Showcasing student and community artwork

Blurred paintings on an art gallery wall

Besse Gallery

The Besse Center South Gallery is located at the entrance to the Learning Resource Center. This gallery houses the college's permanent art collection, as well as exhibits of local and national artists. Each semester a student exhibit features a wide variety of drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and mixed media.

Celebration of Student Success at Bay College

Mess by Dylan Meyer

Mess. Digital Photograph. Dylan Meyer. Besse Gallery at Bay College

Bay College is excited to announce the reception for the Student Art Exhibition, “Celebrating Student Success”. The exhibition of their work will be displayed in the Besse Gallery from April 24 - August 2024. The Opening Reception and Award Ceremony is Thursday, April 25 at 2 pm, this will be an opportunity to meet the artists and engage in conversation about their work.

The exhibition represents a culmination of a semester of work for these students. The exhibit will include animations, digital photography, painting, and 2-D design. The students use a variety of media to produce their compelling works, they are learning to create unified compositions that effectively communicate their ideas, explorations, and expertise. The exhibited works originated from the following art classes – Visual Structures, Digital Photo I & II, and Painting I & II. This is a juried art show in which one artwork per course will be purchased by the college and become part of Bay’s Permanent Art Collection; 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive monetary awards.

We invite friends, family, and the community to celebrate their success! Reception and Awards ceremony Tuesday April 25 at 2pm with a reception in the Besse Gallery to follow. This event is free, and all are invited to attend. For more information, email contactevents_FROM_BAY_COLLEGE or call 906-217-4040.

Lindsey Heiden

Fat-Tailed Dunnart by Lindsey Heiden

Fat-Tailed Dunnart by Lindsey Heiden

Bay College announces an exhibition by Lindsey Heiden in celebration of Women's History Month.

Lindsey Heiden originally from Illinois. She earned a BFA in painting from Western Illinois University, along with a BA in Spanish and an MFA with an emphasis in ceramics from the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville. Heiden has been a resident artist at Center Street Clay in Sandwich, Illinois and the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. She has exhibited work nationally, as well as internationally. Heiden makes both functional and sculptural work. Regardless of the style or function her work, it is all rooted in the whimsical, with a painterly approach to decoration, a love for hybrid animals and storytelling, the illustrations, and sculptural pieces she creates come to life. Lindsey now lives and works in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

What happens when reality mirrors fairy tales? When science is used to make hybrids, in more ways than just selective breeding, but to really make and combine, to create? And what role do I play in this? Do I fight it, accept it, or use it as fuel. I choose the latter. Certainly, I am not a scientist, I am an artist and my scope of understanding and ways of approaching the topic limit me, but also allow me to work in the realm of “what if.”  This body of work stems from real science. We live in a world that is rapidly changing, the climate is changing, more and more destruction to the natural world is happening. These weigh heavily on me when thinking of the future and the world that I will leave behind for my child. I look to my art making practice to express these emotions. The animals chosen for this body of work are all extinct and a large amount of these selected animals are gone due to human causes. Whether these causes be from a warming planet or over hunting, but there is hope. Scientists are using genetics to try and bring back these animals from the dead. Much like a fairy tale with magic. Through the whimsical portrayals of these animals, I am telling a tale of just that. Weaving together visual art, scientific advances, and storytelling, I create a visual tale. A tale of “what if” and hope.

In a way this show is the start of how I build a tale, my studio turned laboratory. Through research of advances and projects that include genetic engineering, I choose my characters. From there a world is built and then the narrative is developed. This narrative asks the viewer to wonder of the possibilities. To touch and interact with the work, to become part of the story.


Student Success Center (HUB)

Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred


Noojimo’iwewin. Artist, Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred

Bay College announces the celebration and dedication of the painting, Noojimo’iwewin (Healing), by Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred. Bay College chose Loonsfoot-Aldred to interpret a visual message of healing, in honor and acknowledgment of the Anishinaabe land where Bay College resides. A dedication, artist talk and flute performance by Michael Laughing Fox will be announced soon.

Michael Laughing Fox Charette is a gifted Native American storyteller, poet, and member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (located in Northern Wisconsin). As a self-taught Native flute player, he enhances his stories with hauntingly beautiful flute and drum performance. Growing up surrounded by the beauty of Lake Superior and the woods led him to dedicate his gifts as an artist to gently teaching about Native history, culture, and spirituality. His work as both a visual and performance artist is varied and tied together by the traditional wisdom of the Anishnaabe people, which is respectfully incorporated into his work. Michael captivates audiences with his authentic, relaxed style.

