West Shore Community College’s Professor of Visual Arts, Eden Ünlüata-Foley, along with Theresa Gimpel of the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts, are co-curating Terrain Biennial 2023’s Northwestern Michigan cluster. Over 200 art projects will be popping up on front lawns (and porches, windows, and rooftops, too!) around the Great Lakes region, across the country, and even all over the world for anyone who walks, rolls, skips or wanders by to discover. Eleven of these artists will be presenting their artwork in Ludington, Manistee, Onekama, Kaleva, and Frankfort as part of the Biennial.

Terrain Biennial is organized by the Terrain Exhibitions Foundation based in Oak Park, Illinois. Terrain was founded on the front porch of late artist Sabina Ott out of a spirit of generosity and community building through art. Since 2011, Terrain has produced six editions of the Biennial and continues to bring art to more and more neighborhoods across the world with every installment.

This grassroots art festival will bring art to neighborhoods around the world, including Northwestern Michigan, from Oct.1 – Nov. 15, 2023. The global opening event took place on Oct. 1 in Chicago, IL. A local opening event will take place on Sunday, October 15th from 2-4:00 p.m. at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee, MI and will be accompanied by an invitational online component; please email theresagimpel@gmail.com for an invitation.

Artists and curators collaborated with hosts (homeowners, art centers, businesses) to produce art installations outside their homes and other surprising spots! This year’s theme is Mycelium Connections. The lead curators of the Biennial explain the theme as “Mycelium is a thriving underground network of fungal threads, vital to many natural ecosystems. Despite its enormous geographical span, it remains invisible to most, subversively springing up from the most unexpected cracks and shadows. We ask ourselves, who and what has been overlooked, and why?”

Using mycelium as a metaphor for modern communication technologies, co-curators Ünlüata-Foley and Gimpel focused on connecting rural and urban art communities. Without these technologies they would not have been able to bring these communities together with relative ease. The co-curators cherish the notion of seeking commonalities between communities rather than what divides them. “Both Theresa and I have one foot in rural and one foot in urban life. On a daily basis we witness how both these cultural ecosystems are deeply connected” said curator Eden Ünlüata-Foley. “With this exhibition we wanted to present this in a very tangible way,” added Theresa Gimpel. “We were excited to connect communities along the northwest shoreline of Lake Michigan with each other and with artists from across the region including Chicago.”

The public is invited to visit the artworks at the locations listed below. And if you are traveling outside of Michigan, it is recommended to look up the Biennial website to see if there are art installations close by.

Though the idea of art being accessible and visible is at the core of the Biennial, when visiting sites everyone is invited to be respectful of the property, and privacy of hosts. All art will be visible from the street along with accompanying descriptive texts located at the sites.

More information on the history of the Biennial, Terrain Exhibitions organization, locations of art all around the globe, and other events organized by organization may be found at https://terrainexhibitions.org/

Terrain Biennial – Northwest Michigan Locations:

Ludington Locations:
– Ken Cooper at 818 E. Foster St. Ludington, MI
– Rachel Brock at 305 Filer St. Ludington, MI
– Hale Ekinci at 110 S. Washington St. Ludington, MI
– Claire Ashley at:
Site #1: Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA), 107 S Harrison St, Ludington, MI,
Site #2: 921 W. Gunnison, Chicago,
Site #3: 1042 IL Route 89, Magnolia, IL
– Allison Svoboda at 417 N. Washington St., Ludington, MI

Manistee Locations:
– Colette Wright Adams at Old Kirke Museum, 300 Walnut St., Manistee, MI
– Aimé Merizon at Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts 101 Maple St., Manistee, MI

Onekama Locations:
– William Hattendorf at 8083 Johnson St., Onekama, MI
– Sherry Antonini at Patina Designs, 4850 Main St. Onekama, MI

Kaleva Location:
– Lynn Williams at 7425 Chief Rd., Kaleva, MI

Frankfort Location:
– Nat Rosales at Elizabeth and Lane Oliver Center for the Arts (OAC) 132 Coast Guard Rd. Frankfort, MI