We are gearing up for a busy summer on the island! Here is the Rabbit Island summer update blitz.

In Residence

Andrew Ranville, who recently finished climbing the seven tallest mountains of Morocco’s Western High Atlas, returns to the island for nearly two months this summer. He will be working towards his solo exhibition at the DeVos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University. No Island Is A Man, opening on the 14th of September, will be the first annual museum show devoted to artists-in-residence on the island.

We are planning to further expand exhibitions in the fall/winter as well. More on this as things unfold but project ideas have been bounced around for NYC, London, and, if we’re lucky, Berlin.

Several other artists, musicians and collaborators will be visiting the island this summer. Along with Andrew these folks will be helping “beta test” the residency program, helping inform decisions about logistics, equipping the facilities, and how we run the residency program in general. They are—

Jeremy Quentin of indie/folk project Small Houses spent five days in solitude on the island in late June wrapping up his forthcoming album. He tweaked it while camped out in the island shelter and on his last day sang through each track and called it done. He also endured a character building thunderstorm that brought the heavist 2 day rainfall ever recorded in nearby Duluth, MN, along with 45mph winds. (Eat your heart out Bon Iver).  

Sara Maynard, who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to enable her residency, will combine her visit with some long-distance swimming training–-a true arts + athletics residency. Joining us for a week later in July, we hope she’ll be the first artist to swim to the island!

Will Holman of Chicago, one of the finalists of our architecture competition will be working on various architecture projects to help improve and expand our facilities for future resident artists.

Jono Sturt and Thomas Affeldt of Detroit were also finalists in our architecture competition and will be working on a limited portion of their submission and getting a feel for the lay of the land.

Miles Mattison, an artist from California, will be leading the island sign-making efforts on the island in mid/late August.

Cabin-Time, a Michigan-based nomadic artist residency program started by Geoffrey Holstad will be coming to the island for a few days at the end of August. Six artist in total will working together on a collaborative project.

Steven Michael Holmes is the creator of Mostly Midwest, a music blog championing the Michigan music scene. Check out a video from last year recorded on the island. Steven will be bringing a few more musicians out this summer. 

Architect partners Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis will be coming for a few days  to design and construct a community table for the island. 

The table will be used for a wild foods dinner we are planning at the end of July. Kelly Geary, a Brooklyn-based chef, and some of her chef friends from the Underground Food Collective in Madison, Wisconsin will be preparing this using locally sourced produce, fish, berries and other provisions from the island and nearby farms.

In a similar vein chef TJ Girard of New York and several supporters of our project from around the country have submitted recipes for our island cookbook. (“Julia Goes Camping: Trout Meuniere” is a fun one). We will be experimenting with these on the island and are still accepting recipe submissions.

Marlin Ledin of Small Boat Voyager will be sailing from Wisconsin waters to meet up with us in early August. Since spring he has been solo on a sailboat across the Canadian northshore documenting the lake and it’s surroundings through music, field recordings, and writing.

The folks at Kill Devil Hill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, have been comissioned to stitch together a Rabbit Island flag which is currently in progress. When finished it will look similar to this.

With their feedback and support we will be ready to officially establish the residency program this Autumn/Winter, opening it to artists and researchers worldwide.


This year we’ve received some wonderful product donations from several small, independent companies who have a spirit similar to the Rabbit Island project. We’ll be sure to let you know a little bit more about them as we land on the island and organize main camp.

A year on and we are still getting regular emails from people all over the world, interested in supporting the project in one way or another. Some people want to donate further funds, old camp equipment, books and more. Some send simple notes of encouragement. All have been gratefully received. If you are interesting in supporting the project personally do get in touch! support@rabbit-island.org

Have some old books that would find a good home in the Rabbit Island library? We’d be happy to receive them. Check out this blog post for more on book donations.

Have some old tools or camping or kitchen equipment laying about? Check out this post for our “reverse garage sale” wants and needs.

We are looking forward to a great summer on the island, and we’ll make sure to send some updates now and again. We’ll even post some images and videos when we have internet access on our few mainland visits.

July 7, 2012