Visitor Center Artist Camp is a short-term, low-impact Artist Residency site, situated on a 120-acre camp bordering the Ottawa National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The VCAC has been being built piece-by-piece since 2007, through a collaboration of local master craftspeople, and professional artists of non-profit Art Shape Mammoth. We hold one Camp Session each summer, gathering artists from across the country in this beautiful wilderness environment.

In this historic rural area of the North Woods, we practice cooperative self-sufficiency as we explore sustainable art practices influenced by the surrounding environment, using local clay, salvaged materials, and locally- sourced and milled lumber to create what we want and build what we need.


2019 camp Session

July 27th - August 9th

Optional Extended Work Session, August 9th - 16th! Stay an extra week to explore more of the area, make more pots, or finish projects with more focus after the Camp programing ends!

Join us at Camp to:

  • Immerse yourself in our Local Clay Workshop, digging, hand-processing, and firing the local clay on site

  • Work on a project in Wood and learn from a lifelong logger, timber-framer, and DIY master at his Sawmill

  • Propose an Independent Project that can be supported by VCAC’s rugged setting, sustainable focus, and adventurous attitude.


Previous years’ artists have cast recycled aluminum into molds made from the local clay and sand, created site-specific installations in the forest, traveled the area capturing photographs of the old mining and logging towns nearby, brewed traditional Finnish-style beer, worked on video projects, and painted images of the inspiring UP landscape.

Camp Programing

The programming for VCAC is intended for both personal and collective growth. We will share our skills and ideas with each other though demos, presentations, and campfire discussions. Additional optional programing includes:

  • screen-print your own VCAC t-shirt

  • wood-turning demo with Dick Graham

  • goat-cheese-making with Aileen Seeger

  • tour of Mel Seeger’s Matchwood Sawmill

  • Lake Superior beach

  • waterfalls on the Ontonagon River

  • historic mining sites and cemeteries

  • hiking trails through the Ottawa National Forest

Annual Ewen Arts Festival

Each year we hold a public event for the local community, with an exhibition of work made by resident and local artists, performances by local musicians, and participatory art activities and demos. In 2019 we are holding our 6th Annual Ewen Arts Festival, “A Day In Clay!”

“A Day In Clay” is Supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, through a Copper Country Community Arts Council 2019 Minigrant.

Read more about Special Camp Programing.



20180809_120940_HDR (1).jpg

Residency participants and Staff may work on building projects during the residency, depending on the current needs. We use mostly reclaimed, scavenged, or donated materials. Building projects will be small and directly related to the needs of the studio areas in which the artists are participating, or will be otherwise optional. We strive to harmonize diverse skill-levels and skill-sets. Applicants with previous design or building experience, or exceptional enthusiasm in skill-building related to the design, technical aspects, or construction process should include this in their application.


The VCAC is a great place for the creative growth of an advanced artist looking to step out of their normal routine or experiment with new materials and techniques, or for the emerging artist looking to learn new skills. Adults of all creative backgrounds, experience levels, and fields of practice are encouraged to apply. You must be at least 18 years of age.

To Apply - Submit your project ideaS

Space is limited! We have 12 spots for 2019. Applications will be reviewed in the order received.

Questions? Contact Amy at visitor.center.artists@gmail.com


… is a passion-project of Art Shape Mammoth!

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to connecting artists to new communities, and supporting the development of artistic practice, dialogue, education, and research, through creative public exchange.

Learn more about Art Shape Mammoth here!

In 2017, Art Shape Mammoth hosted Finnish artist Mari Mathlin in the US as a resident at the Visitor Center Artist Camp, as well as for a solo exhibition in Minneapolis, MN. Video by Giraffe-a-scope.