Teen Artist

A trail winding through trees
The Scoville Point Trail is a popular hiking destination for island visitors.


Become an Isle Royale Teen Artist

How Do I Get to the Island?, Where Do I Stay?, How Do I Apply?, Help Select!

The Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration is geared to all aspiring teen artists who want to develop their art through experiencing wilderness, and is open to all visual and performing artists, writers, and composers ages 13 to 18 at time of participation.

Elisha Houle, the 2016 teen artist said of her time on Isle Royale: "Isle Royale and the Teen Artist-In-Residence Program has opened my life to so many amazing things. My art has taken on a new dynamic; I appreciate so much more the wild and natural ways of life the Island showed me."

Over the course of 1 to 2 weeks between June and August, the selected teen artist can explore the island as he or she would like--hike and backpack along wave-washed shores, canoe quiet bays of Lake Superior, or take boat tours. An artistic mentor will provide coaching during the artistic and wilderness exploration. Let the solitude and serenity of the island inspire your creativity.

The selected artist will be a park volunteer and be required to donate a piece of artwork representative of their stay on Isle Royale to the park. If seventeen or younger, a legal guardian must accompany the teen artist.

Isle Royale National Park, Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association, and the Copper Country Community Arts Council sponsor the program. For more information, contact the park.

Ranger III upper passenger lounge as seen from the back of the room. Seats line the left, right, and center of the image.
The Ranger III Main Passenger Lounge


How Do I Get to the Island?

Transportation to and from Isle Royale is provided at no cost to the artist and a guardian aboard the Ranger III, disembarking from Houghton, Michigan. Travel to Houghton must be arranged by the selected teen artist and guardian.

Where Do I Stay?

The park offers the use of a rustic cabin at a scheduled time from mid-June through early September at no cost to the artist. The Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration is based in the Dassler cabin in Tobin Harbor, about two miles by boat or trail from the park's major entrance point, Rock Harbor. A guest house at the site will be occupied by the artistic mentor. Simple accommodation includes a pit toilet, no electricity or running water, and a canoe for transportation. The cabin will accommodate 2 guests. Basic cooking equipment is provided, but the artist needs to bring personal gear, food, and art supplies. Food for the entire stay needs to be purchased before the trip. Fuel may be available, but may also have to be brought. Check with the artist-in-residence coordinator prior to your visit.

Isle Royale is a remote wilderness and all visitors must be well prepared. The facilities being used for this program are not wheelchair accessible. The artist should be self-sufficient, in good health, and expect cool temperatures, solitude, and simple facilities.

How To Apply for 2018

New application procedures may be developed. Check back in November, 2018

All artist’s work must be original. The park considers all forms of art except those that manipulate or disturb the park's environment. In your application package, please include the following:
  1. If seventeen or younger, discuss the Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration with a parent or guardian. Once you have permission to apply, have him or her sign the line below where it says “Parent or Guardian Signature.” Submit this page with your application.
This applicant has my permission to apply for the Isle Royale Artist in Residence program. I understand that a parent or guardian must accompany the teen artist.
Printed name of Parent or Guardian:______________________________
Parent or Guardian Signature:___________________________________
  1. Answer the following question: Why do you want to become an Isle Royale Teen Artist? You can answer this question any way you want (essay, video, drawing, song – it’s completely up to you). Please be sure to include:
    • Your name
    • Your contact information (phone, address, email)
    • Your age
    • The type of art you create
  2. Submit a Letter of Recommendation. Ask a teacher, boss, or other mentor to write about why you should be the Isle Royale Teen Artist. This letter of recommendation can be given to you and turned in with your other application materials.
  3. One sample of artwork.
  4. Summer 2017 Availability Verification: June – August dates you and your guardian would be available to travel to Isle Royale for your 1-2 week exploration.
Submit the above materials, postmarked, by March 27, 2017 to:
  • Mail: ATTN: Isle Royale Teen Artist, Isle Royale National Park, 800 E. Lakeshore Dr. Houghton, MI 49931
  • Email: e-mail us
  • Drop off: At the Isle Royale Houghton Visitor Center (address same as mailing address above). Open Monday-Friday, 8:15 am to 4 pm EST.

Last updated: September 26, 2017

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Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


(906) 482-0984

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