Tag Archives: NWMAC Artist of the Year

“Of the Year” Award Winners & Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Reception

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is Pleased to Announce

“Of the Year” Award Winners

Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Reception


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.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients are Gayle Moen of Shelly, Jane Vigness of Climax, and Annelee Woodstrom of Ada!

These “Of the Year” awards and the NW Art Exhibit awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Sunday, April 30 in Halstad at the Norman County West High School cafeteria and small gym at 2:00 pm. Please come starting at 12:00 noon to view the 100 pieces of high quality regional artwork on display in the NCW library and vote for people’s choice.  At 1:15 enjoy a snack and music entertainment in the cafeteria.  The program will begin promptly at 2:00 with the main focus being the recognition and celebration of artists and the arts in Northwest Minnesota.  Everyone is welcome to this free event.

In addition, the 2017 Creative Minnesota Report about Northwest Minnesota will be given by Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Sheila Smith, followed by a brief discussion of the impact of the arts and culture in the region. Craig Dunn from VSA Minnesota will be attending to meet and greet and talk about the Americans for Disabilities Act. He will have information that helps arts organizations work towards inclusion for people with special needs. Kathee Foran will be attending as a program director at the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB).  She will have materials related to grants and services of MSAB. The public is welcome to attend. RSVP for the reception at 218-745-9111. For more information about the Arts Exhibit see our website: http://www.northwestminnesotaartscouncil.org/2017/04/northwest-minnesota-arts-council-annual-exhibition/

Of the Year Award Winners include:

Gayle Moen, Shelly MN, will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award. Ms. Moen is a musician. She plays the piano and organ. She is a long-time educator in the Crookston Public School System. 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.

Jane Vigness of rural Climax will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Ms. Vigness is the librarian in Climax and is active in the Sandhill Historical Society. She is also active in the Association of the French of the North and as a board member helps organize their arts festival each year in August. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

Annelee Woodstrom of Ada will receive the Northwest Star Award. 

Ms. Woodstrom 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. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

Please come on April 30 to show support for our artists.  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.

2016 Artists & Arts Advocate Announced!

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Announces 2016 Artists & Arts Advocate of the Year Winners!

**New Juror Announced.**

**High Tea at Artists on Main in Roseau**

Warren, Minnesota (April 11, 2016) – Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our region that stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. Many times people serve in both roles!  Our Artist of the Year award can be given to artists who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00 to use however they see fit. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. This award is for $5,000.00 and can be a wonderful gift to those who have chosen a hard career path related to artistic expression.

Our deadline for nominations is always Feb 28 each year. Please consider nominating someone that you view as a deserving candidate from our seven county service area in northwestern Minnesota. If the artist or arts advocate is not chosen their nomination remains active for a couple years for consideration.

Artists will be recognized via our website at www.NorthwestMinnesotaArtsCouncil.org, our Facebook page, and other various means of media communication including radio interviews with Pioneer 90.1. Awardees will receive their awards at the 2016 Northwest Minnesota Annual Spring Art Exhibit April 17, 2016 at the Roseau City Center in Roseau, MN. The reception starts at 2:00 PM. Please come early to help select the “People’s Choice” award winners in the adult and student categories. On Saturday, April 16 from 2 – 5 PM Artists on Main in Roseau will be having a High Tea event to coordinate with our exhibit being in Roseau. See their Artists on Main Facebook site for more information.

The Winners of the 2016 Northwest Minnesota Arts Council “Of The Year” Awards:

Beau Bakken of Hallock – $500.00 Award Winner – Artist

Beau Bakken of Hallock is the 2016 Artist of the Year and he receives this award for his work in painting. Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is very proud to recognize Beau and the talent he has displayed over the years for painting and for creating large mural art in our region. Beau has shown strong dedication to his art and to his community. His mural paintings in Hallock, Kennedy, and Red Lake Falls add beauty and history to these towns. He is a talented individual and we are looking forward to his lengthy and prosperous career.

Julie Elick of Roseau – $500.00 Award Winner – Arts Advocate

Julie Elick of Roseau is Northwest Minnesota Arts Council’s 2016 Arts Advocate of the Year. Julie has been instrumental in the art scene in Roseau, particularly with Artists on Main. Julie is being recognized for her arts enthusiasm! She is great at involving more people and building new arts experiences. She has taken on grant writing roles that show she is an arts advocate. She is an artist herself specializing in painting, jewelry, a mixed media. She is a great example of an artist entrepreneur.

Barb Geer of Middle River – $5000.00 Award Winner –Star Artist of the Year

Barb Geer of Middle River receives our 2016 Northwest Start Artist of the Year Award for her lifetime achievement in performing arts. Barb is well known in the arts community as both an advocate and an artist. She has been a music teacher, band director, pianist, organist, choir director, actress, theater director, seamstress, painter, graphic designer, and community activist. Barb is truly a wonderful example of living her life with a passion in the arts.

New Arts Juror Announced:

This year’s juror will be Megan Sugden. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, our previously announced Juror, Kay Rosengren will be unable to attend and Megan has graciously offered to take her spot. Megan is a young photographer who lives in Hallock, MN. She makes her living shooting Weddings, Families, Children, Seniors, etc. In the last couple years, Megan has created a line of artistic photography called “Kittson County Skies” featuring our wonderful Northern Lights and has even gone viral, with her photos being seen all over the world. She has a blog, a website for her main business, and a website for Kittson County Skies. She is growing as an artist and we are pleased to have her work with us!

We wouldn’t be able to award our local artists if it were not for the generous funding we receive from Minnesota State Legislature and the McKnight Foundation. Funding for the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council comes primarily from the Minnesota State Legislature. The “Of the Year” award program of NWMAC is made possible with McKnight Foundation funding. The Arts Advocate award is made possible by State of Minnesota general allocation funding. The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is one of eleven regional arts councils in the state. All eleven councils work together and in collaboration with the Minnesota State Arts Board to provide arts services, staffing, and grants. The McKnight Foundation is another funding source helping all eleven regional arts councils promote and serve artists in Minnesota.


Mara Hanel

Executive Director, NW MN Arts Council

109 S. Minnesota St.

Warren, MN. 56762

(218) 745-9111