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Arts Briefs, Sept. 30

Watermark receives grant of $25,000

BEMIDJI—Watermark Art Center has received a $25,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The grant is in support of the art center's recent expansion and relocation project, which includes the new Miikanan Gallery, a space dedicated exclusively to featuring indigenous artwork and programming.

"We are so pleased to receive this gift," said Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay. "The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community's support of this project honors Indigenous artists and their work, placing it in the forefront of art and commerce in northern Minnesota."

The Watermark Art Center has become a place of cultural exchange since it opened its new facility in December of 2017. Funds from SMSC grant will help insure the longevity of the Miikanan Gallery and bridge cultural disparities by providing exhibit opportunities and sales revenue for Indigenous artists, cultural education for non-Native visitors, and creative inspiration for people of all walks of life.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

5th annual Ooh La La for the Arts on Oct. 7

BEMIDJI—The Bemidji Area Arts Endowment (BAAE) will hold its 5th annual Ooh La La for the Arts fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.

This year's theme is "Tug, Fish, Fly and Dive for the Arts," a release said. The event will feature four adventure packages as a part of the silent auction to benefit the arts in and around Bemidji:

• Tug Boat Cruise on Lake Bemidji with captain Lloyd Holy

• Scenic Flight around the Bemidji area with pilot Marsh Muirhead

• Muskie Fishing Trip with professional fishing guide Brian Truax

• Scuba Lesson from The Dive Shop in Bemidji

The silent auction also will include several works of art, handmade and donated by local and area artists, including pottery, jewelry, paintings and more. Eve Sumsky will weave a basket during the event. The basket will be among the silent auction items. Cellists from Bemidji High School will provide a live music performance throughout the evening, organizers said.

One dollar of each beverage purchased at the open bar will benefit BAAE fundraising efforts for the arts. Evening attire is black & white fancy, or funky dress.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online by visiting the Northwest Minnesota Foundation website at or in person from Sue Snyder at Remax. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door the night of the event. Tickets are $60 per person. Funds raised from ticket sales and the silent auction will go to the endowment and enable BAAE to continue to provide grants to the arts in our community, the release said.

The BAAE's mission is to "strengthen the long-term financial viability of the Bemidji area arts community," according to the release. Through the years, BAAE has provided substantial funding to local organizations such as the Bemidji Community Theater, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Clear Waters Life Center in Clearbook, Mask and Rose Theater, Watermark Art Center, Headwaters School for the Arts, and others.

BSU alumnus Ferreri opens gallery schedule

BEMIDJI—Bemidji State University's Talley Gallery opens its 2018-19 exhibition calendar with "The Internal Affairs of Mr. Invincible," a collection of prints from Bemidji State alumnus Lou Ferreri.

The exhibition, open now through Oct. 17, features a selection of 25 prints from a series of hundreds of drawings — done on editorial pages of the New York Times — produced by Ferreri as part of the "Mr. Invincible" collection between 2010—2017.

Ferreri will visit the gallery to deliver an artist's talk from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4.

"Drawing on the surface of ever-changing newspaper headlines underscores the idea that, beneath the surface of our lives, the news resides as perpetual background noise," Ferreri said. "This subtext infiltrates our consciousness. My drawings elaborate on ordinary and extraordinary phenomena, physical preoccupations, anxieties and observations regarding the details of everyday living."

The project has been supported by an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He has received two grants from the arts board during his career, as well as a McKnight Foundation fellowship and a Bush Foundation Artist in Education grant.

Prints from Ferreri's collections have been included in BSU's Lillie M. Kleven Print Collection, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Library of Congress.

In addition to his drawing work, the St. Paul resident wrote and illustrated the poetry book "Ostrich Logic" and wrote a memoir entitled "So Long, Betty and Veronica."

Bemidji State's presentation of "The Internal Affairs of Mr. Invincible" is made possible by funding from the university's Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee.

Rennan to perform concert Oct. 14 in Fosston

FOSSTON—Arna Rennan will perform a concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Fosston Library Arts Theater.

Rennan performs joyful dance music, the sound of ballads from hundreds of years ago, and the stories of trolls, giants and the underground world in nature.

Featuring ballads from the Middle Ages, Rennan sets the scene by telling the story of the song first.

