Tofte Lake Center

Now entering into our second decade, TLC provides residencies for artists who crave dedicated time to work on their projects, for creative individuals who seek individual growth through guided workshops or retreats, for organizations that want to make time to re/focus on their goals or mission, for leaders to gather to exchange ideas with colleagues in their field. 

TLC believes that every individual is creative at his/her core, and offers programming that enables the creative impulse to come to the fore. Through its artist-in-residence weeks, curated group projects, and guided retreats and workshops, TLC strives to create an environment where self and group expression can be extensively and intensively explored.

Lovingly referred to as Norm's Fish Camp (in honor of the resort's previous owner), TLC is situated in the Superior National Forest, adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), and offers boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and biking along with a sauna, library, meeting space, public performance space, artist studios and comfortable, fully-equipped cabins for our residents.

(banner photo by v paul virtucio)

 

Artist Spaces

Tofte Lake Center utilizes the facilities at Norm’s Fish Camp, which are designed to fully support artists in the creating of their work and community. These include residential cabinsstudio and performance spaces, and community areas.


Cabins

All four artist-in-residence cabins are hand-crafted wooden buildings with plenty of windows with views of Tofte Lake, and provide full kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Bedding and linens are provided.

Cabins and Rates: June - September 2019

Our goal is to provide affordable residencies to the fullest range of artists and arts organizations across race, class, gender, geography, age, and discipline. To ensure this, TLC substantially subsidizes each residency week. Your artist's share of the total cost is reflected below.

 
Loon loft.jpg

Loon

2 bedrooms (double bed/writing desk in each); loft/work-space (single bed, sleeper couch, desk); kitchen; bathroom; dining-living area with wood stove; deck with lake view plus screened in porch.


Your Cost is $1200 per week

Splake Deck.jpg

SPLAKE

1 bedroom (double bed), loft (2 single beds); kitchen; bathroom; dining-living area with wood stove; porch with lake view.


Your Cost is $1100 per week

Rainsbow inside kitchen.jpg

Rainbow

1 bedroom (2 single beds); eat-in kitchen; bathroom; living area with writing desk; deck overlooking the lake.


Your Cost is $800 per week

Frog and deck.jpg

FROG

1 bedroom (double bed); newly remodeled kitchen; bathroom; added sitting room with wood stove; spacious deck.


Your Cost is $800 per week

 

Studio and Performance Spaces

We offer these places for our artists in residence.

Osprey Deck

A screened gazebo atop the ledgerock with view of lake and woods, for writing and meetings.

The Owl Library

A space for meetings, reading, writing and games, with hundreds of art and theater books.

Doodle.jpg

The Doodle

Our visual artist studio, with desks and countertops for art projects, with printer, office, and art supplies, nestled in the woods.

Aerie Circle.jpg

The Aerie

Our recently completed rehearsal and performance space boasts a dancer-friendly Harlequin floor, with views of trees and lots of breeze. A new sound system and great acoustics allow for live concerts, dance, and all kinds of movement. Weekly yoga.

 

Community Areas

Picnic Area.jpg

Picnic Area

Picnic tables and a campfire pit overlook Tofte Lake and its remarkable dinnertime sunsets.

Roadhouse.JPG

The RoadHouse

A casual dining and gathering space with kitchen facilities, fireplace for chilly spring and fall nights, basic technical equipment, and internet. Ideal for conversation, work sharing, and games, especially ping pong matches.

 
sauna.jpg

Sauna

This traditional Scandinavian wood-fired sauna is located on the lakeshore for quick leaps into the lake before and after a cleansing sauna bath.

Evening Kayaks.jpg

Recreational Equipment

TLC provides our artists use of rowboats, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and a sailboat to explore the secluded Tofte Lake.

 

TLC at Norm's Fish Camp 

IMG_5118.JPG

Residency Programs

 

Tofte Lake Center strives towards racial equity and inclusion and provides a range of programs for artists and arts organizations across disciplines to participate in week-long residencies. We hope you will apply to be considered for one or more of our season's fifteen weeks of programming.

