‘U.P. Premiere’ exhibit brings ArtPrize home to the Bonifas

October 3, 2016  |  by Bonifas Arts Center


Anyone that can’t make it to Grand Rapids to view the 51 Upper Peninsula artists to be exhibited at ArtPrize, a celebrated international art show/competition, can view their work at the “U.P. Premiere” exhibit Oct. 15 to Nov. 2 at the Bonifas Arts Center gallery.

The “U.P. Premiere” will showcase the 28 artists whose work was selected to be displayed at ArtPrize Sept. 21-Oct. 9 in the first-ever all-U.P. art exhibit in the U.P. Pavilion at DeVos Place, as well as those chosen to be displayed at other ArtPrize venues.

“Grand Rapids is like 12.5 hours away,” said Peg Sandin, who lives in the Ironwood area on the Wisconsin/Michigan border, so the exhibit is a “wonderful opportunity to view the collection” for residents who can’t or don’t want to travel downstate. Viewing is free and open to the public.

In addition, all residents are invited to a free “welcome home” reception Oct. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bonifas.

All U.P. residents should feel proud of the art chosen to be displayed at ArtPrize, said Sandin, whose watercolor, Lake Superior Rocks III, will be exhibited in the U.P. Pavilion. “Just getting this far has been monumental, and we need to celebrate it.”

“We want to honor our U.P. artists who will offer hundreds of thousands of ArtPrize viewers a really cool look at the U.P.,” said Pasqua Warstler, Bonifas artistic director.

The exhibit will be “all of us in the U.P. celebrating who we are” and the fact that the U.P. Pavilion is “something really good” that will benefit the U.P. and ArtPrize, said Cindy Wedig, of Gwinn, whose sculptural work, Blocks of Time, will be exhibited in the Pavilion.

“People need to understand that the arts are flourishing up here,” said Sandin, “and people in the U.P. need to understand that art is flourishing in their homeland.”

“We’re bringing world-class artwork back to the U.P.,” said Warstler. “It’s a nice reminder to our U.P. community that we have world-class artists here.”

The exhibit is sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs, The Movers: Escanaba Moving Systems, Thrivent Financial, U-Haul, and Imperial Beverage.


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