VISITOR CENTER ARTIST CAMP
The Visitor Center Artist Camp is a near-wilderness artist residency site in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We seek to combine the experience of wilderness living and resourcefulness with a contemporary art and ecology conversation. Our goal is to promote creativity and ingenuity through skill sharing, local material-sourcing, and instructor-led sculpture workshops, and to encourage new ways of thinking about the world through DIY practices, collaboration, and discussion of sustainability in art and in life. Artists from around the country are coming to Ewen to make art, exchange ideas, examine sustainability, and get to know the vibrant and resourceful community in the Upper Peninsula.
Using simple tools and mostly handmade equipment, we are teaching and learning as we build community and explore our passions. We dig our own clay from the ground, hand-process it, and fire it on site. We source local sand, clay, and recycled aluminum to make molds and cast metal sculpture. We work with local homesteader, saw mill operator and timber-framing expert Mel Seeger - who built his own saw mill from a Mac truck engine! - and from whom resident artists can learn milling, building, and a variety of homesteading techniques.
This year we are hosting artists for two different sessions!
Session One is for Independent Projects (writing, painting, music, etc), as well as a Sustainable Building Workshop, for those interested in learning collaborative and co-creative building and homesteading techniques from VCAC artists and our local master barn-builder and sawmill operator, Mel Seeger.
Session Two is our Sustainable Practices Symposium, with workshops in Local Clay Processing, Recycled Aluminum Casting, and a Self-Provisioning Woodworking workshop. You can also choose to do an Independent Project during the Symposium, that embraces the VCAC's rugged setting and adventurous attitude. Special programming during our Sustainable Practices Symposium also includes artist presentations, slide lectures, a group art exhibition at the local school, and special presentations from our first international visiting artist from Finland, Mari Mathlin!