Dome House

Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

43° 6′ 42″ N, 87° 54′ 3″ W

Moved by the energy crisis in the 1970s, Door County, Wisconsin-based artist Al Quinlan designed and built an efficient, self-regulated home, using the natural insulating qualities of the earth and building entirely from chicken wire, rebar, and Ferro cement. It was completed in 1978, then changed ownership in the 1980s before sitting empty for decades. But in 2016, Quinlan’s daughter Mary Grace Quinlan and her husband Kurt Wagner purchased the home, restoring it to its original condition within two years and launching a community-focused creative space in one of the state’s most picturesque regions.

“The mission of the Dome House is to provide artists of all mediums with space for creativity, contemplation, and wonder,” says a statement. Comprising two separate domes, one for living and one for working, and set into sand dunes, the house abuts Whitefish Dunes State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan. The space receives natural light through large, timber-framed windows and a garage door that can be opened up to bring the outdoors in.

A residency program in collaboration with the Miller Art Museum invites artists to spent eight weeks at the house, focusing on their work and engaging with local residents. The Al & Mickey Quinlan Artist Residency is open to one artist residing in the Midwest working in visual art mediums, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and other mediums. Applications for the Fall 2024 residency are open through April 5.

Learn more and apply on the Dome House website.

Interior photos by Lacy Landre. All images courtesy of the Dome House and Miller Art Museum.

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