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Walk this way!: Watermark rebrands First Friday Art Walk program

The Bemidji First Friday Art Walk has undergone rebranding. The new logo is being used for marketing materials such as posters, rack cards and a flag. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
Graphic designer and BSU graduate Hope Wall with the flag displaying the new art walk logo that she designed. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
The new Bemidji First Friday Art Walk logo. (Submitted)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji First Friday Art Walk has recently undergone a rebranding in hopes of breathing new life into the program.

“First Friday has never had a logo or branding,” said Emily Enger, Communications Director at Watermark Art Center. “It's been a long standing program in the Bemidji community, but there's still a lot of people that don't know about it.”

The First Friday Art Walk is a monthly community-wide art event and exhibit opportunity held in Bemidji. Various businesses host art programming, receptions or exhibits for the public to participate in for free or a minimal cost.

The event is designed to allow attendees to travel from site to site throughout the evening and take in multiple events. Watermark Art Center serves as the anchor location for the art walk and coordinates the event.

The idea of rebranding came to life when Enger and Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay were approached by BSU associate professor Steven Sundahl about a student looking to do some design work. The pair were already considering different options to help First Friday Art Walk program grow and rebranding seemed like a positive solution.

Graphic designer and BSU graduate Hope Wall with the flag displaying the new art walk logo that she designed.They quickly set up a meeting with Hope Wall, a now BSU graduate and graphic designer.

“We didn't have a specific idea in mind, we just knew that we wanted something that was eye catching, something that was modern, fresh and distinct,” Enger said.

The rebranding includes a new logo that is used on marketing materials such as posters, rack cards and a flag, which participants place outside shortly before an event starts.

“As far as like inspiration goes, I wanted something that kind of reflected the hand crafted nature of the First Friday Art Walk,” Wall said.

The logo features a white font with a colorful pattern in the background. For the posters, the logo was placed on a background that featured a piece of artwork.

“I also wanted them to be able to change it over the years. So having this piece of artwork in the background in black and white, if you want, you can just change it out whenever you want. The logo would stay the same and the colors would be pretty recognizable,” Wall said.

In addition to the new additions, there is now a map available at each participating venue that includes all the events taking place.

Frequent First Friday host sites include Gallery North, The Least of These Gift Shoppe, Bemidji Public Library, Dunn Bros Coffee, Wild Hare Bistro, Rail River Folk School, Bemidji Brewing Company, Neilson Place and more.

The next First Friday Art Walk will held on July 7. The schedule for each month can be found online at watermarkartcenter.org and information is also on the new Facebook group page, First Friday Art Walk Bemidji.

Maggi Stivers

Maggi Stivers is a Multi-Media Journalist at the Bemidji Pioneer. She covers art and entertainment in the Bemidji area. She is a 2013 Bemidji State graduate majoring in mass communications with a minor in sociology. Contact her at (218) 333-9790 or mstivers@bemidjipioneer.com.

(218) 333-9790