Arts & Culture

Marquette may be known for its outdoor adventures, but the arts and culture scene is equally fascinating. From fine art shows and local museums to symphony orchestras and iron ore history, the Upper Peninsula’s hidden gem is a cultural mecca waiting to be discovered.  

Attend Local Art Events 

Art on the Rocks is a juried art show featuring fine art, pottery, photography and painting, art activities, and face painting for kids. The event culminates in a black-tie awards ceremony honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the Marquette arts community.  

Also held on the shores of Lake Superior, Outback Art Fair features the region’s finest artists, plus food trucks and more to keep you well-fed while you enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. 

Discover the Past at Marquette Museums 

Learn the storied maritime history of the region at Marquette Maritime Museum. Tour exhibits, including the famed Edmund Fitzgerald Shipwreck. The Marquette Maritime Museum also has one of the best collections of lighthouse lenses anywhere in the Great Lakes.

Take a trip through U.P. history at the Marquette Regional History Museum. From artifacts left by people who left their first footprints here over 11,000 years ago when the glaciers melted to authentic Ojibwe wigwam and one-of-a-kind birch bark canoes to Yooper innovation and traditions.

Looking for a place to wander with the kids? The Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum features educational and fun displays that encourage little ones to use their imaginations. Get behind the wheel of a dump truck, explore a fantastic forest, and discover the mysteries of the human body all in one day.

Devos Art Museum on the campus of Northern Michigan University exhibits rotating works of art by the best and brightest artists in the Upper Peninsula. The museum’s permanent collection of over 1,500 objects has been collected over the past three decades and has grown to achieve an impressive range of holdings.

Ishpeming, the birthplace of organized skiing in America, is also home to the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. The museum honors and celebrates the athletes who have significantly enriched the global sports of skiing and snowboarding.

Experience Performance Arts 

Marquette Arts and Culture Center is the heartbeat of arts and culture in the region. The center provides workshops, art exhibitions, community art projects, performance events, meeting spaces for arts organizations, an arts calendar, and coordination of national and local heritage festivals. 

As the premier orchestra in the region, Marquette Symphony Orchestra offers exciting concerts including classical, pop, newly commissioned works, old favorites, concerti, symphonies, tone poems, and everything in between. The orchestra features full-time professional musicians and engages area youth while providing high-quality music and contributing to the vibrant cultural arts scene in Marquette. 

Watch History in the Making 

The Ore Docks in Marquette personify the region’s rich iron ore history, a legacy that is still going strong today. The dock was built in 1911 and is commercially active, with approximately 9.5 to 10 million tons of ore shipped from the site each year. 

Whether you’re attending an art show on the shore of Lake Superior or exploring Lake Superior's rich maritime history, create lasting memories in Marquette on the arts and culture beat.  

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