Teen Artist

View of the Rock Harbor Lodge complex from the air.
The Rock Harbor area where Teen Artists will stay


Become an Isle Royale Teen Artist

How Do I Get to the Island? Where Do I Stay, Eat? How Do I Apply? Summer Program Dates

The Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration is for 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.

  • 3 teen artists will be chosen for summer 2020.

Elisha Houle, 2016 teen artist, said of her time: "Isle Royale and the Teen Artist Exploration 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."

Ranger III main passenger lounge showing seats.
Main Passenger Lounge of the Ranger III


Teen Artist Exploration Program

Over the course of about a week between June and August, selected teen artists can explore the island as they 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, lessons, and assistance in several different ways during the artistic and wilderness exploration. Let the solitude and serenity of the island inspire your creativity.

How Do I Get to the Park?

Complimentary transportation to the park is provided on the National Park Service vessel Ranger III, a 165-foot ship operating out of Houghton, Michigan. Artists are expected to arrive in Houghton the day before the ferry departs in order to acquire supplies, load materials and supplies aboard the Ranger III, and check over any last minute details with the Artist-in-Residence Coordinator.

Where do I Stay & Eat?

Teen artists and their families (up to 6 people total) will be staying in Rock Harbor Housekeeping Cottages through the Rock Harbor Lodge. Bedding will be provided, but you may want to bring camping gear and supplies if interested in an overnight excursion into the park. You are on your own for meals, though sometimes communal meals may be arranged for the program. The cottages have a full kitchen. It is suggested you bring food with you to prepare. A small selection of food and supplies can be purchased from the Rock Harbor Lodge Store. If selected, the Artist-in-Residence Coordinator will communicate all of these logistical considerations and concerns to you and your family.

Program Requirements

  • Selected artists must be ages 13 - 18 at time of program participation.
  • Selected artists will be park volunteers.
  • Selected artists will share their experience with the public by demonstration, talk, or other means with the assistance of a mentor. The presentation will depend on the artists' medium, interests, and experience.
  • Selected artists must donate a piece of artwork representative of their stay on Isle Royale to the park within one year of their experience. The donated piece will offer the public an opportunity to experience our national heritage through the artist's unique interpretation of Isle Royale.
  • If seventeen or younger, selected artists must have a legal parent or guardian accompany them.
  • Artists considering applying must be available for the proposed Teen Artist Exploration session. The following dates are confirmed:
    • July 17 - 25, 2020

Program Sponsors

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.


How to Apply

Summer Program Dates

Interested artists must be available for the potential summer 2020 session. Program dates are confirmed.

  • Friday July 17 through Saturday July 25, 2020

Application Open Period

Each year, the application period is open: January 2 through February 14. To be considered, all application materials must be received through the online submission process by 11:59 pm on the closing date.

Program Selections

All applicants will be notified no later than May 1 whether they were selected for the upcoming summer program.

Return to Top of Teen Artist Exploration Page

Last updated: January 7, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


(906) 482-0984

Contact Us