Tag Archives: featured

Traveling Art Exhibit Visits Warroad

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is proud to sponsor the Traveling Art Exhibit which will be visiting northwest Minnesota communities throughout 2017. The Traveling Art Exhibit includes original artwork by fifteen regional adult and high school artists. It began its journey at the NWMAC’s juried Regional Exhibit held at Norman County West High School, Halstad MN in April of this year.

Artists selected this year to participate in the Traveling Art Exhibit are:  Adults: Paulette Christianson of Badger, Macy Larson of Euclid, Jill Levene of Angus, Lucille Nelson of Argyle, Elijah Neufeld of Beltrami, Susan Neufeld of Beltrami, Alicia Spilde of Karlstad and Judy Szklarski of Argyle; and Students: Josiah Dyrud of Thief River Falls, Chey Gerber of Halstad, Kendra Jensen of Goodridge, Ellie Manomai of Fertile, Jordan Nelson of Goodridge and Taylor Wynn-Skalet of Halstad.

Artwork selected for this exclusive traveling exhibit is a collection of diverse subjects in a variety of visual media including: acrylic painting, photography, pencil drawing, watercolor painting, glass mosaic, and mixed media. Pieces were chosen for originality, distinctive style, portability, and presentation.

The Traveling Art Exhibit is currently on display at the Warroad Public Library until July 27, 2017. Visit www.nwrlib.org for library hours. The exhibit will be on display at the following libraries this year:

Hallock Public Library, May -June 13, 2017
Warroad Public Library, June 14–July 27, 2017
Roseau Public Library, July 28–Aug 29, 2017
Red Lake Falls Public Library, Aug 30–Oct 13, 2017
Thief River Falls Public Library, Oct 14–Nov 7, 2017
Warren Godel Memorial Library, Nov 8–Jan 8, 2018

For more information call the NWMAC office at 218-745-9111; contact the exhibit specialist at 701-360-0805, or emailkata_6@hotmail.com

Artists of Northwest Minnesota Booklet — Seeking Artists and Creative Individuals

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is updating our Artists of Northwest Minnesota booklet and will be printing 3,000 copies of our 4th edition this winter. This is a marketing booklet that will be distributed throughout our region.

We are looking for a variety of creative people and artists to provide information for this booklet. The cost for a listing for individuals is $20. In addition to the listing you will receive 20 booklets, which makes the listing practically free!  The booklet helps those who are listed reach out to the general public and is a means to help the public “get in touch with them” to purchase art, book them, or have them provide a service. The booklet will include visual artists, fine crafters, performing artists like musicians, dancers, actors, creative writers, fine art photographers, creative videographers, serious graphic artists, interior design artists, landscape artists, journalists, screenwriters, history writers, editors, artistic architects, very unique artsy floral designers, theater directors, choreographers, accompanists, bands, folk musicians, and more.

While our approach will be inclusive, criteria will be applied related to selection.  Things like tattoo, taxidermy, kit crafters, pre-existing patterns from a book crafters, and purchased ceramics that are just painted don’t fit as nicely unless they are over the top excellent in technique or if they are preserving a fine artistic tradition like Rosemaling, for instance. Please contact us if you have questions.

Arts organizations, dance studios, stores with local art, local suppliers of supplies and materials for artists, coffee shops that have open mic or live bands often, etc. will be included in the back of the booklet.

If you would like to be listed, please print out an entry form, fill it out and mail to us. Here is the form: NWMACArtist booklet Application form 4th edition. There is also an entry form for businesses. It also costs $20 for businesses/groups that want to have a logo or picture in the booklet. Here is the form for businesses: NWMAC Groups Application form 2017 edition.

We are also considering briefly listing very artistic local festivals in this edition. These festivals would need to have a very strong history of existence – since we print every three years + an “arts budget” of a certain amount to qualify.  If you think your festival qualifies and you are interested in being listed, please contact Mara at mara@nwrdc.org.

To see the 3rd edition booklet that was published three years ago, click here.

Please spread the word to other creative and artistic residents in our region!


Equality and Respect for All Videos — Express Yourself!

Do the words

Equality and Respect for All 

stir a desire in you to speak up?

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is looking for short video segments to use in our upcoming exhibit this summer.  It’s super easy to participate!  Original songs, poetry, acting, dance, spoken word, whatever expresses “what you feel and think” related to human rights and your own artistic expression.  Get outdoors, shoot some video, make a statement.  Be part of our exhibit!

