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History of ArtWise

ArtWise was incorporated as a non-profit elementary arts organization by a group of parent volunteers in 1993 for the purpose of supporting elementary visual arts programs in the Greater Grand Forks area.

In 2021 Artist in the Classroom program ended. ArtWise moved to a new location and changed its mission and continues serving the Grand Forks community.

Support of ArtWise

ArtWise is generously supported by the Greater Grand Forks community by individual memberships, business sponsorships and grants. Artwise has Institutional Support through the North Dakota Council on the Arts.


 ArtWise has some fundraising activities to include our gallery in the Columbia Mall, greeting card and planner sales, and new fundraiser at the golf center, Albatross, coming the fall of 2022.


 If you are interested in helping to support ArtWise you can donate online at Or contact ArtWise at 701-757-2781 or


Mission of ArtWise

The ArtWise mission is enhance the Greater Grand Forks community through educational visual art programs and exhibition space for youth, families and artists.

ArtWise Programs

ArtWise has continued the ABC (Art By Children) Lease outreach program. Children's artwork is professionally matted, framed and placed into Grad Forks businesses.

 ArtWise has added Art Lessons for Children this winter and will continue through the summer. Two weekends a month an artist will teach children the concepts of art by artmaking. Registration is monthly.

The ArtWise Gallery and Creation Space, in Columbia Mall, has rotating gallery exhibits and gift shop that shows more than 20 artists; the artists are all locally based. There are art packs for children that families can either do together in the gallery or take home. this is part of the Take'n'Make partnership with the Grand Forks Library and the North Dakota Museum of Art.

ArtWise also brings artmaking to community festivals throughout the year.

Staff and Management:

Rita Haag, Executive Director

Pirjo Berg, Gallery Manager

Erica Haag, Marketing


ArtWise Board of Directors 2022-23:

President:  Matthew Anderson, Arts in Education Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts

Vise President: Mary Kulas, Art Teacher

Secretary/Treasurer: Joni Gilbertson, GFPF Para Educator


              Sherry Aarnes, Business Leader


                  Rhiannon Conley, UND Assistant Teaching Professor, English


              Aaron Stefanich, Grand Forks Children's Librarian


              Tait Simonson, Artist, Art Teacher Central Valley School


              Rita Haag, ArtWise Executive Director


              Malissa Kuznicki, UND Assistant Teaching Professor, Graphic Design & Jewelry& Metalsmithing


              Brieanne Gibbon, Artist, UND Art Student 


ArtWise Board

is meeting at ArtWise Gallery and Creation Space at 5 pm every last Wednesday of the Month except December and July. If there is conflict with holiday, the meeting will be held on third Wednesday of the Month.


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