Art up in Greater Grand Forks

​When it comes to great works of art, our SimplyGrand cities are the place to go…or should I say, Van Gogh?!

Yes, even one of the most heralded artists in history, Vincent Van Gogh, had his paintings displayed in our community. In fact, the University of North Dakota collections (featured at both the North Dakota Museum of Art and Empire Arts Center Gallery) include works by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and countless other legends!

Probably the highest concentration of great works, with regard to both galleries and public art, occur in our Downtown District. Gallery wise, just some of the ones to check out are: The Guild (311 DeMers Ave); Third Street Gallery (310 Kittson Ave); Browning Arts (23 4th St S); World’s Smallest Gallery (324 Kittson Ave); YOU ARE HERE (25 S 4th St) and the River Walk Artists Gallery (211 DeMers Ave). Amazingly unique public displays can be found throughout downtown Grand Forks like the two colorful BIG Heads (3rd St & DeMers Ave and 4th St & Kittson Ave), Wally the Worm bike rack (4th St & 1st Ave N) and the newest one, entitled “Grand Escape”. Located on the corner of DeMers Avenue & 4thStreet, this Kevin Thompson installation features three blue mannequins scaling a brick wall. There are also several pocket parks adorned with metal sculptures, decorated dumpsters, painted up walls and much more. I recommend picking up fresh brewed java from one of several neighborhood coffeehouses and then just strolling around downtown to see what cool creations you can spot! The Convention & Visitors Bureau is also currently working on a new Downtown map that will mark the exact locations of all our one-of-a-kind artistic finds.

Another awesome Grand Forks public arts initiative is called “Project 88”. Joshua Gratton, president of Project 88 at the University of North Dakota, has stated the group was formed last year with the goal of helping provide its members both music business and organizing experience. This landmark project, featuring pianos hand-painted by local artists, was accomplished with the help of North Valley Arts Council and the Public Arts Commission. The 88-keyed creations may be found at Altru Rehabilitation Center, in the Riverwalk Centre hallway next to River Cinema and Mamma Maria’s and at Grand Cities Mall, with the hopes of creating even more melodic masterpieces in the future.

For additional information, along with an inclusive, updated listing of where to go to find wonderful works of art in Greater Grand Forks, go to

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Simply Grand

Julie R.

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