VISITOR CENTER ARTIST CAMP

Art Shape Mammoth runs programming at the Visitor Center Artist Camp

The Visitor Center Artist Camp is a near-wilderness artist residency site in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We seek to combine the experience of wilderness living and resourcefulness with a contemporary art and ecology conversation. Our goal is to promote creativity and ingenuity through skill sharing, local material-sourcing, and instructor-led sculpture workshops, and to encourage new ways of thinking about the world through DIY practices, collaboration, and discussion of sustainability in art and in life. Artists from around the country are coming to Ewen to make art, exchange ideas, examine sustainability, and get to know the vibrant and resourceful community in the Upper Peninsula. 

Using simple tools and mostly handmade equipment, we are teaching and learning as we build community and explore our passions. We dig our own clay from the ground, hand-process it, and fire it on site. We source local sand, clay, and recycled aluminum to make molds and cast metal sculpture. We work with local homesteader, saw mill operator and timber-framing expert Mel Seeger - who built his own saw mill from a Mac truck engine! -  and from whom resident artists can learn milling, building, and a variety of homesteading techniques. 


Sustainable Practices Symposium

July 29th - August 12th, 2017

We will gather to examine sustainability and collaboration in life and in artistic practice. People of all creative backgrounds, experience levels, and fields of practice are encouraged to apply.

Choose a workshop in Local ClayMetal Casting, or Woodworking, or propose an Independent Project that embraces the VCAC's rugged setting and adventurous attitude. 

We invite artists to experience a practice focused on sustainability and self-sufficiency by locally-sourcing and hand-processing their materials while living and working communally in a wilderness environment.

Using simple tools and mostly handmade equipment, we are teaching and learning as we build community and explore our passions. We dig our own clay from the ground, hand-process it, and fire it on site. We source local sand, clay, and recycled aluminum to make molds and cast metal sculpture. We work with local homesteader, saw mill operator and timber-framing expert Mel Seeger - who built his own saw mill from a Mac truck! - and from whom resident artists can explore milling, building, and homesteading techniques. 

Our programming features opportunities for creative engagement with the community of Ewen throughout the Symposium including lectures, artist talks, community workshops and demonstrations, as well as an exhibition featuring Symposium participants and local artists. In addition, we take advantage of the beautiful surrounding area with hikes to waterfalls in the Ottawa National Forest and the shore of Lake Superior.


New Pre-Symposium Session!

July 21st - 28th 2017

We have added a week-long Pre-Symposium Session this year for a Sustainable Building Workshop led by Melissa Sclafani and Amy Joy Hosterman, and in Collaboration with local barn-builder Mel Seeger.

During this workshop we will be finalizing a design and building a customized structure with the functionality of our fire-loving clay and metal processes in mind, using reclaimed materials and lumber supplied by Seeger's Sawmill. There will be daily tutorials and builds as well as evening lectures and round table discussions about alternative architecture including rammed earth, tiny houses and earth-ship design, construction and living.

This session will also be open to artists wanting to work on an Independent Project.


Click here to watch the Sawmill Ballet:

A collaborative performance orchestrated by Kristen Tordella-Williams.

Featuring "Minnesota" Mel Seeger, Hannah Givler, Lindsey French, Kristen Tordella-Williams, and the VCAC community. August 2015.

photo: Sarah Magida, 2015

photo: Sarah Magida, 2015