In fear of being removed from their ancestral lands to Kansas and Oklahoma, the Anishinaabeg of what was to become Upper and Lower Michigan, ceded almost 16 million acres of land to the United States government in the Treaty of 1836. Language within this document promised “the Indians and their deemed eligible half-breed descendants” reserved hunting/fishing rights, education, money, goods, and services considered appropriate and necessary by the president. The ceded territory boundaries are approximately the Eastern Upper Peninsula up to the Escanaba River and two-thirds of the northern lower peninsula down to Thunder Bay River (on the east side) and the Grand River (on the west side) with a boundary line drawn between the two rivers. Within these ceded territories generations of communal lands, ceremonial sites, and buried ancestors were left behind for minimal monetary compensation and provisions such as bags of salt, barrels of dried fish, a couple blacksmiths, farmers, equipment, and church missions. With the signing of the treaty the land, water, and my ancestors’ migratory life in harmony with the seasons and its gifts were irrevocably changed forever. “Noojimo’iwewin” is the word for healing in our language. This triptych was painted and named in recognition of historic and contemporary effects to Anishinaabeg way of life and culture caused by the treaty. It is a story of forgiveness, generational healing, and reclamation of heritage. It portrays Anishinaabe belief that all things are connected and reliant upon one another for their continued health and prosperity. We have a prophecy that warned of the many changes that were to come to the land and our people. Much has been damaged and lost, but through loss we gained strength and perseverance. The will to survive. Another prophecy speaks of choice. Modern academia teaches that mankind is at the top of the hierarchy in the food chain, but Anishinaabe believe that we are at the bottom and rely on all other beings for the gifts they give, this includes soil, air, water, and fire. Through the act of reciprocation, we nourish the four parts of our own being (physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual) as well as the continued health of our environment. Forthcoming survival and prosperity are dependent on our responsibility to respect and protect the other beings we share life with. By painting “Noojimo’iwewin”, I seek to honor this obligation by educating and inspiring generations of stewards, both present and future.

Hartwig Gallery

The Bay College Hartwig Art Gallery opened in January, 2000, in conjunction with the new art wing, which houses the college’s art studios for ceramics, painting, and drawing. Gallery shows feature the best artists from the upper Midwest region, and change throughout the year. At the end of each semester the Art Students Show displays award-winning art students’ work--the best of these are awarded purchase prizes and become part of Bay’s permanent Art Collection.

Caitlyn Swift

Restless by Caitlyn Swift

Restless by Caitlyn Swift

Bay College announces an exhibition by Caitlyn Swift in celebration of Women's History Month.

Caitlyn Swift is a multimedia artist based in Phoenix, Arizona. Early in her education, Caitlyn was awarded with Best of Drawing and Best of Painting by the Luis Bernal Gallery at Pima Community College. Swift graduated summa cum laude with her bachelor's degree in two dimensional studies from the University of Arizona in 2020.

Caitlyn is a published artist, and has work featured in Sandscript Magazine (2019 Edition), Polaris Magazine (Spring 2020 Issue), as well as Persona Magazine (2021 Issue, Vol, 42 and 43), two of which she was awarded first place in the visual arts category. She was an artist-in-residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux, France in June of 2022, was awarded the Denis Diderot Grant in support of the residence and has a piece in their permanent private collection. Caitlyn is a second-year MFA student at Arizona State University and is set to graduate in Spring of 2025.

Using my practice as a tool for methodical and meticulous personal introspection, I explore the layered compartments that shape identity through painting, drawing and sculpture. After grappling with the jarring psychological aftermath of a head on collision in 2021, I grew obsessed with uncovering the complex inner workings of the human psyche. My work is a physical confrontation with internal fragments-an attempt to speak for the women rooted in the depths of my Self, so their stories may finally be told.

From the Collection: Student Works

Untitled, Garrett Van Nett

Untitled, Garrett Van Nett

Untitled, Kaylee Hubert

Untitled, Kaylee Hubert

Bay College announces an exhibition, From the Collection: Student Works, an exhibition in the Hartwig Gallery featuring student work that is in our permanent collection. The work will be on view from January 30-February 29, 2024.