Art Book Launch at Watermark

Minnesota artist Marley Kaul’s recently released book, ­Letters to Isabella, Paintings by Marley Kaul, presents seventy-seven egg tempera works each accompanied by a letter written to his granddaughter. The book offers stunning full color reproductions of his paintings and is also an intimate look at his artistic process and the unique personal and professional influences reflected in his long career as an artist.

In 2003, Kaul learned he would become a grandfather. A health concern caused him to worry about whether he would still be around to meet his granddaughter, or if she would have to speculate about his life and art after he was gone. He decided to compose a letter to her so she could read it later and know a little more about him.

As time went on, ­Kaul got to know his granddaughter quite well, but he continued writing her letters, filling them with advice, insights, and descriptions of his painting process and techniques. Those letters and the colorful egg tempera paintings they refer to come together in this vibrant art book.

As Kaul looks back on the many experiences that have influenced his forty-five plus years of painting, he recalls the farming community he grew up in, his German and Irish ethnicity, his work ethic and love of the land, and his interest in reading philosophy and poetry.

Kaul began painting with egg tempera (a paint made of pigment, egg yolk, and water) when he was called upon to teach it to his university art students. He has been painting with egg tempera for over 25 years and according to Laurel Reuter, director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, he is a contemporary egg tempera master.

This new book is a great resource for artists who are interested in painting technique and for anyone who values a window into the creative process

A book launch will take place at Watermark Art Center in Bemidji on November 12. The reception will start at 5:30 p.m. with a brief reading beginning at 6, followed by questions from the audience, book sales, and signing. The event will be hosted by Watermark’s Spoken Word Committee.

Born and raised on a farm in Good Thunder, Minnesota, Marley Kaul earned a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Oregon. He taught painting and drawing at Bemidji State University. He paints daily in his studio near Lake Bemidji and exhibits throughout the northern region. His paintings, acrylic and egg tempera, reside in private and public collections, including North Dakota Museum of Art, Plains Art Museum, Minnesota Historical Society, 3M Collections, Minnesota Mutual Life, Tweed Museum of Art, and Weisman Art Museum.

Author Will Weaver next featured author for Spoken Word Series

Will Weaver, nationally celebrated author of short stories, novels and young adult fiction, will be featured at the next Spoken Word Series event. Please join us to hear Weaver read from his latest memoir, The Last Hunter: An American Family Album, on Friday, October 23. The reception will start at 5:30 p.m., with the reading beginning at 6 p.m. at Watermark Art Center’s new location, 505 Bemidji Avenue North. In addition, Weaver will also lead a writer’s workshop on Saturday, October 24, for those wishing to study with this accomplished author.

Weaver is a graduate of both the University of Minnesota and Stanford University. His debut novel, Red Earth, White Earth, was published by Simon & Schuster, and was produced as a CBS television movie. A Gravestone Made of Wheat & Other Stories won the Minnesota Book Award for fiction. Several of the stories in that collection were produced by National Public Radio, and the title story was adapted into the film Sweet Land, starring actress Elizabeth Reaser.

A versatile writer, Will Weaver’s young adult novels have been highly praised. His YA novel Memory Boy (HarperCollins) was chosen a teen “top ten” book by the American Library
Association, and is in the works by the Minnesota Opera for a 2016 production. Weaver also recently began a new project called LitWeaver, an e-reading outreach for schools.

The Friday evening reading and reception is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A session following the reading and books will be available for purchase and signing.

The Saturday workshop, “Writing for an Audience: How to Hook and Hold a Reader,” will be held at Watermark (505 location) from 2-4 p.m. During this interactive workshop, Weaver will discuss the craft of writing. He will illustrate key techniques of fiction writing, with the goal of producing memorable writing that will keep readers engaged. These readers include agents and editors (if your goal is publication), and also general readers, including family and friends. Please pre-register for the workshop by October 21. Cost is $30 ($15 for students.) To register, call Watermark at 444-7570.

Historical fiction weekend with author Lin Enger

Enger_HighDivde_LW_AW.inddWatermark Art Center is proud to present author and teacher Lin Enger as the next featured writer in the Spoken Word Series. Enger’s most recent novel, The High Divide, details the journey of Ulysses Pope, a man haunted by the past he sets out to rectify, and his family who follows in search of him. The novel is a travel narrative whose exhibition not only runs through the bleak landscape of the 1880s American West/Midwest, but also journeys the emotional travels of the Pope family as they each learn what it means to face the truth. This literary western is set during an often-overlooked time period, after the Indian Wars but before the decimation of the American Bison, thus treating readers to a period of culture they rarely get to experience.

The High Divide received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. It was a finalist for both the Reading the West and Society of Midland Authors book awards for 2014.

Enger will read from this epic story on Friday, September 11 at Watermark Art Center in Bemidji. There will be a reception and book signing from 5-7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 6.

