History of ArtWise
ArtWise was incorporated as a non-profit elementary arts organization by parent volunteers in 1993 to support elementary visual arts programs in the Greater Grand Forks area.
In 2021, the Artist in the Classroom program ended. ArtWise moved to a new location, changed its mission, and continues serving the Grand Forks community.
Support of ArtWise
The Greater Grand Forks community generously supports ArtWise through individual memberships, business sponsorships, and grants. Artwise has Institutional Support through the North Dakota Council on the Arts.
ArtWise has fundraising activities including our gallery in the Columbia Mall, a fundraiser at the indoor golf club, Albatross, and many others.
Mission of ArtWise
The ArtWise mission is to enhance the Greater Grand Forks community through educational visual art programs and exhibition space for youth, families, and artists.
ArtWise has continued the ABC (Art By Children) Lease outreach program. Children's artwork is professionally matted, framed, and leased to Grand Forks businesses.
ArtWise holds Art Camps for kids in collaboration with the Muddy Waters Clay Center, other art organizations, and local artists. Also, Gallery artists are creating workshops for children and adults.
The ArtWise Gallery and Creation Space, in Columbia Mall, has rotating gallery exhibits and a gift shop that shows more than 20 artists; the artists are all locally based.
At the gallery, ArtWise has free art packs for children that families can do together in the gallery or take home. This is part of the Take'n'Make partnership with the Grand Forks Public Library.
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 2023-24:
President: Matthew Anderson, Arts in Education Director, North Dakota Council on the Arts
Vise President: Nicole Derenne, UND Art Historian
Secretary/Treasurer: Mary Kulas, Art Teacher at Sacred Heart
Joni Gilbertson, GFPF Para Educator
Rhiannon Conley, UND Assistant Teaching Professor, English
Aaron Stefanich, Grand Forks Children's Librarian
Tait Simonson, Artist, Art Teacher at Central Valley School
Carrie Sapa, Art Teacher at Sacred Heart
Andrea Lorentz, Program Coordinator East Grand Forks Library
Malissa Kuznicki, UND Academic Advisor, AVP Student Success
Martha Keifenheim, Artist, Community member
is meeting at ArtWise Gallery and Creation Space at 5 p.m. every last Monday of the Month except July. If there is a conflict with the holiday, the meeting will be held on the third Monday of the Month.