Celebrate women artists with Watermark exhibit

The show features pieces from the collections of Bemidji State University alumnae Margaret Harlow and Lillie Kleven.

This work by Jackie McElroy is among works by women artists on view through May 19, 2023 at the Watermark Art Center.
Contributed / Watermark Art Center

A show celebrating women artists is on display through May 19 at the Watermark Art Center.

According to the press release, “Women have been part of art history for generations, though they have never received the same acceptance or value as male artists. In the lucrative category of historical paintings in the 17th and 18th century, women who achieved the highest acclaim were educated in the finest art schools and had a mastery of human anatomy. However, many women were not admitted to prestigious art schools, and those who were accepted, were not permitted to attend figure classes. It was believed that looking at the nude male body was dangerous to the mores of a proper young lady.”

Bemidji State University (BSU) alumnae Margaret Harlow and Lillie Kleven collected works by some of the finest artists in the world of ceramics and printmaking. This work is curated by BSU as “teaching collections,” providing rotating exhibits featuring works exclusively from these two collections in the Harlow/Kleven Gallery.

Watermark galleries are free and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Visit for more information.

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