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Grand Forks art community gathers for "I Am Art!" rally

Randall Morin, a sophomore at UND and member of the Northstar Council Dancers, performs a traditional dance Wednesday afternoon during the "I Am Art!" Rally at Empire Arts Center. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald1 / 6
Taryn Villanti, left, and Randall Morin stand on the stage at Empire Arts Center Wednesday afternoon during a performance of the Northstar Council Dancers at the "I Am Art!" Rally. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald2 / 6
Members of the audience took the stage to perform the circle dance with the Northstar Council Dancers Wednesday afternoon during the "I Am Art!" Rally at Empire Arts Center. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald3 / 6
The Northstar Council Dancers perform while exiting the stage Wednesday at Empire Arts Center as part of the "I Am Art!" Rally. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald4 / 6
Examples of pottery sit at the Muddy Waters Clay Center table during the "I Am Art!" Rally at Empire Arts Center Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald5 / 6
Local artist Hillary Kempenich, left, and her daughter Niska, 6, display their artwork in the side-stage area at Empire Arts Center Wednesday afternoon during the "I Am Art!" Rally. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald6 / 6

Members of the Grand Forks art community gathered Thursday for the first “I Am Art!” Rally at Empire Arts Center.

The event saw a number of artists and performers, including booths in the front lobby area and side stage featuring local artists’ work and some live painting. There were also a number of performances on the main stage including dancing from the Northstar Council, belly dancers, fitness demonstrations, live music and a mural that was completed by volunteers throughout the day.

“Our goal is to bring artists together and eventually make Grand Forks an art hub,” said event organizer Kim Wilson. “There are also a lot of hidden treasures in this area, so we hoped to feature some of the amazing local art programs.”

The free event acted as a welcoming shelter from the rainy weather outside, providing entertainment from noon until the closing ceremony at 4 p.m.

Wilson expects the event to become an annual gathering, eventually growing in size and making Grand Forks a meeting place for artists from all around.

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