Michigan Legacy Art Park
— 2023 —
From the Director
On this beautiful spring day, I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season at Michigan Legacy Art Park. Spring is a time of renewal, and for us, it represents an opportunity to bring new life to our mission to inspire awareness, appreciation and passion for Michigan’s history, culture and environment through the arts.
One of the things I love about Michigan Legacy Art Park is the seamless connection of art and its natural surroundings. Each day in the park is new and different, and the joy is in the contrast. Changing seasons give us new perspectives on the artwork. It challenges us to embrace both the complexity and peace of the natural world, order and chaos. Unlike the white walls of a museum, art that is immersed in nature, rooted in a carpet of wildflowers, gives us something essential and often missing in our daily lives.
The challenge, of course, comes with balancing stewardship with wilderness. How does one maintain fine art that’s not behind climate-controlled glass? Do you remove a fallen tree, or let it lie? How do invasive species impact the visitor experience? At what moment in a sculpture’s lifespan does it return to nature?
These questions represent an enormous responsibility that we as stewards of this park share, and it’s why we have invested in a recent Collection Assessment for Preservation conducted by an Art Conservator from the Detroit Institute of Arts and a Historic Preservation specialist. This team investigated the current condition of the Art Park collection along with its facilities and trails, and provided a road map for our organization to best care for our assets so we can continue to enrich our community for decades to come.
While programs continue to grow in scope, it is up to us to ensure the park matures in strength. I invite you to join me in these pages to be inspired by what is and discover how to participate in what’s to come.
Executive Director, Michigan Legacy Art Park
Who We Are
Michigan Legacy Art Park is non-profit contemporary sculpture park located on two miles of hiking trails amidst a 30-acre hardwood forest preserve in Benzie County.
Our mission is to inspire awareness, appreciation and passion for Michigan’s history, culture and environment through the arts.
We value experiences that spark curiosity about the connections between art and nature; honest commentary on the complexities of human history; diverse perspectives in artistic expression; the interpretive process; and the ever-evolving consciousness of what the “Michigan story” means to those who experience and create it.Become a Monthly Supporter
For some, the Art Park is a place for seeking solitude. Spending time with the art while immersed in nature provides plenty of rich input for contemplation. Some points along the trail, such as Sanctuary—an installation by David Williams that houses Les Scruggs’s Weeping Willow—are actually designed with this in mind.
For many others, the Art Park is a place to find community or to learn something new.
Whether sharing libations with an old friend at a Summer Sounds concert, or finding common ground with a stranger on a guided tour, we hope to create experiences that connect people.
Spring Wildflower Hike
May 21 · 2:00 PM
Executive Director and Master Naturalist, Angie Quinn leads a special tour to observe and learn about the wildflowers growing along the Art Park trail
Fairies & Forts
June 24 · 10:00 AM
This fun family tradition that officially kicks off summer at Michigan Legacy Art Park! Enjoy hands-on art activities, live music, and march to the Fort. Free admission.
Summer Sounds: Mark Lavengood
July 7 · 7:00 pm
Award-winning musician and songwriter brings good vibes with rootsy Americana in this special solo performance.
Become a Summer Sounds sponsor! With a $2,500 sponsorship, you can underwrite a concert.See Sponsor Benefits
Butterfly Identification Program
July 8 · 12:00 PM
Come along and learn how to identify Butterflies and Skippers as we participate in a citizen science activity. Sport-event-style binoculars and children’s binoculars are particularly good for this activity.
Summer Sounds: Seth Bernard & Jordan Hamilton
July 14 · 7:00 pm
Michigan folk-rock troubadour has paired up with eclectic and highly regarded cellist—melding folk with jazz, hip-hop, soul, and classical influences for a layered, melodically robust duo.
Summer Sounds: Blake Elliott & The Current Love
Elliott returns to the Summer Sounds stage with a new backing band. Bluesy rock-and-roll highlighting Blake’s masterful guitar and signature vocals will be a performance not to miss.
