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Artists Selected for Fifth Annual Artist-in-Residence Program

Mackinac State Historic Parks is pleased to announce the artists selected for the fifth annual Mackinac Island Artist-in-Residence program, which is housed in the remodeled second floor of the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center, formerly the 1915 Mackinac Island Coast Guard Station.

 The Mackinac State Historic Parks Artist-In-Residence Program is designed to promote and encourage the creation of artistic works inspired by the history, natural wonders, and beauty of Mackinac Island. The two-week residencies will begin in early June and continue through late September.

 The selected artists will provide one public presentation (workshop, lecture, reading, demonstration, etc.) on the second Wednesday of their residency at 7:00 p.m. and contribute one piece of their work to Mackinac State Historic Parks within 12 months.

The residents for 2023 include:

  • Sample piece from Dustin Hunt.

     – Dustin Hunt, June 6 – June 18, workshop June 14: Hunt, from Ann Arbor, is a muralist. Their work begins with inquiry: who and what are valuable to a community, overlooked, and worthy of acknowledgment in a community? What stories have yet to be told? Who and what makes a place rich with character, history, and culture? Regional history, archives, interviews, and conversations lead the way to inspiration and often become the focal points of murals. When the focal points are determined, Hunt mixes techniques to create an eclectic mural composition. While on the island Hunt is interested in seeking out narratives often misunderstood yet worthy of highlighting.

  •  – Andrew David Perkins, June 20 – July 2, workshop June 28: Perkins is a composer, conductor, and GRAMMY® nominated music educator from Fenton. Their compositions for wind ensemble have been finalists for The National Band Association Revelli Award, Merrill Jones Award, and The Ravel International Composition Prize. Perkins’ music is regularly performed at state, national, and international contests & conferences, and at the Midwest International Band Clinic. Perkins won the National Band Association Alfred Publishing Young Band Composition Prize in 2018, and the 2021 American Prize in Wind Band Composition. Perkins is looking forward to the opportunity to do deep work surrounded by Mackinac Island’s natural and historical beauty.
  •  – Lauren Carlson, July 4 – July 16, workshop July 12: Carlson is a poet from Manistee. In Carlson’s work the quotidian violence of rural life, domestic duty, and dailiness give way to lush accommodating reveries. Grounded in landscape and rhythm, the body and soul are intertwined. Carlson is seeking a more holistic yet nonetheless rigorous approach to the spirit and its raptures, one that resists binaries and engages paradox. The natural environment is essential to their writing, and Carlson often use their observations of both violence and beauty in landscape and place to inform poems. Carlson is looking to become immersed in Mackinac Island’s singular environment for their current project.
  • Photography by Marilyn Murphy-Feather

     – Marilyn Murphy-Feather, July 18 – July 30, workshop July 26: Murphy-Feather is a photographer based out of Sterling Heights. Always having a passion for photography, Murphy-Feather embraced it just over a decade ago. Inspired by the great outdoors, Murphy-Feather’s ambition is to photograph landscapes and immerse themself in nature to enjoy emotions of awe, joy and serenity while creating fine art. While on the island Murphy-Feather will be able to continue their quest of “Find Your Park through Art” to preserve all national and state lands for current and future generations to enjoy and explore.

  •  – John Dempsey, August 1 – August 13, workshop August 9: Dempsey is a landscape painter originally from Southeast Michigan who now resides in Hillsborough, NC. The residency will allow Dempsey the opportunity to continue research for a contemporary landscape painting studio practice and spend extended time drawing and photographing on the island for future landscape painting projects. One of Dempsey’s extended series of contemporary landscape paintings is titled the Michigan Chronicle Series. Those paintings include a wide variety of environments from all over the state, and the residency will allow them to continue and expand on that series.
  •  – Patrick Mohundro, August 15 – August 27, workshop August 23: Mohundro is originally from Iron Mountain who now resides in New York City. For the past eight months they have been combining cast porcelain ‘canvases’ with stained glass. The new development is huge for Mohundro’s work, dealing with the structures around painting: form, texture, and color. Color has been one of the most challenging aspects of this project and stained glass has provided a beautiful solution. Each piece of stained glass is its own color field painting. While on the island, Mohundro will be mostly soldering the porcelain/stained glass constructions and getting to know the lay of the land.
  • Starling Shakespeare Company

     – Heron Kennedy and Jessie Lillis, August 29 – September 10, workshop September 6: Kennedy and Lillis are co-founding artistic directors of the Starling Shakespeare Company, a migratory theater company. They intend to adapt William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to create a Mackinac Island-specific production. Not only will it tell the story of Prospero, Miranda, and the island-dwelling creatures in Shakespeare’s text, it will also serve as a celebration of Mackinac Island’s scenery, history, and atmosphere. They intend to combine their expertise– Shakespeare– with a deep love of the island by immersing themselves further into the community and setting, and creating something truly unique. This updated version of The Tempest will be performed on the island in 2024.

  •  – Amy Haimerl, September 12 – September 24, workshop September 20: Haimerl is an author and journalist from Detroit. Haimerl will spend their time on the island interviewing residents, taking oral histories and researching the island’s history. Haimerl looks to record the sounds of the island to make a mini soundscape documentary of life there, and they want to get a sense of the day-to-day rhythms of Mackinac Island and the people who keep it alive, something that reporters can only do by being present for an extended period of time. Haimerl is also interested in the “off-season” months, before and after the tourist season.

“Mackinac State Historic Parks looks forward to welcoming a very talented group of artists to Mackinac Island throughout the 2023 season,” said Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Steve Brisson. “We’re excited to see how each is inspired by Mackinac and how they share their creativity while on the island.”

A jury of representatives from Mackinac State Historic Parks, the Mackinac Arts Council, and the Mackinac Island Community Foundation selected from a pool of 197 qualified applicants. Selections were made solely on the basis of merit and how the artist’s work can advance the program’s goal of encouraging the creation of artistic works inspired by the history, natural wonders, and beauty of Mackinac Island.

More information on the Mackinac Island Artist-in-Residence program can be found here.