Paintings and Illustrations by Alice Blessing
Paintings and Illustrations by Alice Blessing, 2011 Career Development Fellowship recipient
Northern Arts News

We are always tremendously grateful to community members who are willing to serve on the R2AC board. Board members contribute their artistic knowledge and their time to award grants to artists and organizations and to govern our organization. At the end of June, four of our R2AC board members will be completing their terms.


We'd like to thank our outgoing Board Officers, Chair Deane Johnson of Hubbard county, and Secretary Patt Rall of Beltrami county, for the many hours they've given in service to R2AC.  We'd also like to thank outgoing board members Lois Schaedler of Mahnomen county and Malotte Backer of Clearwater county for their support of the arts in our five county Region.  We will miss them and the excellent work they have done for R2AC. 


New board members will be appointed and announced soon.


The Cultural Data Project (CDP) has arrived in Minnesota with training available in Region 2 this August. The CDP, managed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, is a free online management and reporting tool currently operating in12 states with 13,000 arts and cultural organizations using the system.


What's in it for Participants? Arts and cultural organizations will contribute information to a database that will provide a wide range of reports to track trends, analyze performance, gather data for grant applications and benchmark progress. Reports can be generated to grant makers or to compare aspects of operations to anonymous pools of peer organizations. The CDP strengthens the arts through the power of information.


Free orientation sessions for nonprofit arts, cultural and historical organizations will be held at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts in Bemidji, August 22, 2012 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Webinar dates are available on the CDP website. Learn more about CDP at


Have a wonderful arts filled summer!


Terri Widman 

R2AC Executive Director



Bemidji 2012 Legacy Destination Week Events: June 11-17


Don't miss the week-long line up of activities showcasing arts, history, and outdoor activities available in Bemidji as a direct result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funds.  


Additionally, Bemidji is celebrating legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan's 75th year of greeting visitors from the shores of Lake Bemidji this summer.   


Join in the fun and celebrate Bemidji's arts and cultural heritage and beautiful outdoors, June 11-17! 


 Click here for a detailed schedule of events. 


For more information, contact Cindy Habedank at 877-250-5959 or visit their website.  



legacy destination


R2AC News 

R2AC Awards Individual Artist Grants 

R2AC awarded $8,635 through the Individual Artist Grant Program to individual artists in Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen, and Lake of the Woods Counties. The purpose of this grant is to stimulate new artistic endeavors in the region by providing project assistance to regional artists who are seriously committed to their work and to the advancement of their artistic careers. The Individual Artist Grant Program is supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation. Click here to see a complete list of recipients and information about their projects. 


Grant Deadlines

A new R2AC granting cycle begins with the August 16, 2012 deadline for the Arts and Cultural Heritage grant.  Click here for more grants in the 2012-2013 cycle. Check R2AC website often for the most updated information and FY13 grant application forms.  


R2AC Seeking Mahnomen Board Member 
R2AC is currently seeking a board member from Mahnomen county to fill a two-year term vacancy beginning July 1, 2012.  To receive an application, please email or write to Nominating Committee, Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave, Bemidji, MN 56601 or call 218-751-5447 or 1 800-275-5447. 

Northern Arts News Deadline

Deadline for the July issue of the R2AC newsletter, Northern Arts News, is June 7. Please send submissions to Amy Zimmermann.



May 30 - June 27, 2012  June Artists at Blank Canvas Gallery

2011 Region 2 Arts Council / McKnight Career Development Fellowship recipient Alice Blessing is one of several Guest Artists at BCG for the month of June. Park Rapids area artist Bickey Bender will be the Featured Artist.  Bickey Bender's recent works titled "Scenes from Bosnia" will be on display.  Alice Blessing's work on display includes her children's book illustrations as well as her paintings.  Blank Canvas Gallery is located at 311 Main Ave. South, Park Rapids. 

