Artist and NWMAC Grant Recipient Brenda Baumer Exhibit

NWMAC grant recipient and artist Brenda Baumer and Riverwalk Artist Chuck Bush have an exhibit Minnesota Landscapes at the East Grand Forks Campbell Library, 422 4th Street NW,  until March 31. Stop in to see it before it’s too late!

Couldn’t attend Arts Advocacy Day? You can still thank your legislators

Thank Your Legislators

Couldn’t Attend Arts Advocacy Day at the Minnesota Capitol?

It’s an important time for you to support the arts! Whether you attended or not, you can show your support by sending a quick note to your legislators telling them about the importance of art in your community!
Using this link, THANK Your Legislators for State Arts Funding, there is a pre-written and addressed note you can send, or you can add your own thoughts! It only take five minutes!
You can do even more from your smart phone or desktop, including:
  • “Like” your legislators on Facebook / follow them on Twitter
  •  Create a 20 second “thank you” video to tell legislators about your Legacy/arts grant impact on the state (particularly your district)
  • Example: “Thank you Senator Mark Johnson, Representative Dan Fabian and Representative Deb Kiel for Legacy Funding that bring arts activities to northwestern Minnesota!”
  • Be sure to include @mncitizen, #ArtsDay2018 and #MNLeg in your social media posts.
  •  And for those who love good old fashioned mail, a quick handwritten note to your legislators will be a huge boost.

2018 Arts Expo and Annual Art Exhibit

The NWMAC Invites You to Attend the 2018 Arts Expo & the Annual Art Exhibit

This year the annual Art Exhibit will be in Thief River Falls at the Engelstad Arena and runs from April 18 through April 28, 2018.

Annual Art Exhibit. Artists, adult and students, from our 7 county service region have entered into this art exhibit and will be competing for $2300.00 in cash awards. Exhibit cash award winners will be chosen while the exhibit is on display by a qualified juror.  They will be recognized and receive their check at the Artist Reception on Saturday, April 28. The exhibit opens at 9:30 am that day with the reception at 2:00 pm. Exhibit and Of the Year Awards will be presented at 2:30 pm.

Arts Expo. The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is hosting an Arts Expo on Saturday, April 28 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. The event will include presentations from representatives from a variety of arts organizations. These representatives will also be staffing tables to meet with attendees, answer questions and provide information about their organizations and services.

Saturday, April 28 Schedule:

9:30                Art Show in Lobby (open all day)

10:00              Registration

11:00              VSA Presentation in Dakota Room:  For artists with disabilities as well as Arts Leaders or other organizations trying to provide access to people with disabilities.

Noon-2:00     Round Table presentations in Imperial Room

2:00                 Artists’ Reception

2:30-3:30        Exhibit and Of the Year Awards Presentation

Organizations at the Arts Expo and their representatives include this amazing line-up!

  • MCA (Minnesota Citizens for the Arts): Sheila Smith, Executive Director
  • VSA Minnesota (The state organization on Arts and Disability):  Craig Dunn, Executive Director
  • Springboard for the Arts:  (office in Fergus Falls and St Paul) Dominic Facio

Foundations and Organizations that give grants to artists and arts organizations, cities, etc…

  • Minnesota State Arts Board in St Paul: Sue Gens, Executive Director
  • Northwest Minnesota Arts Council in Warren: Mara Hanel, Executive Director
  • Playwright Center: Julia Brown and Alayna Barnes *
  • Northern Clay Center: Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp *
  • Jerome Foundation in St. Paul:  Ben Cameron

Playwright Center and Northern Clay administer McKnight Fellowships will be on hand to answer questions on these larger fellowships and talk about their own programming for residents of Minnesota.

A few more key arts organizations from the Twin Cities area!

