Holiday Open House – It’s Only Clay continues

Watermark Art Center kicks off the Holiday Season with our annual Open House & Ornament Sale!

Join us on First Friday, Dec 5th from 12 noon to 5pm and Saturday, Dec 6th from 10am to 2pm and receive 10% to 15% off your entire purchase (ornaments not included)

Give the gift of art this Holiday Season from our wonderful selection of handmade art and fine craft.   Each purchase not only supports the artist but the art center programming.  With a wide range of items you are sure to find something special for everyone on your list.  Great Hostess Gifts for under $15.00


IOC 2014 Exhibit continues now through December 20th

Stop by to see this years juried exhibit including select pieces from the BSU Margaret Harlow Collection and work from the 2014 Juror, Karin Kraemer

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Watermark Art Center will be closed December 21st through January 19th, 2015.

12th Annual It’s Only Clay Exhibit

In it’s 12 year the “It’s Only Clay” exhibit features work by artists from around the United States including work by this years guest artist and juror, Karin Kraemer.

On Friday November 7th, the Watermark will open at 5pm with an artist talk and presentation at 6pm.

The Watermark presented in Awards for this years exhibit.

$800 First Place Award – Rabbit Casserole by Sean Scott

66 SS Rabbit Casserole

$500 Second Place Award – Ode to the Bowl by Brady McLearen

54 BM Ode to the Bowl

$300 Third Place Award – Teapot with orange fruit – Lauren Kearns


Honorable Mention – Breakaway Bottles by Cyrus Swann


This years Harlow Purchase Awards include:

Sugar Bowl by Guillermo Cuellar, Wide Pail by Jeff Burger, Cup and Saucer by Nick Devries, Breakaway Bottles by Cyrus Swann and Rabbit Casserole by Sean Scott.

5 GC Sugar Bowl17 JB Wide Pail34 ND Mug & Saucer???????????????????????????????66 SS Rabbit Casserole

These pieces will become a part of the Margaret Harlow Ceramics Permanent Collection at BSU.

Spoken Word presents…….

Watermark’s Mississippi Headwaters Festival of Poetry and Haiku featuring Poet & Translator Jane Hirshfield

 September 26 – 28 2014 – Bemidji, Minnesota

Featured event for the weekend is Saturday September 27th from 7:30-8:45 – Presenting Jane Hirshfield – a poetry reading and discussion.  Admission – $15 at the door of  The Historic Chief Theater. Tickets also available in advance at the Watermark Art Center, or, admission and reserved seating available with a VIP Pass. Find more information below or by going to our 2014 Spoken Word page.  

Jane Hirshfield (credit Nick Rozsa)

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 26th

  • Walking Art and History Tour of downtown Bemidji, led by Kate and Al Belleveau.
  • Program on Japanese Born Jun Fujita, presented by Marjorie Buettner of Chisago City.
  • Bonsai Poetry – Pruning  Your Poetry for Beauty and Impact, a workshop with poet LouAnn Muhm.
  • Opening Night Gala at the American Legion – Music – Super Poetry Slam Competition with Prize Money – Open Mic after the Slam –  Light appetizers. 

Saturday, September 27th

  • Cavalcade of Local and Visiting Poets
  • Poetry Craft Lecture by Jane Hirshfield: “The Very Short Poem, Haiku and Otherwise.”
  •  *VIP Reception for Jane Hirshfield at the Watermark Art Center
  • Presenting Jane Hirshfield – a poetry reading and discussion.
  • The Unofficial After-Party at Brigid’s Pub, across the street from the Chief. Open to the public. Music by The Bemidji Jazz Quartet.

Sunday, September 28


Many events are free and open to the public.  Friday Workshops and Art and History Tour are free but space is limited – advance registration required!

 VIP PASS – $50 ( a $60 Value! ) Now a $85 Value

BE A VIP!!  – get your pass at the Watermark Art Center or from Spoken Word Committee members. The $50 pass entitles the holder to reserved seating for all events hosted at The Chief , a signed copy of one of Jane’s books of poetry, and admission to the 5:30 VIP Reception with Jane at The Watermark Art Center on Saturday night including wine and refreshments, prior to Jane’s 7:30 Reading at The Chief.

