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.

Drum roll, please! The Bonifas Arts Center and gallery partners Baybank, Escanaba Veterinary Clinic, and Thrivent Financial are pleased to announce the winners of the Northern Exposure annual regional art competition. Artists were honored with over $3,000 worth of prizes, including cash, an artist residency, and regional media coverage.

This year’s Artist Residency Award from Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island winner is: Taimur Cleary of Marquette for “Façade (To Face).” 

The placement award winners are: Tracy Anderson of Rapid River—first place for “Nature’s Symphony”; Brian Burroughs of Escanaba—second place for “Ouroboros”; and Rose Peltier of Escanaba—third place for “Marley.”

Purchase prize award winners include: Catherine Benda of Atlantic Mine—“Copper Vase” and Monica Miller Mortel of Escanaba—“ Just Chirping Around”—purchased by Thrivent Financial—Escanaba branch; Janet Bernson of Gladstone—“U.P. Waterfall”—purchased by Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Co.; Gregg Bruff of Escanaba—“After the Storm”—purchased by the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce; Paul Nelson of Gwinn—“Anatomy of an Eclipse” and William Oman of Escanaba—“Cascade”—purchased by Bay College; and finally, Bernie Park of Marquette—“Early Spring”–purchased by Darolyn and Robert Spannuth.      

This year, new awards include a feature on U.P. channels TV6 and TV10 in the Media Awards category. In this category, Tracy Anderson’s (Rapid River) “Kindred Spirits” was chosen by Marquette Monthly newspaper. The Munising News awarded Shelly Dinsmoore of Munising for her work, “Ansestoral Echos.” The Daily Press chose Escanaba artist Michael Hall’s work, “Feeling Excited”, with WLUC TV6 & FOX UP TV choosing Diane Krebs-Mays’ of Rock’s work, “Adventures in Knit Glass” and Joan Maatta of Escanaba’s “Ice On The Rocks.” The Iron Mountain Daily News chose Escanaba’s Chris Hook for his work, “When It Rains.”

Also, WYKX-FM/WDBC-AM radio and chose three artists’ works: Rose Peltier of Escanaba for “Marley,” Cindy Wedig of Gwinn for “In the Recesses of My Mind” and Suzy Decker of Gladstone for “Swinging the Blues.”

The Student Award category is also new and sponsored by Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, and Bay College. Winners are: Chris Hook of Escanaba—first place for “When It Rains”; Andreaka Jump of Marquette—second place for “Waves on Superior 8”; and Delaney Viau of Bark River – third place for “Issaiah.”

Finally, winners in the Featured Artists Award category (sponsor that awards recipients a venue for a show listed after winners) include:

Al Hansen of Escanaba for “Untitled Glass Yellow Blue Vase”—Cappaert Gallery;

JoAnn Deuel Shelby for “Rusted Elegance”, Stella Larkin for “Ancient Dweller”, and Jason Limberg of Gwinn for “Dream Sentinel”—all at the Erickson Center For The Arts Gallery.

JoAnn Deuel Shelby of Marquette for “Rusted Elegance”—Paige Ward Gallery;           

Cindy Wedig of Gwinn’s work, “Interior Cell”—Lake Superior Arts Association Arts Gallery;
Cindy Wedig’s “Interior Cell”, Jason Limberg’s “Dream Sentinel,” Mara Manning of Escanaba’s “You Were On My Mind” and Brian Burroughs  “Ouroboros”—all at the Lake Superior State University Arts Center Gallery.

Northern Exposure is an annual regional art competition that has supported and encouraged new work from U.P. artists over the past 24 years with contributions from businesses like Escanaba Veterinary Clinic, Baybank of Gladstone, and Thrivent Financial – Escanaba Branch.

"The Bonifas would like to thank these Art Gallery partners for making it possible for the community to be able to view this artwork by exceptional artists from across the Upper Peninsula,” Bonifas Artistic Director Pasqua Warstler said. “The representatives from these businesses know that it is good business to support people who support their businesses.”

The entire Northern Exposure exhibit will be on display in the Bonifas galleries through Dec. 21.

“This event is a great opportunity for people to see a comprehensive look at the current work being produced here in the U.P.,” Warstler added. “We welcome the public and remind them that there is no admission fee."

The award-winning artwork and the entire exhibit can be viewed at the Bonifas at 700 First Ave. South in Escanaba.


Northern Exposure XXIV at the Bonifas Art Center this year is anticipated to be a tremendous show of creative art.

Northern Exposure is a juried regional art exhibit that features artists from the Upper Peninsula. This year's jurist is sculptor, curator, educator and director of the Wisconsin Regional Art Program, Liese Pfeifer.

Pfeifer believes art enhances all of our lives.

Her art has grown from glass and bronze sculptures to mixed media constructions using natural and biodegradable materials such as wood and wool felt. Her “hybrid” approach to an artist life includes drawing and collage while working in arts administration.

In addition to being an award winning artist Pfeifer has broad experience in the art world. Her breadth of involvement includes art consultant at Integrated Art Group where she developed corporate and healthcare collections nationally to Ruth Davis Design Gallery UW, experienced juror and freelance curator. As Director of Wisconsin Regional Art Program, a part of Continuing Studies, Pfeifer currently works to ensure inclusive regional art opportunities across Wisconsin.