June 1   Bemidji First Friday Events See the complete list of events at the BCAC website 


legacy destinationJune 6 - 16     The Spitfire Grill   spitfiregrill

The Paul Bunyan Playhouse presents The Spitfire Grill at the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji. Performances nightly at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.  Percy Talbot has been released from a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter and gets a new start at a restaurant in a struggling town. The Spitfire Grill is a celebration of fresh starts and the power of what one person can do. 


Summer Concert Series at Lake Bemidji State Park

Sit back, relax, and enjoy a musical concert at the beautiful Ampitheatre in the Lake Bemidji State Park. Concerts will be held on Sunday afternoons at 1:30pm. Call the Headwaters School of Music & the Arts at 218-444-5606 for more information.


June 3:  Free Indeed

June 10: Shylan Rose & Friends

June 17: Doyle & Tony Turner

June 22: Kledhammer Family

June 24: Tim Sparks


The 2012 Summer Recital Series

The Bemidji Area Church Musicians present the 2012 Summer Recital Series on Wednesdays from 12 - 12:30 p.m. Cost: free will offering to support music scholarships. Lunch is available after each concert with costs to be announced.


June 6       Michael Olson, organ, at the Evangelical Free Church 

                 115 Carr Lake Rd, SW, Bemidji. This recital will be 45 minutes in length.

June 13     Bells of Bethel, Carol L. Johnson, Vickie Stenerson, directors 

                 Bethel Lutheran Church, 5232 Irvine Ave. NW, Bemidji.

June 20     Eve Sumsky, horn, at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church

                 1800 Irvine Ave. NW, Bemidji.

June 27     2011 Scholarship Recipients: Aaron Schnackenberg, saxophone and Eric Haugen, 

                 cello at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 2220 Anne St. NW, Bemidji.


Long Lake Theater Performances

Showtimes are Wed. 3 p.m. and Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m. For reservations, call 218-732-0099 or visit their website. Tickets also available at Sister Wolf Books (Dorset) and Beagle Books (Park Rapids). Ticket holders are invited to opening performance galas at the Jewel of the North Bed and Breakfast to mingle with cast members and enjoy light refreshments. The galas will be from 5-7 p.m.


June 6-30       Over the River and Through the Woods

Nick Cristano, a single young guy from New Jersey, dutifully visits his loving and loony Italian-American grandparents for dinner every Sunday. Disaster strikes when Nick announces he's been offered his dream job - across the country.


June 9-10       The Belle of Amherst 

Based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson from 1830-1886, and set in her Amherst, Massachusetts home, the one-woman play uses her work, diaries, and letters to recall her encounters with the significant people in her life.


June 9     Lot 6 Art Fair

Lot 6 Art Fair will host arts and crafts vendors and performers in conjunction with Harmony Food Co-op's Summer Festival and multiple downtown Bemidji events. Contact Deborah with any questions. 


June 9    Eat Your Art Out  

R2AC Fellowship Recipient Alice Blessing will be the Featured Artist at "Eat Your Art Out".  Good Life Café is partnering with Nemeth Art Center for this juried art event. Come out for an evening of art, live music, and cocktails. See new work by local and regional artists.  


Time: 8-10 p.m.

Location: The Good Life Cafe, 220 Main Ave South, Park Rapids, MN 


June 10    Artists' Reception and Talk at Blank Canvas Gallery

Alice Blessing will give an artist talk at 2:45 pm about her children's book illustrations and paintings.  This Meet the Artist talk is the capstone event of Blessing's 2011 R2AC/McKnight Career Development Fellowship.  


Time: Reception for Featured Artist and Guest Artists 1-3 p.m. Talk:  2:45 p.m.  

