Rabbit Island Foundation

Calumet, MI

Rabbit Island is a 91-acre forested island in Lake Superior three miles east of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. The island is composed of a native ecosystem standing upon solid bedrock and has never before been developed or subdivided. Bald eagles nest in the trees and the surrounding waters provide habitat for thriving lake trout and salmon populations. The majority of the island is held under a conservation easement granted by the Keweenaw Land Trust assuring its unique ecosystem will remain healthy in perpetuity. Rabbit Island will serve as a platform for science, art, preservation, and recreation for the generations.

Rabbit Island Residency programs provide time and space to investigate and challenge creative practices in a wilderness environment. Artists live and work on the island for 2-4 weeks, engaging directly with the landscape, responding to notions of conservation, ecology, and sustainability via their research and cultural practices. The residency reflects on the American continent’s four hundred year history of settlement and division of land and stems from the idea that in a developed society intelligent organization of wild spaces is one of the most civilized things we can pursue.

The island itself, an unsettled and undivided space, enables artists to present commentary on these ideas, creating interpretations and solutions to issues of global importance–climate change, loss of natural habitat, the value of pristine watersheds, the environmental implications of entrepreneurship, and so forth. Modern understanding of our natural reality, as well as our cause-and-effect relationship to it, dictates a need for principles worthy of our time. If artists do not create the work that defines this new space, who will? Art is perhaps the purest form of creation and serves fittingly as a symbol for all human constructions.

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