Tag Archives: Joe Wavra

Of the Year Award Winners Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is Pleased to Announce
Of the Year Award Winners

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. Many times people serve in both roles. Of the Year Award winners were nominated by area residents.

2020 Of the Year Award Winners include:

Rob Burkel of Thief River Falls will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for theater arts. Rob has been involved in theater in the Thief River Falls area for 30 years. His dedication and talent is well known and admired. Our Artist of the Year 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. It is a cash award of $500.00.

NW Artist of the Year Rob Burkel in The Boys Next Door

Bruce Piersol of Red Lake Falls will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Piersol is a musician and a strong advocate for the arts. He has performed and organized numerous musical groups bringing music to people who otherwise might not be able to experience it. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Bruce Piersol

Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls will receive the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Wavra is a self-taught wood carver, creating life-size animals, Vikings, and trolls with a chainsaw. His carvings can be found throughout the area. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once as a lifetime achievement award.

NW Star Award Winner Joe Wavra

These awards will be presented on Tuesday, August 18 in Red Lake Falls. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our celebration of these wonderful artists and leaders in our area will be limited to close friends and family.

Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

RWAG: Featured Artist – Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls



The artistry of Joe Wavra

June 01, 2016 – June 26, 2016

Artist Reception – TBD

Warren, Mn –  The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is excited to announce an exhibit of wood carvings by Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls, Minnesota. Mr. Wavra's original artwork will beshowcased in our East Grand Forks gallery Wednesday, June 1, 2016, through Sunday, June 26, 2016.

Wavra_10_cornerJoe Wavra and his wife Chris live in a log home they built themselves in a beautiful area of Red Lake Falls, MN known as the Klondike, home of Native American settlements and a prominent trading post in the age of the Voyageurs. Joe has made carving an important part of his life over the past 15 years as he tries to capture some of the history of the unique place he calls home.


Trappers, Voyageurs, Native Americans, and the animals that they hunted are some of his specialties. Joe’s art business, Klondike Carvings, employs his wife Chris’; artistic ability in finishing many pieces, like blue gills, walleyes, muskies and northerns. Their exhibit for the NWMAC features a variety of Joe and Chris’s work that appeals to lovers of all outdoor genres, including functional benches, sculptures of bears, feathers, trees, welcome signs, and even a 6-foot UND Hawk sculpture for Grand Forks’ fans.

Wavra_4_cornerCarvings by Joe Wavra is available for viewing during gallery hours: Wed. through Sat., 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Sun., 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Arts Council gallery and River Walk Artists shop & gallery are located in the River Cinema mall, East Grand Forks, across Demers Avenue from Cabela’s. Parking is available in the large lot next to the Blue Moose. We welcome private showings, and are happy to answer all questions. For more information call gallery coordinator at 218-965- 4216, or email: tmjacobson16@gmail.com, or call the arts council office at 218-745- 9111.