Location: Blank Canvas Galley, 311 Main Ave. South, Park Rapids 


June 10, 12-14     Gayle Highberg Exhibit

Gayle Highberg will exhibit her acrylic, watercolor and mixed media work at The Fireside in Bagley. Opening reception June 10 from 3-6 p.m. June 12-14 from 12 noon - closing. The Fireside is located 1 mile west of Bagley on Highway 2.


legacy destinationJune 16     June Spoken Word Event   spokenword

The Bemidji Community Art Center presents their June Spoken Word Event featuring a book release and reading of Muddy Jungle Rivers, a memoir by author Wendell Affield.  Reception is from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave.  Refreshments at 4:30, reading begins at 5 pm with Q&A and book signing to follow.  


legacy destinationJune 16     John Berquist Performance    johnberquist        

Beltrami County History Center presents John Berquist, Folklorist/Musician performance at 2 p.m. He will present traditional lumberjack songs and lore in a celebration of north woods heritage.


June 19       BSO Conductor Beverly Everett at WETCC in Mahnomen  
2011 Region 2 Arts Council/McKnight Career Development Fellowship recipient Beverly Everett will give a performance and talk on her fellowship studies with conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. 

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: White Earth Tribal and Community College (New Building) in Mahnomen, MN



June 20 - 30     The Sunshine Boys 

The Paul Bunyan Playhouse presents The Sunshine Boys at the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji. Performances nightly at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.  Lewis and Clark were famous comedians during the vaudeville era; off-stage though, they couldn't stand each other, and haven't spoken for 20 years. 


legacysmallJune 23-24     Lady Slipper Celebration Artist Presentations

Area artists will be giving special presentations during the 2012 Lady Slipper Celebration which will encompass both ends of the Lady Slipper Scenic Byway. Activities will focus on the north end in Blackduck on Saturday from 10-4 p.m., and on the south end at Norway Beach Visitors Center near Cass Lake on Sunday from 11-5 p.m.


June 23     Award-winning watercolor artist Jane Freeman will demonstrate her use of light and 

                layering at two different times (TBA) at the Blackduck segment of the celebration, 

                using a showy lady's slipper as her subject. 


June 24     Photographer Joe Rossi will present work from his book, Minnesota's Hidden 

                Alphabetat Norway Beach Visitors Center. Rossi has won numerous awards,    

                including the 2010 Northeastern Minnesota Book award in children's literature 

                for his book. 


June 24     Bug-O-Nay-Gee-Shig School drum dancers and singers will host a Pow-Wow 

demonstration at Norway Beach. Learn about Pow-wow etiquette and the significance behind the dances and the regalia.


Visit their website for complete details of activities and schedules for this year's celebration. Artists who would like to be part of the Blackduck art walk "Art Around Town" can call Shirley, 218-835-7826 for information. 


This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.


June 28 & 30  Puccini's Madama Butterfly

Loon Opera Company presents Puccini's tragic love story Madama Butterfly on stage at 7:30 p.m. in the Bemidji High School auditorium. This is a full-stage production complete with orchestra and a cast of national and regional opera singers. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets available at Kelsey's Jewelry, at the door or by calling 218-368-8805. General Admission tickets: $25.


June 30   Nemeth Art Center 35th Anniversary

The Nemeth Art Center is turning 35! Celebrate Nemeth's birthday by viewing the Gabor and Edith Nemeth Study Collection in its entirety. For the first time since 1977, all pieces from this historic collection will be on view. Also, be the first to experience the new multi-media history of the collection at 7:30 p.m.  Nemeth Art Center is located at 301 Court Avenue, Park Rapids, MN.




June 7     Marketing for Artists 

R2AC sponsors Marketing for Artists, a professional development workshop presented by Noah Keesecker from Springboard for the Arts. This workshop is devoted to identifying the right audience for your artistic output, positioning yourself and developing marketing strategies and a marketing plan geared for that audience.  


Time: 6 - 8:30 p.m.

Place: Coldwell Banker, 101 South Main, Park Rapids, MN


June 11     Doing Business Online

R2AC sponsors Doing Business Online, a professional development workshop for artists presented by Ryan Pesch of the University of Minnesota Extension. Explore tools available to best connect with customers. Learn about selling your work online. Discuss concerns related to online transactions like security, shipping and costs.  Explore the use of Paypal and online banking platforms. 