  • Minnesota Music Coalition: Ellen Stanley
  • MN Assn of Songwriters:  Carl Unbehahn
  • MN Theater Alliance: Joanna Snedman
  • MN Fringe Festival: Dawn Bentley
  • Nemeth Art Center: Michael Dagen and Dawn Rossback
  • Women’s Art Institute:  Anna Garski

Local experts will speak on resources that serve the state:

  • MN Arts Online: Therese Masters Jacobson
  • Explore MN Tourism: Dave Bergman
  • Teaching Artist Roster Program Artists (in NW Minnesota): Misti Koop, Stephanie Olson


McKnight Fellowship for Visual Artists Deadline March 30

McKnight Fellowship for Visual Artists

Apply Today for an Award of $25,000 — Deadline March 30

2018 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships
Administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)

The McKnight Foundation’s Arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Established in 1981, the McKnight Artist Fellowships provide annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in ten areas. Eight arts organizations oversee the administration of the fellowships and structure their own programs to respond to the unique challenges of different creative disciplines.

The Arts program supports the conviction that the arts cannot flourish or enhance community life without the ideas, energy, and drive of individual artists, and that artists cannot make these contributions without unfettered creative time.

The goal of the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships program is to identify talented Minnesota visual artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage that is beyond emerging. The fellowship program supports established artists by providing significant financial assistance, by creating opportunities to meet with local and national art professionals, by organizing a McKnight Discussion Series featuring the fellows and invited critics, and by working with the fellows to create an individualized professional development plan.

Eight $25,000 grants are awarded annually. Fellowship funding may be used to enhance any aspect of the artist’s life, such as overhead costs, the purchase of materials, travel, and other living expenses. Awards are subject to state and federal income tax guidelines.

Application site with link to guidelines:
Deadline: Friday, March 30 at noon

For more information contact Kerry Morgan, Program Director


Melanie Pankau, Fellowship Coordinator

Midwest Grain: Watercolor Paintings by Debbie Aune

New Exhibit Now Open!

Midwest Grain

Watercolor Paintings by Debbie Aune

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is excited to exhibit Midwest Grain, a collection of watercolor paintings by Debbie Aune, which feature familiar landmarks to all of us living in northwest Minnesota: grain elevators. A longtime artist of Gatzke, Minnesota, Debbie grew up on a small farm in northern Minnesota, and recalls her early fascination with these historical structures.
“As a small child a trip in the old, crusty, dirty truck to the local elevator was quite the trip. In my early teens I would most likely be found in the dusty combine riding with Mom, and then at age seventeen-it was my job to turn all the fields upside down in preparation for the next year. Dirt was fun!”

Debbie’s art, primarily watercolor paintings, often depicts scenes of daily life in our communities-and our region’s history. “With no surprise, farming, farming equipment and storage buildings have again made their way into my latest watercolor exhibit, Midwest Grain. Elevators, tracks and trains swarm with history, stories and memories good and bad. Every town big or small has (or had) a grain elevator. Good thing I like the color gray!”

Debbie’s exhibition is now open through March 31, 2018 at the NWMAC Gallery in East Grand Forks.

Meet the artist on Saturday, February 24, when Debbie will be at the gallery to discuss her works during the Art & Wine Walk, at 1:00 P.M.

“My hope in painting these grain elevators of Northwest Minnesota, besides the obvious farming flashbacks and sense of nostalgia, is to show the charm and curious attraction of these big gray monuments. Their form, the perspective, the subtle changes of gray, their rust, the interlacing spouting and conveyors-it’s all a kick to paint! I have a connection with this dirt we call earth and the galvanized steel, iron and wood that rises from it. Paris, Melbourne and Rome will have to wait. “
To view Debbie’s art, please visit the NWMAC Gallery at 211 DeMers Avenuein East Grand Forks (located within the Riverwalk Artists Gallery) now through March 31, 2018. The gallery is open ThursdaySaturday, 2:00-8:00 P.M. and Sunday, 2:00-5:00 P.M.
All of Debbie’s art featured at the gallery is for sale and can be purchased by contacting the artist at (218)689-2363. For more information about Debbi’s exhibit, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Kat Allen at (701) 360-0805 or email

Serving Artists and Arts Organizations