Plein Air painting contest update

The Plein Air painting contest that was to be part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival (cancelled due to flooding) went on as scheduled on Saturday May 3rd in Welles Memorial Park in Breckenridge, MN. Despite the not-so-nice weather, there were painters from Fargo, North Dakota; Battle Lake, Minnesota; and one from Erskine, Minnesota which is about 60 miles East of Grand Forks.

The weather was mostly sunny, around 55 degrees, but the wind was brisk and pretty chilly and sent a few easels to the ground during the six or so hours of painting. Betty Lundin, of Erskine, MN had the right idea with her little wind shelter. IMG_0258

Plein Air artists and events are apparently few and far between. Betty traveled almost 200 miles to be in this event. She is an accomplished watercolor artist.


by Betty Lundin
by Betty Lundin



Here is Betty’s painting of the bridge over the Bois de Sioux :






Bois de Sioux river bridge by Nory McNelis



Nory McNelis came from the Battle Lake area to paint in the wind on Saturday.  Here is her vision of the same bridge:







Another by Nory McNelis.





people's choiceWarren Kessler came from Fargo, North Dakota and was the People’s Choice with this image of the Red River:




kessler leg closeup


Warren is an experienced Plein Air painter, who had learned perhaps the hard way  that stakes are a good thing to have on the bottom of your easel’s legs on a windy day.




Here is Warren by his easel: IMG_0261






Connie Riedman was declared  Best in Show . Connie is from Fargo, North Dakota and here are some images of Connie, her easel, and her paintings.


Connie Riedman
Connie Riedman

IMG_0265 IMG_0274 IMG_0287 IMG_0294



Connie’s easel.






 Best in Show




























IMG_0290                                                           Our judge was Joanne Cress. Joanne was recommended to us by Lake Region Arts Council. Joanne Cress is a life-long dedicated artist and art educator with a masters degree in art education. She has been honored
nationally for her excellence as an art teacher.

Joanne continues to mentor individual students, conduct workshops and serves on
the newly formed city arts council of Battle Lake. Her work in various mediums has been in juried shows.

Plein Air painting contest


Calling all artists!!


Three Rivers Arts Council

Plein Air Painting Contest

9:00 am. to 4:00 pm. during the Three Rivers Festival at the beautiful confluence of the Otter Tail, Bois de Sioux and Red Rivers, at Welles Memorial Park in Breckenridge, MN. on Saturday, May 3rd. 2014.

Contest is open to everyone at all skill levels. All entries will be accepted in all painting mediums. Examples include work done on art boards, wood, canvas, or paper. No framed work please.

There is no entry fee.

 Works may be for sale by artist. Works can be donated, with all proceeds to be used to fund future programming by Three Rivers Arts Council, a 501c3 non-profit organization.

A $100 prize will be awarded to the piece judged Best in Show. A People’s Choice award will also be presented. Winning pieces will be displayed for a month on our website, facebook page, and will be featured in the local paper.


  • All work must be finished by 4:00 pm for judging/voting. 
  • Sign, date and title your work on the back of your piece or pieces (up to 3)
  • All work must be started after 9:00 am. on May 3rd.
  • All painters must be registered, entries must be blank, and stamped on the back at the entry booth in Welles Park.
  • Painters must paint some perspective of the river or rivers Otter Tail, Bois de Sioux, or Red River in Breckenridge, MN, and be visible as they paint in that area.


People’s Choice award will be given at the end of the voting at 4:00 pm.

Best of Show

$100 cash prize will be awarded at the end of judging at 4:00 pm.

 Artist of the Month – during the month of May on our website





3rivfest plein air prospectus-page-0

Art Up

A Day With Artists For page-0Artists


“Helping Artists with The Business of Art”

Come join Wendy Klug, director of Art UP, as she shares her knowledge through a hands-on seminar aimed at emerging and established artists looking for additional business help.  This seminar is geared for visual artists of all mediums.  Seminar topics will include: What Is Art UP?  Working To Get What You Want, Website Development, Marketing That Works For You, and Online Advertising.  These seminars will be taught with a  “hand-on method” allowing you to start your business venture while receiving one-on-one attention.  Join us as we gather with artists from your community and start your business venture.