THE VIP TICKETS ARE NOW AN $85 value!  ADDED to the previously established $60 value:  A CD of the Friday Slam band   ($16)   – The Bemidji Jazz Quartet! . . . and a copy of – her cold martini – a haiku collection by Marsh Muirhead- a $9 value. 

For more information on the entire weekend of events, including date, time, location and ticketed  and  go to the 2014 Spoken Word page.  

KatsBookNook_logoThank you to our sponsors!  Kat’s Book Nook Ken K. Thompson Jewelers, Luekens, Holiday Inn Express – Bemidji, Double Tree by Hilton Hotels – Bemidji.

Additional Support provided by the Bemidji Public Library



This Activity is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Head in the Clouds – Feet on the Ground

 postcard photo 2

The Watermark Art Center invites you to join us for the opening reception of “Head in the Clouds  – Feet on the Ground” – Photography by Gregory Thompson.  Join us on August 8th from 5 to 7 pm for the reception with a brief artist talk at 6pm.

please note – due to the Annual Dragon Boat Festival on August 1-2, we will be hosting our August opening on Friday August 8th.  Greg will also be at the Headwaters Science Center on Saturday, August 9th from 2 – 3 pm for a special Saturday Science presentation.   More information on Exhibit Openings for August.

cloud web

“My inspiration for photography comes from my passion for dynamic weather and the beautiful natural world around us. I am energized by the crisp edges of impressively tall and bright white cumulus clouds, the chaotic branching of a lightning bolt, and the delicate arch of a flower petal.  Although a tornado can be very destructive, its motion and form can also be awe-inspiring.”
web photo “Capturing weather in its native state is uniquely challenging. Weather doesn’t conform.  It doesn’t follow a road network. It doesn’t file an itinerary.  It announces its presence in brilliant displays of light and dark while spinning lightning and wind at anyone observing it. Capturing bees or wildflowers is comparatively simpler though they also live by their own creed.”web flower
“The photographer must make an effort to blend with the scene and avoid imposing themselves on the photograph.  In the end, mother nature rarely fails to impress and humble me with her simultaneous temperament and beauty, especially because her variety is as endless as the infinite number of different snowflakes she sprinkles onto this Earth.”                ~Gregory Thompson

snow duo webGreg Thompson is a Atmospheric Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.  He received a BS degree from Pennsylvania State University (1990) and a MS degree in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University (1993).  His photographs concentrate on all aspects of weather, the environment and nature.

SPECIAL SATURDAY SCIENCE PRESENTATION: Greg will present his amazing weather photographs in an interactive format suitable for all audiences at HSC during this special Saturday Science event.  Saturday Science is free with paid admission to the HSC exhibit floor and is free for HSC members.    The Headwaters Science Center is located at 413 Beltrami Ave NW, in downtown Bemidji.  For more information on Science Saturday call 218=444-4472 or on the web at

Exhibit runs August 8th, 2014 through September 27th, 2014.

Special Thanks to our exhibit sponsors: Ottertail Power Company, Headwaters Science Center, Bemidji State University and Margaret Maxwell.


The Watermark Art Center presents work by artist Joan Cox as a part of the June First Friday Art Walk

Join us for the opening reception on June 6th from 5 to 7pm featuring a brief artist presentation at 6pm.  “INSIDE AND OUT”  will be open June 6th through August 2nd.

Gaining Perspective

Gaining Perspective 50 x 62 , oil newsprint, charcoal, pastel, enamel


These paintings, from the last five years, arise from observing the natural world, either while out in it or looking at it while confined inside by climate or circumstance.

DSC_6118A while ago I received several commissions to design stained glass windows, which required me to compose images in discreet packages defined by the necessary leading.  The practice crept into other work.  One series of paintings in this show is similarly refracted as if you are looking out at the world through windowpanes or lead lines.  

