GRAND FORKS – A reception for the opening of the 2024 International Women’s Day exhibit is planned for 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Grand Forks Arts Center, operated by Arts for Vets, at 215 N. Third St.

Based on the theme “Inspire Inclusion,” the exhibit is a collaborative effort of the Arts for Vets, ERA NOW – Equal Rights Association, and The Women’s Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region.

The show will feature artwork by 47 area artists, as well as a piece from an artist in Luxembourg, said Kim Forness Wilson, Arts for Vets executive director.

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This painting, titled “I paint Flowers so they will not die,” by Heather Szklarski, is among the dozens of artworks on exhibit as part of the “Inspire Inclusion: An Art Show Celebrating International Women’s Day” from March 8 to 31 at the Grand Forks Arts Center, 215 N. Third St.

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The artwork includes all kinds of art mediums — acrylic, watercolor, photo-collage, collage, beadwork, clothing, fiber work, quilting and more, Wilson said. Most of the art will be available for sale; otherwise, items will be marked with a NFS (not for sale) tag.

Friday’s reception “will be a joyful celebration of women, with appetizers, beverages, dynamic discussion, live music and art performances,” she said. It is free and open to all.

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This painting, “Snubbed,” is by Ra’Chel Alexander, one of 47 artists whose works are being shown in the “Inspire Inclusion” exhibit, celebrating International Women’s Day, at the Grand Forks Arts Center.

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Weeks ago, in the call for artwork, Wilson said, artists were asked to consider the following: “When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion in all sectors of society, family, business and culture, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, empowerment, and conscious acknowledgement of all the contributions women give to make the world a better place.

“When women aren’t present, we must ask: Why not?

“When women are discriminated against, we must call out poor practice.

“When the treatment of women is not equitable, we must take action.

“When women’s contributions are not acknowledged and celebrated, we must create opportunities to do so.

“And we must do this each time, every time.

“To truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify. Worldwide, women must be included in all fields of endeavor.”

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Quilted artworks, such as this piece “Maude Brown Shares a Secret,” by Jolene Mikkelson, will be among the artwork exhibited in the “Inspire Inclusion” show at the Grand Forks Arts Center. The show opens with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8.

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About the upcoming event Friday at the Grand Forks Arts Center, Wilson said, “This is going to be a wonderful celebration of women from all walks of life. As you stand before each work, ‘her story’ is evident; each woman has their own exceptional path to walk, no two alike, all rich in diverse stories and experiences.

“This show is about giving voice to those stories and encouraging the community to make places for women’s expressions and experiences, talents and gifts.”

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“Gone Fishing,” by Cheylon Gourneau, will be among the artworks shown at the “Inspire Inclusion” exhibit at the Grand Forks Arts Center.

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Artwork for the exhibition, which continues through March 31, was selected by a committee consisting of artists and art appreciators, with representation from all three hosting organizations.

The Grand Forks Arts Center is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 6-8 p.m.; Friday, noon-5 p.m.; and other times by appointment.

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“Emerge,” by Jamie Sebby, will be displayed in the “Inspire Inclusion” exhibit at the Grand Forks Arts Center this month.

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For more information, call (701) 330-3072 or email

[email protected]

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Pamela Knudson

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at [email protected] or (701) 780-1107.


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