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

Morgan by Steven Tousignant


Steven Tousignant

Bay College announces the first exhibition for winter semester 2023, Rebirth, photography by Steven Tousignant in The Besse Gallery. His work will be on view from January 17-February 20, 2023. Please join us for the Artist Talk and Reception at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

Artist Biography

Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Steven Tousignant’s love for photography started when he received a digital camera for his 18th birthday. For over 17 years, Steven has experimented with different photographic processes and cameras honing his skills. He has attended both Bay College and Northern Michigan University, He currently operates a studio in Marquette, MI with two other photographers.

Artist Statement

Rebirth, represents a visual reflection of an individual’s self-growth, juxtaposed with the death of their past selves. I've recently become interested in my own personal growth and evolution as a human being. Delving into the philosophic thought of laying to rest my past self has inspired this new body of work.

Employing multiple images allows me to convey a sense of one standing on their own grave, overcoming their past self to grow as a human. My subjects were not limited to being fully evolved beyond who they felt their past self was. In turn, this gave them the chance to confront their own emotions and preemptively putting that self to rest. This series was not only cathartic for me, but it also encouraged some of my models to begin their own journeys of personal growth.

We welcome you to join us for our first reception and exhibition of the semester in the Besse Gallery on Tuesday, January 24 at 2 pm for his artist talk and reception!


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

clothes make the man (in progress)

Clothes make the man (in progress)

Bernie Park

Bay College announces an exhibition, featuring artist Bernie Park. This exhibition highlights an installation of mixed media work that focuses on the contemporary human condition. Five Pictorial Essays on Judgement, Tragedy and Loss; Patriotism; Loneliness; and Whim. Park is a multi-disciplinary painter who lives in rural Marquette, Michigan. He has lived in the Upper Peninsula with his wife for over 25 years. His work will be on view from January 16 – February 27, 2023.  Please join us for his Artist Talk and Reception at 2pm ET on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at 2pm in The Hartwig Gallery.

Bay College West Gallery

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

Current Exhibits

Coming soon!