Kate Oman presents Youth in Art awards for K-5 grades

Bonifas Arts Center Gallery Director Kate Oman presents the Youth in Art Awards for 2021 to students in the Learning Center and Kindergarten through 5th grades.

Awards are given by Verso Corporation, Michigan Education Association, Delta Schoolcraft ISD, Escanaba Kiwanis Club, GFWC Women's Club and the Bonifas Arts Center.

Verso Award Winners

LC Grade - Shania Wandahsega
Polar Bear          
Delta Schoolcraft ISD Learning Center

K Grade - Kyra-Anne Stoerch
Spider on Web 
Webster Elementary

1st Grade - Marley VanDrese
Winter Landscape           
Lemmer Elementary

2nd Grade - Preston Nelson
O'Keefe Flower
Lemmer Elementary

3rd Grade - MacKenzie Suor
Pumpkin Trio     
North Central Area Schools

4th Grade - Kendra LaFave
Cornucopia        
Escanaba Upper Elementary

5th Grade - Kaylee Scott  
Northern Lights
Mid Peninsula Elementary

MEA Award Winners     

LC Grade - John Bunn
Northern Lights
DSISD Learning Center

K Grade - Avianna Allison 
Self-Portrait
Webster Elementary       

1st Grade - Robert  Lee 
Reindeer            
Lemmer Elementary       

2nd Grade - Casen Grandchamp 
Spring Bird         
Lemmer Elementary

3rd Grade - Ava Jackson
Emoji Faces       
Escanaba Upper Elementary            

4th Grade - Mallory Makosky
Aztec Sun Design             
Escanaba Upper Elementary         

5th Grade - Miley Meshigaud
Egyptian Art      
Escanaba Upper Elementary

Delta Schoolcraft ISD

LC Grade - Isaac Cayer
Polar Bear
DSISD Learning Center

K Grade - Kyra - Anne Stoerch
Spider on Web
Webster Elementary

1st Grade - Annabelle Wolfe
My Starry Night
North Central Area Schools

2nd Grade - Henry Royer
Northern Lights
Mid Peninsula Elementary

3rd Grade - Laila Pray
Magic Island      
Homeschool

4th Grade - Gavin Laur
Birch Trees
James T. Jones Elementary     

5th Grade - Trinity Pepin
City Scape From Outer Space
Escanaba Upper Elementary

Escanaba Kiwanis Club Award Winners 

LC Grade - Cheyenne Eichhorn
Snow Skate        
DSISD Learning Center

K Grade - Addison Bellinger               
Dinosaur             
Webster Elementary

1st Grade - Casimir Drown
Winter Trees     
W.C. Cameron Elementary        

2nd Grade - Niko Ginter
Spring Bird         
Lemmer Elementary         

3rd Grade - Elizabeth Benetti 
Paper Birch Winter         
Escanaba Upper Elementary

4th Grade - Emma LaCarte
Modigliani Self Portrait
Escanaba Upper Elementary

5th Grade - Trinity Pepin
City Scape From Outer Space     
Escanaba Upper Elementary

GFWC Escanaba Woman's Club Award Winners

LC Grade - Lilly Sawyer       
Abstract Rewind
DSISD Learning Center

K Grade - Riggs Larrabee
Dinosaur             
Webster Elementary

1st Grade - Evelyn Orth 
Winter Landscape           
Lemmer Elementary

2nd Grade - Ryder Bjorne
Pizza Box Robot
Lemmer Elementary

3rd Grade - Siwel Holmes 
Northern Lights
Mid Peninsula Elementary

4th Grade - Macey  Pascoe 
Snowman in Perspective
Escanaba Upper Elementary

5th Grade - Janessa Gerou
Northern Lights
Mid Peninsula Elementary

Bonifas Award Winners

LC Grade - Shania Wandahsega
Polar Bear          
DSISD Learning Center

K Grade - Lucas Porath
Self-Portrait      
Webster Elementary

1st Grade - Annabelle Wolfe 
My Starry Night
North Central Area Schools

2nd Grade - Preston Nelson
O'Keefe Flower
Lemmer Elementary

3rd Grade - Laila Pray
Magic Island      
Homeschool

4th Grade - Makayla Marshall
Modigliani Self Portrait
Escanaba Upper Elementary

5th Grade - Janessa Gerou  
Northern Lights
Mid Peninsula Elementary

The exhibit runs through March 24.

