About the Show

Art on the Rocks began in 1959 when 35 artists and craftsman exhibited their work on the rocky hillside site of the Father Marquette statue in Marquette, Michigan. It was an open show chaired by Anita E. Meyland who coined the title, “Art on the Rocks.” Artwork on display at the time featured primarily painting, sculpture, and ceramics.

After five years, the list of artists grew to such a number that the original site could no longer accommodate the exhibit, so it was moved to historic and picturesque Presque Isle Park just north of town. After nearly five decades at Presque Isle Park, the Show was moved to the beautiful, centrally located Mattson Lower Harbor Park, located a stone’s throw away from downtown Marquette and the historic Lower Harbor Ore Dock.

Art on the Rocks gained national recognition in 1964 when TIME magazine featured Art on the Rocks in a full page commercial ad showing an artist’s painting of the unique show carrying the message, “A good place to spend the summer, Marquette, Michigan”.

Time Mag. Image 1960Art on the Rocks located at the Father Marquette statue (TIME Magazine, 1964)
John Krbec 1990
Art on the Rocks at Presque Isle Park (John Krbec, 1990)

Art on the Rocks continues to be held annually, always during the last full weekend in July. The event has become synonymous with the beautiful Upper Peninsula summer season, and every year we look forward to inviting over 100 artists representing a wide variety of artistic media to our beloved shore.

Admission to the Show is always free to the public. All proceeds from the show directly benefit the Lake Superior Art Association – the largest and oldest visual arts association in Upper Michigan – and their programs, scholarships, and advocacy efforts.