Watermark Art Center is thrilled to announce the name of its new Native American gallery, slated to open this fall when current renovations to the art center are complete. The Miikanan Gallery will welcome and promote contemporary and traditional work of Indigenous artists by providing ongoing exhibitions, retail opportunities and educational events for the region.

“Miikanan refers to ‘many paths’,” explained Karen Goulet, program director of the Miikanan Gallery. “The name is a testament to the history of our region. Situated between three Ojibwe reservations, Bemidji is an ideal location for a space dedicated to Indigenous art activities.”

In addition to location and history, the new name is also a reference to the variety of art that will be shown in the gallery. The Miikanan Gallery will exhibit both traditional and contemporary artwork created by Native American artists, including two-dimensional, three-dimensional and multi-media works.

“The name ‘Miikanan’ was chosen by Watermark’s Native American Gallery Advisory Committee,” said Lori Forshee-Donnay, Watermark’s executive director. “It was a process that came about over multiple discussions and meetings held throughout the last few months. We are grateful for their dedication and very pleased with the name they selected.”

Under the leadership of Goulet, the Miikanan Gallery has already begun sponsoring events off-site while waiting for facility renovations to conclude before their official opening. They are also beginning outreach to foster relationships with Native American artists; individuals interested in working with the gallery can fill out the artist registry found on Miikanan Gallery page of Watermark’s website.

“As we prepare to open,” said Goulet, “we will continue to host and promote Indigenous art activities throughout the community. Details for these events will be listed on our website and Facebook page.”