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Who Owns the Water? Prospectus

In collaboration with FLOW [For Love of Water]

Glen Arbor Arts Center [GAAC] May 4 – May 28, 2020
On-line Application Period: Through March 4, 2020

Prospectus: An exhibition of 2D and 3D work that explores this question: Who owns the water?

Water is our common heritage. In Northern Michigan, we live on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by Great Lakes – freshwater jewels that support all human and non-human life. Yet, the waters that sustain our lives, that provide so much joy and pleasure, are also coveted by private industry and drought-stricken states for purposes that often threaten the long-term health and sustainability of this state’s lakes, rivers, streams and aquafers. This raises the question: Who owns the water – the inland lakes, streams, rivers and aquafers? Does anyone truly “own” the water? What does that mean? What does that look like?

FLOW, the GAAC’s partner in this exhibition, is dedicated to protecting and preserving the extraordinary and essential natural resource endowment that is our lakes, rivers, streams and aquafers. Its mission is to apply public trust principles to educate, advance policy, and provide solutions to the pressing water, energy and climate issues facing our region, nation and planet.


We seek work: That moves beyond pure documentation of this question into areas of interpretation and exploration, expressed in innovative, fresh, thought-provoking and original ways.

Open to: Students in grades 9 – 12 from schools in Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties.

Accepted Media: 2D and 3D materials + media including clay, collage, drawing, fiber, metal, mixed media, needlework, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood and more. No kits, commercial patterns, work made in a workshop is allowed.

Size Restrictions

  • 2D work should not exceed 40” in width or 65 in height.
  • 3D work must be freestanding and easily moved by one person. It does not exceed 36” in width and 40” in height. Because of companion programs planned in conjunction with the exhibition, 3D work will be occasionally and temporarily relocated in the gallery and in the GAAC. 3D work must be secure and sturdy.

Application Fee: None

There is no application fee. All applicants must complete the application, and may enter up to two [2] submissions for the juror’s consideration.

Exhibition Calendar

  • Apply on-line: Through March 4, 2020
  • Jurying: March 5 – 8, 2020
  • Applicant Reporting: Mid-March 2020
  • Exhibition Dates: April 7 – May 1, 2020
  • Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 8, 4 – 6 pm
  • Artwork Delivery Dates: Friday, March 27, noon – 4 pm; Saturday, March 28, 9 am – noon
  • Artwork Pick-up Dates: Friday, May 1, 2 – 4 pm; Saturday, May 2, 9 am – noon


Artist Mark E. Mehaffey worked as an art instructor in the Lansing Public Schools from 1973 to 2002, working and teaching students from elementary to high school. Mark is a member of many watercolor societies, both domestic and international; as well as the International Society of Experimental Artists, and the International Society of Acrylic Painters among others. He is the recipient of multiple awards. He wrote Creative Watercolor Workshop, published in 2005; it was rereleased as Creative Watercolor and Acrylic Workshop in 2013 published by Northlight Publishing. Mark’s latest book, En Plein Air Acrylic, was released in 2019 by Walter Foster Publisher.  Mark has also created 12 instructional videos.  He has contributed to a wide range of other publications, and exhibits throughout the United States, Mexico, and China. Mark resides in Empire, Michigan. https://markmehaffeyfineart.com/


Three awards of merit will be presented by FLOW: First place $150, second place $100, third place $50.


NOTE: Applications for Who Owns The Water?  must be submitted using the GAAC’s on-line application form. No other variation will be accepted.

  • Work submitted must be one-of-a-kind, innovative and original in design. Work derivative of other artists or work created in a workshop with the collaboration of an instructor is not acceptable.
  • Work submitted must have been completed in the last two years.
  • Work must be gallery ready when submitted. Paintings and other wall works should be finished or framed. Please use gallery wire. No saw tooth hanging hardware is allowed. No wet paintings will be allowed. Work that is wet or equipped with saw tooth hangers will not be accepted.
  • No work will be accepted after the dates and times for delivery listed on the prospectus.
  • The artist’s contact email provided on the application must remain active during the submissions and exhibition process. The artist is responsible for checking their email for exhibition acceptance and/or decline, and other information regarding the exhibition.
  • The exhibitor may choose to offer his/her work for sale. The sale price written on the application is the FINAL price if the work is accepted in the exhibition. Exhibitors may not change sale price after the work is accepted for exhibition. If the work is NOT for sale, please indicate that information by writing “NSF” the appropriate space provided on the application.
  • The GAAC will retain a 40% commission on work sold during the exhibition. Artists receive 60% of the final selling price. Artists will receive payment following the close of the exhibition.
  • The GAAC staff and Exhibitions Committee reserve the right to the final selection of work to be shown in the exhibition.

NOTE: Accepted work may not be removed before the close of the exhibition.

For More Information

Contact Sarah Bearup-Neal, GAAC Gallery Manager: 231-334-6112

Submit application here.

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Art Partners

Leelanau Enterprise Angela Saxon Design Northwoods Hardware Image360 DTE Foundation
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