June 17 - September 8, 2017


Opening reception:
Saturday, June 17

The North of the 45th Parallel exhibition began in 2008 as a way to showcase the diversity of artistic talent in the upper Midwest region. Since then hundreds of artists from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have exhibited artwork in a range of media from painting to performance. Each year, a different juror is involved in the painstaking process of reviewing submissions to create a cohesive exhibition that represents both rural and urban artists from a wide range of backgrounds, training and approaches to creative practice. 

For 2017, the museum is presenting a non-juried exhibition to celebrate the tenth anniversary of North of the 45th Parallel. This idea was inspired by State of the Art/Art of the State at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina, which referenced Walter Hopps’ 1978 Museum of Temporary Art in Washington, D.C. Both Hopps and the Cameron Art Museum hoped to find innovative ways to give more artists more access to curators and exhibition opportunities. The North of the 45th Parallel exhibition is aligned with this spirit of access, and each year the entry pool and artists selected have represented a wide range of backgrounds and involvement with the "art world”. The exhibition has featured both full-time working artists with MFA degrees and self-taught artists who have never shown their work publicly, side-by-side, in one gallery space. Each year, under the guidance of the juror, the exhibitions have been completely different but equally fascinating to present. 

Art can inspire, build community, and be a platform for resistance or reflection. As we move forward and reflect on the last nine years of the exhibition, we recognize how the world has changed politically, socially, economically, and culturally. This 10th anniversary exhibition will celebrate the artists of the region while also asking questions about what the role of the artist is today. To borrow from the Cameron Art Museum’s title, what is the State of the Art? How do artists function in our current systems (economic, political, social, artistic)? Artists are encouraged to consider these questions and present ideas, questions, and solutions, and through this process create a robust dialogue.

At noon on June 16, 2017, the museum will open for 24 hours to accept entries from artists within the defined geographical region for this non-juried exhibition (see Eligibility Guidelines below). Any artist living north of the 45th parallel in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, age 18 and older, are invited to bring one piece of artwork to the museum for the exhibition. All artwork must be no larger than 9 feet square or 27 cubic feet. The museum will accept artwork until time runs out at noon on June 17, or room runs out in the gallery. An opening reception will be held on June 17th from 7-9pm. 

During artwork drop-off and the exhibition reception, three guest curators will be present to meet and greet artists: Christopher Atkins (Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs, Minnesota Museum of American Art), Adriana Greci Green (Curator of Indigenous Arts of the Americas, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia) and Steven Bridges (Assistant Curator, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University).

Three cash prizes will be awarded to artists: Guest Curator’s Choice, $500 (selected before the reception); Audience Choice, $500 (voted upon by museum visitors until close of the exhibition); Acquisition Award, $500 (selected by museum staff and voted on by the museum’s collections committee).

This exhibition is made possible by our generous sponsors: RG Design, River Valley Bank, and Travel Marquette. Artists visiting from out of town are encouraged to visit Travel Marquette for lodging and other helpful info for your visit to Marquette.

Eligibility Guidelines

• The exhibition is open to artists in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin living north of the 45th parallel geographical marker. We do allow for a one-degree "wiggle room” to keep with the spirit of highlighting artists living in the upper Midwest region (please visit the NASA Latitude Finder to lookup your latitude and ensure eligibility).

• Artists must be over the age of 18 to enter.

• Each artist may submit one piece of work. Two-dimensional work must be less than 9 square feet. The work must be framed or on a canvas with stretcher bars, and must include a hanging wire or French cleat system.

• Three-dimensional work must be less than 27 square feet. The museum will provide base displays for three-dimensional work.

• All entries must be original and not previously exhibited at the DeVos Art Museum. Paintings, hand-made prints, photography, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media and multimedia are examples of acceptable medias.

• Moving-image submissions such as film and animation must include a USB-capable flatscreen monitor, 19” or less, with wall mounting bracket. The artwork must be provided on a USB stick.

The museum reserves the right to refuse entry of any work in the exhibition.

Application. The maker of the artwork must be present when submitting the work. All work must be delivered in person during the 24-hour application period: noon, June 16 - noon, June 17, 2017. There will be no exceptions or extensions to this timeframe. Upon delivery, artists must fill out an entry form including contact information and artwork information (title, year created, medium, dimensions, insurance and sale price). Artist agrees that any work accepted into the exhibition must remain at the museum for the duration of the exhibition (June 17 - September 8, 2017). 

Limitations. All entries must be conceived and created by the artist submitting the work. Works must be gallery ready (ready to hang, ready to install). Work must weigh no more than 100 pounds. Two-dimensional work must be no more than 9 square feet, and must include a hanging wire or French cleat system. Three-dimensional work must be no more than 27 cubic feet, and prepared with instructions for installation. If the work is deemed not gallery ready (no wire hangers, unsteady, wet paint, unsafe for display/hanging, etc.), it will not be installed. 

Because the museum stores an art collection on the premises, we cannot accept work containing organic materials (including, but not limited to, water, moss, dirt, food and untreated wood, bodily fluids). Lightweight organic materials (such as quills, ash baskets, birchbark) will be allowed if the material was deep frozen for at least 24 hours. Please contact Melissa at if clarification is needed.

Delivery/Pick Up. Artists are responsible for delivery to and from the museum. The museum is not responsible for any damage incurred while the artwork is in transit. All work must be hand delivered by the artist who made the piece. Space in the exhibition is on a first come, first serve basis and is not guaranteed.

Artists must pick up their work during the designated pick up times: Friday, September 8 (5-8pm); Saturday, September 9 (12-5pm); Sunday, September 10 (12-5pm). Due to the nature of the exhibition, we are not able to accommodate special requests outside of the pick up times listed. The museum is not responsible for any work left on the premises after the specified pick up dates.

Usage rights. By submitting to this exhibition, artists grant the museum permission to reproduce images of their work for purposes including documentation and record keeping, publication in exhibition materials, brochures, educational materials and publicity (print, television, social media, website). Artists agree to grant use of these images as stated here without compensation from the museum.

Insurance. The museum will insure the artwork while on the premises for the duration of the exhibition for the agreed upon insurance value (provable fair market value). In respect to an object which has been industrially fabricated and can be replaced to the artist’s specifications, the museum’s liability shall be limited to the cost of such replacement.

About the guest curators:

Christopher Atkins is a photographer, writer, and the Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was previously Coordinator of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Atkins holds an MA and M.Res degree in visual cultures from Goldsmiths College at the University of London, and has taught museum studies and contemporary art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Macalester College.

Adriana Greci Green is an anthropologist and curator whose expertise in Native American art histories holds an emphasis on the Plains and Great Lakes regions. Dr. Greci Green recently served as Lead Curator of the Native Artists of North America reinstallation at the Newark Museum. She is currently Curator of Indigenous Arts of the Americas at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia and is a Research Collaborator in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

Steven L. Bridges is Assistant Curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Prior to this, Bridges was Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. From 2011–15, Bridges co-curated the annual Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival in Chicago, which features cutting-edge work from local, national and international artists. He is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he earned Master's Degrees in Arts Administration & Policy and Art History, Theory & Criticism. An avid writer, his essays and articles have been published in numerous journals, including Seismopolite, Art & the Public Sphere, the Live Arts Almanac, and Art & Education Papers, as well as exhibition catalogues and other online and print media.