The concert is free and open to all ages. A time for refreshments and a chance to meet the artist will follow the concert.

Pottery classes scheduled at Headwaters

BEMIDJI—Headwaters Music & Arts will conduct classes in pottery on Mondays from October through June. Classes for grades 2-8 are scheduled from 4-5:30 p.m. Classes for grades 9 through adults are scheduled from 6-8 p.m. The first classes will be held Monday, Oct. 1.

Bemidji potter and Headwaters instructor Tom Daly will lead the classes in the Headwaters Art Room.

Instruction, ceramics tools, clay, glaze, and firing are all included in the fee. First-time registrants receive up to 12 pounds of clay. Additional clay can be purchased at Headwaters, a Minnesota Clay distributor. There is no outside clay or glaze permitted. Students are advised to wear clothes that they don't mind getting dirty.

Participants spots are not secured until payment is received. A minimum of six participants per session required.

Cost is $60 per month for grades 2-8, with limited financial assistance available, and $75 per month for grades 9 through adults. Headwaters members have a discounted monthly rate of $67.50.

A flex pass (good for six Mondays within three months) is available for $90 for Headwaters members and $100 for non-members.

To register, call 444-5606 or go to

'Gidibaajimomin' exhibit opens at Watermark

BEMIDJI—The Miikanan Gallery at Watermark Art Center in Bemidji has announced the opening of "Gidibaajimomin—We Tell Stories." This exhibit features prints and mixed media by Gordon Coons (Lac Courte Oreilles) and Anna Johnson (Turtle Mountain). Through the use of contemporary media, both artists give new understanding to traditional Ojibwe stories and culture, a release said.

The public can meet the artists during a reception 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, with an Artist Talk at 6 p.m.

In addition to the reception, Coons will lead a printmaking workshop Saturday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Watermark. This workshop, sponsored by the Northwest Indian Community Development Center, is free with no registration necessary. It is geared for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

Coons is a nationally recognized visual artist. He has exhibited in juried shows throughout the U.S., including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington. His work has won a variety of recognition awards. He currently lives in Minneapolis.

Johnson is originally from Bismarck. She received her bachelor's in fine arts from North Dakota State University in 2010. Johnson is a recent recipient of an individual artist grant from The Arts Partnership. Her work can be found in private and institutional collections throughout the region.

Gidibaajimomin will be on display through Nov. 4.

Scully to perform Oct. 4 for BCHS fundraiser

BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Historical Society will premiere Patrick Scully's "Leaves of Grass — Illuminated" on Thursday, Oct. 4 at the Bemidji Eagles Club. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the performance will start at 7.

This solo performance by Patrick Scully summons the spirit of American poet Walt Whitman, revealing Whitman's many sides: from the furtive — changing genders to "straighten things up," to the fierce — defying the censors and getting banned in Boston.

"Leaves of Grass — Illuminated" is the product of over 10 years of research and development. A large cast version of this show opened in Minneapolis to critical acclaim in 2014. Scully developed that version into a one-man show in a residency at MANCC at Florida State University in 2015, and premiered it in New York City and Minneapolis in 2016. In 2017-18, he toured it to 24 communities in Minnesota, with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board's Legacy Funds. In 2018/19, again with MSAB touring support, he is touring it to another 24 communities.

The $25 admission includes appetizers and dessert. A cash bar for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. All proceeds support the education and preservation missions of the Beltrami County Historical Society

For additional information, to purchase individual or group tickets, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, call (218) 444-3376. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Beltrami County History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. SW or online at

Preschool art series scheduled at Headwaters

BEMIDJI—Headwaters Music & Arts is bringing back its Lil' Artist class for a second season beginning Oct. 2 Led by local artist and Headwaters art instructor Beth Andrews, this eight-session program will include fun and messy art projects that will introduce pre-kindergarten children to basic art concepts such as color and texture while exploring age-appropriate media.

Andrews takes a fun approach to basic art concepts, breaking the class up by taking students from one project to the next. In this way participants are given several ways to grasp and understand the art concept while also getting their wiggles out. She has taught the pre-school art class in the past and also has her own pre-school age child.

The class will be held from 4:45-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Oct. 2 through Nov. 20. Cost to attend is $90 per child for Headwaters members and $100 for non-members.

For more information or to register, call 444-5606 or go to