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 http://www.hscbemidji.org

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.




Asiniig – with Duane Goodwin

Duane Goodwin

Duane Goodwin

February First Friday Art Walk Opening

Watermark Art Center (formerly Bemidji Community Art Center) and Paul Bunyan Communications present the opening of “Asiniig” with artist Duane Goodwin as a part of the February First Friday Art Walk.  The Anishinaabe word for “stones” ~ Asiniig represents a collection of work by Goodwin featuring his stone sculpture along with paintings, beadwork and carvings from his personal collection.  Join us for the opening reception on Friday, February 7th from 5pm to 7pm featuring an artist talk by Goodwin and special guest and artist, Carl Gawboy starting at 6pm.

“When Duane  Goodwin returned from New Mexico in the  early 70’s he was determined to create a world where American Indian art was a regional cultural force.  He set about  learning and  recreating the rich Ojibwe traditional art’s of clothing adornment. He taught himself oil and watercolor painting. But is in the field of sculpture that Goodwin excels.  Bison, Eagles and Indian faces emerge from stones; but the stones are still stones.  Massive , solid, patterned, smooth, or rough…The figures emerging from his stones seem to be the result of natural forces; wind, rain and frost  shaping mountains.”   ~ Carl Gawboy

Other Special Guests on Friday include: Bob Jourdain, Darryl Northbird and John Romer

Thanks to our Business Partner and Corporate Sponsor for this exhibit – Print

For more information about other First Friday Art Walk events and exhibits go to our First Friday page.

I’ve been carving since 1971 when I first began working with native pipe stone. The year 1973 I started my first formal art education at the Institute of American Indian Arts. There I received training under the famous Allan Houser who later became my mentor and friend. It was then my sculptural interest evolved into a life dream of becoming an artist. Allan’s influence and teaching methods became a solid foundation in what would be a lifelong learning experience. Today much of what I teach and sculpt is based on Allan’s influence.

I employ the basic principles of what learned at IAIA to achieve aesthetic results in all my sculptures. I’m of indigenous origin, Anishinaabe and Lakota descent, and proudly recognize both cultures. My sculptures represent the strengths of both tribes.

Dewey at work

Dewey at work in Barn/Studio

Working with a variety of choice rock from around the world inspires me to be selective with my subject.

My favorite subjects are horses, buffalo, birds of prey and family orientated sculptures.  My sculptures are moderate in size ranging from 50 pounds to 350 pounds but I’m always open to for larger commissions.

Goodwin works on Sacred Bowl sculpture at 2006 Minnesota Rocks -International Sculpture Symposium.

Goodwin works on Sacred Bowl sculpture at 2006 Minnesota Rocks -International Sculpture Symposium.

I’m very proud of the life size sculpture I carved for the 2006 Minnesota Rocks International Sculpture Symposium. The sculpture is proudly placed on the banks of Mississippi River overlooking the ancient Lakota burial grounds in Mounds Parks, St. Paul.

Creating art needs to be nurtured with patience, it provides an outlet for thought and compassion.  Creativity  nourishes my soul with happiness and contentment, keeping my focused of what important my culture, family and artistic expression.  My philosophy is empowering the spirit with beauty, vision and strength.  These values are translated into my work, by capturing the elegance of an eagle or the beauty of the horse.

Wind in His Hair

Wind in His Hair

Legends of the Anishinaabe inspire me to create sculptures of vision and strength.  My inspirations are also discovered in simple every day experience, my home, barn/studio and natural surrounds has been a great source.

I feel stone is the right medium for I enjoy the challenge, each stone has it’s qualities and flaws.  Experience has taught me to appreciate the variety of that I work I select rock for it’s sculptural consistencies and beauty.”

- Duane “Dewey” Goodwin 

Duane Goodwin – Artist and Educator

Duane Goodwin is a 2012 Community Spirit Award Honoree with the First Peoples Fund –  First Peoples Fund chooses its Community Spirit Award honorees for their commitment to sustaining the cultural values of Native people.  For more than 28 years, Stone Sculptor Duane Goodwin has made countless contributions in art education and art appreciation in Bemidji and the Leech Lake Reservation.  Melissa Pond, a colleague at LeechLakeTribalCollege where Goodwin teaches, says, “As an artist, Dewey Goodwin demonstrates a gift for creation, storytelling and sharing in his work. His sculptures, in particular, are renowned for their ability to unite both the spirit of the stone and the spirit of the subject.”

Goodwin in the classroom

Goodwin in the classroom

Leech Lake Tribal College Director of Advancement Kyle Erickson who nominated Goodwin for the award said, “While Dewey is probably best known for his work with stone, he has also taught students at Leech Lake Tribal College about drawing, painting, pottery and a host of traditional Anishinaabe arts and crafts.  Students take pride in the works that they create under Dewey’s instruction, and that pride translates into a better self image and better outlook on life.” 