The signature fundraising event for Michigan Legacy Art Park features presentation of the Legacy Award.
Summer Sounds: Youngman & Oldmen
August 4 · 7:00 pm
Michigan music fixtures for nearly 50 years, Frank Youngman and Mark Schrock (aka Oldmen) bring a repertoire of Americana folk tunes, vintage jazz, “ancient” country music, and singalongs, wrapped up in a story and a smile.
enjoy a day of golf at Crystal Mountain while supporting the Art Park’s vital role in our community.
Fall Color Tour
October 22 · 2:00 PM
Take in the magnificent fall color of the Betsie River Valley, while observing the Art Park changing with the seasons.
December 9 · 5:00 PM
Enjoy a warm fire with warm cider and friends at this festive outdoor holiday concert and sing-along featuring Traverse City West Middle School Madrigals.
The Legacy Gala is the signature fundraising event in support of Michigan Legacy Art Park. This highly anticipated gathering brings together art enthusiasts, philanthropists, community leaders, and friends of the Art Park to celebrate and contribute to the mission. The event features fine dining, live music, and a silent auction full of art and local experiences.
Jason Quigno—a distinguished contemporary sculptor and member of the Saginaw Tribe of Chippewa Indians—will be presented with the 2023 Legacy Award for his accomplishments as an artist.
Interview with Jason Quigno
What does “legacy” mean to you?
The word legacy brings to mind how some of the Anishinaabek elders held onto our language, teachings and our cultural ways despite all that was against them, their families, and communities with colonization and genocide. They held on and passed that knowledge down in secret through the generations. Because of their actions, today many Anishinaabek Communities are reclaiming those ways… our language, our ceremonies. I’m forever grateful for them because despite all the odds against them, here I am today able to take those cultural values and ways and put them in stone. Through monumental stone sculpture I hope to carry on the legacy of strength and resilience of those elders who went through so much to pass on our Anishinaabek ways.
When you stand before one of your untouched blocks of stone, what do you see in your mind’s eye?
When I first get a block of stone I look at it, feel it and think how old it is—how many millions of years old. I feel this sense of awe and gratitude that I’m able to work the stone, and sometimes I look and think, “Oh shit, what did I get myself into.” lol.
What emotional response do you imagine someone has when they encounter one of your abstract works?
I don’t know what emotional response people feel when viewing my works. I do know I try to convey a sense of beauty, peace ,serenity and balance. Part of my practice is while working on a piece, I try to put those feelings in the stone—in hopes the viewer will sense those things. Those feelings go into all my work.
In your own words, how would you say your art has evolved over the years?
In the beginning I did more representational with the stylized animals and figurative. Then at some point I had to change it up to more contemporary non-representational forms while instilling those Anishinaabek values. As an artist I got to keep moving and evolving, so I change it up every now and then.
Who are some people—artists or otherwise—that have inspired you?
Alan Houser , Isamu Noguchi , Constantin Brancusi, Norval Morrisseau, Jimi Hendrix
Looking Back on 2022
Art Park programs are intentionally designed to spark curiosity and make connections between art, history, and the natural world.
For students on field trips each year, their classroom studies are brought to life—as our program has been intentionally designed meet age-graded curriculum standards.
Adult visitors and groups learn something new each week on guided tours, and we are also privileged to host corporate and community groups of all ages.
A highlight each year for Art Park staff and volunteers is hosting the group from Arts for All—a Traverse City nonprofit organization connecting people of all abilities through art and cultural experiences.
Drop-In Art Activities
Saturday & Sundays* · 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
May – August
Free art activities for all ages are available at the Art Park trailhead.
Come Walk with Me
Fridays* · 10:00 AM
June – October
Executive Director Angie Quinn leads these moderately paced walks through the park, with a special focus on a different sculpture each week.