 

Our application deadline has passed for residencies during the 2019 season. Applications will open for the 2020 season on October 1, 2019.

Residency Options:

The Emerging Artists PRogram

The Emerging Artists Program, sponsored by the Jerome Foundation, is celebrating its tenth year of offering artists from Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City an opportunity to further explore their work, and to connect and share their process with artists across disciplines. 

The Gaia Fenna Memorial FELLOWSHIP

The Gaia Fenna Memorial Fellowship, in its fifth year, was created in honor of artist and nature lover Gaia Fenna, a close friend and supporter of Tofte Lake Center.  This weeklong retreat is open to a Minnesota artist who exemplifies Gaia's spirit, passions, and values in their work and life.

Individual artist and Group/Organizational Residencies

Individual Artist and Group/Organizational Residencies are offered for both individual artists and groups or organizations looking for space and time to connect, create, and reflect together in community and in nature.


Guided Workshop Retreats

 

Guided Workshop Retreats can be organized around any creative discipline. These have included mosaic instruction, visual art and photography, artistic interaction with nature, installation art, and Forest Bathing.

The 2019 Guided Workshop Retreat:

Shinrin Yoku/Forest Bathing with Tom Bezek applications are still open for this!

 

Grant Opportunities to help fund your Residency

 

There are several grant opportunities to assist you in funding your residency. (Note that some listed here are Minnesota-specific)

 

Plan Your Stay

If you’ve never visited the Boundary Waters before, you will soon discover that you are in a very special place here at the “end of the road.”  If you’ve spent time up here before, hopefully your experience here at Tofte Lake Center will be just as unique as the place itself.  We hope that you will be able to take full advantage of the combination of relaxation, work, community, solitude, nature, and activity that TLC has to offer, and come away from your stay both rejuvenated and reenergized.


Getting Here

Driving

From Minneapolis/St. Paul to Ely

  • Take 35W or 35 E north, these freeways converge into 35 North

  • Take the exit to Cloquet, HWY 33

  • From HWY 33, merge onto HWY 53 North towards Virginia

  • 4 miles after Virginia, exit on to HWY 169 East towards Ely (not Hibbing!)

  • Stay on HWY 169 into Ely where it turns into Sheridan Street

From Ely to Tofte Lake Center

  • Continue East on Sheridan Street (HWY 169)

  • Tofte Lake Center is located 15 miles from Ely, at 2209 Fernberg Road (Check your odometer as you pass the Dairy Queen)

  • Continue past the International Wolf Center and the town of Winton

  • We are 11 miles further than the Veterans on the Lake (GPS will tell you otherwise)!

  • Just before the Garden Lake Bridge the road name changes to the Fernberg Road (Lake County 18)

  • The entrance to Tofte Lake Center is on the left, 100 yards after the public boat launch

Flying

Hibbing Airport

  • Hibbing Airport is an hour and forty-five minute drive from Tofte Lake Center

Duluth Airport

  • Duluth Airport is a 2+ hour drive from Tofte Lake Center

Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport is a 4-5 hour drive from Tofte Lake Center

Ground Transportation

Ely Safe Ride

  • The Ely Safe Ride service provides shuttles locally in the Ely area and between Ely/Duluth and Ely/Minneapolis

Skyline Shuttle

  • The Skyline Shuttle offers 14 shuttles per day/night between Duluth/Minneapolis Airport

 

Arrival and Departure Information

Arrival

Cabins will be ready by 2:00 p.m. on Monday.  

Check-In

Please check in at the orange Roadhouse Building upon your arrival. 

Parking

We ask that you park your cars by the Roadhouse Building. Please only drive down to the cabins to load and unload your belongings.

Departure

Departure time from the cabins is noon on Sunday. As you vacate the cabin, please strip the beds and pillows that have been used and leave towels and linens on the bedroom floor.  Please leave the cabin as you found it. Also, please remove all unused food products and use the garbage/recycling bins provided.

What to Bring

The weather here can go through four seasons in a day. It doesn't hurt to have these things on hand to be prepared and make your stay most comforatble.

