Winners Announced for “A Day in the Park” Art Exhibition at Manoogian Art Museum

Mackinac State Historic Parks is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 juried art exhibition, “A Day in the Park – Celebrating 125 Years of Mackinac Island State Park,” at The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.

Nathan Kemler, Director of Galleries and Collections at Grand Valley State University, served as juror and selected “Ghost Ships off Truscott Street,” by Gail Chirco as best in show. As the overall winner, Chirco will receive The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum Gold Medal and a $2,500 cash prize. Her name will also be added to the list of annual Gold Medal winners, which is displayed in the museum.

“Sugar Loaf Rock Fox,” by Kristy Avery finished second, and “Shadow in the Water,” by Jennifer Wohletz, finished third. Three honorable mentions were also selected: “Marquette Park,” by Trish Morgan, “Arch Rock View,” by Beth Bynum, and “Arch Rock in Winter,” by Natalia Wohletz.

The second and third place winners receive cash prizes of $1,000 and $750, respectively, and the three honorable mention winners will receive cash prizes of $250 each. All prizes are donated by the Mackinac Arts Council and Mackinac Associates.

“Mackinac Island is a distinct locale, which conjures many different memories and experiences for those that travel there,” Kemler said. “The winners of this year’s contemporary art show are not only strong technical compositions but also successfully capture the unique nature of the park from varying creative perspectives.”

The pieces will be on display in the museum through Sunday, October 11 in the second floor gallery. Admission to the museum is $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for children ages 5-12 and includes Historic Downtown Mackinac. Admission to the museum is also included with a Fort Mackinac ticket, and is complimentary to overnight guests of Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau-member hotels.

““The annual contemporary art contest continues to support the mission of the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum by encouraging new artistic creations inspired by Mackinac Island,” said Phil Porter, Mackinac State Historic Parks director. “I invite resident and visitors alike to tour the exhibition and enjoy these wonderful Mackinac-inspired works of art.”

Mackinac State Historic Parks is also excited to announce the theme for the 2021 art contest: The Seasons of Mackinac. While Mackinac has always been known as a “summer gathering place,” its beauty is unparalleled in all seasons. We encourage artists working in all media to share with us their artistic visions of Mackinac Island and the Straits of Mackinac through the seasons. Subjects may be historic buildings, dramatic limestone formations, tranquil vistas, forested trails, water views, or whatev­er subject best captures the artist’s vision of Mackinac.

Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites—which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums—include Fort Mackinac, the Biddle House, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present the parks’ rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of future generations. Visitor information is available at (231) 436-4100 or on the web at