Residencies Visitor Center Artist Camp
International Deadline: May 31, 2017 – 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.
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 sawmill from a Mac truck! – and from whom resident artists can learn milling, building, and a variety of homesteading techniques.
This year we have Two Separate Sessions!
Session One is for Independent Projects (writing, painting, music, etc), as well as a Sustainable Building Workshop, for those interested in learning collaborative and co-creative building and homesteading techniques from VCAC staff and local barn-builder, Mel Seeger. We will be designing and building a structure for use during our Symposium workshops.
Session Two is our Sustainable Practices Symposium, with workshops in Local Clay Processing, Recycled Aluminum Casting, and a Self-Provisioning Woodworking workshop. You can also choose to do an Independent Project during the Symposium, that embraces the VCAC’s rugged setting and adventurous attitude. Special programming during our Sustainable Practices Symposium also includes artist presentations, slide lectures, a group art exhibition at the local school, and special presentations from our first international visiting artist from Finland, Mari Mathlin, as well as a tour of Seeger’s Sawmill, and trips to waterfalls, lakes, and beautiful hiking trails in the Ottawa National Forest.
Session 1, Building workshop & independent projects
Independent Projects = $250. This is your only fee. Includes access to camping grounds, water, electricity, basic shop tools, work space in the Seeger Studio barn and writing space in our newly renovated treehouse in the woods. Also included are a basic breakfast, lunch, and coffee. Our composting outhouses are stocked with soap, toilet paper, and composting materials.
Sustainable Building Workshop = $350. This is your only fee. It includes learning from VCAC staff and master builder Mel Seeger, access to camping grounds, water, electricity, and basic shop tools. Also included are a basic breakfast, lunch, and coffee. Our composting outhouses are stocked with soap, toilet paper, and composting materials.
Session 2, Sustainable Practices Symposium & independent projects
Base Fee = $350. Includes 3 meals per day, afternoon snacks, and unlimited coffee, inclusion in a local art exhibition and all symposium activities such as slide lectures and discussions, trips to lakes and waterfalls, and a tour of Mel Seeger’s Matchwood Sawmill. You will also have access to camping grounds, water, electricity, work space and basic shop tools, This fee also pays for kitchen and composting-toilet supplies such as soap, toilet paper, and composting materials. (If you are doing an Independent Project, this is your only fee.)
Local Clay Workshop = Base Fee, plus $325. Includes lectures, demos, 1-on-1 project guidance, and all materials.
Metal Casting Workshop = Base Fee, plus $325. Includes lectures, demos, 1-on-1 project guidance, mold-making materials and 5 pounds of aluminum. Additional aluminum is available for purchase.
Woodworking Workshop = Base Fee, plus $325. Includes lectures, demos, 1-on-1 project guidance, and access to VCAC’s supply of surplus wood and hardware. Additional lumber and hardware can be sourced locally including beautiful rough cut lumber at a discount from Seeger’s Sawmill.
We will be offering a limited number of $100 merit-based and need-based scholarships, scholarships dedicated to local UP residents, and work-scholarships for those on the kitchen crew.
Applicants are invited to submit a proposal for a twenty minute presentation. Selected presenters will receive a $50 scholarship toward their symposium fee. We are interested in themes of global concern, issues of sustainability, and contemporary radical practice in art and life. Proposals can be submitted with your application.
The Deadline for All Applications is May 31st, 2017. Applications will be reviewed in the order received. Space is limited and preference will be given to early applicants.