The following afternoon, Saturday, September 12, Enger will teach a workshop titled “Making Literature out of History.” The workshop will be held from 1-4 p.m. at Watermark. Through lecture, discussion, and writing exercises, attendees will consider elements that contribute to effective story rendering: significant detail, point of view, dialogue, and more. Cost for attending the workshop is $40, or $20 for students. Pre-register by September 9 by calling Watermark at 218-444-7570.

This workshop is geared for all ages and experience levels. Enger is a master writing teacher, who has spent nearly 30 Enger_headshotyears helping writers produce their best drafts. He taught graduate workshops in the MFA program at Minnesota State University Moorhead for 20 years, serving as MFA Program Director for six years. He was one of the original 10 faculty members at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN, and has led workshops and lectures throughout Minnesota and other states. Whether you have already been published or are writing your very first rough draft, this workshop is a great opportunity to receive expert advice at a low cost.

Enger, an Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate, currently teaches English and creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead. His short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Ascent, Great River Review, American Fiction, and other journals. In addition to The High Divide, Enger is the author of Undiscovered Country (2008). He also co-wrote a series of mystery novels in the 1990s with his brother, novelist Leif Enger, under the pseudonym L. L. Enger.

Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant session with Bao Phi

Bao Phi. Photo by Min Enterprises Photography

Bao Phi. Photo by Min Enterprises Photography

Watermark will host an informational session regarding the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant on March 16th at 5:30 p.m. Leading the meeting will be Bao Phi, program director for The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, which sponsors the grant.

The Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant seeks to provide financial support and professional assistance to beginning writers across the state. Past grant winners represent a variety of genres, from fiction to memoir, poetry, and children’s books.

Money from this grant can be applied towards many different needs. Examples include hiring an editor or publicist, paying tuition for non-accredited writing courses and residencies, or covering travel costs for research. The grant can also help with unpaid work releases if applicants are taking time off to write, for which money can be requested to cover typical living expenses, including childcare or groceries. Applicants are encouraged to apply for the sum that meets their individual needs and projects, for up to $10,000.

The informational session, held in Watermark’s Main Gallery, will be an informal presentation and Q&A session to help interested writers best prepare for the application process.

The Minnesota Emerging Writers Grant is a tremendous opportunity for area writers and Watermark is pleased to assist in spreading the word. The meeting will be a time of networking and visiting in addition to information, with coffee provided. Whether you have a project in mind or would just like to hear about this grant opportunity, please join us at Watermark on March 16th!

Attendance is free but please pre-register by sending an email to

Who is Eligible:

This grant defines “emerging writers” as those in the early stages of their writing career. If you are unpublished or have no more than two books published, this is for you!

Applications are accepted from Minnesota poets, prose writers, children’s authors, and spoken word poetry artists. Applications are not accepted in the following genres: monologues, scripts, screenplays, journalism, academic, education, business, or self-help.

This grant is not for students. Students may apply for the grant while still in school but are required to be officially out of school when the grant is awarded–which will be sometime this fall. Graduating seniors or those officially out of school by fall semester may apply. All students are still encouraged to attend the meeting, however, as the information can assist them in applying in future years.

Reading and workshop with poet Diane Pittman

Poet Diane Pittman will be the first presenter in the 2015 Spoken Word Series. Diane, an area resident, has worked as a family physician for over 30 years. As a doctor, she is fascinated by the workings of body and brain, and brings those things together in the poetry she writes. Diane will share her talents during a two-day event, held March 6-7 at Watermark.

March 6th there will be an evening reading featuring a collection of new, original poetry titled “Brain Songs.” The reception will run from 5-7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 6. The following day, March 7th, Diane will lead a poetry workshop held in the lower level at Watermark, in the Region 2 Arts Council room. The workshop is titled “Poetry: The Yoga of Language” and will run from 1-4 p.m.

Attendance at the reading is free and open to the general public. Cost for the workshop is $40 ($20 for students). Space is limited, so contact Watermark as soon as possible to make your reservation. Register before March 4 by contacting us at 218-444-7570.

About Diane:

Diane Pittman came to Bemidji in 1985 as a young family physician just out of training. She practiced medicine for 30 years on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, gaining wisdom and inspiration from the people she served there. She has written poetry since childhood and over the years has learned much from the vibrant, generous literary community in the Bemidji area. She is an avid cyclist and shares that passion through Shifting Gears, a ministry of Peoples Church, which provides bikes to low income people. She loves winter, living in the Northwoods, and eating healthy, locally grown food. She recently opened True North Health Care, an Integrative Medicine and acupuncture practice. She lives in Turtle River Township with her husband, Lawrence Krantz, two cats: Beatrice and Fiscus, and a flock of geese and chickens.