Winter Solstice Events 2012

A collaborative effort of

Three Pines Studio

The Mackinaw Library

The International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands

The Mackinaw City Area Arts Council





Solstice comes from the Latin phrase “sun stands still” and is the first official day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.


It is known as the “shortest” day of the year, having the least number of daylight hours.


The Winter Solstice has been a day for celebration since ancient times and is often a celebration of light. This tradition started with the fear that the fading light would never return unless humans kept watch, had a huge celebration and extolled the possibility of its restoration. Following the solstice, the days begin to get brighter again, and eventually, the summer sunlight returns.


Students in the Mackinaw School System will create composite paintings of their

versions of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night in celebration of the winter’s dark sky. The paintings  will be displayed at Three Pines Studio in Cross Village and in Mackinaw City at the Library, Schools, the Dark Sky Park and other locations


Begin your solstice journey at Three Pines Studio, in Cross Village, with workshops, presentations, food and fun on December 15 from 2-7 pm.


Go stargazing at the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands in Mackinaw City on December 15 from 8-10 pm and participate in the Mayan Astronomy Event. Stargazing not only lets you connect with the natural world, but it is another way to observe the celebration of light.




 Starry Starry Night North

Winter 2012 Art Project



This project will create a collage of all the paintings submitted. Small paintings ( 6” x 8”canvas paintings) will be put together to create a large composite painting of the stars over the Northern Michigan landscape at Winter Solstice in the spirit of Van Gogh’s painting, The Starry Night. Depending on the number of participants, there may be more than one composite painting.


*The group painting will be exhibited at Three Pines Studio, The International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands and The Mackinaw Library beginning December 15, 2012.  Other locations to be determined by the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council


Project Rules:

Paint your own interpretation of Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night." Van Gogh depicted a night full of life and energy, not of isolation and uncertain darkness.


You will be assigned a section of a large painting. Create your own painting to express similar emotions. Using the Winter Solstice night as inspiration, try to capture contrasting feelings that come to you: coziness on a cold night, starlight shining beautifully in an otherwise dark night, the bigness of the sky and the smallness of our northern landscape.


Every participant will be given:

1) A 6”x 9” canvas board

2) A copy of van Gogh’s Starry Night painting to examine.

3) Instructions as to what part of the sky they are to create

4) Art supplies may be provided . Acrylic paints and acrylic modeling paste will     be used.