Duane Goodwin – International Recognition

Completed sculptures from 2006 symposium - Sacred Bowl by Goodwin before installation (foreground) "Meditation" by Lei Yixin (backgroud)

Completed sculptures from 2006 symposium – Sacred Bowl by Goodwin before installation (foreground) “Meditation” by Lei Yixin (backgroud)

In 2006 I was selected as one of fourteen carvers to represent at the Minnesota Rocks! International Stone Carving Symposium where carvers from Minnesota, China, Italy, Japan, Germany, Egypt, Africa, Finland and Mexico would congregate.

The magnitude of this experience was inspirational, living and working with master carvers for six weeks was a tremendous opportunity. The education was incredible learning foreign language, cultural values, creative process and carving techniques from the finest carvers in the world.

My sculpture, “Sacred Bowl” created as a part of this symposium, was inspired by a site over looking the ancient Lakota burial grounds on the banks of Mississippi river in MoundsPark, St. Paul. My vision was creating a culturally appropriate monument blending into the landscape, a grandmother holding a offering bowl (sage holder) would evolve to capture the essence of time and beauty.

Sacred Bowl looks onto Native American Burial Mounds on Bluff overlooking Mississippi River.

Sacred Bowl looks onto Native American Burial Mounds on Bluff overlooking Mississippi River.

Native limestone (Dolomite) well known for constructional qualities was determined by stone experts that it would be substantial for the harsh Minnesota climate.  Winona Limestone company provided the best quality blocks inspected and cut by professionals at the quarry. Several pieces of Pipestone were also used on the front and back of the sculpture. The installation and dedication would follow in October of 2006.


Hear Duane talk about his work during an interview on KAXE/KBXE Northern Community Radio.  He was interviewed by Maggie Montgomery and Robert Saxton on Wednesday, February 5th as a part of the upcoming First Friday Art Walk review for Bemidji and Grand Rapids.

January First Friday at a Glance

Join us for the First Friday Art Walk in Bemidji on January 3rd, 2014

  • Brigid’s Pub – presents the artists of Studio 10 for a new exhibit entitled “Winter Pastimes”. The exhibit includes some new works created especially for this exhibit as a part of the First Friday Art Walk on Friday Jan. 3rd. Join us from 4:30 to 6 pm for the opening reception and to meet the artists. Brigid’s Pub is located in Downtown Bemidji at 317 Beltrami Ave NW.
  • Gallery North – continues their “Holiday Boutique” of hand made items as the Showcase Artist for the month of January with a reception on Friday afternoon, January 3rd from 2-5 pm. Gallery North is a non-profit cooperative art gallery that has been displaying and selling original art and fine crafts by area artists since 1989. Please check out the website at http://www.gallerynorthbemidji.com.
  • Headwaters Science Center – is pleased to present Lindsey Owens as our featured First Friday artist. Lindsey was born and raised in Bemidji, MN. She attended TrekNorth High School and participated in the “Art From Within” show in 2011 and 2013. She participated in an art project her senior year with HSC and completed a mural combining the importance of art and science as part of a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) initiative. Lindsey was contracted by the Parents Embracing Time After Loss (PETAL) Program for a piece displayed at the Sanford Hospital in Bemidji. Lindsey current attends University of Minnesota, Morris where she studies art and psychology. HSC will host a reception from 5 to 6 pm on January 3rd on the upper balcony of the Center. The public is invited to meet Lindsey and discuss her work, and enjoy light refreshments as a part of the first Friday Art Walk. Join us at the Headwaters Science Center, located at 413 Beltrami Ave in Downtown Bemidji. For more information call 444-4472 or email director@hscbemidji.org
  • Watermark Art Center (formerly Bemidji Community Art Center) will be closed through Jan 13th and re-open for regular hours on the 14th -Tuesday to Friday 12 noon to 5pm and Saturday’s 10am to 2pm. Located in the upper level of the Historic Carnegie Library Building at 426 Bemidji Ave N. 218-444-7570 or bcac@paulbunyan.net

Exhibits around town…….

  • Beltrami County History Center features artwork on display from Gallery North, along with their new history center exhibit “Trails Through Time”. This recently installed exhibit showcases county history from the time of glacial recession to the mid-20th century. Topics include Ojibwe history, logging, entertainment, education, and much more. With over 60 additional feet of new exhibit cases, this exhibit features more of the History Center’s extensive collections! Winter Hours: the History Center is open, now through the end of March, Saturdays from 10am to 4pm or by appointment for group visits and research. 218-444-3376
  • Neilson Place presents “Walking Through Nature” an exhibit of paintings by Maureen O’Brien beginning November 15th and continuing through February 2014. Maureen brings nature to those who cannot walk in it daily. Neilson Place is located on the Sanford WoodsEdge campus, 1000 Anne Street NW. For hours or more information call 751-0220 extension #1.
  • Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse – presents “New Collaborations” by Marlon Davidson and Don Knudson continues through January at Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse. The artists are best known for their dimensional, mixed-media wall pieces that show well in private and public spaces. One of the objectives of the two artists is to successfully combine both natural elements and also more sophisticated content, and put them together in a way that makes the work harmonious. (Note: there will be no First Friday Wine Bar and Dinner at the Wild Hare in January, as well as no artist reception on January First Friday)