Michigan Legacy Art Park and Crystal Mountain in Benzie County to Host a Spectator Art Competition on August 15, 2019, part of the Paint Grand Traverse Week Plein Air Painting Festival and Competition

A new exciting art competition will be held in Benzie County on Thursday, August 15 at Crystal Mountain and the Michigan Legacy Art Park. The Quick Draw Competition, a part of the Paint Grand Traverse Week-long Plein Air Painting Festival and Competition, will be an exciting, fast-paced event where 100 artists will work to complete their paintings in under two hours. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged to watch the artists’ work as they create masterful landscapes and full-scale paintings right before their eyes. Quick Draw Competition artists will paint for two hours from 3 – 5 p.m. before turning in their work for jurying. Guests are invited to enjoy light bites, refreshments, live music, and the beautiful grounds of Crystal Mountain and the Michigan Legacy Art Park before awards are announced at 6:30 p.m.  A quick, one-time-only sale of the artwork will immediately follow, with proceeds benefiting Crooked Tree Arts Center and Michigan Legacy Art Park.

Paint Grand Traverse Week is presented by Crooked Tree Arts Center in Traverse City. Paint Grand Traverse is a week-long plein air (from the French en plein air, or “in open air) painting festival and competition featuring artists from all over the United States. The artists spend the week painting in a variety of scenic locations throughout the region, and compete for cash awards and prizes.

Make It Benzie will participate in the Quick Draw Competition Event on August 15 by sponsoring free Chairlift Rides from 2 – 6 p.m. at Crystal Mountain to allow all interested spectators to observe the art competition in process and to enjoy the beauty of Benzie County. (Chairlift rides are normally $7 per person but will be free to all riders from 2 – 6 p.m. on August 15.)

Mary Carroll, President of Make It Benzie, says, “We hope that many people will visit Crystal Mountain and Michigan Legacy Art Park on August 15th to observe these fantastic artists during this one-day competition. It is our way of allowing everyone to experience the beauty of Benzie County and enjoy one of our many events that take place here all year long.”

Michigan Legacy Art Park Executive Director Joe Beyer comments, “The sponsoring of chairlift rides to the top of the mountain by Make It Benzie not only gives access to some of the painters who want a “top of the mountain view” to paint during the competition, it will also give spectators a free ride to the top where they can chat with the painters during the process of creating their work.

Artists will select their locations for painting throughout the grounds of Crystal Mountain and the Michigan Legacy Art Park earlier in the day on August 15.

Beyer concludes, “This will be a wonderful event for guests who love to see artists in action from start to finish. Each of the artists competing will be selling their pieces, ranging in price from about $100 to $500, after the event in a slope side tent at the base of the mountain where the awards show will take place.“

The Quick Draw Competition event will include the free chairlift rides, a cash bar and live music. Proceeds from the event will benefit Crooked Tree Art Center and Michigan Legacy Art Park

Associate Director Megan Kelto of Crooked Tree Arts Center says, “It’s going to be a really fun event, and an amazing opportunity for friends and fans of Crystal Mountain and the Michigan Legacy Art Park to buy wonderful paintings of the property, created on the spot.”

President Mary Carroll of Make It Benzie says, We are excited to offer the “Benzie Treasure Trove” package through October 31, 2019 with up to $300 worth of free and discounted goods and services for visitors to Benzie County this summer and fall who spend two consecutive nights at one of the participating lodging establishments.We have something for everyone in Benzie – whether you’re interested in participating in arts activities and gallery browsing, active recreational experiences, or want to spend time with family at our great beaches. Benzie County is an absolutely beautiful place “to be” at this time of the year and throughout the fall.” 

Discover Benzie County along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and check out this limited time package running through October 31, 2019 – Benzie Treasure Trove.

Visit or call 800-882-5801 to find out more. Get the true flavor of Northern Michigan’s relaxed pace, exciting adventures, endless exploration, and exquisite natural beauty – all waiting for you in Benzie County.

See more details about Make It Benzie 2019 Events

More about Benzie County

Benzie County is the smallest county in Michigan and includes the quaint towns and villages of Beulah, Benzonia, Elberta, Frankfort, Honor, Lake Ann and Thompsonville. It is a perfect vacation getaway with a variety of lodging locations, from a world class resort and historic hotels to B&B’s, motels, cabins and vacation rental homes, offering lodging with modern amenities along with unique and relaxing Up-North experiences.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which borders Benzie County, features miles of magnificent beauty and lodging nearby. The majestic Crystal Lake, one of the top ten largest lakes in Michigan, as well as the two rivers – Betsie and Platte – as well as over 50 other inland lakes are also popular vacation destinations with lodging opportunities available along the water.

Benzie County is known as one of the top places in Michigan to experience outdoor exercise, sports and recreation year-round, and has over 100 miles of trails and 60 miles of shoreline, and over 25 miles of coastline along Lake Michigan. Outdoor activities during spring, summer and fall include charter fishing, inland river and lake fishing, golfing, biking, hiking, running, kayaking, paddle boarding and much more. Iconic lighthouses, art fairs & galleries  and culture  surround Benzie and include Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Elizabeth Lane Oliver Art Center, Lakeside Shakespeare Theater, Michigan Legacy Art Park and the historic Garden Theater.

There are many unique and locally owned restaurants in Benzie including delis, farm-to-table, Asian, Mexican, Italian and more. Breweries include Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort, Lake Ann Brewing in Lake Ann, Brose Brewing in Beulah, St. Ambrose Cellars Winery and Meadery in Beulah, and Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville.

Benzie County is only 130 miles north of Grand Rapids, 235 miles north of Detroit, 290 miles north of Chicago, 295 miles north of Fort Wayne and 380 miles north of Indianapolis. Plan a couple of days or more and get a true flavor of the relaxed pace and exquisite natural beauty of Benzie County.

More About Paint Grand Traverse 

Paint Grand Traverse is a week-long plein air painting festival and competition featuring artists from across the country. Artists spend the week painting in a variety of scenic locations throughout the region, and compete for cash awards and prizes. The week also includes live painting demonstrations and lectures, a pint-sized paint out for kids, and an exciting, fast-paced Quick Draw competition. The week concludes with the Paint Grand Finale, a gala party and art sale where the major awards are announced. The inaugural event took place August 13-18, 2018. Dates for the 2019 event are August 12-18.

The Grand Traverse region is located in northwest lower Michigan, and is known the world over for its gorgeous scenery, hundreds of miles of Lake Michigan coast, and historic small towns and villages. The largest of these, Traverse City, is nestled on the southern shore of West Grand Traverse Bay, and is home to Crooked Tree Arts Center – Traverse City.

Paint Grand Traverse is presented by Crooked Tree Arts Center. Founded in 1971, CTAC is a community-based arts center serving northern Michigan from campuses in Traverse City and Petoskey. They offer events and classes in visual arts, dance, music, culinary arts, theatre, and more.

What is plein air painting?
From the French en plein air, or “in open air”, plein air artists work outside, in natural lighting conditions, interpreting the ephemeral atmospheric and lighting conditions. Unlike studio painting, where artists may take weeks or even months to complete a piece, plein air artists work in a matter of hours to capture the mood and light of that moment.