Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice – A Celebration of Local Artists

This program is presented by Studio 23’s Artist Collective. A group that learns and creates together. Michigan Sugar supports the local arts, we thank them for their dedication to our community.

The grand finale of the Summer Solstice will be The Farms of Great Lakes Bay Region Plein Air Paint-Out. Regional artist will gather and paint on June 19, 2021 throughout the day. The paintings will be available for sale during the Sunday, June 20, 2021 Public Reception starting at 2pm. Cheer the plein air artists with their Facebook Fundraisers as a show of support. These will start popping up on Facebook soon!

Plein air artists, we are calling you!

Call for Artists 

Click here for application.


June 16, 2021, 5 p. m.

Kick off event! Join Studio 23 in the galleries and kick off our weekend of events. Painters & Potters is our current exhibition, featuring the students and instructors of the art center.

Our ‘Sails Away’ painting will begin this evening. This painting will be a collaboration between eight artists. Each week, one artist will work on the piece of art with their medium of choice. Raffle tickets will be sold, for your chance to win this artwork!

Refreshments and light snacks will be served.

June 17, 2021, 7 p. m.

Join Studio 23 virtually and hear from three experts in their field. We will be joined by Phil Eich of Storyville, Laura Horwath of Ferne Boutique and Nancy Thayer of Nancy Thayer Paintings. Each of these experts connect with their community through storytelling, Instagram and Linked In. This event is free, thanks to our sponsor Michigan Sugar.

You must preregister for this event:

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Meet our panelists: Phil Eich of Storyville, Laura Horwath of Ferne Boutique and Nancy Thayer of Nancy Thayer Paintings. 



June 18, 2021, 12 p. m.

Join Studio 23 and the Writing Center of SVSU for a workshop on grant writing and artist statements. There are many opportunities for artists to write grants for the creation of artwork, residencies and exhibitions. The Writing Center of SVSU guide us through these steps. We will also focus on our artist statements which help us apply for shows and market ourself as artists.

This program is free, thanks to our sponsor Michigan Sugar.

You must preregister for this event:

This event will be hosted in person at Studio 23/The Arts Center. We are limited to 15 people. If you are unable to attend in person, we do have a virtual option for you! Please contact us. 989-894-2323

Meet our presenter Helen Racia-Klotz:

Helen Raica-Klotz is the director of the Saginaw Valley State (SVSU) Writing Center, the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, and the co-director of the SVSU Community Writing Center,  She has her Masters degree in English from CMU and currently resides with her husband and dog in Bay City.

June 19, 2021, 8 a. m. – 5 p. m.

The Farms of Great Lakes Bay Region Plein Air Paint-Out 2021

Cash Awards, Wet-Paint Sales, VIP Preview, Public Reception, and Exhibition during Studio 23 Summer Solstice Art-a-thon.

Generously sponsored by Michigan Sugar

Greetings, Artists! The Farms of Great Lakes Bay Region Plein Air Paint-Out is open to Michigan artists and will take place on farms within a 30 mile radius of Bay City, Michigan. Artists will have the opportunity to create paintings on location at farms who supply Michigan Sugar with sugar beets. Once you are registered you will receive a list of farms to rank as to your preference to paint.

This event is part of our Summer Solstice Art-A-Thon. In lieu of registration fee, we are requesting  that each artist start a Facebook Fundraiser for Studio 23 where family and friends can pledge donations in your name. We will help you create your individualized fundraiser event with customized photos.

Here are examples of what the Facebook Fundraiser Artist Campaigns will look like.


Thanks to our sponsor, Michigan Sugar, we have exciting cash prizes that will be awarded.

First prize: $600

Second prize: $300

Third prize: $100

The Farms of Great Lakes Bay Region Plein Air Paint-Out Schedule

  • Artists meet at Studio 23 Bay City for check-in between 8 –10 am. Substrates will be stamped for eligibility. 
  • On-location painting at the farms begins at 8:30 am that day and ends at 4 pm. 
    • All paintings need to be framed and wired for hanging by 5 pm. Studio 23 will have a framing area set but artists are responsible to bring frame, wire, hardware and tools they may need. 
  • Completed paintings will be secured at 5 pm the evening of June 19, 2021. 
  • Artists are invited to return the next day, Sunday, June 20 at 1 pm. There will be an early VIP preview for sponsors, farmers, artists, and donors starting at 1 pm with the opportunity for early sales. Public reception with award ceremony and continued sales will begin at 2 pm.  
Artists, for more information go to the registration link here:

June 20, 2021, 1 p. m.

Paint Out Reception, celebrating our local farms and local artists. Join us in the galleries and see the artwork created during the Paint Out Event. Our juror Rob Clark will be announcing the prizes and congratulating all of our local artists.

This event is free and open to the public.


Hands on Workshops during Summer Solstice

This special Workshop Series is designed for students and artists working with the colored pencil, ink, and graphite mediums. Each workshop day will focus on a specific waterscape scene with hands on instruction, large screen demonstrations, and a photo reference guide. The program does require some previous drawing experience and was created for beginning and intermediate levels. At the conclusion of each workshop, students and artists will have the option of taking home the workshop assignment and contacting the artist for ongoing advice and a critique of their final composition. The first workshop will focus on a quiet or still water scene while the second will involve interpreting a moving stream of water. Each setting will also include some foliage and landscape rock.


Cost of our workshop is only $25 for members and $35 for non-members thanks to the generous grant from the Bay Area Community Foundation!

Workshop will take place Saturday, June 12th from 10am until 5pm.

You may register for this workshop online or by calling Studio 23 at 989-894-2323.

The Ways of Water- Colored Pencil Workshop with Erwin Lewandowski

As part of our Summer Solstice celebration, join renowned artist Armin Mersmann and immerse yourself into a week-long study of drawing and the art of observation. We all see the world around us, but do we really look, take in the forms, shapes, and structures as an artist does? Just relying on our memory alone does not suffice. Light, shadow, and details are hard enough to replicate when they’re right there in front of you. If you must invent them or try to go from memory, they appear even less convincing. Learn the difference between observational realism and intellectual realism by drawing what you see – not what you think you see. We will work only in graphite during this five-day workshop. Some of the topics include contour drawing, full-value rendering, negative/positive space, sight measuring (sighting) and the often-misunderstood grid system. Traditionally, observation drawing is from life and this will be emphasized but in today’s world, photo references play a very important role as long as you take your own photos. We will cover how to do this successfully and bring life into a drawing when working from a photograph. Every lesson in this class will be augmented by demos from Armin.


As part of our Summer Solstice celebration, this class will run Monday, June 14th until Friday June 18th from 10am until 5pm.

Cost is $350 for members and $380 for non-members.

**8 students minimum to run class!

Drawing Boot Camp with Armin Mersmann