Head up north this summer and discover how Bemidji perfectly balances urban life in a country setting. Known for its deep roots in arts and culture, Bemidji displays art from artists all around the country. Whether you’re looking for visual or performing arts, Bemidji can give you a metropolitan, artful experience while you relax in lake country. Step into the scene and learn more about the city’s history by visiting these artistic destinations below.
The Watermark Art Center
The Watermark Art Center is a non-profit member-supported organization dedicated to encouraging the growth and development of art in the Bemidji community. The Watermark Art Center features four galleries and an education studio, and provides space for rotating art exhibitions, author readings, and workshops featuring regional, national, and international artists.
If you are looking for local art to enjoy and take home, look no further than Gallery North. Located near the heart of downtown, this non-profit cooperative art gallery is under the sponsorship of the Northern Artist Association which gives members a place to display their work and sell it. The gallery encourages growth, builds confidence, and provides public exposure for artists while emphasizing variety and individuality.
Bemidji Sculpture Walk
One of Bemidji’s most popular art experiences can be found on the city’s streets and sidewalks, thanks to the Bemidji Sculpture Walk. Marking its 20th anniversary in 2019, the sculpture walk has become a staple for both residents and visitors. This year, the organization added 16 new sculptures. You can still see encore or returning pieces on the tour, too (they spend two to three years on the walk). Pieces in the permanent collection include murals and special works like the Shaynowishkung (Chief Bemidji) statue in Library Park. Most new and encore works are also available for private sale. You can find the sculpture walk tour maps and additional information at the Bemidji Sculpture Walk website.
Bemidji is also known for its rich history and culture. At the historic Railroad Depot, the Beltrami County Historical Society is currently showcasing an exhibit titled “Trails Through Time” which showcases details of Beltrami County from the time of the glaciers, which receded to the mid-20th century. This exhibit features new displays, offers interactive touchscreen stations, and highlights a variety of photographs and artifacts. Other topics you can learn about at the history center include Ojibwe history, Beltrami County’s beautiful and changing landscape, the first people to call the area home, exploration, the fur trade, logging, surveying, Giacomo Costantino Beltrami, education, music, entertainment, and more.
Summer in lake country provides the perfect space to explore and truly go “one step further” while discovering Bemidji’s greatest artistic treasures. To book your stay or learn more about what Bemidji has to offer head to visitbemidji.com.