Tag Archives: NWMAC

Meet Our New Showcase Specialist

Kelsey Brateng has been hired as the

NWMAC Showcase Specialist

Kelsey Brateng

In addition to coordinating the exhibits at the NWMAC, Kelsey is a professional photographer and owner of Kelsey Brateng Photography.  She was born and raised in Thief River Falls before transferring to MSU in Moorhead to pursue art and photography.  After graduating, she came back and opened her studio in 2005.  She worked at DigiKey for 10 years as a Corporate Photographer and Production Assistant. She’s interested in public art displays and functional public art.  She is married to her husband Kelly, and they have 4 children, Alexia, Tanner, Aubrielle, and Everly. She volunteers as the Art Director of Elevate Youth Center and recently graduated from the Blandin Leadership Program in Grand Rapids. She is active in the Downtown Development Association in Thief River Falls and the local Zehlian’s group. She  loves to upcycle and get creative with a lot of different mediums, but acrylics, oil pastels, and pen and ink are her favorite. This past year Kelsey has  been practicing with watercolor, brush lettering, and delving into the realm of digitizing her artwork. She wants to focus on bringing more artistic expression to the community. Kelsey recently served on the NWMAC Board of Directors. She explained “joining the NWMAC was the best decision! I have learned so much since joining the board. For me personally, art is therapy. I believe that the beauty of our surroundings makes a huge impact on our lives and in the health and well being of our community.”

In her free time she likes to read, play softball and go to CrossFit, write in her bullet journal, date nights with her husband and going out for coffee with a good friend.

Welcome, Kelsey to the NWMAC Team!

If you have ideas for exhibits, please reach out to Kelsey at 218-688-0078 or kelseybphotograpy@live.com.

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery Opens at NCTC in TRF

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery Opens at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is pleased to announce that our new exhibition space will be located at NCTC in Thief River Falls.

NWMAC will have exhibits in the gallery for much of the year with the Northland Visual Art Department taking over the space at the end of each term. “It’s a win-win opportunity for Northland and the Arts Council,” explained NWMAC Executive Director Mara Hanel. “We appreciate this space to promote the arts and artists in our region and look forward to connecting with the public in a new venue.”

The gallery will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30-5 PM and at other times when events are held at the college. To visit the gallery enter through Door B near the library. Visitor parking is free in front of the business office.

According to Northland TRF Academic Dean Mike Curfman, “It is great for Northland and the Thief River Falls Community that the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is going to be using the Northland Art Gallery as their new home for shows and exhibitions. We believe it is a great venue to showcase the many talents that people in our region have and look forward to this collaboration with the NWMAC. It is exciting to be able to put these talented artists’ works on display here in Thief River Falls.”

For more information about our exhibits look to our website at www.NWArtsCouncil.org, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Kelsey at (218) 688-0078 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com. Please sign up for our e-newsletter on our website home page to see the latest news and grant announcements.  Email director@NWArtsCouncil.org or call 218-745-9111 to reach our office during regular business hours. 

NWMAC Art Exhibit at NCTC in Thief River Falls

In Recognition of Domestic Violence Month 

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery at NCTC in Thief River Falls

October 1- November 30

Artist Reception is Thursday, November 7 from 6-8 PM

Works featured by area artists Christine Foster and Stephanie Olson

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is pleased to announce an exhibition of painted portraits, stories and mixed media by Christine Foster and a jingle dress-inspired sculpture by Stephanie Olson. The art installation, Hope & Freedom: Survivors and Thrivers of Abuse, is now open through November 30 at the NWMAC Gallery at Northland College and Technical School in Thief River Falls.

“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.”

Hope and Freedom: Survivors and Thrivers of Abuse

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.

Work by Christine Foster

“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.”

Works by Christine Foster

Thief River Falls Artist Stephanie Olson will display her jingle cone dress-inspired sculpture in this exhibit.

“The idea for this sculpture came to me in a dream. I am usually a painter, so it was unusual. But I decided to try, to see what could work.”

Stephanie Olson’s Jingle Cone-Inspired Sculpture

Influenced by traditional indigenous skirts, this sculpture was made of jingle cone beads, metal wire, hand-dyed cotton twine, leather lacing, feathers, and red paint to raise awareness and support for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Each jingle cone bead was sponsored, meaning each bead represents an effort toward the cause of supporting funds and increased awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women. Each jingle cone bead also bears a name, either the name of the sponsor or a name they chose in honor or memory. This sculpture was able to raise over $500 for the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center.

Jingle cones used for Stephanie Olson’s sculpture

“I am hopeful that this sculpture will continue to raise awareness for MMIW. It can also serve as a symbol for unity, for community intention.”

