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
May 5, 2017

Events to Attend:

Gallery North – GALLERY NORTH HAS MOVED! Stop by their May First Friday reception to see the new space! Reception hours will be extended and will now be 2-6 pm. Showcase Artist for Gallery North’s First Friday will feature author Barb Schlichting. Writing under the name of Barbie Marie, this is Barbara Schlichting’s first picture book titled “Red Shoes.” Schlichting has a degree in elementary teaching plus a Masters in Special Education. She has always had an inkling to write a picture book for young children. Schlichting has had three adult mystery books published, but still had the desire to write for young children. Barbara will be on-hand to sign copies of her books. The Gallery’s Featured Artist is Rachel Davey. Davey was born and raised in Bemidji, then moved to Colorado Springs where she lived for 10 years before moving back and settling down with her family. After making her own wedding jewelry in 2010, Davey realized that she enjoyed working with Swarovski crystals and other shimmering glass beads and now makes anything that sparkles. She especially enjoys creating wedding jewelry, window prisms and Christmas ornaments. Stop by Gallery North’s First Friday reception, May 5th from 2-6 pm. The Gallery’s new location is: 310 4th St NW.

Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse – Through the month of May, Wild Hare Bistro & Coffeehouse will present artwork created by the Bemidji DAC and Northern Cass DAC (Developmental Achievement Centers), under the tutelage of Artist in Residence Diamond Knispel. In 2016, Bemidji DAC received a grant to host an Artist in Residence for six months. The program, the first of its kind at DAC Bemidji, started in March 2016 and ended in September. The artist worked with participants from both the Bemidji and Northern Cass DAC on murals, collage, watercolor and crayon. The program was part of a larger goal to meet the physical, social and emotional needs of DAC participants. See the results of the program and meet the Artist in Residence at the First Friday Art Walk, May 5th, 3-5 p.m. at Wild Hare, 523 Minnesota Ave.

Region 2 Arts Council – Join Region 2 Arts Council in their office space in the Rail River Folk School building on Friday May 5 from 4-7 p.m. for a second opening of the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Exhibit. This show exhibits traditional and contemporary artwork of Anishinaabe Arts Initiative grant recipients and Council members, and features the first AAI Artist Fellow, beadworker Tom Stillday of Ponemah. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 29 and runs through May 10. In addition to the first and second opening, the show is available for viewing M-F, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Please contact Region 2 in advance to accommodate larger groups. Region 2 is located at 303 Railroad Street SW, Bemidji.

Watermark Art Center presents the annual 5th Grade Invitational, May 5 – 20. This year’s exhibit will be a window show that will transform the 500 block of Beltrami Avenue into a block-wide art walk, with several business storefronts displaying students’ art in their windows. Participating host businesses include Watermark Art Center, The Tea & Gift Shoppe, Jake Bluhm State Farm Insurance, Walman Optical and Hair Teasers Studio. Participating schools will be the 5th grade classes of Lincoln, Schoolcraft, Central and Solway. An opening reception will be held May 5 from 4-6 p.m. with refreshments served at most host business locations. Attendees are encouraged to start at Watermark, 516 Beltrami Ave NW, and walk down the block!

The Least of These Fair Trade & Handmade Gift Shoppe is hosting a First Friday Art & Acoustics event on Friday May 5 from 5-7 pm. The featured artist is Jessica Mahlberg of The Lost Flower, who will be featuring her original jewelry lines.  Live music will be performed by local musician Seth Mostad. This family-friendly event will include snacks and refreshments.  The Least of These is a program of Hands of Action International, a Bemidji area non profit and is located at 108 3rd Street, downtown Bemidji next door to Fozzies  BBQ.

Rail River Folk School – Rail River Folk School introduces the inaugural First Friday Fest, May 5 from 7 p.m. – 12 p.m. The First Friday Fest is an all-inclusive music and creative arts gathering happening every First Friday. Its mission is to facilitate an environment for the local community to share and experience creative arts. It is the goal of First Friday Fest to feature all genres. The event is organized in such a way that the music gets progressively turned up throughout the night, contributing to a family friendly – and musician friendly – atmosphere. Musicians and other performers are invited to take part. Inquiring performers are asked to sign up in advance and will fill out a sign-up sheet to determine when their performance will be scheduled. To sign up, email Diamond at Rail River is located at 303 Railroad St. SW.

Exhibits to View:

Neilson Place continues the display of “Color Me Spring” by Diane Crawford. Crawford primarily is 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 Vagas 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 located on the Sanford WoodsEdge campus, 1000 Anne Street NW.

Bemidji Library – The library wall will feature the work of Kay Schuver. Schuver is an oil painter of still life and landscape paintings. Visit the library at 509 America Ave.

Dunn Bros Coffee will feature the work of Bemidji watercolor artist John Winter. The display will include his new paintings featuring outdoor scenes and local themes. Dunn Bros is located at 501 Paul Bunyan Dr SE.


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