Easy, easy, easy steps…

  1. Create your video on your smart phone or other device.  Optimal length is 5-10 seconds.  Max 2 minutes.
  2. Save it to Dropbox  here  or
  3. Google Drive  here 
  4. Or email as an attachment to nwartscouncil@gmail.com if very short.

Here’s a tutorial to help you with the uploading process — click on the link: Tutorial. Please let us know if you need assistance — we are happy to help.

5. Let us know that your video exists by emailing Lance at    nwartscouncil@gmail.com. Include your name, your community, and the video title.

We will select thirty videos by June 1 to initially be part of our showcase in East Grand Forks at our gallery in the Riverwalk  movie theater mall.  Videos that are submitted by June 30 will be added over time to the exhibit. The show will be up from June 22, 2017 until a reception on Saturday, August 19 during the Art and Wine Walk.  All participants will be invited to attend, greet the public, and take a group picture.  We already have sixty people creating 12 x 12 canvases to be on the walls related to this theme!

Please let us know if you have questions! We can’t wait to see what you’ll create!

Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul by Christine Foster

Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul, Portrait Stories by Christine Foster

April 26–June 17, 2017

NWMAC Gallery / Riverwalk Artists Gallery

211 DeMers Ave., East Grand Forks

 Meet the artist at the Artist Reception, Sat., June 17 3:00-5:00 P.M.

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is pleased to announce an exhibition of painted portraits, stories and mixed media by Christine Foster. The art installation, Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul, is now open through June 17, 2017 at the NWMAC Gallery in East Grand Forks.


“I had a vision to paint the stories of women who are survivors of mental, sexual, physical and/or spiritual abuse. I want to help victims who are in abuse situations currently or have been abused in the past to know that they are not alone, as well as to know that there is hope. I have incorporated both images and words in each woman’s portrait story.  The story will share the pain along with the healing journey.”


Christine Foster is an artist and teacher from Thief River Falls, MN. She received a $5,000 Artist Project Grant from NWMAC to create art in 2016 for her showcase, Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul, which features paintings of women who have previously been abused and have since found help and redemption. The exhibit also features each woman’s story next to her painted portrait.


“Each woman has shared their life story with me through written form or conversation.  They decided what imagery, symbols, colors and words will best speak of their life. Women did or did not want part of her portrait included. I left it up to each woman’s discretion as to how she would like her story portrayed.  Each portrait story is a cooperative effort between the woman, the artwork and myself.


I envisioned using a variety of windows to display the portrait stories.  Windows are a symbol of the access to our souls.  The degree of openness will depend upon each woman and their healing journey.”


An Artist Reception will be held on Saturday, June 17, starting at 3:00 P.M. in honor of Christine and her accomplishments. Join us in the NWMAC Exhibition Room in the Riverwalk Artists Gallery–located in the River Cinema Mall in East Grand Forks–for an eye-opening art experience that will illuminate the stories of abuse victims and survivors in our region.

Organizations interested in featuring Christine’s exhibit at their establishment, please contact NWMAC. If you are an artist who is interested in exhibiting with NWMAC, please contact Kat Allen, Exhibition Specialist, at (701) 360-0805 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com.



Of the Year Award Winners 2017

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents.

Arts Advocate of the Year Jane Vigness, Northwest Star Award Winner Annelee Woodstrom and Artist of the Year Gayle Moen.
Anneke Woodstrom after receiving the Northwest Star Award
Northwest Star Award Winner is Annelee Woodstrom

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that Annelee Woodstrom of Ada has been selected as the 2017 Northwest Minnesota Star Artist of the Year for her lifetime achievement in literary arts. Annelee is a writer and previously an award-winning school teacher in Twin Valley. She has written about her life in War Child: Growing Up in Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Empty Chairs.

Annelee grew up in Hitler’s Germany and moved to northwestern Minnesota in 1946 to marry an American soldier. At the time, she spoke 5 words of English: yes, no, hot, cold and Crookston. Her husband spoke no German. After attending college, she worked as a psychology, mass media, civics and English teacher. In 1984, she was selected as one of ten Teachers of Excellence by the Minnesota State Education Association. Annelee loved teaching and continues to stay in touch with many of her former students. After her husband died in 1998 she decided to start writing.

