First Friday Art Walk

The First Friday Art Walk supports both the artists and businesses of Bemidji’s downtown community by providing a festive self-guided walking tour featuring an average of 11 artists’ receptions each month throughout downtown Bemidji’s restaurants, libraries, schools, and businesses. Watermark Art Center is the anchor exhibitor of the First Friday Art Walk, as well as its media liaison. An estimated 200-250 people are out each month during the First Friday Art Walk to attend art openings, visit with artists, and listen to artist talks, live music, readings or demonstrations. The fun continues into the evening as attendees visit area restaurants and bars for musical entertainment, food, and drink.

First Friday Schedule for May
May 1, 2015

Watermark Art Center invites you to the opening of the Annual 5th Grade Invitational from 4–6 pm.  This exhibit features work by 5th grade students from Central, Horace May, JW Smith, Lincoln, Northern, Red Lake, Schoolcraft, Solway, and St. Philips Elementary Schools. Please join us for the opening as a part of the First Friday Art Walk. Enjoy food and refreshments. Exhibit runs May 1–16. Watermark is located in the upper level of the Historic Carnegie Library Building at 426 Bemidji Ave N.

The Least of These Social Change Boutique & Art Studio presents artist Emma Brown with her eclectic exhibit of original acrylic paintings. Join us for our first ever First Friday Art Walk reception on May 1 between 5–7 pm. Refreshments will be served.  The Least of These is located downtown Bemidji at 310 4th Street NW. For more information contact Jenn Anderson at The Least of These is a program of Hands of Action International, a Bemidji-area non profit organization.

Vagrant Used Books, Records, and Prints presents the fiber artistry of Keila McCracken. McCracken is an environmental anthropologist with a passion for finding sustainable solutions to the current injustices of our globalized fashion industry. Her May First Friday show, “The Value in a Story,” will exhibit a range of her hand-crafted garments along with the two stories each piece holds: the story of how the garment was produced, from fiber to finished garment, and the story of the artist’s personal narrative, which often marks a transition in value, identity, and care. Come to McCracken’s reception from 5-8 pm at Vagrant, in the Rail River Folk School Building at 303 Railroad Street SW.

Gallery North is pleased to host two Showcase Artists at our First Friday Open House on May 1. Connie Nelson from Clearbrook is a rosemaler and will feature her rosemaled products. Marie Mychal from “Mychal Designs” will display her pen and ink artwork. Gallery North’s Featured Artist for May is Kat Sanders, who will feature her gourd art and handmade artisan glass beads. Gallery North is located at 502 3rd St. NW.

Wild Hare Bistro & Coffeehouse will present the “Tarot de Marseille” [“tarrow day marsay”] as painted by Bemidji artist Michael Wiltse, May 1–June 2. Wiltse will display his original Tarot Card depictions, hand painted on sheep skin parchment, paying homage to the original deck designs of the 15th century while adding his own signature differences. Artistic and mystical, Tarot decks have been used for card games and divination for over 500 years. Wiltse is the owner operator of Your Mom’s Tattoo Atelier in Bemidji. Join us for the opening reception on First Friday, from 3 to 5 pm.

Northwoods Folk Collective Open Stage offers an opportunity to share stories, music, poetry and other performance art with an attentive, enthusiastic, inter-generational audience. Host: Drew Warne-Jacobsen. Sign-up 6:30-7:30 during First Friday. RailRiver Folk School 303 Railroad Street SW. Bemidji (over the Irvine Ave bridge & left)

Exhibits around town…

Neilson Place is exhibiting the artwork of Terry Honstead entitled “My World,” displayed through June. Honstead works in mixed media, acrylic, watercolor, encaustic, lamp work, and sculpture. Neilson Place is located on the Sanford WoodsEdge campus, 1000 Anne Street NW, Bemidji.

RavenRock Jewelry and Fine Art and the Artists of Studio 10 are hosting an exhibit by artist Maureen O’Brien throughout the month of May. Her exhibit “Peace and Healing” will include original acrylic paintings and metal-infused prints. O’Brien’s work is inspired by the many benefits available to us in the north woods, and how both nature and art itself can provide us with healing and a calming peace in a busy world. View the exhibit at RavenRock, 1000 Paul Bunyan Dr. NW.

Dunn Bros Coffee will showcase work by painter Tawnee Geller at their location on 501 Paul Bunyan Dr SE. Geller spent the past year studying images of the cosmos and layering many coats of oils and lacquer to bring forth the human form in galaxies, aurora, planets, stars, and nebulae. This exhibit focuses on ‘Apophenia’ – the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of random phenomena.

The Bemidji library will have an exhibit on the art wall of the library for the months of May–July. Come see the display during First Friday at 509 America Ave NW.