Winter Arts Festival : January 30-February 12, 2012

A celebration of snow, creativity and an exploration of the serene winter landscape.

Grand Marais, Minnesota – Few know the glory of winter better than a Northern Minnesotan. The splendor of the glistening winterscape is unmistakable, winter has more to offer than just Christmas and snowstorms.

In its 3rd year, the Winter Arts Festival is an invigorating breath of air in the cool Nordic climate. Comprised of two unique events, the Snow Carving Symposium & Winter Plein Air, rousing artists to dress warm and discover the joy of winter. The Snow Carving Symposium challenges artists to transform simple blocks of snow into ornate works of art. The carvings will be hosted by local businesses throughout Cook County and will be on display February 3-12 (weather permitting).

Winter Plein Air is one of the only outdoor painting events of its kind. Adventurous artists ski across a frozen lake teetering on the edge of the Boundary Waters (BWCA) chasing limited daylight and battling freezing temperatures to capture the scenic landscape. An exhibit of the work will be on display at the Grand Marais Art Colony from February 3-12, 2012. An opening reception celebrating the Winter Arts Festival is scheduled for Friday, February 3 at 6:00pm.

Share the story of winter, celebrate the color of white and delve deeper into the creative spirit. There are many ways to be involved in this fun and interactive festival. Be a participant, an observer, a student…just dress warm.

About the Grand Marais Art Colony

For over 65 years, the Grand Marais Art Colony has nurtured the relationship between outdoor recreation and artistic pursuit. Founded as the Outdoor School of Painting, a project of the Minneapolis School of Art (MCAD), the Art Colony has grown to offer a place for emerging and professional artists to seek creative guidance and instruction.

For more information please contact the Grand Marais Art Colony. (218)387-2737 Facebook:

A North Shore Holiday: A “Way North of Ordinary” Holiday Tradition

The holiday season is one of the best times of the year to enjoy Cook County, Minnesota, featuring the Midwest’s grandest winter wonderland set against the backdrop of Lake Superior, a variety of uniquely-embracing outdoor winter activities and out-of-the-ordinary gifts available all along the shore.

In its efforts to champion the unique North Shore holiday experience, the Cook County Visitors Bureau once again invites visitors to enjoy A North Shore Holiday, a series of themed weekends starting Thanksgiving through Christmas.  Each weekend features opportunities to not only find distinctive, locally-created personalized gifts but to meet the artist or author who created them as well. Or, take part in do-it-yourself workshops to create unique and memorable gifts in traditional northern folk methods, enjoy area restaurants – from gourmet, rustic and down home to downright funky – and listen to live music and holiday concerts. Try your hand at harvesting a Christmas tree or enjoying a holiday parade.

With many activities focused in the Currier and Ives-style harbor village of Grand Marais, guests can take advantage of special holiday offers from area businesses, while enjoying the spectacular natural wonders of Cook County. These include skiing at Lutsen Mountains, the largest ski area in the Midwest. Or cross-country skiing on the longest network of groomed cross-country trails in North America.  Snowmobilers can play on hundreds of miles of easy-access trails. But if you like it quieter, try an afternoon of sled dogging or snowshoeing in the Superior high country.

A North Shore Holiday officially kicks- off with a special tree lighting ceremony in Harbor Park in Grand Marais on Friday, November 27 at 4:30 p.m.  Mayor Carlson will light the tree, the Cook County High School Band will offer holiday cheer while Santa and his sled dogs will be on hand for photo opportunities. Everyone is invited to attend this free, family-friendly event.

Up to date information, activities and entertainment are available online at


Maggie Barnard Cook County Visitors Bureau 218-387-2788