First Friday Art Walk
Every first Friday of the month (except in January), Watermark Art Center and nearby venues come alive with exciting new exhibits, poetry readings, live music and delicious food. Every First Friday Art Walk hosts different themes by welcoming special guests (talented musicians, well-known authors, popular artists) for attendees to meet and greet. The event starts at 5 p.m. and usually attracts somewhere close to 250 visitors. Coffee shops, restaurants, a brewery and the local library are within walking distance of the center and showcase their own exhibits of talented artists, making it easy for guests to see everything within a short walk.
Looking for distinctive pieces of art for your home or for gift-giving? Then clear your calendar for October 21-23 for the First City of Arts’ 9th Annual Studio Cruise in Bemidji, where guests are invited to go on a self-guided tour within a 40-mile radius of Bemidji. Witness the creative process the some of the area’s best artisans as they demonstrate in their private studios, with the opportunity to purchase pieces directly from the artists. Whether it is the pristine natural surroundings, the relaxed pace, or the educational atmosphere, many artists create their life’s work, quietly tucked away in their individual studios. A driving brochure map of the participating studios in the region is available by request or by download.
Bemidji’s Sculpture Walk has been a fun addition to the local art scene since 1999. It includes an impressive display of sculptures, murals and art installments throughout the downtown area. Art lovers are encouraged to stop by the Tourist Information Center to pick up a brochure and a map that will direct them to all the sculptures. Keep in mind that during fall, the area will be shrouded by changing leaves, giving art lovers a fantastic opportunity to snap photos. Expect to find innovative pieces like a statue of Mr. Eggwards (an egg in a pinstripe suit), dreamcatcher, and a trellis in abstract form.
Don’t leave Bemidji without hitting some of its prestigious art galleries. The Watermark Art Center is the biggest and most attended gallery that houses a fantastic collection of paintings, photography and sculptures from artists nationwide. A gift shop is available at the center for art lovers to shop for souvenirs and prints of their favorite pieces. To go more local, visit Talley Gallery at Bemidji State University to see the works of rising new talents in the area, as well as popular artists from across the nation. The gallery is known to change up its exhibit frequently, allowing guests to view new art pieces every time they visit. Art lovers looking to purchase creative jewelry, one-of-a-kind houseware items, quilts, original paintings and more may want to swing by Gallery North located in downtown Bemidji. Each item in the shop is handmade by local artists and crafters, and the gallery is known to host demonstrations and workshops.