Around the Arts, April 18

Jan Michael Looking Wolf.jpg
Native American flute performer Jan Michael Looking Wolf will hold a virtual performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, on the BSU website. Submitted photo.

BSU to host virtual ‘Songs of Hope’ performance, flute workshop

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State University will host a virtual performance of Native American flute performer Jan Michael Looking Wolf at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, on the BSU website. He will stage a two-hour virtual performance entitled “Songs of Hope” where he will teach about Native American cultures and the importance of the flute and how its music provides the “medicine” we need to soothe and heal, the release said. The performance is free and open to the public and can be viewed by accessing the ‘Flute Performance’ link on the Bemidji State University homepage .

He will also offer a virtual flute workshop for all levels of musicians from 2 to 4 p.m. earlier in the day. Registration is necessary for the flute workshop by emailing Jim Barta at .

For more information about Looking Wolf’s work, visit .

Virtual galleries available through May 30

BEMIDJI -- Recently added to Virtual Watermark for April 2020, is the Schoolcraft Learning Community exhibit, “Portraits in Oil and Chalk Pastel,” featuring the work of fourth and fifth-graders under the instruction of art teacher Jake Anderson. The exhibit was influenced by the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a neo-expressionist painter in the 1980s. He was best known for his collaboration with pop artist Andy Warhol.


Portraits in Oil and Chalk Pastel
This drawing is part of the Schoolcraft Learning Community exhibit, “Portraits in Oil and Chalk Pastel,” featuring the work of fourth and fifth-graders under the instruction of art teacher Jake Anderson. Submitted photo.

Another gallery still on virtual display is the Kaul Gallery, featuring photography of RJ Kern entitled “The Unchosen Ones.” It will be available to viewers online from through May 30. The theme of how “one isn’t born a winner or loser, but a chooser” will be explored in a series of portraits taken behind the scenes at Minnesota county fairs in 2016.

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This traditional beaded buckskin cape dress by Thomas and Mary Lou Stillday will be on display at Watermark through May 30. Submitted photo.

Watermark will also continue with the virtual exhibit of recent works by master bead artist Thomas Stillday.

The Annual High School Invitational has been canceled with the student works on display at each home school.

To see the tours and learn more, visit . For more information, call (218) 444-7570.

Arts Access Grants for Small Towns deadline extended

BEMIDJI -- Region 2 Arts Council and the Legacy Fund have opened the Arts Access Grants for Small Towns. They are open specifically to organizations located in towns with a population under 2,000. Application deadline is Friday, May 1, with an earliest start date of June 12.


Eligible organizations include non-profits, public and charter schools, community education programs, arts organizations, institutions of higher learning, government and tribal entities and groups formed for nonprofit purposes with a fiscal sponsor. Arts activities proposed for funding must be accessible by the public, have a strong community component, and must benefit the residents of Beltrami, Hubbard, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, or Mahnomen Counties. Maximum award is $6,000, a 20% cash match is required; 25% match on equipment purchases.

For more information, contact Region 2 Arts Council at (218) 751-5447, toll-free at (800) 275-5447 or email at .

Bemidji Sings! makes a call for vocalists

BEMIDJI -- Headwaters Music and Arts invites amateur singers to take part in Bemidji Sings!, a vocal competition celebrating the talents of youth and adults who live, work or attend school in Bemidji.

Singers interested must register to audition by May 27. Auditions are set for Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, at Headwaters Music and Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. NW. Age divisions are 13-20 and 21 and over. Singers will perform one song during the auditions and will be evaluated based on their vocal skills, presentation skills, audience response and judge's overall impression. Only individual contestants are eligible. No additional instruments may be used.

Arts briefs file photo
Charlotte Saxton, center, took first place in Division I at the Bemidji Sings! vocal competition held at BSU's Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex in Aug. 2019. Performers can register for the 2020 Bemidji Sing! competition by visiting (Pioneer file photo)

Up to seven singers from each age division will be chosen to perform at the Bemidji Sings! Vocal Competition at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Bemidji State. First place for each category is $500, second place is $100 and third place is $50. The top two finalists in each age category will represent Bemidji at the statewide Minnesota Sings Vocal Competition on Sept. 26 and 27 in Woodbury, Minn.

Bemidji Sings! is sponsored by Headwaters Music and Arts with support from Supple Studios, David Eichholz of Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos, BSU, and Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.


To register for auditions, visit . For more information or to become a Bemidji Sings! sponsor, contact Headwaters at (218) 444.5606 or email .

4-Direction Development in search of artists

BEMIDJI -- 4-Directions Development has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host a new art festival called, "The Bemidji Anishinaabe Arts Expo, A Celebration of Indigenous Arts."

The festival is scheduled to debut on July 9-10, 2021. The event will be marketed nationwide, according to a release. The committee consists of the core partners, art organizations, local artists and community members. They are actively searching for artists and community members to be a part of this project and serve on the committee. They are also looking for experienced artists to serve as mentors to new and upcoming artists.

The project will choose a group of 12 Native artists to receive training, technical assistance and access to financial support to prepare for participation with various art events to expand their market. For more information, contact Rhiannnon Barrett, NEA Lead Coordinator at (218) 210-0125 or .

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