Time:     5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Place:   Bemidji High School, Bemidji


All artists served by R2AC are invited to attend. Make an investment in the future of your arts business. To register, call 751-5447 / 800 275-5447 or email R2AC. 


June 11-15     Bemidji ARTCAMP

Headwaters School of Music & the Arts will host Bemidji ARTCAMP. This year's featured artists as instructors include Margaret Burger, Cal Rice and Kristin Majkrzak. This camp is open to students ages 13-18. Events start Monday at noon and end Friday evening.


Please contact Headwaters School of Music & the Arts for more information and to register at 218-444-5606. Cost: $100 a day or $500 for the week. This is an unique art experience that no teen will want to miss.



June 14     Jerome Foundation Informational Workshop for Emerging Film                    and Video Makers

An informational session will be conducted for emerging film and video makers interested in submitting a proposal to the 2012 Minnesota Film and Video Grant Program in the disciplines of experimental, narrative, documentary and animated film and video making.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.


Time:  7:30-9:30 p.m.

Location: IFP Minnesota, 2446 University Avenue West, Suite 100, St. Paul, MN


June 15     Photography for Artists

Blank Canvas Gallery presents Photography for Artists instructed by Cal Rice. Participants will learn to photograph both two and three dimensional art. These skills can be used to document your art for brochures, shows and inventory.


Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Place: Northwoods Bank, 1200 East First Street, Park Rapids, MN

Cost: $25.


To register, visit Blank Canvas Gallery or call or email Karen Sharbo at 218-732-5630 or 612-619-7506. This workshop is sponsored in part by Region 2 Arts Council.


June 18-28     Youth Chamber Camp

Dr. Melanie Hanson will be leading the Headwaters School of Music & Arts first Chamber Camp for string students. She will assign students to a chamber music group that will meet for one hour on Mondays & Wednesdays. Large group will meet 4:30-5:30 on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Cost is $50. 

Call the Headwaters School of Music & the Arts at 218-444-5606 to register and for more information.


June 19 Community Collaboration Workshop (Baudette) 

NOTE: This workshop has been rescheduled for Wednesday June 27 


June 19      Photography Workshop with Steve Peterson


Photographer Steve Peterson will discuss composition and the ways casual photographers can use savvy design techniques to make professional looking photographs.


Time 7 p.m.

Location: Nemeth Art Center, 301 Court Ave, Park Rapids, MN 


June 19, 20, 21     Painting Crystal

Blank Canvas Gallery presents Painting Crystal watercolor workshop instructed by June Young. Learn to use the process of glazing to produce a realistic watercolor painting of cut glass crystal. Learn to use the subtle nuances of color and light to make painting come alive and achieve luminosity of color.


Times: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Location: Century Middle School, 501 Helten Ave, Park Rapids, MN

Cost: $185 (Member and sponsor discounts apply)


R2AC Color LogoJune 27      Community Collaboration Workshop in Baudette 

R2AC presents a Community Collaboration Workshop, designed for artists, non-profits, community organizers and city planners to come together and share arts project ideas with the goal of strengthening Lake of the Woods communities through art. Presenter Mark Turner will explore the value of coordinating arts events and activities with other regional partners and share concrete examples of collaborative efforts and cutting edge arts collaborative practices.


Time: 6-8 p.m. JUNE 27 (New Date) 

Location: The Depot, Baudette 


Email or call R2AC at 218-751-5447 or 800-275-5447 by June 20 to register.  


June 28-30     Jane Freeman's Watercolor Workshop

Watercolor artist Jane Freeman will facilitate a workshop for adult artists who wish to enhance their artistic skill. This workshop will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at Beltrami Electric meeting room.  


Cost is $180 and space is limited.

Call 218-444-5606 to register and for more information.     

legacysmallClear Waters Life Center, Gonvick

Monday classes offered at 1-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Cost: 15 per class. For more information and a membership form, call 218-776-2789.


