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

Jason Paradis installation

Jason Paradis

Bay College announces the exhibition, Escanaba Sky, an installation by artist, Jason Paradis in The Besse Gallery. His installation will be on view from September 8 - October 19, 2022. The Artist Talk and Opening Reception will be at noon on Thursday September 8, 2022.

Artist Bio

Jason Paradis is an artist and curator, originally from Canada, who has lived and
worked in the New York area since 1995. As an artist, his work reveals a sense of contemplation on fundamental mysteries – the result of a lot of camping under an expansive sky in the northern Canadian wilderness. He has exhibited across the United States and Canada, including at The Steinberg Museum of Art (New York); The Cube (Raleigh, NC); the Dittmar Memorial Gallery (Northwestern University, IL); Seed Space (Nashville, TN); Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON); the Lexington Art League (Kentucky); the Saratoga Art Center (New York), and a public exhibition at Karsh- Masson Gallery in the City Hall of Ottawa (Canada). In the summer of 2014, he was selected as an artist in residence at Watch Hill on the Fire Island National Seashore. Paradis received a BFA from Queen’s University (Kingston, ON), an MFA from Stony Brook University (New York), and attended the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program hosted by the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Instructing since 2004, he
currently teaches drawing, painting, and mixed-media at Stony Brook University.

Artist Statement

Here, there is a sense of contemplation or of reverie that speculates on fundamental mysteries – this being the result of a lot of camping under an expansive sky in the northern Canadian wilderness. There, questions emerged regarding the existence of something much larger than the immediate world. I am very interested in a moment where the past, present, and future collide. Modes of my current environment, laced with reflection, memory, and speculation, filter into the development and translation of the work. This disjunction demands a layered approach in both the meaning and implementation of the artwork. The pieces end up feeling like some sort of phenomenon (either natural or supernatural) has occurred or is occurring. They are at once primitive, timely, and futuristic.

Please join us for our first reception and artist talk of the fall semester 2022!! Hope to see you Thursday September 8 at noon in the Besse Gallery.

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

Erin Wheary modular sculpture

Erin Wheary

Bay College announces the exhibition Erin Wheary in The Hartwig Gallery. Her work will be on view from September 6-October 20, 2022. The Artist Talk and Opening Reception will be at 2 pm on Tuesday October18, 2022.

Artist Bio

Erin Monet Wheary was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She received a BA in Sculpture and Printmaking from the University of Puget Sound (2013) and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (2018). At the University of Puget Sound, she was awarded a Chism Summer Research Grant, which enabled her to begin her work synthesizing sculpture and printmaking. 

Wheary has participated in residencies and exhibitions in the USA and abroad. Additionally, she has taught in higher education across the United States and most recently worked as the Associate Director of Chateau Orquevaux International Artist Residency in France.

Artist Statement

"Since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. [We] have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world." (A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking).

My search for order comes from a desire to understand philosophical questions and natural phenomena that I encounter. Visual art is my lens to see and understand the physical world and humanity. The circular nature of my art practice provides data and endless requisitioning.

It seems that science and art have always gone hand in hand to move us along in our culture. Art makes visual what science seeks to explain. Therefore, I gravitate to the logic and control realized in the scientific method and apply it to my art practice. Guided by a space or object, I observe patterns or proportions which determine forms in space. Predictable and consistent, using these proportions to materials of organic origins initiates an unpredictable relationship between order and chaos, geometric and organic.

I believe in the power of human connection. Art experiences connect individuals and initiate conversations. Because social media platforms can engage an alternative, diverse, and international audience, I have begun to use them to distribute my artwork.

The Modular Sculpture series takes the art out of the studio and into public places where I create temporary sculptures. Ultimately a time-lapse video and still images are what remain and are distributed through social media platforms. Through this project, I am learning that the act of publicly making builds community. I believe these brief or lengthy interactions with community members are essential to the project. I am currently exploring different ways to incorporate them into the finished work.

Please join us in The Hartwig Gallery for the closing reception and artist talk Tuesday October 18 at 2pm. 

Bay College West Gallery

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

Current Exhibits

Coming soon!