Tag Archives: #OnlyInMn

Northwest Star Award Presented to Donald Kakaygeesick of Warroad

Northwest Star Award Winner is Donald Kakaygeesick

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NW Star Award Winner Donald Kakaygeesick of Warroad

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that Donald Kakaygeesick of Warroad has been selected as the 2021 Northwest Minnesota Star Artist of the Year for his lifetime achievement in art. Kakaygeesick received his award at a program in Warroad on August 26.

Donald has had a long history of representing Warroad and Roseau County in the arts field. He was born in 1959 and comes from a long line of Ojibwe artisans and a well-known family of artists along with his brothers Robert, John and his sister Karen. The Kakaygeesick name is synonymous with Warroad history, culture and art. In high school, Donald designed the Warroad Warrior logo for the public school. He has experience with many mediums including acrylic, oils, watercolor, and carving.

According to Warroad teacher and NWMAC Board Member Jaimie Snowdon, “Not only has Donald contributed to the world of art but he has also been a leader and teacher in the Ojibwe culture and history. These skills were taught to him by his father, mother and elders in the Warroad community. Donald has spent his life passing on the traditions of making wigwams, teepees, how to process wild rice, drumming, dancing and sweat lodge ceremonies to name a few. In all of these activities, art is intertwined. With the passing of his brother Robert last fall, Donald is stepping into that elder role for Warroad and the whole region.”

Donald’s art can be viewed at the Warroad Library and Museum. He paints in the well-known Indigenous style called, “Woodland School of Art.” This visionary style emphasizes outlines and X-ray views of people, animals, and plant life. 

Asked about the impact of art, Kakaygeesick said, “You can make a big impact with your art. Artwork can bring change. If you have the talent, you can make changes in everything.” As for advice for aspiring artists, he shared, “Learn your skills. No one will be perfect. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. You might think it’s trash, but sometimes you find out that everyone else loves it.”

Henry Boucha shared, “I would like to thank the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council for recognizing one of our Indigenous peoples for this outstanding NW Star award. I congratulate my cousin Donald KaKayGeesick with this Lifetime Achievement Award and his dedication to the Anishinaabe/Ojibwa culture and traditions of our people.  As long as I can remember, The KaKayGeesick Family, our Guides and Medicine people, have stood strong traditionally, and culturally through the assimilation of our people. The degradation of the Anishinaabe society, and our way of life on Lake of the Woods. Experiencing racism, prejudice, and discrimination throughout their lifetime, they have maintained our language, culture and traditions whereas most of us assimilated and left our traditions and culture behind. Amazingly, when we were ready to come home, they were there to greet us and teach us what they knew. AHO!

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.  

Congratulations Donald Kakaygeesick on winning the Northwest Star Award!

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Arts Advocate Ann Novacek, Artist of the Year Connie Nelson, and NW Star Award Winner Donald Kakaygeesick

Artist Advocate of the Year Ann Novacek, Artist of the Year Connie Nelson, NW Star Award Winner Donald Kakaygeesick at the NWMAC Awards Presentation in Warroad.

Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Awards Announced

Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Winners Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is excited to announce the Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Winners. Student and adult artists residing in a seven-county region including Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Pennington, Roseau and Red Lake recently entered into the Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit and competed for $2,300.00 in cash awards. The winners were recognized at the Northwest Minnesota Artist Reception in Warroad on August 26.

“Covid Gothic” by Kansas Jensen won 1st place in the student category

Exhibit cash award winners were chosen while the exhibit was on display at the Discovery Development Hub, 201 Lake Street NE, Warroad from August 13 to 26 by qualified juror and Region 2 Arts Council Grants Manager Holly Alcott. “I humbly thank you for the opportunity to experience all these beautiful works of art. What an amazing amount of talent in one room, both by adults and students. I was completely blown away by some of the works that obviously came from and spoke to our shared struggles against the COVID pandemic this last year. To all of you, those who received awards and those who did not, know that the decisions were very difficult because the art works in this exhibit were of great originality and quality. You should all be proud of your work – well done!” Alcott said.

“Daddy and Son” by Debbie Aune won 1st place in the Adult Category

Exhibit Awards include:

Adult Winners

1st Place $500 Debbie Aune of Gatzke in oil painting “Daddy and Son”

2nd Place $300 Heather Sabian of Crookston for sculpture “Skin Hunger”

3rd Place $200 Dennis Kinkead of Hallock in sculpture “Alarmed Dragon”

Merit $100 Nick Reitzel of Karlstad in oil painting “Track of the Wolf Pack”

Merit $100 Richard Jensen of Crookston in sculpture “Crow Mother”

Merit $100 Summit Kuehn of Roseau in painting “Princessa Eagle”

Merit $100 Nancy Vraa of Red Lake Falls in folk/traditional fine craft “Home Spun Origin”

Merit $100 Glen Heppner of Warroad in oil painting “Jordan”

People’s Choice $100 of Irene Bertils of Crookston

Student Winners

1st Place $300 Kansas Jensen of Goodridge in acrylic painting “Covid Gothic”

2nd Place $150 Aubree Bonham of Fertile in mixed media “No Evil”

3rd Place $100 Alexis Jalbert of Ada for sculpture “Sushi”

Merit $50 Brennon Collins of Greenbush for hand-colored intaglio print “Lake Lounging”

Merit $50 Eskyla Manriquez of Ada in sculpture “Air Jordan 1 Chicago Black Toe”

Merit $50 Macrina Herbel of Fertile for drawing “Vignette”

Merit $50 Donavin Hagen of Goodridge for printmaking “Bandit”

Merit $50 Riley Saurdiff of Grygla for drawing “Pencil Pachyderm”

People’s Choice $50 Kansas Jensen and Aubree Bonham

Fifteen exhibit pieces of student and adult art were chosen to be included in the Traveling Art Exhibit, which will travel this next year to area libraries. Watch for the schedule to be announced and for it to arrive in your community.


