Remote Artist Residencies Back to Isle Royale, Porcupines | Michigan News

By EMILY BINGHAM, The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Artist residency programs at two of Michigan’s most remote parks are once again giving creators the chance to find inspiration through deep solitude and connection with unspoiled nature.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located in the western Upper Peninsula, and Isle Royale State Park, an archipelago in Lake Superior considered one of the most remote National Park Service properties, accept currently submitting applications for their 2022 Artist Residency Programs.

While each has its own parameters, isolation in the wilderness is central to both programs, reports The Grand Rapids Press.

Organized by the non-profit organization Friends of the Porkies, Porcupine Mountains Artist-in-Residence stays last a minimum of two weeks and include accommodation in a rustic wood-frame cabin (no electricity, no running water) two story house surrounded by hemlocks on the Little Union River. Just beyond? The 60,000 acres of ancient beauty of the Porkies.

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“You really get back to basics when you’re there,” says program director Sherrie McCabe. “What I’ve heard from the artists is that it’s a wonderful break from the reality of the hectic life they live.”

McCabe recommends aspiring applicants research the park and take a look at the works of previous winners before applying. The program is open to writers, composers and all visual artists and performers. The application period for the 2022 season runs until February 14; more details are at

Further north, Isle Royale’s Artist-in-Residence program is part of a long tradition of interpreting national parks through art, offering artists “the opportunity to capture the moods and magic of Isle Royale through their particular art form,” a statement from the mentioned park.

Co-sponsored by Isle Royale National Park, the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association and the Copper Country Community Arts Council, the two- to three-week residencies include lodging in a rustic cabin (again, without electricity or running water) located about two miles from Rock Harbor, the park’s main entry point. The program is open to all art forms “except those that would manipulate or disrupt the park environment”.

In exchange for accommodation (and in the case of Isle Royale residencies, ferry transportation), both programs impose requirements on artists, including hosting a public presentation or workshop, and contributing a representative work of their time in residence to each permanent collection programs.

Isle Royale is also currently accepting applications for its Teen Artist Exploration program, which will select two aspiring young artists looking for week-long camping trips to develop their craft while experiencing the wilderness.

The application period for the Isle Royale National Park 2022 Artist-in-Residence Program runs until February 16. For more information and to apply, visit

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