The ArtWise organization is hosting an open house at its new art gallery, gift shop and art activity space from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Columbia Mall.

Sheila Renae Dalgliesh, a well-known Grand Forks visual artist and art instructor, will be the first artist whose work is featured in the gallery.

Her paintings, which will be on display through Oct. 22 in an exhibit titled “Ephemeral,” may be viewed from Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-6 p.m. or by appointment.

During the exhibit opening, ArtWise members will provide information about their upcoming activities and ongoing gallery exhibitions. The event also includes art activities for all ages, including “make-and-take” objects, according to Rita Haag, executive director of ArtWise.

The gallery’s first featured artist, Dalgliesh, specializes in landscapes and enjoys a type of painting called “plein air,” or outside painting, with acrylic paints.

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“My work aspires to capture the atmosphere, feeling, and momentariness of experiencing the landscape,” she said. “I want the viewer to feel the joy, loneliness, peace, what have you, that I may have felt in the moment.”

A full artist statement can be viewed in the gallery.

Dalgliesh said her work captures a “fleeting” glimpse of a natural scene that “changes with light and seasons and the weather -- it’s split-second.”

Except for one scene near Devils Lake, her exhibit portrays scenes in Grand Forks, including the Lincoln Park area. Most of the 40-plus artworks have been painted in the past year or two and range in size from four inches square to four or five feet square, she said. All the artwork is for sale.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of art will go toward ArtWise programming, she said.

Dalgliesh has been active as an educator, conducting art camps, workshops and classes in Grand Forks and the surrounding region for nearly 20 years.

With the opening of this gallery and gift shop, “we are supporting local artists,” said Pirjo Berg, artist and ArtWise member.

The mission of ArtWise is to enhance the Greater Grand Forks community through educational visual arts programs and exhibition space for youth, families and artists.

ArtWise has moved its office from Ben Franklin Elementary School into the gallery in the mall’s center court, near the former Francesca women’s store and the Sears wing.

The open house marks the organization’s “first big step into our new mission and refocus,” Haag said. The mission “is evolving from a school-based program into more of a community-based program,” with drop-in art-making, art lessons, and art camps open to children and adults. ArtWise will be “serving the entire community and focusing on that need,” she said.

ArtWise has been a part of the Grand Forks community for 28 years, originally supporting Grand Forks Public Schools’ Artist in the Classroom program. Although the Grand Forks School Board voted last spring to discontinue the Artist in the Classroom program, and shift art instruction to the classroom teacher, ArtWise is planning to address that issue in the future, Haag said, but first needs to establish its presence in the mall.

The ArtWise gallery welcomes artists who are 18 years of age or older and who live or work within a 60-mile radius of Grand Forks, to apply to show their work in the gallery or gift shop, Haag said.

For more information, contact ArtWise at .