Kate Oman presents Youth in Art award for 6th through 12 grades

Bonifas Arts Center Gallery Director Kate Oman presents the Youth in Art Awards for 2021 to students in the 6th through 12th grades.

Awards are given by Verso Corporation, Michigan Education Association, Delta Schoolcraft ISD, Escanaba Kiwanis Club, GFWC Women's Club and the Bonifas Arts Center.

Verso Award Winners      

6th Grade - Mya Kressin
Shaded Pipes    
Escanaba Junior High

7th Grade - Jason Guerne 
Sign Language Line Hands
Escanaba Junior High

8th Grade - Morgan Fazer           
Scouts
North Central Area Schools   

9th Grade - Ben Shiverski 
Photo   
Bark River Harris High School

10th Grade - Whitney Massie
Rose     
Bark River Harris High School

11th Grade - Petrina Martin 
Stippled Butterfly
Bark River Harris High School

12th Grade - Ceclia Pilon
USA
Rapid River High School          

12th Grade - Riley Edwardsen 
Unity  
Rapid River High School  

Group Project - 9th-12th Grades
Fish       
Bark River Harris High School

MEA Award Winners     

6th Grade - Jaeden Arsenault  
Trees in Perspective      
Escanaba Junior High

7th Grade - Kenan Trent
Humuhumunukunukuapua'a
Homeschool        

8th Grade - Shanay Mathieson  
Shaded Pumpkin             
Escanaba Junior High

9th Grade - Lauren Zawada 
Sunset on the Beach      
Bark River Harris High School  

10th Grade - Zoey Lanaville 
Looking Glass    
Bark River Harris High School

11th Grade - Isabelle Cretans
Bugeroo              
Bark River Harris High School              

12th Grade - Riley Edwardsen
Unity    
Rapid River High School                

Group Project - 9th-12th Grade 
Fish       
Bark River Harris High School

Delta Schoolcraft ISD

6th Grade - Kaden Malone
Elements of Art
North Central Area Schools

7th Grade - Maverick Krachinski
Rope Art             
Bark River Harris Middle School

8th Grade - Morgan Fazer 
Scouts  
North Central Area Schools

9th Grade - Manny  Oswald
Wreck It Ralph  
Bark River Harris High School         

10th Grade - Madison Couillard           
Queen 
Rapid River High School

11th Grade - Tressa Ives
Wake Up and Smell the Roses
Bark River Harris High School

12th Grade - Myah Pearson
Untitled
Rapid River High School

Group Project - 9th-12th Grade
Brain
Bark River Harris High School

Escanaba Kiwanis Club Award Winners 

6th Grade - Cale Schroeder
T.P. Shading      
Escanaba Junior High             

7th Grade - Hailee Seawright
Glass of Water  
Escanaba Junior High      

8th Grade - Mackenna Stenberg
Colors  
Bark River Harris High School

9th Grade - Lauren Zawada
Sunset on the Beach      
Bark River Harris High School

10th Grade - Whitney Massie
Rose     
Bark River Harris High School

11th Grade - Graci Varoni 
The Lion King    
Bark River Harris High School       

12th Grade - Ceclia Pilon 
USA
Rapid River High School

GFWC Escanaba Woman's Club Award Winners

6th Grade - Cale Schroeder
T.P. Shading      
Escanaba Junior High             

7th Grade - Hailee Seawright
Glass of Water  
Escanaba Junior High

8th Grade - McKenna Vanderlinden
Pencil Landscape             
Escanaba Junior High   

9th Grade - Ella Boney
Millions
Bark River Harris High School

10th Grade - Ondraya Uskilith-Karaja
Be An Inspiration To Others        
Bark River Harris High School

11th Grade - Petrina Martin
Stippled Butterfly
Bark River Harris High School          

12th Grade - Joey Stein       
Ice on Stump
Bark River Harris High School

Bonifas Award Winners

6th Grade - Claire Jacobsen
Surrealism World            
Escanaba Junior High     

7th Grade - Maverick Krachinski  
Rope Art             
Bark River Harris Middle School

8th Grade - Mackenna Stenberg        
Colors
Bark River Harris High School    

9th Grade - McKenzie Hoffmeyer
Baby Blue Blossom         
Bark River Harris High School

10th Grade - Whitney Massie        
Rose     
Bark River Harris High School  

11th Grade - Shayla Cmejla 
Great Grandpa 
Bark River Harris High School

12th Grade - Emmanuel Peterson
Cactus  
Bark River Harris High School 

Group Project - 9th-12th Grade
Fish       
Bark River Harris High School

The exhibit runs through March 24.