Pottery Studio with Al Spray

1st Monday of June - August 2012


Drawing/Painting Studio with Jay Jones

2nd Monday of June - August 2012


Mosaic/Glass Studio with JoAnn McFarlin

3rd Monday of June 2012 - February 2013


Headwaters School of Music & the Arts

Third Street Singers, a non-audition senior chorus program, rehearses Monday afternoons from 1-2 p.m. weekly in the recital hall and performs regularly in the community. Call 218-444-5606 with any questions. 



Itasca Leathergoods 

Itasca Leathergoods is looking for two sewers and a person to run the hydraulic "clicker" machines to stamp out the leather pieces for the sewers. Wages are competitive. Applicant must be willing to work in the Lake George facility. If interested, email Paul Kirkman or call at 612-481-2853.


The College of Visual Arts (CVA) Deadline: June 21

The CVA is seeking proposals for the annual Portals on Western public art installation exhibition program that supports the work of Minnesota artists. The Portals on Western public exhibition space is located in the windows and storefront of the CVA Gallery Building at the corner of Western and Selby Avenues, creating a nexus between community organizations, small businesses and the arts. Download the full RFP for more information.


Highpoint Center for Printmaking Deadline: July 16

The Jerome Residency program is open to emerging Minnesota printmakers who already possess basic training in traditional printmaking techniques, and can provide original examples of such work. Highpoint Center for Printmaking is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the art of printmaking. Highpoint is pleased to announce three printmaking residencies for emerging artists beginning in September 2012. For more information and application, visit their website.    


2012 Minnesota Film and Video Grant Program Deadline: July 20

Application materials for emerging Minnesota film and video makers is available after June 1, 2012 on the Jerome Foundation website and in paper form upon request to the Jerome Foundation office, 400 Sibley Street, Suite 125, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-1928.  Telephone:  651.224.9431 or 1-800-995-3766. 


Shannon's Art & Soul Opens in July 

Opening July 2012 in downtown Bemidji at 313 Beltrami Ave., Shannon's Art & Soul will showcase a variety of local arts and crafts and will be accepting consignment at a 35% commission, with all pieces over $500 retail to be negotiated individually. All mediums will be considered including furniture, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, locally produced CDs, instruments, and sewing. In addition instructors for arts workshops will be sought throughout the year.


For consignment or workshop information please email Shannon or call her at 218-556-5907. 


legacysmall10th Annual It's Only Clay Deadline: Sept. 5

BCAC Call for Ceramic Artists for the 10th Annual It's Only Clay National Juried Ceramics Competition and Exhibit in Bemidji, MN. 2012 Juror - Robert Briscoe.  IOC is dedicated to functional clay vessels and open to artists 18 years or older in the United States.  All work must be functional ceramics. Submitted works must be original and produced after January 2011.  All entries must value $500 or less. $30 for 3 entries.  Prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and equal $1,600.00.  Purchase awards for Margaret Harlow Vessel Collection at Bemidji State University. This activity is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature.


3rd Annual Opener Art Festival

This visual arts show and sale is open to artists in all areas of visual art. There are more than 50 vendor spaces available. The Festival will be at the Nielson Conference Center in the Sanford Center ballrooms on November 3, 2012. Fee:  $75 for 10x10 booth plus $15 processing fee.For information and application, visit the website or call 218-556-5907.





Sharon Chmielarz's poem was awarded the Waterstone Review's J. Kenyon Prize. Her work has been published by Loonfeather Press and many other publications.


The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council (PRLAAC) is pleased to announce Jake Jager as the first recipient of a scholarship from the Medici Project. Jager of Menahga will receive sponsorship in the form of tuition to continue dance instruction at the Northland School of Dance in Park Rapids which will culminate in a recital performance.


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About Us
Region 2 Arts Council strengthens the presence of the arts by supporting opportunities for arts creation, promotion, and education for the people of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, and Mahnomen counties.