The Bonifas Arts Center recently honored Upper Peninsula artists’ newest and best creations by announcing the winners of a host of Northern Exposure XXIII awards made possible by regional support for the arts.
Northern Exposure, the BAC’s annual regional art competition exhibit, is always popular, said Pasqua Warstler, Bonifas artistic director, but this year it has attracted even more viewers and buyers than usual. “It’s a strong show. Viewers have been excited. This year our guests were really enthused. We’ve had a lot of comments, a lot of conversation, and a lot of sales.”
The exhibit will remain on display through Dec. 21 in the BAC gallery. Viewing is free and open to the public.
Juror Helen Klebesadel selected first-place winner “Rabbit and Forest Fire” by Joyce Koskenmaki, of Hancock ($700), second-place winner “Rivers Edge” by Marc Himes, of Negaunee ($400), and third-place winner “Putting on Airs” by Scott Leipski, of Gladstone ($250). These awards were sponsored by Crawford Funeral Home, Frame Crafters, East Ludington Gallery, and the BAC in Escanaba; the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery; and the Manistique Art Club (Carol Stoll Award).
The following recipients of Media Awards, selected by the sponsoring news providers, will be featured in news coverage showcasing their work, with the Escanaba Daily Press presenting “Fractured” by Christina Kionka, of Iron Mountain; the Marquette Mining Journal presenting “Witness to a Satellite Re-entry” by Paul Nelson, of Gwinn; Escanaba’s Upperpeninsula.biz/WYKX/WDBC presenting “Out the Car Window” by April South-Olson, of Escanaba, “Rivers Edge” by Himes, and “In Good Hands” by Tracy L. Anderson, of Rapid River; the Iron Mountain Daily News and the Munising News presenting “Storm Over Lake Superior” by Paul Hess, of Marquette; the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette presenting “Blue Sky Day” by Ginnie Cappaert, of Stephenson; and the Manistique Pioneer Tribune presenting “A Midwinter Night” by Jason Limberg, of Gwinn.
As winners of Featured Artist awards, the following artists’ work, selected by sponsoring venues, will be exhibited at a show: South-Olson at the Alberta House Arts Center in Sault Ste. Marie; Carol Irving, of Escanaba, Anderson, and Ben Bohnsack, of Marquette, at the Erickson Center for the Arts in Curtis; Brian Kakas, of Marquette, at Finlandia University’s Reflection Gallery in Hancock; Brian Burroughs, of Escanaba, at the Lake Superior Arts Association Gallery in Marquette; Sara Bagley, of Garden, at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie; and Anderson at the Paige Wiard Gallery in Calumet.
The following selected a work of art to buy, picking Purchase Prize winners: Bay Bank; Daniel Young and Brian Pahnke of Thrivent Financial; Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Co.; the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, Darolyn and Robert Spannuth; and Bay College, all of Escanaba.
The Purchase Prize winners were “Polar Bear with Stars” by Koskenmaki; “Spring Break” by Michael Hall, of Escanaba; “Marsh Magic” by Ronna Katz, of Marquette; “The Sentinel” by Nelson; “Light and Lace” by Jennifer Leighton, of Sault Ste. Marie; “Jug of Flowers” by Rebecca Smith-Miles, of Manistique; “Swirling Seasons” by Kate Oman, of Escanaba; “Infusion” by Linda Swan, of Naubinway; and “The Upverse” by Shawn Malone, of Marquette.
Paul Rose, of Garden, was awarded an artist residency, to include lodging and studio space, at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island for “Manifestation of my Dreams.”
Three artists—Burroughs, for “The Bible Never Mentions Cats,” South-Olson, for “Out the Car Window,” and Judy Merrill-Smith, of Sault Ste. Marie, for “Angel for Beginning Stitchers”—were honored with Artist Network Awards funded by the Alberta House Arts Center; Art U.P. Style Gallery in Marquette; Cappaert Contemporary Gallery in Egg Harbor, Wis.; Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff; Christine’s Gallery in Nahma; Cooper Office Equipment, Heynssens & Selin’s, Sviland’s Paint & Wallcoverings, and Genesis Graphics in Escanaba; Erickson Center for the Arts; Frame Farm in Gladstone; Lake Effect Community Arts Center and Mackinaw Trail Winery in Manistique; Les Cheneaux Islands Art Gallery in Hessel; UP-Scale Art Gallery in Munising; The Village Artisans & Garden Gallery; and Borderland Arts in Iron Mountain.
The Northern Exposure XXIII exhibit is made possible, in part, by gallery partners Saundra Robinette of Escanaba Veterinary Clinic and Daniel Young and Brian Pahnke of Escanaba’s Thrivent Financial.