This summer, kids can keep their young minds developing and their little hands busy with brand new summer art classes. The Bonifas Arts Center will offer a summer arts program that provides a playful and stimulating environment for young kids to grow as creative, unique individuals.

Register at

Participants will do fun projects, experimenting with bubbles, painting, drawing, mixed media, and even make homemade ice cream! Taught by Kaylee Hubert, these classes are just $5 each and will be on Wednesdays, July 11, 18 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Weather permitting, the classes will be held outdoors in the Bonifas front garden next to the metal sculpture.

The first class on July 11 will have kids making “elephant toothpaste,” a new trending project that is made by combining the following ingredients: hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, water, activated yeast, and food coloring. Students will then stand back and watch the fascinating foamy “toothpaste” grow. To follow in this elephant theme, students will also do an elephant sock puppet project at this class.

For the second class on July 18, kids will make homemade ice cream and will also make ice cream crafts to go along with the ice cream theme.

Finally, for the third class on July 25, kids will have fun making giant bubbles, along with doing an art project that combines food coloring and bubbles to making artwork out of the popped bubbles.

“The classes should be a lot of fun because we’ll be combining a hands-on science project and an art project under the same theme,” Hubert said. The classes are for youth ages five to nine. For more information, call 906-786-3833, or stop in the Bonifas at 700 First Avenue So. Youth art programming is sponsored in part by EMP.


Calling all young entrepreneurs! The registration deadline of Saturday, July 21 is quickly approaching to register for the Young Artists’ Market.

Young Artists’ Market is a great opportunity for students to display and sell their original works during the summer’s Waterfront Art Festival at Ludington Park. All artwork must be done by the artist (a limited amount of adult assistance is acceptable.) Work must be of a suitable quality to be sold, and a sample must be approved by the Bonifas staff upon receipt of application.

Young Artists’ Market at Waterfront Art Festival will be on Saturday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with set-up starting at 8 a.m. The student fee is $10 and is for those 18 and under. Applications can be downloaded at or by visiting the Bonifas Arts Center, located at 700 First Ave. So., by July 21 at 3 p.m.


The Art Scene mural at the Department of Natural Resources building in Escanaba has been unveiled. Several media covered the event include WJMN TV3. Their is story is at

The students were guided through the project by experienced instructor and artist James Finlan, and assisted by art students from Bay College.

The Michigan DNR, which is sponsoring the mural project, is thankful to the Bonifas for its support. “We are very grateful to the Bonifas Arts Center for their support in partnering with the Finance and Operations Division of the Department of Natural Resources to do this venture,” said JoAnn Alexander with the Michigan DNR. “The mural will represent what the outdoors has to offer in this beautiful area that we live. We hope that motorists and tourists driving by, and customers of the Escanaba Service Center will view and enjoy this outside mural for years to come. We are very fortunate to have such devoted and passionate local artists working on this project.”


The Escanaba City Council approved a resolution to support a grant application to the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs seeking funds for Music Mondays summer concert series.

Bonifas Arts Center Executive Director Sue Roll asked the council to support the application.

"We would like to write the grant for Music Mondays and keep the music happening," Roll said at a council meeting. "I think it's been a huge positive for our area and it brings in visitors. It's a crowded space most Monday nights."

The grant proposes a collaborative effort between the city and the Bonifas to enrich the cultural lives of area residents and visitors through free concerts featuring area musicians. If awarded, the city will serve as the administrator for the funds.

The grant proposes six Music Mondays throughout June, July and August at the Karas Memorial Bandshell in Ludington Park. The Bonifas will coordinate the musicians and promote the events.

The concerts are sponsored in part by the City of Escanaba, Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts, Patrick Lindow of Edward Jones Investments, EMP, Marie Theoret, Ray and Peg Hirvonen Foundation, and William and Diane Bennett. The Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Central U.P. Planning & Development Regional Commission (CUPPAD) also support this program.


Music lovers can again look forward to getting out to some fun, free concerts this summer on Monday evenings. Continuing in the City of Escanaba’s annual “Music Mondays” summer tradition, these concerts started on June 25, and will pick up again on Monday, July 9 through Monday, Aug. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Ludington Park’s Karas Bandshell.

Held along the lakeshore under the summer sun, Music Mondays offer listeners a variety of musical styles. Listeners can relax while listening to some great local bands, and are welcome to use available bench seating or bring their own lawn chairs or blankets, and maybe even something to drink. These fun free concerts offer everyone the opportunity to come out and savor the sun, while listening to music, having fun, dancing, or just hanging out.

The first Music Monday concert on June 25 featured the band Sit Down Francis with their signature hardcore alternative folk music. The next concert will be on Monday, July 9, when listeners can check out the wonderful Phil Lynch Jazz Quartet, which is made up of public school educators.

