The Watermark Art Center (WMAC) is a non-profit, member-supported organization dedicated to encouraging the growth and development of art in our community. Watermark provides gallery space for exhibitions, author readings, and  workshops. We display national, regional, and local artists in group exhibits, solo shows, and installations—featuring approximately eight new exhibits a year from February through December. Our exhibit schedule may be booked anywhere from six months to a year in advance but we encourage artists to apply at any time. For information on applying and an application, please go to our Request to Exhibit page.

Watermark began as the Bemidji Community Arts Center (BCAC). We were founded in 1982 after a merger between The Bemidji Community Arts Council, Inc. (established in 1970) and the Bemidji Art Center Association. In October of 2012, the BCAC purchased the former Lakeside Luekens grocery store located across the street from our current home in the historic Carnegie Library on the shores of Lake Bemidji. In February of 2014, we officially changed our name to the Watermark Art Center. Work is now being done to raise funds to convert the former Lakeside Luekens into the new Watermark Art Center. Read more about that process in the Our Future Home tab.

Watermark is proud to serve as a resource for the artist, art enthusiast, art buyer, and community as a whole.

The WMAC strives to increase art awareness by:

  • serving as an arts communication network
  • providing an arts facility for the community and artists
  • presenting and sponsoring quality art exhibits
  • organizing art festivals
  • generating active community participation
  • coordinating with other art organizations for a stronger arts community

Valuing a vibrant community, the Watermark Art Center’s mission is to nurture the growth, development of, and access to the visual arts in Northern Minnesota.

Board Members

  • Lorie Yourd, President
  • Paula Engen, Vice President
  • Pat Kelly, Secretary
  • Bill Kelly, Past Vice President
  • John Lembi
  • Kate Smith
  • Beverly Erickson
  • Deborah Jensen
  • Colleen Greer

Lori Forshee-Donnay, Executive Director
Cindy Stenberg, Executive Assistant
Emily Enger, Communications Director