44° 37' 11'' N 86° 13' 42'' W

Surf Club


Sawbill Surf Club is a creative residency program hosting artists, writers, scientists, musicians, makers, surfers, and sailors for personal practice on the shores of Lake Michigan.

As we pilot our domestic systems, residencies at the Sawbill Surf Club are by invitation only. Drop us a line and introduce yourself if you would like to be considered for future opportunities. 

We would love to hear from you

What to Expect

The space in the place. The Sawbill Surf Club is a house on the edge of the dunes and the heart of the neighborhood, built in 1890 as a home for the local iron workers. A place with a porch on the north, east ,and west. There are two bedrooms, a reading nook, and a open studio space on the upper floor. The kitchen, living room, reading room, and weird barn room are on the ground floor. The backyard is the sand dunes and the neighbor is the sea. 

What’s here is for you. The tools and resources will continue to grow over time. Currently it is a simple home that can provide space for time and dreaming, scheming, sleeping in, and staying out. We will be adding a garage ceramic studio and more resources in the future. Naturally, we are working on our surfboard collection for you to catch that perfect Ocean Michigan wave. 

The Sawbill Surf Club provides low-to-no cost residencies for artists. We don’t provide an artist stipend or travel support, but we donate a percentage of every rental to the Future Artist Fund and hope to offer scholarships in the future. If you need financial support, let us know and we can work together to find local opportunities. All we really ask is that you sign the log book, clap for the sunset, and leave a few photos and thoughts to share with the community. 

Why Here

The shifting sand dunes
The distance of blues 
The family
The bugs
The salmon
The Cabbage Shed

If you are in search of the perfect wave, the Sawbill Surf Club is the place—the place where maybe once a year you can get a good wave, but you can always surf the feelings that spring out of the shifting dunes and the turquoise fresh water. Here in Michigan’s perfect pinkie finger, it is possibly the place where the last generation may find refuge from the extremes. Take a chance and ”Just say YES to Michigan.”

Sawbill Surf Club was initially financed by a fund from Norma and Gordon “Gordie” Guyer— Michigan’s #1 fans, entomologists, MSU diehards, hospital volunteers, and very importantly the best ever Grandma and Grandpa. They cared deeply for the landscapes and people in them. This residency is dedicated to them. 

The Crew

Kelly Gregory is a social architect, moon-watcher, sailor, and artist based out of oceanic autonomous zones, coastal California, and the Great Lakes state. She loves night swimming in the Michigan deep and meandering the shifting sand dunes.    

Charlie Gregory is an artist, beacher, and preacher. As an avid photographer of the natural beauty of Northwest Michigan, he captures what it means to be here, to get lost in the ice islands off of Point Betsie, or to spend quiet time with a fox. Charlie is the residency caretaker, local history buff, and petoskey hound.  

Mary Welcome helped us get the Sawbill Surf Club launched, building systems that are imaginiative, domestic, administrative, and full of suprises. Mary has founded and piloted over fifteen artist residencies around the world. She is an expert navigator in celestial quests, local fun, and hometown parades. You can often find Mary with her floral-printed beach sheet reading on Elberta Beach, her favorite place to swim in the whole world.  

Sawbill Surfers


Wave ReportDial-a-BouyStation 45183
Sleeping Bear Dunes

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Web Design by Mary Welcome
Illustrations by Alicia Toldi