Around the Arts, April 4

Kenzi and Hootie by RJ Kern
This image of Kenzi and Hootie at the Anoka County Fair in 2016 and many others from RJ Kern's collection entitled “The Unchosen Ones,” are available to Watermark viewers online from through May 30.

Watermark to host virtual gallery openings

BEMIDJI -- Watermark Art Center will host a virtual opening of 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.

Traditional beaded buckskin cape dress.jpg
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 .

O’Brien to teach acrylic classes at Gallery North

BEMIDJI -- Gallery North member Maureen O’Brien will teach an acrylic painting class titled ‘Nest of Baby Robins’ from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, at the gallery, 310 Fourth St. NW. Students will paint a nest of baby robins on an 11” x 14” canvas.

O’ Brien will also be teaching another acrylic class titled ‘Baby Raccoon’ from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the gallery 310 Fourth St. NW. Students will paint a baby raccoon peeking out of a textured tree hole on an 11” x 14” canvas.

The instructor will provide paints, brushes and the canvas. The cost is $50 for each class. Classes sizes are limited. To reserve a space, pay in advance, checks should be made out to Maureen O’Brien. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to Gallery North. For more information, call (218) 444-9813.

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 .

Artists sought for 2020 Studio Cruise

BEMIDJI -- After a two-year hiatus, the First City of Arts Studio Cruise will return in 2020 for its 11th year, featuring artists in the Bemidji area. This year’s event will be held Oct. 16-18. Applications are now being taken from artists with studios within a 40-mile radius of Bemidji.

The Studio Cruise is a working studio event which provides an opportunity for artists to invite the public into their studios to showcase their work.

An early bird discount is available for artists whose applications are postmarked by April 1. The early bird artist participation fee is $125. Applications postmarked between April 2 and April 15 will have an artist participation fee of $150. All applications also include a $10 non-refundable jury fee.

Interested artists are encouraged to apply by completing the Studio Cruise application available online at .

Artists who create their work within a 40-mile radius of Bemidji but who may not have a studio accessible to visitors can apply to be a guest artist at a qualifying host studio location.

Questions may be directed to Kathy Towley by phone at (218) 333-3547 or (612) 219-3394 or by email at .


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