Second Saturday* of the Month · 10:00 AM
Join Executive Director and birding guide Angie Quinn on a birdwatching hike.
*Drop-in activities held only on Saturdays in May. Other program dates may be subject to change due to holidays or coinciding events.
An “impossible” shape with philosophical, mathematic, and scientific applications, the Möbius Strip is known to symbolize infinity, eternity, and duality. The shape has been central to theoretical math and inspired the field of topology.
For sculptor Les Scruggs, the one-sided shape has become a common motif in his work, including his sculpture in the Art Park collection, Weeping Willow. He describes the sculpture as it’s own subject—one that must be observed in 360 degrees. It compels the viewer to move around in order to take it all in.
So it is strategically installed within Sanctuary, a structure designed by David Williams as a place for introspection, to consider the existence of nature, or perhaps—as the artist intended for this piece—the nature of existence.
Be one of the final underwriters to make this sculpture possible!Contribute to A New Sculpture
New Permanent Sculpture
Gateway to Black Eden is a monumental project that will add depth to our collection. For this piece, we have commissioned artist and Kresge Arts Fellow, M. Saffell Gardner to create a site-specific work inspired by Idlewild and the African-American resort experience of the early 20th Century.
The project not only includes the sculpture itself, but an original composition of spoken word and music created by Marion Hayden and Melba Joyce Boyd will accompany the sculpture and be accessible to the viewer via QR code.
The Art Park Collections Committee has selected Dawnice Kerchaert as our 2023 David Barr Artist in Residence. Her work stood out in the selection process for the way in which it explores the textures and forms of nature.
Kerchaert says her residency—set to take place this October—will be inspired by the fall leaves in the park.
Around 2,000 wooden rounds reclaimed from fallen branches in the park have been distributed to creative folks across the state, and will be assembled into a massive community art project organized by our Education Director (and Art Park artist) Patricia Innis with assistance from local artist Dewey Blocksma.
Be a Part of It
What you discover at Michigan Legacy Art Park doesn’t simply happen. It is the combined effort of many—staff, volunteers, partner organizations, and donors—working together to bring the place to life. There are many ways to join us in our mission, and we welcome you.
Volunteering is essential to the art park’s sustainability. Over 100 individuals contributed over 800 hours of labor last year—a value estimated at $23,000.
As time marches on, it has been important for new volunteers to enter the fold and discover the joy of working together with us. There are a variety of needs, including: leading groups of students on field trips, cleaning sculptures, light trail maintenance, other skills, including carpentry, landscaping, and data entry.
Curious about volunteering? Drop us an email.
Swing for the Green
Join us at the 2023 Golf Classic. It’s a really fun way to make some connections while raising funds for the Art Park. Put together your foursome, or show your business cares with an event sponsorship.
Without the financial investment of generous donors, the Art Park could not exist. The joy of creative discovery we see on faces every day here is only because of people like you. It is a timeless and invaluable return on your investment in the mission.
Whether it is a $5 monthly donation, or a $50,000 estate gift, every contribution is planted in fertile soil in order to grow meaningful experiences for decades to come.Donate Here
Invest in the future
You can make an impact at Michigan Legacy Art Park now and in the future.
Over two-thirds of our annual operating budget is supported by gifts from people like you. We rely on donations from individuals, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants to implement the mission-driven activities happening now. Thank you!
Future gifts allow for predictable cash flows so that we can focus on our mission by reducing the amount of resources we put into annual fundraising activities. You can help by adding Michigan Legacy Art Park as a beneficiary of your will, trust, or life insurance policy; or by making a gift to the Michigan Legacy Art Park Endowment Fund at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.
To learn more, please talk with your estate planning attorney and personal financial advisor.