On July 16, attendees will enjoy the sounds of Speedy Beef, performing mainly ‘80s rock, including some “hair bands,” alongside “classic rock” from the ‘70s and through the ‘90s, including lesser known B-sides, and some pop songs in the mix.

Speedy Beef Drummer Nick Nolde of Escanaba said there may be tunes by Cheap Trick, A-Ha, Bon Jovi, Poison, Elton John, the Sweet, Gin Blossoms, the Violent Femmes, and Billy Joel. And according to Nolde, they may even mix some Michael Jackson tunes.

Subsequent concerts will feature tunes from Wingin’ It on July 23 and on July 30, Kraig Kenning ( will play a mixture of folk, acoustic blues and roots rock.

Finally, on Aug. 6, those who love ‘60s sounds, with some ‘50s and ‘70s songs in the mix, can check out the Cadillacs, an Escanaba-based “oldies” band whose four vocalists will offer harmonies, at times a cappella, including the Beach Boys, Four Seasons tunes – basically, overall “good-time” music with a happy sound. The family-friendly concerts aim to feature only children-appropriate songs.

The concerts are sponsored in part by the City of Escanaba, Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts, Patrick Lindow of Edward Jones Investments, EMP, Marie Theoret, Ray and Peg Hirvonen Foundation, and William and Diane Bennett. The Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Central U.P. Planning & Development Regional Commission (CUPPAD) also support this program.


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A fascinating display of artwork created by six dedicated artists is on display now through July 30 at the Bonifas. The artwork is part of The 100 Day Project, and highlights the creative process that the artists went through while they were completing their artwork. The 100 Day Project encourages people to take some time to work on a creative project every day for 100 consecutive days. The idea is that through practice, we develop a creative habit, and through habit, we reconnect with and know ourselves again as a creative being.

This exhibit features the work of the following six area artists who have shared the results of their 100 Day Project experiences: Maureen Lapinski, Kathy McKernan, Phyllis Fleury, Mary Penét, Diane Kribs-Mays and Kate Oman.

The 100-Day Project is a kind of creativity excavation. It is about unearthing dormant or unrealized creativity by committing to a daily practice every day for 100 days.

One of the participating artists whose work is on display, Kate Oman, said that all of the artists had a different goal in mind with their artwork.

Oman created a total of 636 intricate paper cranes over the 100-day period, and said there were some unexpected benefits that happened during the experience. Though her initial goal was to make one thousand cranes, she said many unexpected twists and turns occurred in her life throughout the process.

“John Lennon famously said, ‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans,’ and that was the case for me throughout the one hundred days,” Oman noted. “I didn’t quite reach my goal of one thousand paper cranes, because I had to take time out to spend time with the people most important to me. Throughout the process, I learned a lot more about myself.”

Another of the six artists, Diane Kribs-Mays, had a theme of Mirrored Light for her projects. Following in this theme, she decided to study how light from mirrors would affect three different backgrounds: glass, fiber and man-made fiber. Each of her projects used mirrors and her flame-worked glass elements to capture light and enhance those backgrounds. Each finished project, when exposed to light—especially sunlight—with the addition of movement, made each one sparkle, she discovered.

For instance, one of her projects, a ceiling hanging made with crocheted 20-lbs. test fishing line, is entitled “Crystal Elegance.” “The big surprise to me was the fishing line, how much it was enhanced and glowed,” Kribs-Mays said of her creation.

Another of the six artists, Mary Penét, concluded, “and so my journey of 100 days of art making has sped by – some painting, some mixed media. It was a journey filled with delight, frustration, enlightenment, confusion, and enjoyment. I’m looking forward to the 100 Days of 2019!”

View the breakthroughs that come with practice and commitment and learn more about the practice by checking out, or for more information, call the Bonifas at 906-786-3833.


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The Bonifas Arts Center always seeks to connect the public with art. Last year they initiated a project to present artwork from local student Youth in Art winners at the parks of the mid-Upper Peninsula.
Local educators from Delta, Menominee and Iron counties funded this initiative both years through their Michigan Education Association local.

“We’re proud to work with the Bonifas Arts Center to showcase student artists,” says MEA 17B Coordinating Council Chair Nanci Love from Bay College.

“As teachers we are committed to the intellectual and artistic growth of young people. It was a natural fit for us to help the Bonifas with funds for this project.”

Each year, the reproductions are displayed in the pavilion in Ludington Park. This year, the artwork will be added to Gladstone’s VanCleve Park.

Betty Breclaw, a Bonifas gallery volunteer and retired elementary teacher shared the idea of taking art work from Youth In Art out to the area parks. She says, “It can add color and happiness to every institutional space."

This year’s young artists’ works selected for Park Art are: Landon Hansen, Elsie Shepeck, Anna Blake, Addyson Merfeld, Ben Hess, Riley Edwardsen, and a group project by 9th-12th graders at Bark River Harris Senior High.

