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.

Current Exhibits

Justin Wavruk "Untitled" photo

Justin Wavruk "Untitled"

Student Art Exhibition

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 May 2 - August 2023. The Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony is Tuesday, May 2 at 2 pm, this will be an opportunity to meet the artists and engage in conversation about their work.

Painting by Liv Aarund

Scorched and Scorned. Liv Aarund.

Liv Aaarud

Bay College announces two exhibitions, featuring artist Liv Aaarud and artist Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred. The two exhibitions are in Celebration of Women’s History month.

Artist Biography

Liv Aanrud earned her B.F.A in painting from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire in 2001 and an M.F.A from Rutgers University, in 2011. She as taught at ARTworks Charter School, at Santa Barbara City College, and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.

Aanrud’s work has been the subject of one person exhibitions at New Image Art, Arvia, 1700 Naud and TSA-LA in Los Angeles. She has also had solo shows at Finlandia University in Hancock MI, Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, Pamela Salisbury Gallery, and John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY, Oasis Gallery, Marquette, MI and Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York City. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions across the U.S., Taiwan, Germany, and Spain. Liv has an upcoming solo exhibition in Lillehammer, Norway and a two person show at Leftfield SLO in San Louis Obispo. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Artist Statement

Time becomes tactile, ticked up in a stitch; this rhythm is a reverie where my mind can find rest through work. A scrap of fabric becomes a line--one that is held, cut, and pulled through a grid of burlap.  I find myself thinking about painting as I weave this slowly stitched drawing.  My fabric paintings are an earnest attempt to slow time, to hold fast in a world that seems built to commodify and consume. Their gradual realization is necessary retreat, a coping mechanism in a world that simply cannot be kept up with.


Current Exhibits


Noojimo’iwewin. Artist, Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred

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.

Artist Biography

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.

Please join us for this dedication and celebration on Wednesday, November 30 from 12-1pm.

Artist Statement

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.

Current Exhibits

Painting by Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred

Namebine Giizis: Sucker Moon. Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred.

Sherri Loonsfoot-Aldred
Artist Statement

Boozhoo! I am an Anishinaabe mixed media artist from Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.  Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has inspired creativity and wonder in me for as long as I can remember. I never tire of each magical encounter Lake Superior shares with me or fail to find quiet solitude and unspoken inspiration with the land that surrounds me.  It is my home and has been a place of incredible growth and healing. In this space, through the act of painting, I contemplate cultural/personal identity, generational trauma, environmental awareness, and colonial ideologies that continue to shape the world I live in. Creation is my way of honoring and expressing these relationships, of acknowledging and holding indigenous values that have been lost and revived. I seek to reconnect with daily rituals, traditions, and teachings that are inherent parts of who I am as well as the uncomfortable and clarifying moments of evolution I make while on this journey. Balancing physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual parts of my being within this context is a story of continual reconciliation and transformation. Each painting chronicles the celebration and expression of gratitude for the gifts, lessons, and beings shared through this cycle of life as well as the roles I live with the passing of the seasons.

Bay College West Gallery

The Bay College West Gallery is located in the Upper Commons.

Current Exhibits

Coming soon!