2020 has been a year of great change and uncertainty for many people, businesses, and governments across the world. From learning new ways of working to masks being a staple of our wardrobes, we have all had to learn together what our “New Normal” moving forward will look like. 

The Bonifas is no different. Like many other non-profits, COVID hit the Bonifas hard. On March 17th, the Bonifas found itself closing its doors to the public while waiting out the pandemic. While this could have been a time of fear and anxiety, instead it became a season of creativity and exploration for the staff at the Bonifas. They found themselves researching and planning new ways to keep the Bonifas open during a time when close contact, and in some cases any contact at all, is not able to happen.

First, they took a pragmatic approach by deeply sanitizing the building before allowing people inside. The building is still sanitized daily and the staff takes care to make sure specific areas like doors, bathrooms, phones, and light switches are sanitized often. Masks, both traditional masks and fun cloth ones, are offered at all entrances with hand sanitizer being offered throughout the building. Social distancing is practiced both by the staff and the public, but the staff works hard to make every person who walks in the door feel welcomed. 

The Bonifas focused on classes and events that could be held virtually, allowing more people to attend classes than would be able to attend in-person due to the restrictions. Thanks to a recent Art Bridges grant, the Bonifas was able to purchase new videography equipment that allows them to create quality online classes. With this grant they were also able to hire Craig Woerpel to train the staff on how to create professional videos of classes and livestreams. Classes like Art Essentials for Kids and What’s Cookin’ have been successfully held online with more classes offering this option in the near future. Events, such as Night of Magic and Wizardry, have also been able to be held online thanks to the creative planning of Events Coordinator, Paula Jordan and the Events Assistant, Olivia Johnson. Holding events and classes online was new for everyone but with a little tweaking and patience, they are off to a great start.

Things are still evolving for the Bonifas. On October 19th they decided to change their open hours to 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays due to the uptick in COVID cases in Delta County. Visitors are also asked to sign in when they enter the building to help track any outbreaks that might occur.

The Bonifas will continue to evolve and change as needed in order to provide the central Upper Peninsula inclusive, educational, and safe access to arts and culture. Through their creativity and passion for the arts, the staff will continue to find new ways to foster the sense of community that they are known for.

The Bonifas would like to announce the following winners of Northern Exposure XXVII and congratulate all of those who were chosen for this exhibit: 

The Media Awards go to the following: Marquette Mining Journal - Untitled (No. 12) by Dakota Gutierrez; Escanaba Daily Press - Safe Haven by Tracy Anderson; Iron Mountain Daily News - St. Helena by Caroline Carlson; Munising News - Red Canoe and Social Distancing by Paul Rose.

The Featured Artists Awards go to the following: St. Helena by Caroline Carlson and Pike Lake by Bernie Park were chosen by Alberta House Arts Center. New Cloth Bound by Christina Kionka of Iron Mountain was chosen by Cappaert Contemporary Gallery. Three Dark-Eyed Juncos by Tracy Anderson and Awakening by Kristine Granger of Marquette were chosen by the Erickson Center for the Arts. Finally, Untitled (No. 12) by Dakota Gutierrez and Awakening by Kristine Granger were chosen by Gallery on 5th.

The Bonifas Residency Award was presented to John Hubbard for his piece Deadfall.

The Artist Network Awards were awarded to Bernie Park for his work Pike Lake, Paul Rose for his work Winter Dance, and Brian Burroughs for his piece Our Imperiled Incubator (Part 3) The Bonifas would like to thank the following businesses for sponsoring this award: Alberta House Arts Center, Borderland Arts Center, Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, Christine’s Gallery, Cooper Office Supply, Erickson Center for the Arts, Genesis Graphics, Gallery on 5th, Frame Farm, Heynssens & Selins, Lake Effect Community Arts Center, Sviland Paint & Wallcoverings, The Village Artisans & The Garden Gallery.

Purchase Prizes went to the following: Bay College chose Mashkawizii by Bill Savage, Safe Haven by Tracy Anderson, and Night Vision by Cameron Wilcox. The Delta Area Chamber of Commerce chose First Light by Dan Young, and Red Canoe and Social Distancing by Paul Rose was picked by Schneider, Larche, Haapala, & Co. Thrivent Financial chose a painting, Floral Blanket by Liz Evensen of Crystal Falls, a 3D mixed media, Spirited Fairy by Diane Kribs-Mays of Rock, and a photograph, Lakeside Explorerby Cameron Wilcox of Marquette.