Gallery and Regional Projects at the Art Center, agrees “This is a relevant community project that extends one of the Art Center’s most endearing exhibits.  It highlights the good work produced each year by our students and area schools.”

MEA teachers also helped judge the Youth in Art entries for the Bonifas in March. This year Ramona Brandt and Karen Beattie from Escanaba and Casey Hinkson from Manistique volunteered time to judge.

“Judging was wonderful,” says Karen Beattie. “There are so many creative students in our community. Everyone should go and see what our talented teachers and students are up to.”


This summer, why not spend a July day enjoying the talented musicians while relaxing on the grounds of Northern Sun Winery surrounded by the vineyards?

This concert, on Sunday, July 15 at 4 p.m., will feature Genna and Jesse, Retro Soul Pop Duo. Tickets for the concert are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Price includes vineyard and wine cellar tour at 3 p.m. Proceeds will go to the 2019 Missoula Children’s Theatre program held at the Bonifas.


A new glasswork exhibit is coming to the Bonifas Arts Center on July 12. Entitled “Bent II: New Glasswork by Alysa Marie Diebolt,” this collection is inspired by colors and shapes. The expanded collection by Diebolt, U.P. native, brings to life unique hue combinations in a wide variety of forms.

Diebolt’s artistry in “Bent II” combines bright colors, interesting patterns, and a whimsical touch to contemporary fused glass artwork, says Bonifas Gallery and Regional Projects Director Pasqua Warstler. "This collection is summery, bright and fun, and includes a lot of functional glassware," Warstler noted.

Diebolt is a hometown artist and was involved in the Entrepreneurial Program at 4-H and Youth in Art Program at the Bonifas. She took that background with her to Northern Michigan University (NMU), where she earned a bachelor's degree in marketing, and excelled, winning NMU’s New Business Venture Competition.

She has been the recipient of numerous art awards as well, including Best of Show, “Flower Field,” at the 2014 Waterfront Art Festival; Best in Glass at the 2008 Waterfront Art Festival; Best of Show at the 2011 Arts on the Square in Waupaca, Wisconsin; Award of Excellence (First Place) at the 2011 Art for All in Iron Mountain; BayBank (Escanaba) 2010 Purchase Award; Bay College-West 2009 Purchase Award in Iron Mountain, and many others.

She is active with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and she loves her U.P. roots. “When I started doing fused glass with my dad at age fourteen, having a show at the Bonifas was my ultimate career goal,” Diebolt said. “The Bonifas is where I had my first piece exhibited in a gallery setting (Beth Cox's “Fires Around the Lakes”). So having an entire solo show here, fifteen years after starting doing fused glass, is really just magical for me. This is what I've worked so hard to accomplish during my career. I am so excited to share with my hometown my style and voice as an artist.”
Diebolt now lives outside of Detroit, with her work being sold at galleries across Michigan.
This unique collection will be on display in The Bonifas Alice Powers Gallery from July 12 through August 23 with an opening reception on Thursday, July 12 from 7 – 9 p.m. where Diebolt will do artist demonstrations so that people can see her artistic process.


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The Missoula Children's Theatre staff has been working with about 60 kids all week to put on a performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Performances will be held Saturday, June 16, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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Bonifas Membership Show Awards Announced

Gladstone City Hall Awards:

Phyllis Carlson
Michigan Lily

Robert (Bob) Roberts
Aronson Island

Dennis Dufek
Pumpkin Seed Sunfish

Dan Young
Against the Wind

Julie Ann Neisius
Wild Poppies

Catherine Sjoquist
Van Cleve

Michael Hall

Paul Arno Rose
Pondering the Day

Sue Ellisor
Carry On

Suzy Decker
Over the River & Thru the Woods

Tracy Anderson
Otter Ice Capades

Escanaba City Hall Awards:

Robert (Bob) Roberts
Aronson Island

Suzy Decker
Over the River & Thru the Woods

Nan Hoeting Payne
Early Morning Walk (Alley in Ishpeming)

Tracy Anderson
Otter Ice Capades

Anne Murphy Schaaf

Phyllis Carlson
Michigan Lily

Dan Young
Against the Wind

Stephen Messimer
Lascaux Redux

Julie Ann Neisius
Wild Poppies

Scott Dupras
Coast Guard Bone Yard

Featured artist for The Studio Gallery Award:

Dennis Dufek
Pumpkin Seed Sunfish

Honorable Mentions:

Ronna Katz
Path of Contemplation

Paul Nelson

2nd Place
Dan Young
Against the Wind

1st Place
Bernard Park


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The mural at the Department of Natural Resources building in Escanaba is progressing quickly. Students are painting the mural as part of the Art Scene program at the Bonifas.

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