Ely Arts and Heritage Center, formerly known as Ely Greenstone Public Art, is a nonprofit arts and heritage organization in the Ely, Minnesota area, whose goal is the enhancement of life through art and to recognize the rich heritage of the area.
Ely Arts and Heritage Center began as Ely Greenstone Public Art in 1998 with the completion of the Greenstone sculpture project at Whiteside Park, created by artist Mike Sinesio and funded by Forecast Public Artworks, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, as well as donations from the public and City of Ely.
The first Ely Greenstone Public Art mural, a mining scene by artist Bill Defenbaugh, was completed in 2000. Since then, four additional murals have been painted on buildings in Ely.
Children’s Art Camp began in 2001 and continues today as one of our most popular programs providing 50 children from 7-12 opportunities to try multiple art mediums such as: concrete stepping stones, painting, clay work, mosaics, book making, and stone carving.
The organization has been involved with the Ely Winter Festival activities since 2002, first hosting the snow carvers’ Icebreaker reception and the Beginner’s Snow Carving workshop.
The Holiday Workshop began in 2004. Building gingerbread houses and making Christmas ornaments, this has now evolved into the Holiday Fantasy for children of all ages and grown-ups which is planned and managed by Stone Soup.
In 2005 Greenstone hosted a day-long Adult Art Camp. Painting with oils, throwing pottery on a potter’s wheel, life drawing and carving stone are just a few of the activities that were offered. Today we offer annual weekend adult classes.
In July 2006 Greenstone held its first Juried Art Exhibit and Reception. With a Cordon Blue chef flown in from Hawaii and some of the most influential artwork in Northeastern Minnesota on exhibit, it was standing room only. We continue this annual art show with “Artist’s Choice” and a Gala grand opening reception. The Art Show continues for three days following the Gala. In 2019 we celebrate our 14th annual show.
Ely Arts and Heritage Center is a non-profit organization as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.
Funding for Ely Arts and Heritage Center projects has come from a variety of sources: Forecast Public Artworks, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Iron Range Resources, City of Ely, Ely Chamber of Commerce and private individuals and business firms.
John Seliga, Chair