wrapping paper

The Region 2 Arts Council Staff and Board of Directors would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season!

Our office will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26.  We will also be closed on New Years Day.



The Individual Artist Grant Deadline is Approaching!

Individual Artist Grant Application Deadline is January 15, 2018

The R2AC Individual Artist Grant Program, made available with funding from the McKnight Foundation, provides financial assistance to artists in any art discipline or in any stage of their career as an artist. This grant offers funding for costs associated with the exhibition, performance, or production of a creative work; purchase of materials or equipment necessary for a creative work; educational opportunities; mentorships; and proposals for career-enhancing projects or opportunities.
Artists can apply for up to $2,000 in grant funds.

Drop-In Information Sessions at our office:

We will have two Drop-In Dates dedicated to supporting you in applying for an Individual Artist Grant. We have iPads available for you to fill out your grant application, or you can bring your laptop.
December 12 at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and 5:00 – 6:30 pm
December 14 at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Region 2 Arts Council
505 Bemidji Ave. N
Bemidji, MN 56601

Presenting the 2017-2018 Artist Fellows

On October 28, 2017, a committee consisting of Region 2 Arts Council board members and established community artists convened to review 8 applications for the Artist Fellowship award.

After discussion and review of each applicant’s artistic quality, merit, and project proposal, basketry artist Shannon Lucas-Westrum of Bemidji and watercolorist and collage artist Kelli Lien of Bemidji were named 2017-2018 Artist Fellows.

Shannon Lucas-Westrum is an artist who specializes in weaving baskets that incorporate natural elements into unique shapes. She has been weaving since 2000, taking traditional weaving styles and merging them to form pieces that are both functional and sculptural. She occasionally teaches beginner workshops in weaving and jewelry making in her Bemidji Studio. Her work can be seen during the annual American Craft Council Show in St. Paul, the First City of Arts Studio Cruise in Bemidji, in regional galleries, and in her home studio by appointment. ShannonLucas-Westrum2018Fellow.jpeg
As a 2017-2018 Artist Fellow, Shannon has been accepted for an artist residency at Shankill Castle near Kilkenney, Ireland. From there she plans to travel to Galway to work with traditional master basket weaver Joe Hogan and his son Ciaren who is also an internationally recognized basket weaver. When she returns to Bemidji she plans to create contemporary baskets utilizing the traditional techniques and designs she encountered in Ireland made with locally cultivated materials, and plans an exhibition of her new baskets next year.

Kelli Lien has 20 years of experience working in watercolor and is a Signature Member of the Red River Watercolor Society. Her paintings have won top awards at national and regional shows, and her collages have been accepted into juried shows and will be included in the National Collage Society’s Calendar for 2018. Kelli has taught a variety of art-related classes at elementary schools, senior centers, and at the Rapid City fine arts center when she lived in South Dakota. Currently, some of her recent art can be found at Wings’n Willows Art Gallery, in Grand Rapids. kellilien2018fellow.jpeg
As a 2017-2018 Artist Fellow, Kelli’s plans focus on upgrading her studio, creating a new website to market her art, and producing new work. She wants to explore acrylic painting and abstraction and to have more time to focus on creating new collages and watercolors. She also hopes to connect with the community through teaching workshops, attending arts classes, being more involved in artist groups, and continuing exhibiting throughout the region.

The Region 2 Arts Council Board of Directors and Staff would like to thank each of the Artist Fellowship applicants and congratulate Shannon Lucas-Westrum and Kelli Lien as the 2017-2018 Artist Fellows!


We’ve Moved!

R2ACLegacyLogosRegion 2 Arts Council is now located at 505 Bemidji Avenue North in the new Watermark Art Center in Bemidji.

Come see our new space, learn about our grant programs, and discuss your arts project ideas.  We hope you’ll stop by!  Our office hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

We’re Moving!

IMG_1730Region 2 Arts Council has been immersed in the creative, generative energy of the Rail River Folk School for two full years, and for that, we are extremely grateful.

This week, we’ll be moving to our new home in the Watermark Art Center, 505 Bemidji Avenue North.  These are exciting transitional times, indeed!

Watermark Art Center is celebrating their Grand Opening & Community Dedication on
December 2 at 505 Bemidji Ave N. The public is invited to tour the new facility and view the inaugural exhibits from 1-4 p.m. At 2 p.m. there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring hand-drum singing by Waabinoo Bines and drum songs by Battle River Singers, plus remarks from art center officials and guests.

During the grand opening, all four galleries will feature exhibits, including Fresh and Faded Memories: Paintings by Marley Kaul, Aazhoomon Indigenous Art Exhibition, and a mixed media collage display by Terry Garrett. The Bemidji State University Gallery will show a range of modern and traditional print and ceramic pieces from their Harlow and Kleven collections in an exhibit titled A Lasting Gift. For more information on the grand opening, go to

The Region 2 Arts Council office will be open for tours during Watermark’s grand opening on Saturday. We hope you will stop by during the festivities to say hi and become acquainted with our new space.

Board Meeting Today

Today at 4:30 pm we will have our board meeting in the Rail River Folk School (Studio B). The public is welcome to join us to listen in on board business, and to witness the process of reviewing the applications for the Arts Learning Grant round.

The Rail River Folk School is located at 303 Railroad St SW, Bemidji, Minnesota.

Cultural Traditions in the Arts Grants

PrintCultural Traditions in the Arts Grant

Deadline: November 15, 2017

Maximum Award: $3,000

Cultural Traditions in the Arts Grants support events and activities that represent the diverse ethnic and cultural arts traditions in our state. These funds are specifically for building bridges between all Minnesotans through arts and culture by ensuring that Minnesotans are able to experience first hand our diverse cultures through the work of artists and arts organizations in the state. Non-profits, arts organizations, schools, community education programs, institutions of higher learning, local city, town, county government or tribal offices, or groups formed for nonprofit purposes with a fiscal sponsor can apply for grants up to $3,000 (with no cash match needed) to fund arts projects that will benefit the residents of Beltrami, Hubbard, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, or Mahnomen Counties.

Applications are online at For more information, or with questions, contact Region 2 Arts Council at 218-751-5447; toll-free at 800-275-5447; or via email at

Region 2 Arts Council is presently located at 303 Railroad Street SW in Bemidji.  This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.