12:30 to 2:30, will be a companion workshop discussion from Detroit-based Glass Artist Alysa Diebolt. Reviewing basic marketing principles of Facebook, Instagram, and other common social media platforms, Diebolt will explore in-depth methods to actually making money through engaging with fans. The presentation will provide ample real world examples of what to do and what not to do when it comes to online resources.

The fees for each of the workshop discussions are $25.00 for Bonifas members or $30.00 for non-members. Individuals who pre-register for both will receive a discount, with the cost being $40.00 for members and $50.00 for non-members.

Whether the weather is hot or whether the weather is cold, you can whether the weather this July with a workshop at the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center.

To get more information or to register for these great summer events, contact the Bonifas at 906-786-3833.

The William Bonifas Fine Arts Center honors Industrial Arts studies via Delta Schoolcraft Intermediate School District, Escanaba RoboMos and Gladstone BraveBots in KID PRODUCED: INDUSTRIALIZING EDUCATION from June 25 to July 30.

July 24 from 2–4 p.m. during the downtown sidewalk sales

The creative process is alive and well in Delta County schools. Come view work from the ISD’s Computer Aided Design Program. Open house features robot demos, 3D printer demo, kids activities, and refreshments.

Start early for the sidewalk sales and take in Art Center’s Open House.




Listen to the interview with Paul Rose.


A lot of people in the Upper Peninsula have notice the spectacular show that the Northern Lights provided this week. Many of the photos and comments have been shared on social media.

One photo posted by Paul Rose of Garden of the glowing sky over the harbor at Fayette State Park got a lot of attention.

Rose said the Northern Lights were the best he has ever seen.

"These were exceptional, I mean, unbelievable," Rose said. "I've never quite seen them that strong here on the Bay de Noc. These were just wild."

Although Rose has posted photos on Facebook before, he said he was surprised by the overwhelming response that this photo generated.

Rose was the first place winner this year in the Bonifas Membership Show. His photo, titled "Lake Superior Morning," was shot at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


Music is back on the calendar for Mondays this summer. The Bonifas Fine Arts Center in partnership with Blues for a Cause is hosting a free weekly concert series each Monday through August 3. Concerts will be held at the Karas Band Shell in Ludington Park from 7-9 p.m. with an alternative rain site on Tueday or at the Bonifas Theatre if necessary.

Grassfire kicked off the series with their energetic blend of bluegrass, country, and folk music. Their performance will be followed up this Monday, June 29, by the band F-Section.

Comprised of former members of Hey Mikey, F-Section re-grouped to pursue a more acoustic sound, adding more country and folk from across the musical spectrum to their already extensive classic rock roots. Lifelong friends, the group’s members all grew up in Escanaba and attended the Escanaba High School where they frequented the F-section hallway which was, according to group member Pat Feldhusen, “where all the cool and talented people hung out.”

Music Mondays is presented through the funding of the Riverside Auto Group and First Bank. Business sponsors include Andy’s Downtown Diner, Cat-Man-Do, Crispigna’s, the Downtown Development Authority, Northern Insurance, and Sign-Up Graphics Inc.

The line-up for the Monday concerts in July includes the Milestones Jazz Trio, Say What?, the Flat Broke Blues Band, and ToHuBoHu. The Cadillacs close out the series in August. For more information, contact the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center by calling 906-786-3833.

An Escanaba resident is releasing a book about a unique part of Upper Michigan’s history.

In “Company Towns of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” Christian Holmes focuses on the rich histories of 18 different communities from 1840 through 1995. Holmes says that company towns were communities where the industry was based on natural resources. The company owned the land and built houses for their employees. The company would also often run a general store and employ a physician to treat the employees and their families.

Holmes became interested in the topic after getting involved with a project at the Bonifas Art Center around 3 years ago. They were creating an exhibit about the company town located in Nahma, about 45 minutes from Escanaba. Holmes became interested in the topic and spent three years researching other towns in the U.P. He visited various historical museums and talked to people who grew up in the areas.

