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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.


 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 to 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 Annual Art Show for Students' at the Greater Grand Forks area public and private schools. Also, the ABC (Art By Children) Lease outreach program, in which 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 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 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  

ArtWise Board

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.


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