  • Indoor shoes or slippers (shoes off in cabins)

  • Layered clothing for temperature changes throughout the day

  • Rain jacket

  • Umbrella

  • Hat (for sun AND bugs!)

  • Water bottle

  • Bug repellant

  • Sunscreen

  • Flashlight

  • Walking or hiking boots

  • Sauna/lake shoes and towel

  • Journal

  • Camera


During Your Stay

Cooking Indoors And Out

Each cabin is equipped with a full kitchen and kitchenware for your cooking and dining pleasure. There are gas grills and a wood burning pizza oven here for your culinary enjoyment!

Telephone

Wifi calls can be made from the Roadhouse Building.

There is no communal phones at TLC. Cellphone reception exists at various locations along the Fernberg Road as you drive back towards Ely.  The nearest location for some cellphone services is the lookout point at Rookie Pond, about ½ mile west on Fernberg Road towards town.

Laundry

Bed linens and bath towels are provided for your use. There are no guest laundry services provided at TLC - there are two laundromats in town on Sheridan Street open until 9:00pm.

Pets

Pets are only permitted with prior permission, and an added non-refundable cleaning fee of $50 applies.

Internet Access

Wireless Internet access is provided on-site in the Roadhouse Building. In Ely, it is provided at the Public Library free of charge, and at The Front Porch and Northern Grounds Coffee Shops.

Recreation

Boats, hiking trails, bicycles and 12 acres of forest and lakeshore are available for our artists to enjoy while in residence. Kayaks, rowboats, canoes, paddle boards, sailboat, and bicycles are all on-site, and arrangements can be made for one-day excursions on other lakes in the Boundary Waters as well. 

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

Tofte Lake Center is nestled near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota. The largest wilderness area east of the Rockies, the BWCAW consists of more than one million acres of protected forest and 1,500 waterways. Its clear lakes and green pine forests are unlike any other wilderness in the world. Read more about it on the BWCAW website.

Other Local Activities

Just 15 miles away, the town of Ely features shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops with internet access, a bowling alley, a golf course, and unique museums.

Learn about the native wildlife in the region at the acclaimed International Wolf Center and The North American Bear Center.

Visit the home of one of Ely’s most well-known and colorful characters, The Rootbeer Lady, at the Dorothy Molter Museum.

Ely boasts a vibrant arts scene, from the visual and literary to the performing arts. For more information about the Arts in Ely, check out the following sites: ARTS in Ely, What’s Up Ely, and ARTS in Ely Directory.

Resources We Love

We'd like to share with you some of what informs and inspires us here at TLC, so we've created a resource list for you of our favorite books, articles, videos, TED talks and more. It's a great list...and please don't spend too much time on your screen! We'd be thrilled if we knew you were outside in nature taking time to renew your creative spirit - just like we do here at TLC.

14292234_10155214670109097_2909948818701967858_n.jpg

nature

Calm Before the Storm.JPG

creativity & mindfulness

Writing in Osprey.JPG

literature

Schedules

 

IMG_2525-2.jpg

2019 Residencies

June 10-16

McKnight Fellows Program Leaders

June 17-23

Pangea world Theater Organizational retreat

June 24-30

April Sellers Dance

July 1-7

NET TLC ensemble exchange Lab

July 8-14

TLC Board Retreat

July 15-28

Emerging Artists individual residencies

July 29-August 4

Mcknight Dancers & Choreographers

August 5-11

deja stowers mcknight residency

August 12-18 Emerging Artists group residency

August 19-25

UTNT (UT new theatre) showcase retreat

August 26-sept 1

pangea world theater and teatro del pueblo collaborative residency week

sept 2-8

playwrights’ center fellows retreat

sept 9-15

individual artists residencies

sept 16-22

shinrin yoku guided workshop* & gaia Fenna Memorial fellowship

sept 23-29

individual artists residencies

*space is still available! Apply now

Ensemble.jpg

2019 Public Performances

stay tuned - our 2019 events and performances are still being programmed. we hope to see you there!

095.jpg

2019 Yoga Classes

our yoga classes are offered twice a week during our summer season. please check back in the spring for our 2019 schedule.