ArtWise Opens Gallery, Gift Shop and Art Activity Space at Columbia Mall


Sheila Renae Dalgliesh, a well-known visual artist and art teacher from Grand Forks, will be the first artist whose work will be featured in the gallery.

His paintings, which will be on display until October 22 in an exhibition called “Ephemeral”, can be seen Tuesday to Saturday, 1 pm to 6 pm or by appointment.

At the opening of the exhibition, ArtWise members will provide information about their upcoming activities and current exhibitions in the galleries. The event also features arts activities for all ages, including “do and take away” items, according to Rita Haag, executive director of ArtWise.

The first artist featured by the gallery, Dalgliesh, specializes in landscapes and enjoys a type of painting called “plein air” or exterior painting, with acrylic paints.

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“My work aspires to capture the atmosphere, the feeling and the immediacy of the experience of the landscape,” she said. “I want the viewer to feel the joy, the loneliness, the peace, what’s the matter, that I could have felt at the time.”

A complete artist statement can be viewed in the gallery.

Dalgliesh said his work captures a “fleeting” glimpse of a natural scene that “changes with light, seasons and weather – it’s in a fraction of a second.”

With the exception of one scene near Devils Lake, his exhibit depicts scenes in Grand Forks, including the Lincoln Park area. Most of the more than 40 pieces of art have been painted in the past two years and range in size from four square inches to four or five square feet, she said. All works are for sale.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of artwork will go towards ArtWise programming, she said.

Dalgliesh has been active as an educator, running art camps, workshops, and classes in Grand Forks and the surrounding area for almost 20 years.

With the opening of this gallery and gift shop, “we are supporting local artists,” said Pirjo Berg, artist and member of ArtWise.

ArtWise’s mission is to improve the Grand Grand Forks community through educational visual arts programs and exhibition spaces for youth, families and artists.

ArtWise has moved its office from Ben Franklin Elementary School to the Mall’s Center Court Gallery, near the former Francesca Women’s Store and the Sears Wing.

The open house marks the “first big step for the organization in our new mission and refocusing,” said Haag. The mission “evolves from a school curriculum into a more community-oriented program,” with art classes, art classes and art camps open to children and adults. ArtWise “will serve the whole community and focus on this need,” she said.

ArtWise has been a part of the Grand Forks community for 28 years, originally supporting the Artist in the Classroom program at Grand Forks Public Schools. Although the Grand Forks School Board voted last spring to discontinue the Artist in the Classroom program and transfer arts education to the classroom teacher, ArtWise plans to address this issue in the future, Haag said, but must first establish its presence in the shopping arcade.

The ArtWise Gallery welcomes artists aged 18 or older who live or work within a 60-mile radius of Grand Forks, to request to show their work in the gallery or gift shop, Haag said.

For more information, contact ArtWise at [email protected] .

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