Annelee has published two books and has a third book coming out soon. Her first book War Child won the Jeanette Fair Award by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Of writing, Annelee says, “You have to be dedicated and put yourself out there.” Her writings are very personal. At times, she said it was painful to write her books, but it the process of writing was healing. “I dealt with the war through writing.”

Annelee speaks to many schools and other groups about her books, the writing process and growing up during the Nazi regime. She writes essays and letters to the editor about current events and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Asked if she had advice for aspiring writers, Annelee said, “Write for yourself. Don’t forget to write, to talk to each other and to read. We should all be encouraged to write. You’ll be surprised at what you learn. Writing has taught me a lot, even about myself. It cleans your mind.”

Joyce Schlagel commented, “Annelee is very deserving of this award for her writing. She really gives it her all. She really goes at it and I’m proud of her. Congratulations!”

The Northwest Star Artist Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. “Of the Year” Award winners are nominated by area residents. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. Funding for the Northwest Star comes from the McKnight Foundation.

Jane Vigness is Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipient for the Advocate of the Year Award is Jane Vigness of rural Climax.


Jane Vigness is the public librarian in Climax, active in the Sandhill Historical Society and an avid art promoter in her community. She is also a dedicated and hard-working volunteer in the Association of the French of the North (AFRAN). As a board member, Jane helps organize their Chautauqua & French-Canadian Metis Arts Festival each year in August. Jane has written about the event, including AFRANS’s newsletters and article in their book titled Treaty at Old Crossing To Invite Enlightened Understanding (AFRAN 2008). Each year she comes dressed in costume with carefully arranged flowers she has grown to decorate the stage.

Jane is best described by some of her fellow volunteers. “Jane has an empathy for people of diverse cultures. Jane is a true working partner who enlightens every one of us. She sees differences and appreciates what they bring to the occasion.”

Jane is energetic and supportive of the arts. She is always looking for new and exciting artists to exhibit or teach workshops in the library. She tries to bring visual art, theater arts and music to the library to enhance the quality of life in Climax and the surrounding area. Jane was instrumental in arranging the publicity and space for community members to create a community mosaic bulletin board in front of the library with a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council. She encouraged young people in the community to attend the weekly mosaic sessions and made it a point to get the word out in the community. After the bulletin board project was complete, she arranged a well-attended and successful open house, inviting the residents of Climax and surrounding towns to showcase the project, as well as individual mosaics that were created by participants.

Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is given each year to recognize arts advocates within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” award winners were nominated by area residents. This award comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Northwest Artist of the Year Gayle Moen

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that Gayle Moen of Shelly is the Northwest Artist of the Year. Gayle Moen is a talented musician and choral director. She plays the piano and organ and directs with endless enthusiasm.

Gayle’s lifelong commitment to music includes teaching piano, giving vocal lessons, and working with numerous choral and local theater groups. Many of her students have gone on to have a career in music. Gayle became the church organist at the age of 12. She was the founder, director, accompanist and the arranger of the Inspirations, a traveling gospel concert choir for 37 years. Under her direction, the group released 9 albums. She now directs, accompanies and arranges the Praise Singers at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. In addition, Gayle recorded a solo piano album.

Gayle has been described as a talented and knowledgeable musician full of creative and innovative ideas.  She creates musical programs with masterful arrangements and directs the ensemble from the piano effortlessly. According to Gaye Wick, “Gayle worked with Crookston Community Theater on the musical revue “Swinging on a Star.” By show time we were well prepared and comfortable. She works with you until you know it!  She does so with good humor and a smile on her face. Gayle has worked with many choirs and has helped with oratorios. Once again, she made it fun. I’m in awe of her abilities as a musician. Such talent!”

George French said, “I personally marvel at her keyboard skills while directing ensembles, and very much admire her abilities to arrange music to the level of musical expertise that her ensembles are able to achieve. She also gives all of her singers a chance to sing solos, realizing that a choir of soloists makes for a better ensemble.”

Dave Knudtson has known Gayle most of their lives. “Gayle inspires confidence in the people she works with. Among others, Gayle is certainly one of those who has given me the confidence to roar up on a theatre organ console, be it in Minneapolis, Fargo or New York City and I know I can pull it off. This is a gift she has given to any number of Minnesota musicians. But I am only one of the people she has encouraged and helped in our area.”

Gayle has been generous in sharing her talents with the greater northwestern Minnesota community.

The Northwest Artist of the Year Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. This award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents and comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Artist of the Year comes from the McKnight Foundation.