Showcasing student and community artwork

Blurred paintings on an art gallery wall

Besse Center 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.

Current Exhibitions

Bay College announces the exhibition and reception for Surface Tension, photography by Terri Warpinski. Please join us in the Besse Gallery on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 2 PM for a Reception and Artist Talk. The exhibition will be on display until September 18, 2019.

Terri Warpinski, Professor of Art Emerita at the University of Oregon, began her teaching career in 1983 at the University of Florida. She received her B.A. in Humanistic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and has an M.A. and M.F.A. in Photography from the University of Iowa. She was distinguished as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel in 2000– 2001, was a visiting professor at New Mexico State University in 2009.  In 2014 she was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Art Commission, and in 2013 and 2016 Career Opportunity Grants through the Ford Family Foundation and Oregon Arts Commission. Most recently she was a recipient of a DAAD Research Grant (2017) to Berlin working with and hosted by the Stiftung Berliner Mauer.

Her work has been shown internationally in more than a hundred exhibitions, at such venues as the Pingyao International Festival of Photography in China; the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem; Houston International Fotofest; the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York; the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; and Camerawork in San Francisco. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, Playa in Oregon, Scuola Internazionale di Graphica in Venice, Annex:Art in Berlin, and Caldera in Oregon.

Her border-based landscape work was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of the Society for Photographic Education’s journal Exposure with an essay “Insecure Borders: Terri’s Warpinski’s Surface Tension” written by Katherine Ware, Curator, New Mexico Museum of Art. A solo exhibition of Surface Tension has been touring since the 2014 with venues in Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Nebraska, Illinois, New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New York.

Artist Statement:

Surface Tension examines landscape as a remnant trace of socio-cultural interaction. In three geographies – the US-Mexico borderland, the Israeli-Palestinian separation barrier along the Green Line, and the trace of the former wall throughout present day Berlin -- landscapes have been, and, are actively being repurposed to articulate division and reunification. The three locations presented in this long-term project resist a metaphoric collapse in favor of a parallel reading.

Surface Tension fuses various means for capturing digital images using a combination of high definition digital RAW files, cell phone photographs, and still frames from low-resolution video. As this project evolved I became increasingly interested in the role that photography itself plays as an instrument of power and control in border zones. From the high-powered long-distance surveillance cameras, to drones, to night vision cameras used by citizen vigilantes, everywhere one goes along these borders one is being observed.

Her current work-in-progress, Death|s|trip, was featured in the online blog LENSCRATCH November 25. 2016 []. Further work and full C.V. can be viewed at

Hartwig Galley

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.

Current Exhibitions

Bay College announces the exhibition and reception for Welcome to the Entanglement, fiber designs by Jessica Shields. Please join us in the Hartwig Gallery on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 2 PM for a Reception and Artist Talk. The exhibition will be on display in the Hartwig Gallery until September 26, 2019.

Jessica Shields was born and raised in the small town of Ford River, Michigan.

As a child, she loved to put on fashion shows and strut around in whatever she felt like wearing. As she grew older, her unique style began to form and continue to flourish into other creative outlets as well. Beginning with bracelets, she quickly moved on to sew her very first product, in which she still uses today: a worn-out purse made from household fabric scraps.

Although her material choice was unintentional at the time, it was that very first creation that led her down the path she has taken today. As every piece is created thoughtfully, with sustainability in mind, no two pieces ever end up the same. Jessica is able to let her one of a kind personality shine through every creation that is made.

As she went on to art school, an array of opportunities opened for her. In 2017, she received her Associate in Arts from Bay College in Escanaba, Michigan and then went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber and Fashion Design from Finlandia University in 2019. During her time at school, she was able to display her work in numerous exhibitions, as well as two fashion shows. She continues to explore the innumerable possibilities that fiber has to offer, while intertwining her life into all of them.

Bay West Gallery

The Bay College West Gallery is located in the Upper Commons. For more information contact Email Kristine Granger or call 906-217-4252.