Hours Today: Closed

GAAC Is Temporarily Closed

11/13/20 Update

As of today, the Glen Arbor Arts Center building will be closed until December 4 due to increased positive cases of COVID-19, MIOSHA workplace recommendations, and area school closings. We can’t see you in person for a couple of weeks, but all our offerings including our Small works exhibit can be viewed and purchased online. Staff is still available during normal business hours by phone or email if you need to contact GAAC.

Please stop by on your outside walk to view our Light up Glen Arbor holiday trees that will be shining brightly with donated community ornaments starting on December 5th.

We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season and will work remotely to continue offering quality creative programming online or outside for the period.

Warmest regards,

Sarah Kime
Executive Director

5/14/20 Update

Dear Friends,

After careful monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic and consultation with public health experts, our board of directors, arts leaders, and many others, we have decided to hold virtual programs and classes for the remainder of the year. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and once it is safe to get together in person, again, we will offer in-person programs We take this action with the safety and well-being of our community as our highest priority.

The following events are canceled:

  • The 2020 Manitou Music series, including the Dune Climb Concert in July.
  • The Artist-in-Residence program.
  • Adult and youth in-person classes, workshops and camps, we will offer virtual art classes, modified pottery studio and art camp in a box instead.
  • All in-person gallery programming. Virtual exhibitions, presentations, and lectures will be available on our website, youtube channel, social media beginning May 15.
  • The Plein Air Weekend scheduled for the 1st weekend in August is canceled; however, a one-day Virtual Plein Air paint out auction instead. All artists involved will be issued a refund and invited to participate in our virtual Plein Air.

Details on these events and the rest of our virtual schedule will be available by the end of May.

We would like to thank all of our members, artists, donors, and the sponsors for our Plein Air Weekend, Manitou Music Series, Dune Climb Concert for their continued support as the Glen Arbor Art Center navigate through these difficult times.

If you had planned to take classes, see a performance, or attend an event at the GAAC this year, please consider turning those dollars into a gift to the Glen Arbor Art Center today. Your generosity will support the Glen Arbor Art Center through these unprecedented and unexpected times and provide much-needed funding that will allow us to continue offering a wide range of creative experiences for the community.

We are excited to have our first virtual Plein Air, online programming, and our first outdoor gallery exhibit, featuring five paintings by local artist Mark Mehaffey and sponsored by Barb and George Cochran. It has been installed on our building’s exterior for your viewing pleasure.  Thank you for your support of the Glen Arbor Arts Center and our programs. We look forward to gathering with you to share art and musical performances as soon as it is safe to do so.

Best Regards,

Sarah Kime
Executive Director

4/9/20 Update

As our state continues efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order through April 30. To support this effort, and comply with the order, Glen Arbor Arts Center will extend the closure of its building and cancelling its programming through April 30.

3/26/20 Update

In keeping with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21, the GAAC has closed its building for an indefinite time. Our foremost goal and mission is to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19. Suspending the GAAC’s business is something that, at the same time, we do with heavy hearts, but knowing that everyone must do their part to get through these uncertain times. Like many of you, our staff is working from home – working to find outlets to connect, entertain, or maybe even distract us for a moment. We will be creating virtual exhibits, recommending articles, creating at-home art projects inspired by artworks in our galleries, and giving you the resources you need to connect with art while sequestered away in your homes.

As a nonprofit, our members and visitors are what keep us going. Your support through online memberships and donations will be the only source of revenue during this closure. If you can give, we ask that you consider a donation.

Thank you and stay safe,
Sarah Kime
Executive Director

3/19/20 Update

Dear Members and Friends of Glen Arbor Art Center,

On Monday, March 16, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a temporary order that closes theaters, bars, and casinos, and limits restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders. In response to Governor Whitmer’s declaration of a state of emergency for Michigan, and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control & World Health Organization, we have decided that all Glen Arbor Arts Center classes, programming and gallery are suspended until April 6.

Effective immediately, our office hours are Monday thru Friday, 9am to 3pm and our building will be closed to the public . Our staff can be reached by phone at 231/334-6112. All in-person meetings are suspended and rescheduled for after April 6.