Public Art Mural Opportunity for the Blandin Foundation


Public Art Mural Opportunity

Request for Qualifications

Blandin Foundation has contracted with Forecast Public Art to facilitate a call for an artist/team to design and create a mural on the outside of the Blandin Foundation building. Artists are hereby invited to submit qualifications to be considered to participate in the design phase for the public art opportunity described below.

Blandin Foundation is a private foundation based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, with a mission to be a trusted partner and advocate to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area. Their vision is healthy, inclusive rural communities.


Be a trusted partner and advocate to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area.


Healthy, inclusive rural communities.


As stewards of the Blandin Foundation legacy, they commit themselves to a leadership role on these deeply held beliefs:

Inclusion is Vital – We recognize all people, voices and world views as essential to healthy community.

Relationships Matter – We encourage courageous dialogue, trust, and reciprocity among partners to create positive change.

Integrity is Core – Our actions are guided by honesty, transparency and trustworthiness.

Blandin Foundation has proudly made its home in Itasca County (north central Minnesota) for more than 75 years. This region was the “wood basket” of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Paper Company when it was owned by Foundation founder Charles Blandin in the early 20th Century. We continue to stand with Itasca area communities as they design and claim vibrant futures in the 21st Century.

Blandin Foundation’s “home giving area” is Itasca County, plus Blackduck, Hill City, Northome, and Remer, and would like to honor these communities on the outside of their building. This mural will be highly visible, as the wall on Blandin Foundation building faces a major entry point into the city of Grand Rapids and highway 169, which sees heavy vehicle traffic. The building also sits on the edge of the Mississippi River, in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. This Request for Qualifications is for an outdoor mural on the Blandin Foundation building, to be unveiled in fall of 2019.

Blandin Foundation would like to use this public art initiative to reflect the values on which it is based, honor the communities it serves, and reflect the identities of smaller, rural communities. One artist/team will be commissioned to create a mural which will be located on the outside of the building.

Budget: $70,000 [plus $1000 to 3 finalist artists/teams to present their design ideas in person].

Qualifications are due Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 4pm CST. 

  • Applicants must be experienced visual artists or artist-led teams. 
  • Lead artist must have professional qualifications to complete a mural project of this scale. Additional team members may have a variety of experiences.
  • At least one member of the team must be currently based in the Grand Rapids area.
  • Applicant/team must provide evidence of producing at least two commissioned public art projects of a similar scale and budget within the past ten years.

Please submit all RFQ materials via email to: jenk@ forecastpublicart.org. All materials must be received by 4 p.m., CST, Thursday, January 3, 2019. No RFQs will be accepted after this time. If you need clarification or furtherinformation, contact Jen Krava, Forecast Creative Services Manager, at jenk@forecastpublicart.org

Call for Artwork

Call for Artwork

Centennial Library seeks to purchase ten artworks to display on the non-fiction shelves. The Selection Committee will categorize the artworks by the Dewey Decimal system for placement throughout the shelves. Custom display boxes are being fabricated to fit within the shelves. Additional considerations:

  • Artwork must fit within the fabricated boxes. 
    • Outside dimensions of the box: 13 ¾” (w) x 10 5/8” (h) x9 13/16” (d)
    • Inside dimensions of the box: 11 3/8” (w) x 8 ¼” (h) x 9” (d)
    • Walnut plywood exterior with solid walnut frame on the front, birch plywood interior.
  • Artwork can be 2D or 3D
  • Artwork creates a sense of wonder and curiosity within visitors to the library, and inspires them to explore the library
  • Artwork can be new or previously created. Previously created artworks cannot be committed to other shows or exhibitions. Artwork will be purchased outright by the Library.
  • Artworks should be durable and low maintenance
  • Artwork may be representational or abstract. The use of commercial imagery is discouraged.

Dewey Decimal System categories: 

Computer science, information & general works

Philosophy & psychology


Social sciences


Natural Science & Mathematics

Technology (applied sciences)

Arts & recreation


History & geography

Artists based in Minnesota age 16 and older are invited to apply. Artists can submit more than one artwork for consideration. We are committed to a policy of providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or physical ability. 

Interested artists are invited to submit materials for review by January 7, 2019 at 4:30pm CST.

Each participating artist will receive a stipend of $750.

See here for more information.

Grant Info Session

The January 15 deadline for Individual Artist grants for $1,500 is coming soon!

Are you overwhelmed with the grant writing process and don’t even know how to begin?

We can help!

We offer workshops for people who have questions related to our on-line system, grant applications, grant management once they get a grant, and final reporting.  Our Executive Director Mara Hanel covers all aspects of the grant process. You will find that it is really helpful to attend.  The first ½ hour relates to the deadlines coming up.  The second ½ hour relates to the system and questions on grants management and reporting.  We offer webinars and a few in-person meetings at our office.  Don’t let your fear or inexperience with grants stop you from applying.  Let us know if you are interested by emailing mara@nwrdc.org or call 218-745-9111.

Upcoming grants workshop:

Monday, January 7 at 3:00 PM at our office.  

You Must RSVP! Let us know if you will attend. Have a conflict? Give Mara a call and she can assist you.