August Art Shows
Seven shows to explore around the North
By Alexandra Dailey | July 29, 2023
August is art season throughout northern Michigan. From picturesque landscapes to the creatures from your dreams, there’s something for every viewer and collector in all media types. Channel your inner art critic and enjoy the visual beauty of these fleeting summer exhibits.
1. A New Perspective: Landscapes from the Dennos Museum Center
Dennos Museum Center, Now – Sept. 3
This summer exhibition of pieces from the Dennos’ permanent art collection features various landscapes, from abstract Inuit scenes to more realistic landscapes by Mathias Alten. The exhibit aims to evoke memory, transport viewers through time, and reveal new outlooks and possibilities. A New Perspective is also part of a three-part thematic summer exhibition schedule at the Dennos.
“Our curatorial team spent the past few months thinking about thematic connections to our other summer exhibitions: Luster: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting and Jerry’s Map,” says Craig Hadley, executive director and chief curator. “Cars, for instance, move through the landscape and transport people to new or familiar places, while Jerry’s Map meticulously documents a fictitious topography created by artist Jerry Gretzinger. Highlighting landscapes from our own permanent collection seemed like the perfect connection to both of these exhibitions.”
Without a doubt, Hadley says, viewers will find a piece that resonates with them and their relationship with the geography that surrounds us.
“Visitors will enjoy the opportunity to see familiar places—the dunes, the rolling hills of Michigan wineries, and more—in a variety of media ranging from oil paint to photography,” adds Hadley.
2. Great Bodies
Higher Art Gallery, Now – Aug. 10
A display of 50 original works of art by 32 artists, Great Bodies is a visual love letter to the beautiful, clean, and life-giving bodies of freshwater found throughout Michigan.
Great Bodies is also Higher Art Gallery’s first-ever annual group show, and gallery owner Shanny Brooke can’t wait to share this curated collection with viewers.
“What makes this show so special is that each artist depicts a different aspect of just how special this area is,” says Brooke. “Some artists focus on the natural and environmental aspects, such as the life in and around our waters—birds, fish, and the entire ecosystem. Other artists reflected a little more on the recreational aspect and all the joy our lakes bring us through canoeing, boating, and swimming.”
No matter the subject, the beauty of the area shines through.
“There is no denying the absolutely amazing views we can get from any one of our lakeshores or wetlands,” adds Brooke. “So this show is not short on jaw-dropping depictions of Lake Michigan sunsets.”
3. 2023 Clothesline Exhibit: Insects + Spiders
Glen Arbor Arts Center, Now – Aug. 25
Ready for some creepy crawlies? For their annual Clothesline Exhibit, Glen Arbor Arts Center has selected the theme of Insects + Spiders. As the organization puts it, “It’s a celebration—an infestation of appreciation for these small creatures.”
An open-air exhibition of small works, the 2023 Clothesline Exhibit features art by individuals of all skill levels in a wide variety of media, including paintings, drawings, photographs, collages, and art constructed with paper, fabric, and plastic. Featured insects and spiders may be real—there are over 900,000,000 different insects to choose from, after all!—or entirely made up by the artist. Viewers will enjoy imagined and life-like creations in this outdoor exhibit experience.
4. Karen Clark Antrim, Paula DeGregorio, Frank Galante
Oliver Art Center, Aug. 4 – Sept. 8
This three-person exhibition features an oil painter, pastel artist, and ceramicist. Paula DeGregorio, Frank Galante, and Karen Clark Antrim are three artist friends who have worked together over the last several years and collaborated on themed shows. DeGregorio’s oil paintings offer luminous color and unique perspectives; Galante’s pastels provide a luscious touch and flourish; and Antrim’s combination of ceramics and naturally found objects fuse nature and art. Each artist approaches their work in their own way, but all three styles blend effortlessly in this curated collection.
5. Ron Theisen Show – Windows North
Three Pines Studio, Aug. 12 – 22
A solo show of plein air scenes featuring northern Michigan landscapes, Windows North by Harbor Springs artist Ron Theisen is set for a limited 10-day exhibit run at the popular Cross Village gallery space. As a plein air oil painter, Theisen draws inspiration from the beautiful scenery and landscapes that our region has to offer, including the gorgeous vistas, a multitude of trees and vegetation, and breathtaking beaches. With his slightly impressionistic style, Theisen delivers beautiful paintings to which any viewer can connect.
6. Summer Salon
Charlevoix Circle of Arts, Now – Sept. 2
Charlevoix Circle of Arts’ fourth annual salon-style exhibit showcases regionally inspired artwork by over 40 northern Michigan artists. Original fine art includes watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, and mixed media.
“Not only does the Summer Salon provide local artists with an opportunity to display and sell their artwork in downtown Charlevoix during the busy summer season, it also offers visitors the chance to see local artists’ works and purchase artwork that reminds them of their time in beautiful northern Michigan,” says Sarah Matye, executive director of Charlevoix Circle of Arts.
7. Animal - Vegetable - Mineral: Paintings by Nancy Adams Nash & Trisha Witty: Pilgrimages in Paint, A Retrospective 1988 to Present
Crooked Tree Arts Center Petoskey, Now – Sept. 2
Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC) of Petoskey features two engaging summer exhibits by local artists Nancy Adams Nash and Trisha Witty.
Nash’s acrylic paintings on canvas and wood panels depict mystery, curiosity, seriousness, and humor with haunting creatures and ambiguous narratives.
“Nash’s oeuvre is distinct and truly her own. In this solo show, viewers will be surrounded by the sometimes strange and thought-provoking creatures and scenes only Nash could imagine and create,” explains Liz Erlewine, CTAC galleries director. “References to art history reveal both a critical and celebratory appreciation for painting and the visual art lexicon.”
For Witty’s retrospective, the show will contain works from the past 35 years, showcasing her travels worldwide captured in oils. Mountains, vineyards, deserts, and beaches—Witty has painted it all while absorbing the beauty of her subject matter and imbuing the canvas with each location’s culture and essence.
“Viewers will see Witty’s outstanding impressionist studies created when the artist was just a student alongside inspiring contemporary pieces created in Witty’s custom signature style,” shares Erlewine. “This is a unique opportunity to see the breadth of creative work by two northern Michigan artists.”
Pictured: Trisha Witty’s oil paintings, such as “Hillside in Tuscany,” feature landscapes from her world travels.