IN THE MEANTIME: The GAAC will follow CDC and Michigan Department of Health and Human services regarding cancellations and closures and will keep you informed of any changes that occur via email and through regular postings on our website and social media.

Thank you for your goodwill and understanding. In this uncertain moment, I have every confidence in our community’s ability to pull together with kindness, care and concern for the common good. During this challenging time, we hope you can find solace and comfort through some creative activity. We hope to see you soon!

Sarah Kime
Executive Director


Dear Members and Friends of Glen Arbor Art Center,

Glen Arbor Art Center shares our nation’s concern of the outbreak and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are especially cognizant of the incidents that have been recently reported in Michigan. We want to ensure that everyone is mindful of the prevention measures necessary to help minimize the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In an effort to protect the safety and well-being of our visitors, staff and members, Glen Arbor Art Center is strengthening its daily cleaning routine as well as disinfecting surfaces and door handles of studios and entrances.  Glen Arbor Art Center is asking our friends and members to follow these nationally recommended prevention measures:

  • Please stay at home if you are not feeling well.
  • Wash/scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face until you have washed your hands.
  • Keep a distance of at least six feet from other people when at work or in public.
  • All events of 100 people or more are postponed, cancelled, or moved online until May 15.
  • Visitors traveling from areas that the CDC finds have “widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission” of Covid-19 cannot visit the Arts Center until they have successfully completed 14 days of self-quarantine.

Glen Arbor Art Center will follow CDC and Michigan Department of Health and Human services regarding cancellations and closures and will keep you informed of any changes that occur via email and through regular postings on our website and social media.

Please accept my gratitude in advance for your goodwill and understanding. In this uncertain moment, I have every confidence in our community’s ability to pull together with kindness, care and concern for the common good.


Sarah Kime
Executive Director

6FT APART ART Series- Pop-up #2 rescheduled for Sunday, 8/9/20

The Glen Arbor Arts Center is moving art outdoor as part of its 6ft Apart Art series of creative, pop-up events. The first event is the Clothesline Exhibit, July 24 – August 27. Open to the public, the challenge is to create an unframed painting, drawing, photograph or collage on a single sheet of paper that creatively interprets northern Michigan’s landscape and woodlands. Each work will be pinned to a clothesline in front of the GAAC building at 6031 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor.

To read more about participating in the Clothesline Exhibit, go here >>.

Inspiration for this exhibition came from the GAAC’s new Outdoor Gallery. In May, the GAAC installed on two exterior walls five, 5ft X 5ft panels with reproductions of paintings by Empire artist Mark Mehaffey. Mehaffey’s work interprets and celebrates the northern Michigan landscape and woodlands and will be exhibited until April 2021.

“During this unusual time, when we’ve had to temporarily close the building to the public, this outdoor exhibition is an unexpected joy and uplifting gift,” said GAAC Executive Director Sarah Kime. “We can bring so much creativity outside. And, make local art accessible to anyone, every day, just by walking by the building.”

The 6ft Apart Art series was developed in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Practices such as social distancing will be built into 6ft Apart Art events, and offer a safe alternative to traditional indoor art activities, gallery exhibitions, and performance. The series will take place at the GAAC and turn the front- and backyards, and parking areas into arts venues.

In addition to the Outdoor Gallery and the Clothesline Exhibit, this year’s 6ft Apart Art series of exhibitions includes:

Pop-Up Exhibitions + Demos

The GAAC parking lot becomes an artists’ workspace and fair on July 25 and August 8. Each of the pop-up shows will feature three visual artists working in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, mixed media, metal, and clay. In addition to showing their work, the exhibitors will set up fresh-air workspaces and demonstrate. Hours: 11 am – 3 pm. Rain dates: July 26 and August 9. Talk. Buy. Free!

#1 Pop-Up + Demo [July 25] Kim Bazemore, metalsmith. Contemporary jewelry; Lindy Bishop, painter. Painting big – on a 6ft long canvas; Angela Saxon, painter/printmaker. Monotype printmaking with wooden spoon and pin press.

#2 Pop-Up + Demo [August 8] (Rescheduled due to wind, for Sunday, August 9, 11 am-3 pm)
Margo Burian, painter. Acrylic painting; John Huston, potter. John will be conducting a live raku firing; Joan Richmond, painter. Collage.