Summer Pleasures for Warren

Summer Pleasures for Warren


When my stained glass window fabricator got a cancer diagnosis during that dreary time of year when we’re all thoroughly sick of winter and aching for color and warmth, I painted SUMMER PLEASURES for him in an afternoon, imagining throwing open all the windows and doors and letting in the fresh warm air and the golden light of the longed-for season.  Another series grew from that.

My father’s death had led me to ponder transitions and transformations, to think about the migration of birds, and of looking down on the world from above as those winged travellers do.  Among the more obvious in this series, SWALLOWTAIL is also included.

SSP_7460A journey with friends last fall to Iceland, where being outside is necessarily an adventure, – the weather changes continually, the land is wind-swept and rain-washed, richly colored in subdued hues, and full of tectonic reminders that one is close to nature’s primal heart – inspired the paintings with neutral, fabric-like backgrounds slashed by gashes of color, as well as those studies in color with wax finishes.

Finally, there are pieces reminiscent of pebbles washed in a streambed, and of the sharp shadows of leaves crisply defined against white marl by strong sunlight.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I confess to having done these in Florida.)

SO – Those of you who have ached for the promise of the thaw and the greening of the land – (you know who you are!) – this show is for you.                               Joan Cox


photo by Steve Wewerka

photo by Steve Wewerka

JOAN G. COX was born in Connecticut and grew up in Chicago, but has called the Twin Cities home since her graduation from the University of Minnesota, where she majored in French and Art History.
At first, figures and landscape accounted for much of her work, fed by sabbaticals in England, France and Italy.
For the last decade she has moved into abstract and non-representational painting, a direction prompted by commission for stained glass windows. Grids, calligraphic marks, layering and texture have been features of this work, as has experimentation with a variety of materials. Lately, cold wax medium has become an important tool.
She works in a tent in the north woods, a carport on a sub-tropical barrier island, and in her studio in Saint Paul. She and her husband have two grown sons.
Along with her extensive exhibit history, Joan’s work can be found in private and corporate collections and has been carried in galleries in the U.S., France, Ireland and Italy.


More information on the First Friday Art Walk and other exhibits can be found here.

5th Grade Invitational

The Watermark Art Center presents the 2014 5th Grade Invitational!

Join us on May 2nd from 4 to 6pm as a part of the First Friday Art Walk.





More about the exhibit can be found here on ISD 31 website!




The exhibit features work by students from Central, Horace May, JW Smith, Lincoln, Northern, Red Lake, Schoolcraft, Solway and St. Philips Elementary Schools.

The Watermark Art Center would like to thank our First Friday Art Walk Sponsors – Market Place Foods, Dunn Bros Coffee, First National Bank Bemidji, Paul Bunyan Communications and our Media Partner – KAXE/KBXE Northern Community Radio.


14th Annual Spring High School Exhibit

Watermark Art Center and Paul Bunyan Communications

are proud to present the 14th Annual Bemidji Area High School Spring Exhibit.

Join us on April 4th from 4pm to 6pm for the opening reception as a part of the

April First Friday Art Walk.

Enjoy food and refreshments!



Come early and vote for your favorite work art and help us select the “Peoples Choice Award” – Voting is available between 4pm and 5:30pm ONLY.  Winner is announced at 6pm!


The Watermark would like to extend a special thank you to this month’s Exhibit Sponsor…



We would also like to thank our First Friday Sponsors; Market Place Foods, Dunn Bros Coffee, First National Bank Bemidji, Paul Bunyan Communications and our Media Partner, KAXE/KBXE Northern Community Radio.

Exhibit runs April 4th through the 26th.  The Watermark is open Tuesday to Friday – 12 noon to 5 pm and Saturday – 10am to 2pm.  We are closed Sunday and Monday.


This Years People Choice Award goes to…..


Kali Benson from Trek North for her painting “Cityscape” – Kali is pictured with here with her painting and her instructor, Kristin Gustafson.