The seminar will be held in Wahpeton, North Dakota, through a cooperative initiative called Art Up. “We are excited and eager to help artists with professional business services designed for art-based businesses,” stated Wendy Klug, ND Small Business Development Center Business Consultant.  “We are here to offer seminars that will help beginning artisans as well as those established artists looking to fine tune their business strategies.  Each seminar will be followed by individual consultations where each artist can receive training tailored to their wants and needs to become a successful artist in their business adventure.

“North Dakota has very talented artists who deserve a wider customer base, and assistance specialized to their industry.  The Art Up initiative is one way we can help the arts community grow,” says Wendy Klug.  “As a business consultant and an artist myself, I understand the importance of tailoring each artists needs to their specific goals.  I want to be able to provide artists, whether they are emerging or established, access to new venues and web based outlets which can help them see greater sales.  I want to be there to support each artist and their business.“

 Art Up will be there by your side as you venture into the business.  Each seminar is followed by one-on-one consultations, free of charge, if the artist wishes to do so.  During these consultations, Art Up will offer you business advice that will help you grow as an artist and business.  Art Up will offer additional seminar events throughout the year.   If you are interested in attending upcoming seminars and receiving one-on-one consultations, email Wendy for more information at or call 701-213-8482 to reserve your spot today.

  Not able to make this seminar?  Art Up will be having seminars around the state of North Dakota and would love to see you there. Those interested in a specific topic or would like to learn more about a specific aspect of the arts business can contact Wendy Klug at wendy@ndsbdc.

For more information, contact Wendy Klug
Business Consultant
UND Center for Innovation
4200 James Ray Drive
Grand Forks, ND 58203
701.213.8482 cell
701.738.4852 fax

Nearby Fergus Falls, MN landmark artistic tribute

Laura Kirkbride compilation

CALL FOR ARTISTS:    Artists of all disciplines are invited to submit work they have made through the years that has been inspired by the Kirkbride Building, or the former Fergus Falls State Hospital. This artwork will be displayed in both a physical and online exhibit entitled “Essence of Memory and Space,” curated by Springboard for the Arts.

Submissions are due January 28, 2014. Artwork will be displayed at The Spot Panini & Wine in February 2014 (opening reception Saturday, February 8), and will be professionally documented and archived for community records about the hospital.

Click here to register and for more submission instructions:

About Imagine Fergus Falls (IFF):
The past and the future of the Kirkbride Building, or the former Fergus Falls State Hospital, have captivated the imagination of the community and surrounding area. From the architecture of the building, to the music, gardening, dancing and visual arts that were part of everyday life at the Kirkbride, creative expression animated this space for more than a century and played a significant role in the mental health healing process.

Now on the verge of a renaissance, the story of the hospital continues, and we are inviting artists to help share that story.


Kirkbride History Collage created by Laura Youngbird and Fergus Falls community members. Photos provided by Otter tail County Historical Society, MN Historical Society, Friends of the Kirkbride and Project Kirkbride.

3RAC receives Art4Life grant

NDCA logo

With grant monies and guidance received from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Three Rivers Arts Council will work with Siena Court Assisted Living Facility in Wahpeton, to bring artists and art activities to its elder residents, many of whom suffer health problems that limit their mobility and access to the artistic activities of the wider community.  The stated outcome of this project is to strengthen communities by engaging the care facility residents, their families, and communities in art activities that also improve the elder residents’ physical and emotional well-being.