She has chosen pieces from artists all across the Upper Peninsula to be in the Northern Exposure exhibit. Award winners will be announced Thursday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m. during a reception at the Bonifas.


Artists will be honored with over $3,000 worth of prizes at the Northern Exposure exhibit this year. The show runs from Nov. 9 through Thursday, Dec. 21. Awards will be presented Nov. 9.

Thanks to our Gallery Partners:

Thank you to our Awards Sponsors:

Placement Awards
1st Place - $700 Sponsored by: Crawford Funeral Home, Escanaba; Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery; Bonifas Arts Center

2nd Place - $400 Sponsored by: Frame Crafters, Escanaba; East Ludington Gallery, Escanaba

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

Artist Residency Award
Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island

Media Awards Awards
Daily Mining Gazette
Escanaba Daily Press
Iron Mountain Daily Press
Manistique Pioneer Tribune
Marquette Mining Journal
Munising News
Marquette Monthly / WYKX-FM/WDBC-AM
ABC 10 & CW5
Escanaba Episodes

Purchase Prize
Bay de Noc Community College, Escanaba
Delta Area Chamber of Commerce, Escanaba
Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Co., Escanaba
Darolyn & Robert Spannuth
Thrivent Financial - Brain Pahnke Associates of the Esc. Branch

Featured Artist Awards
Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI
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

3 Arts Network Awards
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
Lake Effect Arts Center, Manistique
Les Cheneaux Islands Art Gallery, Hessel
UP Scale Art Gallery in Munising
Sviland Paint & Wallcoverings, Escanaba
The Village Artistans and Garden Gallery
Borderland Arts, Iron Mountain

Student Awards Sponsors
Northern Michigan University’s College of Art & Design
Bay College Arts and Culture
Lake Superior State University’s Art Gallery
Bonifas Arts Center


Sculptor Andy Sacksteder was chosen by ABC10 News as a media award winner at the annual Northern Exposure exhibit. Here is the story filed by reporter Chelsea Birdsall.

GLADSTONE — A self-taught sculptor residing in Gladstone is making quite the name for himself in the Midwest art community.

“My mom kind of taught me that the only mistake you can make in art is to not do it. If it doesn’t look great, not every piece has to be a masterpiece. If you start out that way, you’ll quit pretty fast,” said Sculptor Andy Sacksteder.

When one door closes, another door opens.

As cliché as it sounds, this perfectly describes the situation of how Andy Sacksteder got into the artistry business. Just eight and a half years ago while Sacksteder was in his early fifties, he was injured at work and his doctor recommended he find a new career.

Inspired by the artwork, specifically a bronze statue, at the Mayo Clinic, Sacksteder started dabbling in the sculpting scene. His art of choice was clay-sculpting with a bronze finish.

Go to to Read More »


Scott Leipski, a ceramic artist from Gladstone, explains how stopping by the current (free) Northern Exposure XXII Bonifas exhibit can connect and transform:

This fall Leipski made his first pilgrimage to ArtPrize, the international art show/competition in Grand Rapids, where his work was featured in the first-ever all-U.P. art exhibit, the U.P. Pavilion, and Leipski loved how ArtPrize brought so many people together.

RELATED: U.P. artists celebrated with Northern Exposure XXIII awards

When two strangers stop to view a work of art, and then discuss it, this leads to connections that otherwise might not be possible, said Leipski, as the opinions and differences—“black/white, gay/straight, Democrat/Republican”—the “labels” that might normally divide “go away” as each becomes engaged with the art. “It’s you and this other person talking about this piece of art,” Leipski said. “Art is causing you to come together and speak.”

These interactions can be transformative. While in Grand Rapids, for instance, Leipski visited the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, an ArtPrize venue, where he witnessed a “very young” teenaged male looking at a segment of the Berlin Wall, graffiti on concrete, part of the museum’s permanent collection, on display in the lobby in the middle of an ArtPrize exhibit. The teen, mistaking the artifact for an ArtPrize creation, was sarcastically mocking it, questioning how it could be considered art.

Leipski had been moved when viewing the wall remnant because it brought back memories of Ronald Reagan’s 1987 “…tear down this wall” speech and 1989 news coverage of the “joy” and “tears” expressed by the Germans who wanted freedom and gathered at the wall as it was being destroyed, at times with hammers and pickaxes, so Leipski initially felt angry, told the young man, “You have no idea what you’re looking at,” and walked away.

But he watched the young man from a distance and saw him read the informational plaque about the wall, and then he watched the teen talking with a woman about what the fragment meant, and Leipski’s anger faded as he realized the teen simply needed to learn, and that we all can benefit from pausing to try to understand what we’re seeing.

Even if we, when viewing art, “might not appreciate” or like every creation, Leipski said, we still will benefit from taking “a moment” to try to understand “where it’s coming from” because if we don’t understand the story, if we react before we understand what we’re seeing, we’re “only getting half the experience.”

Juror Helen Klebesadel awarded Leipski’s “Putting on Airs” third place in the Northern Exposure XXIII competition. View this work and an array of the best recent creations by U.P. artists in the upper and lower Bonifas galleries through Dec. 21.


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.”

RELATED: Leipski says Northern Exposure exhibit can connect, transform

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 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.



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


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