Finally, the Bonifas would like to announce their Placement awards which are sponsored by Crawford Funeral Home, East Ludington Gallery, and The Bonifas Arts Center.

3rd place goes to Banish Misfortune II by Carol Irving

2nd place goes to Safe Haven by Tracy Anderson

1st place goes to The White Pantsuit Project by Deborah Abramson

The Bonifas would like to thank Escanaba Veterinary Clinic, Tackman Capital Management, and Thrivent Financial for being our Gallery Partners. They would also like to extend a thank you to the artists who applied for Northern Exposure this year--they have inspired us all to remember that in times of hardship, hope and creativity can still shine through.

Northern Exposure XXVII will run through February 4th in the Alice Powers Gallery. The public is invited to stop in and check out the amazing work on display. For more information, call the Bonifas at 906-786-3833.

The 2020 Bonifas Arts Center Annual Meeting was held Oct. 22 virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download Financial Statement  »

Bonifas Trailor from Ron Rademacher on Vimeo.

The backwoods of Michigan are full of cool destinations and great stories.

The adventures of the Backroads of Michigan program will showcase some of these next week at the Bonifas.

Irina Bruno, right, takes the helm from Sue Roll as executive director at the Bonifas.

The Bonifas Arts Center is pleased to announce the following change in its leadership: Irina Bruno is the new Executive Director of the Bonifas, as of Sept. 1. Bruno takes the reins from Sue Roll, who has worked as Executive Director since January 1, 2018, and also worked for two and a half years as the Bonifas Business Director.

Bruno was selected after an extensive search and interviews by the Bonifas Board of Trustees. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree in international management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and economics.

Bruno said of her new position: “I am honored and look forward to continue working with our dedicated and talented staff, the Board of Trustees, and volunteers. The Bonifas is recognized in the Central U.P. as a venerable cultural and education organization bringing to our communities varied exhibits, lively events and educational outreach. It is a unique place where people of all ages can meet the artists, flex their creative chops, learn new skills and simply have a great time! I hope to provide the experience, energy, and drive needed to lead this wonderful institution into the future and ensure that our community continues to benefit from its presence.”

This leadership change has been in the works for nearly a year. Roll will be reducing her hours to focus on her family and a ‘pre-retirement’ lifestyle. She will continue to work part-time for the Bonifas, concentrating on grant writing and supporting Bruno’s transition. 

“I am excited that my new job will include grant writing – something I’ve learned about and practiced over the last several years,” Roll said. “I will also be researching additional financial support options for the Bonifas, and helping with other special projects. Because continuity is crucial, Irina and I will work together to ensure that this transition is smooth and that our members and our community will continue to take pride in the Bonifas Arts Center.”

Bruno has worked as Education Coordinator at the Bonifas for the past three years, a role which had her developing several new class series, attracting new class participants, recruiting new artists as instructors, and ultimately, strengthening the Arts Center’s bottom line. 

“Irina brings to the Executive Director position a strong knowledge of business and finance and a deep commitment to bringing arts experiences into people’s lives,” Roll said. 

According to Roll, the Bonifas remains committed as ever in its mission to continue working to enhance and inspire the cultural and creative lives of the people in the Central Upper Peninsula. 

 “We would like to assure our members and the general community that the Bonifas will remain a creative force of artistic talent in our community,” Roll added. 

For more information on the Bonifas Arts Center, please visit bonifasarts.org or call 906-786-3833.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is just plain beautiful and if you ride around for awhile you're going to find crystal clear rivers, trails that go through old forests, you'll find waterfalls and scenic views.

The Bonifas Arts Center has partnered with Michigan Back Roads author,  Ron Rademacher, on a podcast series featuring day trip adventures on the back roads of Michigan. 

In this episode, Ron takes us to Piers Gorge on the Menominee River.

Lean more about Rademacher’s books at michiganbackroads.com.

Neighborhood kids put their hands to a mural on a pump house yesterday at Stephenson Park in Escanaba. 

The Bonifas Arts Center and artist Jim Finlan are painting a wrap-around mural depicting the four seasons and activities in the park.

Finlan says he wants the kids to feel a part of the project.

"The hands are to add color to the mural, offer a childish aspect to it and it bring the community's kids to the mural to be involved. Then they have memories," Finlan said.

