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Calling All Artists: 7 Chances to Become Northern Michigan Famous in 2020

We don’t know about everyone else, but quarantine and the coronavirus have been a rollercoaster of emotion, boredom, and inspiration. See if this sounds familiar to you:

Week One of Quarantine: “OK, we can handle this, it will just be a couple of weeks.”

Week Three of Quarantine: “Oh no, I think I watched all of Netflix. Like, ALL of it.”

Week Five of Quarantine: “Well, I’ve re-tiled all the bathrooms, what project can I do next?”

Week Seven of Quarantine: “Maybe I’m the next Pablo Picasso? I am going to take up painting!”


We get it, it might not have gone exactly like that for you, but more often than not, the aspirations of artistic expression are finding their way into our lives right now, and we’re so thankful for it. Having something to focus our energy on even as things in Northern Michigan are starting to open back up again has been a relief, and the Brick & Corbett team is excited to share with you some opportunities to take the hobby you started in your basement or your backyard to the next level. 

We all know Northern Michigan is an arts-and-culture-friendly spot, and now it’s time for you to get in on that action and actually participate. Here are seven ways you can get your new (or renewed) artistic passion in front of more than just your spouse, children, and pets.


1.Make a Mask, Make a Difference

The Oliver Art Center in Frankfort is calling on local artics to create functional, wearable, beautiful masks to be donated to local healthcare organizations. Here’s what they have to say about the contest:

“To support those who work so hard for us every day, we are proud to bring you, “Make a Mask, Make a Difference”. We are looking to raise 200 artistic masks for essential workers, are you up to the challenge? 

Create or decorate a mask. Masks must be latex-free, of breathable fabric, and washable. Both elastic and tie versions are accepted. 

Submissions will be judged on originality and creativity, and cash prizes will be awarded for both adult ($250 for 1st place, $150 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place) and youth ($75 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place, $25 for 3rd place) categories. An online exhibition of all the masks will be featured on the website.”

Submissions due to Oliver Art Center by July 6th, 2020. Prize winners will be announced July 13th, 2020. For more information, contact the Olver Art Center at

2. Enchanting the Night Sky

The Northport Arts Association is looking for artists to be a part of their Enchanting the Night Sky Exhibit July 16th through the 22nd, 2020. For anyone who’s been outside at night here in Northern Michigan, you know we are lucky to have some of the most breathtaking views around. There are lots of exciting things that are a part of this exhibit; dark sky photography, poetry and storytelling, music, and hopefully, you! 

Here’s what the NAA has to say about the event:

“Calling artists of all genres to participate in our art show celebrating our beautiful night sky.  Writers, painters, fiber arts, photographers, sculptors, and more!

Reach into your imagination, creativity, passion.  With your art, share up to 3 pieces of your interpretation of the beauty that our velvety night sky provides. 

Art will be on display for the duration of the event. Traffic will be generated by the Dark Skies Committee, The Leelanau Conservancy, and NAA.  Lectures and events will be throughout the week.” 

Registration:  fee is $25 (NAA member), $30 (non-member).  Deadline 6/30/20

70% of sales will go to the artist.  NAA will be advertising and promoting this event.

Artwork drop-off times: Monday and Tuesday, July 13th & 14th from noon – 4 p.m.


3. Art in a Time of Coronavirus: A Postcard Response

Everyone’s life has been profoundly affected by coronavirus and the “new normal” we find ourselves in. The Glen Arbor Arts Center is encouraging people to share what this means to them with an original postcard that tells the story of what this time has meant to you, and what you think it means for all of us moving forward. 

Here’s what the Glen Arbor Arts Center has to say about this:

“Art In A Time Of Coronavirus is an exhibition of postcards created in response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic — an unprecedented event that has left us wondering: What is this? What’s next? How do I behave? We’ve added new concepts to our daily life [social distancing, flattening the curve]. And, find ourselves living in a time when – out of an abundance of caution – there’s no place like home.”

Postcards are due August 12th, 2020.


4. To Comfort

Traverse City’s Higher Art Gallery is putting together an exhibition exploring the ideas of comfort and home to help benefit Traverse City’s only homeless youth shelter: Pete’s Place. In a time where the comforts of home have been more important than ever, it’s easy to forget that there are some in our community who don’t have a place to shelter in place.

Here’s what Higher Art Gallery has to say about the exhibition:

“In this Open Call, Artists are welcomed to submit artwork which explores ideas of home, and what it means to you. The physical place you call home, or the state of mind which brings you a sense of comfort.

We would like the artwork to relay an overall message of transcendence, peace, and resilience which is a direct reflection of how we hope the youth who are faced with issues of homelessness will embody. 

Artists may also explore how they GIVE comfort to others.   Perhaps you, have experienced homelessness or faced difficult situations in which you were unsafe and turned to an organization similar to Pete’s Place for Safe-haven.” 

Deadline for submissions is August 1st, 2020, show dates are September 4th through October 4th, 2020. Submission fee is $20. 


5. Bellaire Rubber Ducky Festival Arts & Crafts Fair

If you’ve never been to Bellaire, we’d like to kindly ask you to stop reading this blog post, fire up the car and get over there right away. This charming northern Michigan village is so much fun, they have lots of great activities, including the absolutely adorable Rubber Ducky Festival, now in it’s 33rd year. 

Though the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce website doesn’t seem to be updated, we have it on good authority that the Arts and Crafts fair will still be taking place, a perfect spot for you to highlight all your new crafting skills. Register now to make sure you get your spot, the Craft Fair will happen on August 15th, 2020 in downtown Bellaire. 


6. Manitou Music Poster Content

The Glen Arbor Arts Center is back again with another fantastic call for entries, this time to create the poster artwork for their annual music series, “Manitou Music”. This series has featured incredible performances from local artists, regional favorites, and national performers, all sharing their gifts with Northern Michigan audiences. 

Unfortunately, the concert series has been canceled for 2020, but 2021 is being put together right now, and the submission window for the poster for next season’s series is open until September 17th, 2020. 

Personally, we hope to see Grand Rapids band The Crane Wives back on the schedule for next year. Maybe someone could make a poster with a crane on it, just to encourage the powers that be?


7. Citizens Coping

Is your artwork a little more political in nature? You should definitely check out the open call from Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City for their next exhibition, “Citizens Coping”. Here’s what they have to say about it: 

As this exhibit lands smack dab during the month of the 2020 election, we would like to invite Artists of all Mediums to examine how the last 4 years have changed them personally (or not), and express how the actions of this administration have affected you.

“As a way to deeply explore this theme, we are releasing this call well in advance to allow not only spontaneous creativity but a deeper reflection.

Historically speaking, great art movements have been spurred during war and politicly heated times. The last 4 years certainly qualify as a time in which all of us have been affected in some way.

Artists are asked to examine how the policies, ideologies, and actions which have been taking place for the last 4 years have affected them, their family, and perhaps your art practice. 

We ask you to refrain from repetitious satirical depictions of political figures, and instead focus on the personal impact which you have felt and how you cope.”

Entry fee for this exhibit is $25, submissions are due by midnight on September 5th, 2020. 


Bringing It All Together

We know that Northern Michigan is a beautiful place to live, but it is also filled with people who create beautiful works of art, yourself included! We’d love to hear about your experiences as an artist in Northern Michigan, share with us photos of your home studio space on our Facebook page. 


Looking for a new home studio? The Brick & Corbett team is here to help with all your home buying and selling needs. Right now is a great time to consider a new home, let the Brick & Corbett team help you with your next move.

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