Participant Information


Nestled on an old oxbow cut off from the Kalamazoo River near the edge of Lake Michigan, Ox-Bow has been a place of retreat for artists for over a hundred years. It is also the birthplace of PBI. The studios are large and comfortable, providing the space and facilities needed for PBI classes.

PBI at Ox-Bow

Daily life at PBI is a pleasant mix of intensive class time, group meals and independent work time in the studio. Guest lecturers, visiting artists and other events are scheduled some evenings during the session for entertainment and enrichment. Swimming and canoeing provide a break from studio work. Lake Michigan, with its’ beautiful beaches, can be reached by canoe or a short walk. There are a number of hiking trails through the woods on the Ox-Bow property and, for those wanting a workout, you can head down the road to the 100 steps, a staircase which takes you to the top of a dune overlooking Lake Michigan. A large fire-pit on the shore of the oxbow is a festive gathering place in the evenings. When the weather is inclement, people often get together on the large screened in porches in the Old Inn, the Dining Hall in the New Inn, or one of the fireplaces found throughout Ox-Bow.

Room and board: Housing is in rustic cabins and dorms. Most rooms are double occupancy but there are a few single occupancy rooms, which can be reserved for an additional fee. All bathroom facilities are shared. Participants supply their own towels and bedding. In May, weather in Michigan can be extremely variable so participants must be prepared for a range of temperatures. Meals are provided by the Ox-Bow kitchen, and are served family style, with a focus on healthy, delicious, sustainable choices. The kitchen works to accommodate most food restrictions.

Schedule: PBI consists of two 4-day sessions. During the first session, participants take one class in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Second session classes are more intensive, meeting for the whole day. There is a day off between the first and second sessions.


AIR: For those traveling by air, the Grand Rapids Airport is the nearest major airport and most rental car companies have locations at the airport. Please see below for more information about how to get to Ox-Bow from the airport.

BUS & TRAIN: Grand Rapids and Holland each also have rail and bus service. For information on rail service, call Amtrak at 800.USA.RAIL or visit for schedules and fares. The bus service provider depends on the departure location. Contact Greyhound, Megabus, or other bus services to determine availability. Please see below for more information about how to get to Ox-Bow from the airport.

VIA CAR: For those who drive to PBI, Ox-Bow is located in Saugatuck, Michigan. There is ample parking for PBI participants on the Ox-Bow campus

Ground Transportation To and From Ox-Bow From Transportation Hubs

Rental Cars are available at the Grand Rapids Airport. Reserving a car ahead is highly recommended, as there are a number of major events occurring in the region at the same time as PBI. The drive to Ox-Bow from the airport is around one hour.

Uber serves Grand Rapids and western Michigan, including Ox-Bow. PBI participants need to make their own arrangements with Uber.

The Executive Coach Service provides shuttles from the Grand Rapids airport, the Grand Rapids train and bus stations, and the Holland train/bus station. The fees vary with the number of people in a vehicle and payment is by credit card. To make a reservation, call 616-361-1685 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) and tell them that you are with the Paper and Book Intensive at Ox-Bow. They will ask for flight information, a cell phone number, and an email address. Reservations must be made at least 3 weeks in advance to guarantee a place. Confirm the cost at the time the reservation is made.