Thank you to these 2022 donors
$1000 and Above
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa
Benzie Sunrise Rotary Foundation
Chuck and Georgia Bavol
Deborah and Blair Anderson
Diane Wilbur and Jim Szalay
Ed and Carol Laprade
Glen and Tracie MacPherson
Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation
Jim and Chris MacInnes
Jim Cooley | Cooley Contracting
Katharine and Harry Eiferle
Lee and Katie Hitow
Lori and Derek Watson
Maree and Jim Mulvoy
Marilyn Wheaton and Paul Duffy
Mo and Linda White
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bingham
Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network
Pour For More
Precision Plumbing and Heating Systems, Inc.
Robyn and Scott Carlson
Steve and Deona Paine
Steve Nagy and Angie Quinn
Terry and Michael Tarnow
The Legion Foundation
$500 to $999
Alan and Margo Osterman
Angela and Gene Meyer
Barry Levine and Becky Beauchamp
Crystal Mountain Realty
David and Roxanne Reschke
Jack and JoAnn Pope
Jacquelyn and Glen Hastings
JML Design Group LTD
John and Theresa Pelizzari
Kathyrose & Debra Pizzo
Kitty & Brad Dixon
Mary Ann Cheney and David Mix
Mary Lane and Ben Wolfe
Robert and Diane Collier
Ward and Mary Gillett
$250 to $499
Bill and Beverly Pirrami
Congregation Beth Shalom
Cooke Sheet Metal, Inc.
Debra and Charles Ruthig
Don and Wylie Schaffer
Dr. Charles and and Mrs. Judith Kraus
Graceland Fruit, Inc.
Harriet Wall and Vance Marshall
Honor & Onekama Building Supply
Janet and Timothy Taylor
Josey Ballenger and Scott Tucker
Joy and Brian Kennedy
Kristine and Kurt Harvey
Leelanau Wine Cellars, Ltd.
MI Pest LLC
Mr. and Mrs. John Melcher
Nealis Engineering, Inc.
Paul and Kathleen Whitley
Steve and Deb Jackson
Stormcloud Brewing Company
Thomas & Susan Peeples
Up to $249
Benzie Audubon Club
Bob and Donna Kondek
Bob and Jane Holdeman
Bob and Lynn Kasperek
Bradford Lindberg and Heather Wilkin
Camille and Samuel Lewis
Carson Harvey and Chloe Adams
Casey Collier and Alex Bos
David and Joyce Petrakovitz
Deidre and Ted Dobbels
Deirdre Bartlett and Quinn Kane
Diane and Richard Hubert
Gilbert and Nancy Powers
Gregory and Clarissa Wright
James Walker and Sara Freeland
Jerry Gretzinger & Meg Staley
Kara and Jonathan Cross
Katie and Paul Newberg
Kevin and Kelly Masters
MaryAnn McCracken and Tony Posawatz
Maureen Bergquist Gray
Nancy Sousa and Tim Oehlberg
Rose Ann Jacobs and Paul Nagurka
Ryan and Nicole Schultz
Shirley & Nick Baker
Stan and Karen Kogut
Susan and Anthony Konovaliv
Theresa and Theresa Kellman
Wes and Sharon Blizzard
William G. Milliken, Jr
Gifts were made in honor of:
Bert TePaske-King (Susan Tepaske-King)
Dewey Blocksma (Dan Remahl, Don and Wylie Schaffer)
Maree Mulvoy (Terry Barber and Alison Clark)
Paola (Geri Boileau)
Terry Tarnow (Barbara Heller, Scott Phillips)
The People of Idlewild, past and present (Merrith and Dean Baughman)
The Quinn Family (Elizabeth Yankowiak)
Gifts were made in memory of:
Althea Petritz (Ted and Marcia Curran)
Betty Fox (Bernie and Shirley Malamud)
Bruce Sharp (Dan and Anne Guyton)
David and Beth Barr (Veronica Sanitate and William Middleton)
David Barr (Bernie and Shirley Malamud, Patty Pelizzari, Richard Mark)
Mardi Black (Jim Ristine)