Bemidji’s Watermark Art Center Celebrates 5 Years in Current Building
Bemidji’s Watermark Art Center has served as a hub for visual arts in northern Minnesota. This month officially marks the organization’s 5th anniversary of moving into its current facility on Bemidji Avenue, just across the street from its space in the historic Carnegie Building.
“When we did the move five years ago, we were able to convert it into a larger space,” explained Watermark Art Center Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay. “So we were able to increase our exhibit space, exhibit opportunities for artists, we were able to have an education room which we had never had before and we were able to expand our retail store.”
During its time in the new location, the art center has seen growth both in its exhibit space and in its opportunity to work with local artists.
“There’s been a lot of accomplishments,” said Forshee-Donnay. “The growth in the educational programming, our ability to share more artists’ work because of the expanded gallery space, the BSU gallery where they’re sharing work.”
The art center has also seen growth thanks to the inclusion of its Education Studio Gallery, which provides art classes, as well as educational resources to the community.
“With the education we’re able to do adult classes, a lot of hands-on opportunities, we work with some of our arts that are exhibiting that present work,” said Forshee-Donnay.
With the growth the organization has had in the last five years, the Watermark Art Center has continued its mission to shine a light on local artists and foster an appreciation towards visual art to its visitors.
“I think my favorite part is when I see people come in and they’re taking in the exhibit,” explained Forshee-Donnay. “Watching them have that moment where they’re just enjoying the art and thinking about the art, we get to see that, the artists put their work up and they’re gone, they don’t get to see that, we get to see that every day and that’s really exciting.”
The Watermark Art Center will also be hosting holiday festivities on December 16th and 17th with an art market, food and drinks, and make-and-take family activity tables. More information can be found on its website.