A former resident of Alpena and Detroit, Holmes has lived in Escanaba since 1976. He graduated from Wayne State University with degrees in English composition, philosophy and library science.

Company Towns of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be released by Arcadia Publishing on June 15. For information on how to order the book, visit their website.



Artist booths are available for the 2015 Waterfront Arts Festival.

Application and fee must be received by July 18th for consideration. Remember, this is a juried event, so please include images of your work with your application.

For more information, download an application today.


Northern Exposure is open to all artists age 18 or older residing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. To encourage new work, all entries must have been completed within the last two years and not previously exhibited in the Bonifas Fine Arts Center gallery.

Northern Exposure Awards & Sponsors »

Artists are invited to submit up to three pieces for jurying in Northern Exposure XXII. For each entry you may submit up to 2 images per flatwork and up to 3 images per 3D work.

CD: Windows - compatible digital image files: 300 dpi JPEG file no larger than 6” in its longest dimension. Label each JPEG image with Entry number (1a, 1b, etc., for multiple views) and title of work only. Do not include artist name in file or on image. Label CD with artist name CDs are not returned

EMAIL: Fill out form, scan it. Email form and images to
The judging will be based on three equally weighted criteria: Creativity, Originality and Craftsmanship.
Images submitted must be an accurate representation of the work that will be shown. Once a piece has been juried into the show, no substitutions will be accepted.

Entry Fees
Please return the enclosed entry form with fee, images, and SASE. Fee is nonrefundable.

Diptychs and triptychs count as one piece.

Application Deadline
Entry deadline is Noon on October 2. This is not a postmark date. Late entries can not be accepted.

Mail to: Bonifas Arts Center, 700 First Avenue South Escanaba, MI 49829

Each entry submission must include the following:

Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance will be sent out October 18.


We again have an extensive amount of awards for Northern Exposure.

Applications for Northern Exposure XXII »


1st Place - $700
Crawford Funeral Home, Escanaba
Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery
William Bonifas Fine Arts Center

2nd Place - $400
Frame Crafters, Escanaba
East Ludington Gallery, Escanaba
Art Gallery & Menominee Area Arts Council

3rd Place - $250
Manistique Art Club
Carol Stoll Award

These are gallery purchases by business or institutions that desire to increase a collection of regional art, support U.P. artists and the Northern Exposure competition.

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Escanaba
Bay de Noc Community College, Escanaba
Delta Area Chamber of Commerce, Escanaba
Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Co., Escanaba
Darolyn & Robert Spannuth

Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island, provides lodging and studio space for one artist. Dates to be scheduled with Mission Point in a time frame November 2015 - March 2016.

Sponsoring Venues host a show for recipients of Featured Artist Awards. Please indicate on the entry form if you wish to be considered for this award.

Alberta House Arts Center, Sault Ste Marie
Erickson Center for the Arts, Curtis
Finlandia University’s Reflection Gallery, Hancock
Lake Superior Arts Association, Marquette
Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste Marie
Paige Wiard Gallery, Calumet

These awards are made up by arts patrons who share a mission of supporting their fellow U.P. artists in the promotion of new artwork.

Alberta House Arts Center, Sault Ste Marie
Art U.P. Style Gallery, Marquette
Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI
Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff
Christine’s Gallery, Nahma
Cooper Office Equipment, Escanaba
Erickson Center for the Arts, Curtis
Frame Farm, Gladstone
Genesis Graphics, Escanaba
Heynssens & Selin’s, Escanaba Les Cheneaux Islands Art Gallery, Hessel
Lake Shore Eye Clinic, Escanaba
Mackinaw Trail Winery, Manistique
Munising Bay Arts Association
Sviland Paint & Wallcoverings, Escanaba
The Village Artistans and Garden Gallery

Award sponsors feature recipients of Media Awards in an article. Arrangements are made directly between sponsor and artist. Please indicate on the entry form if you wish to be considered for this award.

Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton
Daily Press, Escanaba
Doug Garrison Show - TV 6
Iron Mountain Daily Press
Manistique Pioneer Tribune
Marquette Mining Journal
Munising News
Upper Peninsula Second Wave, Little Lake / WYKX-FM / WDBC-AM


Middle school students are painting an outdoor mural on a wall at Atlas Chiropratic in Escanaba. It is part of the Art Scene program at the Bonifas.

Bonifas Arts Center instructor Eddie Moritz says the mural will cover three life stages of Atlas.

"The design is going to be three stages of Atlas," she said. "Atlas as a child, Atlas as a teen and Atlas as an elderly gentleman."

Monday, the students painted the background colors of yellow, orange and blue on the wall. 6th grader Tyler Kangas painted a crash barrier next the building white that will eventually have a heartbeat lifeline painted on it.

"I like painting and I like crafty stuff so I thought this would be perfect for me," Tyler said.

He admitted that the wall is pretty big. Although he has painted his bedroom he says he has never painted a mural on a brick wall.

"It's pretty rough too although the barrier is smooth and easy to paint," he said.

It is going to take several weeks to complete. Kangas says he hopes the mural will be there for years to come.

"I'm just hoping that when I'm older I can look back and say, 'Hey, I painted that,'" he said with a chuckle.

The Art Scene is a project of the Bonifas Arts Center and is sponsored by Atlas Chiropratic.

Tryouts were held Monday morning for the Missoula Children's Theatre production "Rapunzel" at the Bonifas Art Center Theater. Kids from Kindergarten to 12th grade answered questions, sang and performed lines as the lineup was chosen for this year's production.

The kids will practice each day this week before holding two performances on Saturday. Performances will be held at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.



Artist Michael Friend is holding an exhibit at the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery titled "Cities & Thickets." It runs through July 4th.

Friend started his art career at Northern Michigan University where he earned his Masters of Art in Art Education. After thirty-five years of teaching art and filmmaking in public schools, Friend found the time and opportunity to draw on these experiences to become a producing artist.

The painter formulated a technique that draws on Seurat’s pointillism, Van Gogh’s rich use of color and his own familiarity with film animation. “I became aware of how minor changes in an image create an added vibrancy.” Friend explains, “The subtle alterations of color give dimension to the image.”

The artist creates his images by carefully painting a series of small ovals by hand. A grid pattern makes up an underlying structure so that he can concentrate on the dynamic interplay of color, pattern and form. The product is a large painting that dazzles the eye and delights the spirit.

The Artist calls this new method “dotmation”. It requires a great amount of planning and preparation and even more time in the execution. “There is often an initial misreading when people first see my work.” Friend says, “A cursory glance at my paintings causes viewers to assume that a mechanical or digital process is involved, but nothing could be farther from the truth.”

“Dotmation” is all done by hand; the color mixing, the placement, and the pattern are incredibly intensive and demanding. Every facet of the process requires a lot of hours in a day. “Sustaining the level of concentration needed involves dedication and a passion for the art.” Friend explains, “I do it for the love of the art - the exciting feel of a tapestry or weaving.” The exhibit, ‘Cities & Thickets’ debuts the culmination of over three years work.

Since 2001, the artist has been gaining confidence and fluency with his distinctive technique. The palette of colors, their mixing, the compositions, and the accrued experiences of a lifetime result in a unique and astonishing new style that only this one artist can carry out.

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery
136 E. Main, HC 1 Box 3477, Michigamme, MI 49861

The exhibit will run from: May 24th  through July 4th, 2015

In addition, there will be another artist reception & a special string concert on June 21st 2015, 2 – 4 p.m. with the Pavo String Quartet of the Superior String Alliances.

Summer Gallery Hours: Mon. through Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tues. by chance

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