The mural is funded by a Prosperous Places Grant from the Regional Prosperity Initiative.

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Waterfront Arts Festival. Given the current circumstances we would not be able to provide attendees, artists and vendors the experience they have come to expect while attending Waterfront Art Festival. Most importantly we are committed to keeping our community healthy and safe. We understand that this is a disappointment to many of you in the community. 

We will help our artists and vendors with a virtual art festival this year. We understand that it has been a different and difficult year for everyone, especially our artists, food vendors and people that look forward to a good time at the Waterfront Art Festival every year. 

The Bonifas Arts Center would like to encourage you to visit Virtual Waterfront Art Festival online August 1st – 31st to purchase the unique gift items from your favorite artists. You can go to bonifasarts.org, look for the link to the virtual Waterfront Art Festival. 

Next year we will be back Yooper Strong! Watch for updates online on our website, Facebook and Instagram. 

The Bonifas Arts Center has partnered with Michigan Back Roads author,  Ron Rademacher, to launch a podcast series featuring day trip adventures on the back roads of Michigan. 

Ron is the author of six books about Michigans off-the-beaten path locations filled with history and stunning scenes that inspire a sense of wonder and peace. Join us in listening to this new series that will feed your adventurous side and lead up to his presentation at the Bonifas Arts Center, September 10 at 6 p.m.

These are short videos, about five minutes. Each will highlight day trip destinations all across the back roads of Michigan. We’ll explore lesser known destinations across both peninsulas including scenic drives, little know trails and historical destinations that you have overlooked. 

Examples include:

All of these and more can be found on the back roads of Michigan. We hope you’ll join us for day trips and getaways on the back rods of Michigan.

In this video, Rademacher talks about the Crisp Point Lighthouse and A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum.

Lean more about Rademacher’s books at michiganbackroads.com.

Juror Statement:

Wow!  I am amazed at the fantastic talent displayed throughout this membership show!  Selecting the awards was difficult and I wish every one of you the best in your creative journey!  I always enjoy seeing work that is innovative and maybe 'pushes the boundaries' a bit.  I love it when an artist uses originality and creativity in their own way!  I also look for a masterful craftsmanship and professional use of materials.  Presentation is very important whether it be the matting or framing or simply the way a piece is finished.  This is very important!  I also look for good use of composition and design and COLOR!  Studying and having a background in all of these will help you as you further your creative career!  All the best to each and everyone of you!

- Ginnie Cappaert

Escanaba City Hall Award winners:

Kate Oman, Escanaba, MI                            
“Night Watch”  

Bill Savage, Munising, MI                             
“Molly”

Monica Miller-Mortel, Escanaba, MI                       
“Secluded Waterfalls”   

Kathryn Lund Johnson, AuTrain, MI                         
“Reverberations in Time”             

Maureen Lapinski, Bark River, MI                             
“Flower Moon”

Sharon Fosmo, Escanaba, MI                      
“Rules 1 & 2”     

Kim Arntzen, Cecil, WI                   
“Spring Fever”  

Tracy Anderson, Rapid River, MI               
“In Autumn's Stillness”

Anonymous, Rapid River, MI                      
“Yohan”              

Gladstone City Hall award winners:

Tracy Anderson, Rapid River, MI
“In Autumn's Stillness” 

Kim Arntzen, Cecil, WI                   
“Spring Fever”  

Fran Darling, Marquette, MI                      
“Paddling The Colors”   

Monica Miller-Mortel, Escanaba, MI                       
“Secluded Waterfalls”   

Suzy Decker, Gladstone, MI                        
“Birches We're In This Together”             

Janice LaFond, Gladstone, MI                    
“Mountains”     

Julie Ann Neisius, Escanaba, MI                 
“Hollyhocks”     

Bob Roberts, Mt. Pleasant, MI                   
“Tysen”

Marlene Wood, Deerton, MI                      
“Silence”

Featured Artist Award  

Suzy Decker, Gladstone, MI        
“Eye of the Storm- COVID-19”   

Placement Awards

Honorable Mention

Jim Rutledge, Engadine, MI                         
“Blue Inspiration”


Bill Savage, Munising, MI                             
“She Dances”

2nd Place

Bernie Park, Marquette, MI                        
“Deep Blue”      

1st Place

Dennis Dufek, Gladstone, MI                     
“Tribute to Crazy Horse”              

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