Dr. William Thomas, a physician in New York, conducted medical research with elders in long term care facilities which resulted in the identification of three “plagues” (loneliness, boredom, and helplessness) that in a very real measurable way negatively affected the elders’ physical and emotional health.  In response, he developed an approach to institutional care called the Eden Alternative that is used as a therapeutic tool to counter those negative effects by providing daily spontaneity and opportunities for growth, by bringing in pets, etc.  (The Eden Alternative Handbook: The Art of Building Human Habitats, by Dr. William Thomas; Sherburn, NY: Summer Hill Co., Inc., 1999, p.11)

Inspired by this work, the North Dakota Council on the Arts’ (NDCA) conducted a pilot project with NEA support in 2001-03 to statistically measure the effects of intensive art activities and the human interaction associated with them in combating the “Three Plagues.”  The outcome showed a marked improvement in all three areas and resulted in the NDCA’s publication Art for Life: The Therapeutic Power and Promise of the Arts.  Subsequently in 2009, based on this pilot project, the NDCA obtained funding from the North Dakota state legislature to develop the Art for Life Program to address the Three Plagues.  This program involves local arts agencies partnering with elder care facilities to generate arts and artists interaction with the care facilities’ elder residents, staff, the elder residents’ families, and the community at large.  The focus of each artist and art activity is designed to address the Three Plagues of loneliness, boredom, and helplessness.  The program began in 3 towns and by 2014 will expand to a total of 10 North Dakota towns. 

Three Rivers Arts Council will work with Siena Court to bring artists and intensive art activities to these elder residents and their families.  The artists will conduct hands-on or interactive residencies, activities, workshops, and/or performances.  These efforts will occur in a group setting and/or individually.  Many of the residencies/activities also will include a public component whereby the residents’ families and the community at large are invited to participate with their elder family member.  All activities, whenever possible, will take place in the care facility.

In previous efforts, art forms included traditional American Indian and Norwegian storytelling, literature and creative writing, quilting and weaving, glass mosaics, bookmaking, folk and contemporary musical performances, painting with water colors, and Swedish Dala painting (a traditional storytelling form of folk painting that is used to depict events in a community’s or family’s history).

The project is supported by Three Rivers Arts Council,  Siena Court, and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.


Rita Erdrich
Rita Erdrich

FRIDAY – November 29, 2013

NOON TO 5:00 p.m.                                                                                      9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Laura Youngbird Open Studio                                                                     Bookhaven

121 N 5th St                                                                                                      322 Dakota Ave

Breckenridge, MN                                                                                            Wahpeton, ND

Showcasing Local Artists:
Laura and Felix Youngbird, Rita and Angela Erdrich, Pat Stuen, Denise Lajimodiere, Pat Kruse,  CD’s for sale by Bryan Akipa





Proposed budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts

 The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved a bill last week that would cut the National Endowment for the Arts by 49%. The National Endowment for the Arts supports artistic excellence and improves access to the arts by granting funds to nonprofit arts organizations. The cuts to NEA funding are significantly disproportionate to the rest of the budget. Cuts of this magnitude would end the agency’s ability to fund grants in every congressional district, and would bring the NEA’s funding down to a level not seen since 1974. 

 Michelle Obama gave an 11-minute address about the arts as a prelude to performances at the Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts School in September, 2009. The following is an excerpt from the White House transcript

“We believe strongly that the arts aren’t somehow an ‘extra’ part of our national life, but instead we feel that the arts are at the heart of our national life. It is through our music, our literature, our art, drama and dance that we tell the story of our past and we express our hopes for the future. Our artists challenge our assumptions in ways that many cannot and do not. They expand our understandings, and push us to view our world in new and very unexpected ways….. “ 

 “That is the power of the arts — to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common; to help us understand our history and imagine our future; to give us hope in the moments of struggle; and to bring us together when nothing else will.”       

 The arts enhance the quality of our lives in many ways. The arts provide a creative outlet and a means to engage our youth. What does that mean in our own community? Since the Red Door Gallery in Wahpeton has been open, the most common question has been regarding access to art classes for kids. Our community is fortunate that through local support, we have arts resources such as the Red Door Gallery. We as a nation need to have the same commitment to the arts.Students with an education rich in the arts have better grade point averages, score better on standardized tests in reading and math, and have lower dropout rates.

 The arts participate in and inform civic dialogue. Through the arts we enhance personal development, improve social cohesion, reduce isolation, and create a more active citizenry.One of the significant ways we make community is through the sharing of arts and culture.  The arts are central to distinguishing one community, one generation, from another. Our creativity defines us.