A disproportionate number of Native American women and girls are missing or murdered each year. This national epidemic has started to receive more attention. In Minnesota, the state recently launched a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Task Force to study the issue and make recommendations to address the problem. You can learn more about this issue at this powerful exhibit.

Meet Christine and Stephanie at the Artist Reception on Thursday, November 7 from 6 to 8 PM.

The NWMAC Gallery is located at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. The gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30-5 PM and at other times when events are held at the college. Enter through Door B. Visitor parking is free in front of the business office.

For more information about our exhibits look to our website at www.NWArtsCouncil.org, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Kelsey at (218) 688-1256 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com.  This exhibit is made possible with funding from The McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis and the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in Minnesota to the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council.  Please sign up for our e-newsletter on our website home page to see the latest news and grant announcements.  Email director@NWArtsCouncil.org or call 218-745-9111 to reach our office during regular business hours. 

Showcase Specialist position is Open

NWMAC Showcase Specialist Contract Position is Open. Deadline to Apply is September 12.

Job Description includes:

  • Coordinate 8 different showcases in Thief River Falls at Northland CTC gallery.  Coordinate all the artist receptions.  Attend and evaluate each event by collecting statistics, interviews, and pictures.  Report by email twice a month to the Director of the NWMAC about changes or concerns regarding exhibits. Exhibits include:
    1. Four exhibits featuring artists with one featuring artists of color
    2. One exhibit featuring students
    3. One exhibit featuring folk arts
    4. Two exhibits featuring art by a variety of people as art for all        
  • Display enhanced listing art with labeling at location selected.    
  • Research traveling cart idea including budget and logistics.  
  • Research other art crawl events in our area and prepare a plan related to connecting our artists with these showcases. 
  • Assist the Director of the NWMAC with the display set-up for the Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit.  This is two full days of work each Spring.  Attend the reception (a third full day), count people’s choice ballots, assist with awards presentation, and help dismantle the exhibit.  Select 12-15 pieces for the traveling exhibit during the set-up day.  Announce the traveling exhibit names at the reception and inform the public about exhibiting opportunities.  Collect pieces in bins at the end of the reception and transport pieces to the first traveling exhibit library location.     
  • Arrange dates and locations for the mini-traveling exhibit to area libraries.  Move the exhibit throughout the locations.  Work with locations on press release and announcements including providing text and pictures to our Promotions Specialist for social media posts.  Move the exhibit twelve times, once a month from May through April to each county.  Drop artwork off with the artists at the end of the exhibit or bring to the registration day of the next annual exhibit and return to them as they drop off a new piece.  While at the location, advertise that you will meet with artists at the library to talk about showcasing at our gallery and upcoming trainings and more.  
  • Design marketing pieces for showcase projects.  Create press releases and media announcements for projects.
  • Provide a print-out of completed work activities for the NWMAC meetings in June that includes statistics/evaluation, pictures, and upcoming events.  

$12,000 annual budget. All contract positions work out of their home, with their own computer and office equipment and supplies. We pay at the specialist rate of $25.00 per hour. Time tracking related to tasks completed is submitted monthly for reimbursement from the budgeted contract amount annually. Extremely flexible hours to complete tasks. Approximately 8 hours a week.

Deadline of September 12 for applicants to apply.  Please submit a cover letter and complete an application at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JobAppNWMAC. It will work best if you prepare your response before starting the job application within the link. Each part of the work activities is included in the job application and you will write about your qualifications, communication style and ability to connect with others and build good relationships.

Please contact NWMAC Executive Director Mara Hanel with any questions at director@nwartscouncil.org or 218-745-9111.

Grants Deadline August 1

Upcoming Grant Deadlines August 1  

Arts Legacy Grants — up to $10,000

Arts Project Grants: regular — up to $3,000 

Applications are open for Arts Project Grants and Arts Legacy Grants. Grants are awarded to nonprofit arts organizations, communities, schools, individuals and other nonprofit organizations.  Applications are being accepted from our seven county Minnesota service area including Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau counties. 

Arts Legacy Grants is a main category for funding artistic activity within the seven-county service region. Funding can be used for Arts Projects, Arts Equipment, General Support, Public Art Projects and Arts Events in northwest Minnesota. Arts Project Grants are used primarily for small budget arts projects and the sponsorship of performances of touring companies and artists. These grants are a maximum of $3,000.00 with a required cash match. Applications funded through these two very important grant opportunities include festivals, community theatre projects, folk music entertainment, sponsorship of visual demonstrations, creative writing workshops and many other activities that improve the quality of life of people in our communities. 

To learn more about these grant programs and start an application visit www.NorthwestMinnesotaArtsCouncil.org, click on the Current Grants Forms under the Grants Tab.  The grant application process is completely online and NWMAC’s Executive Director Mara Hanel can help walk you through the process of using the grants portal to get accustomed to it. Please contact her for assistance or with any questions.