Mini Masterpieces Art Walk [July 24]

Fifty 3” x 3” canvases were distributed to Leelanau County families to craft a personal, creative expression. These tiny works will be hung on trees along the GAAC’s gravel walkway from Lake Street and in the GAAC grove behind the building. This self-guided experience begins July 24 and runs through the summer.

Members Create Exhibition [July 24]

In July, the GAAC begins a process of slowly re-opening its doors to the public. To mark the occasion, the GAAC opens the 2020 Members Create exhibition on July 24. Featuring the work of 25 local, regional and outstate artists, this show is an annual showcase of work by current GAAC members. The Members Create show is in the gallery through August 27. Hours are Monday – Friday 11 am – 2 pm; and Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 2 pm during the exhibition.

Words For Water Poetry Throw-Down [July 31]

Words for Water is a collaborative project between the GAAC and FLOW [For Love Of Water], a Traverse City advocacy and policy group focused on water protection. Participating poets and writer will read a short, original poem that answers this question: Who Owns The Water? Open to all readers and writers. More information about participating in Words for Water can be found here. July 31, 7 – 8:30 pm.

Birdlandia Interviews: Katharine Crawford Robey

During the New Views: Birdlandia exhibition [May 15 – July 16], we’ll explore the subject of birds from different angles.

Author Katherine Crawford Robey feathers her nest with a new book about birds, Birds that Fill the Sky: The True Adventures of John James Audubon and His Dog. Birds are a recurring subject for this Empire author. Robey explains how a dog becomes a reliable narrator, and how birds fly in and out of her many adult and juvenile works during a video conversation with GAAC Gallery Manager Sarah Bearup-Neal.

Robey spent a number of years researching the life and art of artist John James Audubon. The story takes place in Florida and the Florida Keys, where Audubon created some of his most iconic bird portraits. This author interview is offered as part of the GAAC’s exhibition New Views: Birdlandia [May 15 – July 16].

Katharine Robey is the author of three children’s books, and has contributed to two literary field guides. Her writing is also contained in multiple collections of short stories and anthologies. She is a 2019 Michigan Notable Books nominee. Robey was named a Master Birder by the Atlanta Audubon Society in 2002. She resides for part of the year in Georgia. Read more about Katharine here: https://www.katharinecrawfordrobey.com/


Birdlandia Interviews: Wings of Wonder

During the New Views: Birdlandia exhibition [May 15 – July 16], we’ll explore the subject of birds from different angles.

Wings of Wonder founder Rebecca Lessard talks about the Leelanau County raptor rehabilitation sanctuary and education center she created in the 1990s with GAAC Gallery Manager Sarah Bearup-Neal.

To read more about Wings of Wonder go to http://www.wingsofwonder.org

2020 Manitou Music Poster Winner

Illinois painter Sally Wille’s Full Color Beach Day is the Glen Arbor Arts Center’s iconic 2020 Manitou Music Poster image.

“I have painted this scene on the beach at Glen Haven many times,” Wille said. Working through direct observation, and with an array of photographs that capture the receding and encroaching Lake Michigan water levels on the beach, Wille has created an abstracted impression of the beach. Full Color Beach Day was executed in gouache and cold wax.

“I apply cold wax after the painting is finished,” she said. “It acts as a protective seal on top of the painting and I don’t have to frame the watercolor under glass. I like the added texture cold wax gives and adds another dimension to the painting.”

The Manitou Music concerts are one of the GAAC’s summer highlights. Manitou Music offers a series of live musical performances between July and August.

“The landscape all over Leelanau County provides inspiration,” Wille said.” This painting is a journey of color and abstract representation that hopefully excites the viewer.”

For more than two decades, Wille and her family have divided their year between a home in Glencoe, Illinois, and Glen Arbor. She earned a BFA from the University of Arizona, and worked as a graphic designer and art director for Northern Trust Bank and Beltone Electronics before raising her family.

Wille’s painting was selected by the GAAC’s Manitou Music Poster Committee from a field of 25 entries. The poster competition is open to all GAAC members. Applications for the 2021 poster competition are online at GlenArborArt.org/FOR ARTISTS, and will be available for review in early May 2020. Deadline for submissions is September 17. Copies of the 2020 poster are available now. The poster price is $18.

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