Higher Art Gallery’s annual Community Fundraiser Exhibit, now in its third year, connects the power of art with local nonprofits and good causes. This year, the Traverse City event will support Wings of Wonder and the Little Traverse Bay Bands (LTBB) of Odawa Indians, who have partnered to build the first Tribal Eagle Aviary and Rehabilitation Center east of the Mississippi River.

The Migizi Aviary will be located north of Harbor Springs on LTBB land. In support of this incredible project, Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City is donating proceeds from its Community Fundraiser Exhibit “Artists for Wings of Wonder” to help build the aviary (it will break ground once it’s secured the first $200,000).

Gallery owner Shanny Brooke has invited more than 20 artists, many of whom are Native American, to create raptor-themed art, which will be sold and a percentage gifted to Wings of Wonder. Paintings, sculpture and photography are some of the mediums the selected artists will be presenting work in.

A ticketed event will be held on Sept. 10 from 6–8 p.m. (ticket proceeds will be donated) with live music by local singer Arianna Wasserman, raffles and a cultural dance performance by Roberta Shalifoe, founder of Eagle Spirit Dancers. In addition, guests will enjoy two complimentary glasses of wine and hors d’ oeuvres catered by Chow Bella Catering. Tickets are available at MyNorthTickets.com.

The “Artists for Wings of Wonder” exhibit will be displayed at Higher Art Gallery and open to the public through September 30.  

Higher Art Gallery Q&A

Tell us more about using art to support a local cause. 

Shanny Brooke: The idea behind the community fundraiser has been something that I had in my mind long before I opened the gallery. I have found that the majority of artists and individuals who love art also seem to share an overall feeling of wanting to contribute to the betterment of society.

So, I have taken my desire to want to be a part of our community, and also what I think is good business sense which is to bring artists, art lovers and even people who perhaps have never thought much about art, and brought them together. This opportunity brings awareness to all of the involved things: the gallery, the artists and of course the cause we are supporting. 

Who are some of the artists who will be participating?

SB: There will be around 20 artists from our region and beyond. These are just a few: Em Randall, Michelle Tock York, Glenn Wolff, Julie Kradel, Melonie Steffes and Mark Mehaffey.

Why did you decide to support Wings of Wonder this year?

SB: I chose Wings of Wonder because I have a connection with Rebecca Lessard, as her partner Ken Scott shows here in the gallery. Also, when I heard about the new Tribal Raptor Center, it really struck a chord with me as I am an avid bird lover and I also had long been hoping to do something to support and bring attention to our area’s tribes. Turning the raptor rehab over to the Little Traverse Bay Bands seemed like such a natural fit.

Lastly, I always consider what the theme of art could be to tie in with the nonprofit. To me, a Bird of Prey-themed show seemed like it would be a beautiful show which could appeal to a lot of artists and visitors.

More Events at Higher Art Gallery

Higher Art Gallery is excited to welcome back the energy of live music with a bi-weekly Monday night concert featuring The Jeff Haas Trio. Join them for “Collaboration,” an intimate, multi-disciplinary art experience. Jeff’s trio, with Bruce Dondero on upright bass and drummer Will Harris, will perform favorites from the Great American Songbook as well as original music exploring avenues for cross-cultural collaboration.

Grab your tickets now for the upcoming event dates: Aug. 2, Aug. 16 & Aug. 30