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 8 artist 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 100 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.

Bemidji First Friday Art Walk
June 2, 2017

Dunn Bros Coffee – Manager Malisa VanMaasdam will display watercolor monoprints of the staff at Dunn Brothers. The show is called “Barista Blurbs” and each colorful print has a word bubble that tells you a little bit about the baristas that serve you every day. Dunn Bros is open 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. and is located at 501 Paul Bunyan Dr SE.

Neilson Place continues the display “Color Me Spring” by Diane Crawford. Crawford is primarily a self-taught artist who has attended many watercolor workshops over the years by nationally and internationally renowned artists. A move to Honolulu in 2005 and subsequent moves to Las Vagas and Colorado Springs gave her the opportunity and inspiration to further pursue her career in art and her colorful works reflect the influences of her life and experiences. Recently returning to Bemidji, Crawford is a member of Northern Artists and Gallery North. She teaches classes in alcohol inks through the Old Schoolhouse. Crawford has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Honolulu and Las Vegas and her works are in many private and public collections across the U.S. At Neilson Place, Crawford artwork will include watercolor, alcohol ink and Batik paintings. Neilson Place is open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and is located on the Sanford WoodsEdge campus, 1000 Anne Street NW.

Bemidji Library – The library wall will display the exhibit “Color of Life,” featuring oil paintings by Ronald Lyman. Lyman is a local artist who started oil painting in senor high at Bemidji High School. He began portrait painting while in the Navy. After leaving the service, he went to Bemidji State College for a degree in Industrial Tech. After a career in construction, Lyman returned to painting through adult education classes taught by Claudine Madison. He later joined the Northern Artist Association and is currently a member of Artist of Minnesota. Visit the library  from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. at 509 America Ave.

Watermark Art Center – “Change is good!” Stop by Watermark to check out new work by area artists in the art center’s temporary home on Beltrami Ave. Come June 2 from 2- 6 p.m. to see what’s new in basketry, textile art, pottery, mixed media collage, photography and more. Free Watermark t-shirts will be given out to all attendees during the art walk. Watermark is located at 516 Beltrami Ave.

Gallery North’s First Friday open house will be 2-6 pm, a “soft-opening” members show titled “Meet Our Members.” The artist cooperative offers paintings, photography, woodcarving, fiber arts, jewelry, ethnic arts, and sculpture created by local artists. Stop by Gallery North’s First Friday reception June 2nd from 2-6 pm at their new location, 310 4thSt. 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 like and share our Facebook page and check out the website at

Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse will feature the work of ceramist Tom Daly June 2nd – July 3rd.  Tom has worked clay professionally and taught youngsters for 30 years, and is well versed in a wide variety of hand building and wheel throwing techniques. Inspired by nature, natural forces, and the clay itself, this show will integrate living plants and the forms of driftwood into the installations. Meet the artist on the First Friday Art Walk, Friday June 2nd from 3-5pm. Wild Hare is located at 523 Minnesota Ave.

The Least of These Fair Trade & Handmade Gift Shoppe is hosting a unique First Friday Art & Acoustics event from 5-7 p.m. June 2nd. Join them for their soft opening of their brand new upstairs art studio and vote for your favorite painted chair, hand-painted by local artists! This event will include live music by Suzanne Barbknecht, as well as a variety of snacks and beverages. Be the first in the community to learn about the new art studio space and sign up for information on upcoming painting and artistic classes. The Least of These located at 108 3rd Street.

United Methodist Church – Come to United Methodist Church June 2 from 5-7 p.m. for an informal opportunity to view their Michael DeWitt sanctuary paintings. Viewers will see an installation of eight large oil on canvas paintings displayed in the worship area. These works are a surrealistic series of metaphors addressing selected life and spiritual issues. DeWitt will be present to field questions from those attending. This is not a church service, just a viewing opportunity. United Methodist is located at 924 Beltrami Ave NW.

Beltrami County History Center is commemorating the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into the “Great War” with a new, temporary exhibit. A selection of artifacts, photographs, apparel and documentation trace the steps leading to World War 1, America’s mobilization in 1917, and the conflict’s toll on Minnesota residents. Visitors are invited to preview the exhibit on June 2nd from 6-8 p.m.  Memorabilia that help illustrate Beltrami County’s involvement will be on display, including uniform parts, a canteen and mess kit, and a swatch of fabric retrieved from a fallen enemy combatant by Ralph Gracie, the first person from Bemidji to die in combat. Also featured will be May MacGregor Given, a Minnesota nurse who served overseas, and historic depictions of the Great Northern Depot, from which many service members started their journeys abroad. In honor of “National Doughnut Day,” old-fashioned doughnuts will be served to highlight the colloquial term, “doughboy,” originating partly from the fact that military personnel were offered doughnuts by Salvation Army volunteers during World War 1. The History Center is located at 130 Minnesota Ave SW.

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