Read Artist Frank Hutton’s (2012) blog spot on his experience and what it can mean to participate in an Artist-in-Residence Program.

2015 Applications Available Soon

Applications are Due March 31, 2015 and notification will be made by April 25, 2015.

Throughout history artists have influenced the way all cultures have viewed themselves, the world, and their place in it. This fact is no more evident than in the tradition of American parks and wilderness areas. Painters, photographers, and sculptors continue to document the American landscape with contemporary approaches and techniques. Writers, musicians, composers, and other artists and artisans also draw upon our environmental heritage, creating works that remind us of these special places. This is as true in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Area as it is in our national parks. One only needs to think of their favorite photograph by Dan Urbanski to realize that nature in the hands of an artist is a uniquely powerful force.

Artist-In-Residence-Program Dan’s Cabin Artist-In-Residence Dan’s Cabin


The late Dan Urbanski, founding president of the Friends and award-winning photographer who lived near the Porkies, inspired the creation of this program. Dan spent many years hiking and photographing the unique aspects of the Porkies. He created and edited the Friends’ newsletter, the Quill, and was a tireless supporter of the Porkies and the Friends. In tribute to his memory and efforts with Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, the Friends have built a rustic timber-framed cabin to house the various artists that will participate in this program, which was established in 2007.  Above left, painter Susan Henshaw works on the porch of Dan’s Cabin during her July 2007 residency.

Free public programs at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
All times are EST

Artist Schedule 2014


May 29, 6:00pm, Visitor Center
Rosalie Petrouske – Writer


July 17, 6:00 – 7:30pm, Folk School (*Free Workshop)
Patricia Miller – Writer

“Eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart and soul to embrace and remember the lesson, the beauty, and fascination.”  This writing workshop by Patricia Miller is designed to help potential writers see beyond what every tourist sees and learn to write about the natural environment.

Space is limited for this free workshop.  Call 906-884-7663 to reserve your spot.


July 31, 6:00pm, Visitor Center
Jennifer Terpstra – Artist

Join artist Jennifer Terpstra as she explains the ways in which artists use maps to inspire their work. Jennifer’s works combine encaustic art with images of maps.


August 21, 6:00 – 7:30pm, Folk School (*Free Workshop)
Jenny Schu – Fiber Artist

Join artist Jenny Schu as she demonstrates her tapestry-making process and shows samples of her weavings.  This will be an informal setting allowing for questions and opportunity to try weaving on her small tapestry loom.  Walk in traffic is encouraged.


September 11, 6:00pm, Visitor Center
Claudia Nelson – Painter

Join artist Claudia Nielson as she demonstrates and discusses various techniques used to paint bark, fur, feathers leaves and other textures found in nature.


 September 27, 10:00 – 11:30am, Folk School (*Free Workshop)
Stephanie Berry – Printer
Join artist Stephanie Berry as she discusses the importance of stewardship of the land and the effects of invasive species.  After Stephanie/s presentation, participants will then be encouraged to use natural found objects to make a Cyanotype (Sun Print) as a memento of their visit to the Porcupine Mountains.  Children of all ages are encouraged to attend.  
Space is limited for this free workshop.  Call 906-884-7663 to reserve your spot.

October 18, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Folk School (*Free Workshop)
Anna Marie Pavlik – Etcher

Artist Anna Marie Pavlik will lead workshop participants in the process used in soft foam printing. This activity is ideal for children and adults; all ages are welcome.

Space is limited for this free workshop.  Call 906-884-7663 to reserve your spot.


*FREE WORKSHOPS Space is limited to 12 and reservations are required.

Please call Angie at 884-7663 for information and to make reservation.


Artist Schedule 2013

 June 13, 6:00 PM, Visitor Center

Glenn will read from his work in progress and discuss how this work rises out of the experiences of the landscape.


June 27, 6:00 PM, Visitor Center
TIM FEATHERS – Photographer

Learn the tricks that beginners can use to improve photography skills.


July 18, 6:00 PM, Visitor Center
BILL NORTON – Photographer

Bill will present a slideshow and share his experiences of photographing the spring bird migration.

August 3, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon, Folk School
MATT ASSENMACHERPainter (*free workshop)

Learn the basics of sketching nature using the natural surroundings of the park for inspiration.
Materials will be provided.


August 17, 9:30 am-12:00 noon, Folk School
KATIE ST. CLAIRMixed Media (*free workshop)

After a short collection walk and discussing composition, proportion and simple tools to measure space
the students will be guided in the use of ink, pencil and paint to render what they have experienced.
The composition will include information gathered using sight, sound, smell and feel.

*FREE WORKSHOPS Space is limited to 12 and reservations are required.

Please call Angie at 884-7663 for information and to make reservation.


Glimpses From Past Artists

Exploring ideas of Wilderness from George Desort, Filmmaker:

This past summer I participated as an artist-in-residence in Porcupine Mountain State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a result, I have started an on-line community art project exploring our different philosophies on wilderness.

I am looking for postcard art expressing your views. Please pass the link to the website below on to friends, family, teachers, and anyone you know who has feelings and emotions regarding wild places. Thanks and I hope to see the mailbox at the end of the driveway overflowing with artwork.

Wilderness Postcard Art

Journal Entries from Leslie Askwith, Writer:

October 20, 2007
Beaver Creek Trail

A trail through a gentle Japanese garden, the crooked leanings of gray hardwood trunks, imperfect and awkwardly picturesque. The friendly hardwoods and the brook that tumbles cheerfully alongside the path chattering gaily like a joyfully gossipy companion. The path is wide and smooth in most parts, uninterrupted by potential snags and roots to stumble over. So one can walk happily as though walking were the thing rather the constant observing of what is underfoot.

October 21, 2007
Carp River Trail

It’s hard not to laugh with joy at the sight of old hemlocks rising in the sun and shade with no fanfare, no sign, no neon lights announcing their majesty. They are just there, waiting to be discovered.

Images of the Porkies from Ron Strong, Photographer:

Artist In Residence Program Lake Superior Night Artist In Residence Little Carp Falls

Above are images from Ron’s fall residency. The first is a night time image of Lake Superior. The second photo is of The Little Carp River. See more of his photographs at

Lyrics from Dave McCormick, Songwriter:


When the children are grown and they look to the sky
Aurora will still dance and Polaris still shine
The rivers will tumble from the lakes way up high
Til next time its a Porkies Goodbye

The Winter turns white, the fall turns to gold
The summer turns green as the spring leaves unfold
Superior sings songs ancient and old
Till next time its a Porkies Goodbye

Come with me please, Come hold my hand
Walk with me down thru these old virgin stands
Let me tell you the stories of this Wilderness land
In the Porcupine Mountains, In the Porcupine Mountains
Till next time its a Porkies Goodbye

Poems from Rosalie Petrouske – AIR 2008:

Framed in my Lens (haiku)

A red leaf flutters,
Above the rushing water;
Manabezho Falls.

Manabezho Falls

Water rushing,
hear its roar
on the approach.
Powerful spirit God
resides in this churning
fall of silver blue.
Tread softly, place a foot
just so, follow the steps
of the Ojibwa who walked
here long ago.