The arts preserve our cultural heritage and support ethnic diversity. Our rural communities contain some of the greatest cultural assets of our country. Rural economic development should be strengthened to help these communities promote the richness of their heritage and assist local artists with their entrepreneurship.

 Beyond their intrinsic value, Arts and Culture drive a creativity-based economy The arts earn tax revenue for state and local government. Across the country, the role of the arts as an economic engine is growing in acceptance and strength. According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts industry (museums, theater and dance companies, performing arts centers, orchestras, arts councils and others) generates $22.3 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues annually.

 The arts attract tourists and new tourism dollars. Public support of cultural tourism plays a critical role in community revitalization as well as in the surge in tourism, which is one of the fastest-growing economic markets in the country today. Sixty-five percent of U.S. travelers include cultural events as a part of their trips. 

 Art is important to us, because of how life would be without it, though we may not know it. We take it for granted, because many of us do not see its effects. The quality of our lives and our communities would be diminished without art. At the end of the day, it is a very small percentage of the national budget, but its value is huge. We get a great big bang for our buck. Please join me in letting your legislators know you value The Arts in your lives, your communities, and your country.


 Very Sincerely,


Amy L Schmidt

Three Rivers Arts Council

Wahpeton, ND / Breckenridge, MN

Buffalo Reception and Red Door Gallery Manager Transition

2logoWoolly Bully by Barb Benda Nagle (watercolor)We would like to encourage you to join us at the Red door Gallery, 418 Dakota Avenue, on Thursday night (July 18th) from 6 – 8 to enjoy refreshments, browse our buffalo exhibit, and congratulate  the winner of our buffalo contest –

“Woolly Bully”, a watercolor by Barb Benda Nagle.



We would also like to thank Maxine Adams, Executive Director of Lake Region Arts Council for judging our buffalo contest!



Come visit with other artists,  say a sad farewell to Mary Gibbon, our former Gallery Manager, who is leaving us for greener pastures.                                                        Mary’s last day is Friday and we will miss her enthusiasm, cheerful personality and the smile that lit up the gallery.

We want to thank her for all she has done.  We hope she continues to be part of the gallery.

THANK YOU, MARY!! We love you.


You can also meet our new Manager, Rhonda Goodman.  Rhonda comes to us with unbelievable qualifications and will make a wonderful addition to the gallery.   She will start her orientation on Thursday.

Wahpeton/Breckenridge Community Band

2logoThe Community Band is going strong again this year. They performed in Chahinkapa Park on the 24th of June to their biggest crowd to date!

band 2013


When asked about the performance, Band Director, Kent Loken said,

“There were 22 musicians on stage on June 24:
2 Flutes, 4 Clarinets, 1 Alto Sax, 3 French Horns, 6 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, 2 Baritones, 2 Percussionists and me!

One notable “what-not” of our June 24 “Music in the Park” concert was performing 5 new pieces that had only been rehearsed twice, with the performance being the first time that all of us were together!  This is a testament to the caliber of musicianship of the band members.

At our upcoming performance on Wednesday, July 31st, we will be performing 3 more new songs.  We have also added another French Horn player, making us a 4-Horn Band!  The variety of music that is performed has a “high” audience appeal rating!  We have several styles of music in our repertoire, making the performance very audience-friendly!  We have also been known to provide “treats” at our concerts!

We are a very friendly group that takes seriously both our music-making and having fun!  New members are welcome to join at any time.  As we are somewhat lacking in our bass voice, it would be especially great if we could find people that play any of the following instruments: Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Baritone Saxophone or Tuba.”

Shawn McCann is in town painting murals.

By virtue of an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Shawn McCann  is in Wahpeton painting three murals.


One mural is at Chahinkapa Zoo:







On June 22nd he created some 3D chalk art on the street in front of the Red Door.




He is also doing a mural inside Wahpeton’s Circle of Nations School, and one on the side of a downtown building, all before the summer is over.