inBemidji Spring 2023

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4 | inBemidji Spring 2023
Mike Ohl hangs artwork for local artist Diamond Knispel’s “Wild Whimsy of the Northwoods” exhibit at the Watermark Art Center.
Photo by Annalise Braught.
mission is to be Bemidji’s and the surrounding area’s local lifestyle magazine. We strive to enhance the quality of life for the people of the Bemidji area by informing them about all of the amazing people who live in our community. Our concentration is on everything local: fashion, food, health, and most importantly, unique individuals and stories.
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The Making of An Exhibit



The Larisa Cooks kitchen is frying up some fish this spring and has three recipes incorporating tilapia, walleye and trout.

At Random

inside Spring 2023 10 06 23 In this issue Bookmarked Spot the difference 30 06 09 DIY cow-painted flower pot Features
about all the moving parts
an art installation
to display to
that go into
from selection
State Park turns
Explore Lake Bemidji State Park’s rich history as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.
27 Spring 2023 inBemidji | 5
Donna Pawlowski is the latest interviewee as part of inBemidji’s personon-the-street interview series.

Cow-painted flower pot DIY

Cows and other livestock are a common sight in the spring, especially after the winter months of cold and seclusion. Many people also pay homage to a beautiful spring day with flowers. Marrying these together, this issue’s DIY Craft is a cow-painted flower pot. Easy and inexpensive, this craft is fun for the whole family. Happy painting!

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by Elizabeth Stark inBemidji staff



PAINT (white, black and pink)


Spring 2023 inBemidji | 7

STEP ONE: Paint the ceramic flower pot white. Allow 30 minutes for the paint to dry.

STEP TWO: Paint black patterns on the flower pot. You can paint the patterns however you like; we painted them in a circular, oval pattern.

STEP THREE: Paint a pink oval on the pot to resemble a cow’s nose.

STEP FOUR: Paint two little eyes and two dots for the nostrils using the black paint.

Bagley, MN

Saturday 10 am - 5 pm

Sunday 10 am - 4 pm


Apply by April 7th for an Early Discount! Print an Application or Apply Online at


8 | inBemidji Spring 2023
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Special Occasions - Floral Subscriptions
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Events -
Floral Delivery in Bemidji,
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The making of an exhibit


Inside Bemidji’s Watermark Art Center on any given day, a visitor might stand in just the right space to get a glimpse of all four Watermark galleries, possibly all in different stages of exhibit installation.

Today, Diamond Knispel’s, “Wild Whimsy of the Northwoods” stretches the lengths of Lakeview Gallery, paintings of northland animals and flowers captured in eyecatching splashes of color. In the Marley and Sandy Kaul Gallery, R. J.

Kern’s photography exhibition, “The Unchosen Ones” features large canvas portraits of 4-H students with their animals.

In Bemidji State University’s Harlow | Kleven Gallery, “A Celebration of Women Artists” acknowledges the historically overlooked talents of some of the world’s greatest female potters and printmakers. And in the Miikanan, Watermark’s Indigenous art gallery, “Aanikoosijigaade” — It is Linked — features emerging artists Joan Kauppi

and Shaawan Francis Keahna in thought-provoking mixed media. If that’s not enough variety for you, just wait, because exhibits are changed out every two to four months. There’s always something new to see.

For the past five years, Watermark has exhibited juried artwork by local, regional and international artists yearround in its four galleries. As a show nears the end of its run, others are queued up on a schedule that stretches out 18 months to two years.

10 | inBemidji Spring 2023
Sue Bruns special to inBemidji | photos by Annalise Braught

When an exhibition ends, signage is removed, pieces are taken down, packed carefully and shipped back to the artist or on to another gallery, walls are patched and paint is touched up.

Meanwhile another artist’s work arrives and installation begins, followed by the exhibit’s opening, programming and several weeks of viewing — free to the public.

Visitors to the Watermark bring varying degrees of appreciation for the exhibits, but most give little thought to the process that brings these exhibitions to life.

The center’s executive director, Lori Forshee-Donnay, coordinates and facilitates the processes for all four galleries and is responsible for the Kaul and Lakeview exhibits, while Miikanan exhibitions are managed by Program Director Karen Goulet.

BSU Art Gallery Director Laura Goliaszewski manages both the BSU Harlow | Kleven Gallery at Watermark and BSU’s Talley Gallery on campus.


A few shows are regulars at the Watermark like the annual middle and high school spring exhibits and “It’s Only Clay,” a national competition and exhibition held each year. The Bi-Annual Members Show features artwork by Watermark members in various mediums and is held every other year.

Other exhibits are proposed by an artist, a group or an organization through an application process. Proposals include samples of the artist’s works and information about the artist. Lori oversees the process and makes sure the exhibit committee has all the information needed to rank the proposals.

Celebrating 50 Years of Progress

Bemidji State Art Gallery Director Laura Goliaszewski packs up pottery items from the “Art as Mirror” exhibit to install the “A Celebration of Women Artists” exhibit on display through May 19 in BSU’s Harlow | Kleven Gallery at Watermark.

Committee member Gillian Bedford said the team goes over all artwork and applications that Watermark receives, examines the artists’ statements and proposals, and ranks them for possible exhibition at Watermark.

“Exhibits are selected based on their merits — originality of work, command of the medium, and strength and execution of their exhibit concept,” Lori said. “These are the three main things that determine whether an exhibit proposal will move forward or not.”

Once a proposal is accepted, she contacts the artist to work out the details and schedule the exhibit.

“A lot of factors influence that decision,” Lori said regarding the preparedness of the artist, the artist’s schedule and Watermark’s calendar.

Planning for upcoming exhibitions is also determined by the style, theme, number of pieces and mediums used, so that there is variety from one show to another. It’s unlikely, for example, that two photography exhibits or two sculpture exhibits will run consecutively.

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Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay, left, and Mike Ohl discuss where art for an upcoming exhibit should be hung.
“Exhibits are selected based on their merits — originality of work, command of the medium, and strength and execution of their exhibit concept.”
- Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay

Another factor that has to be addressed is insurance on the displayed pieces. Lori works with the artists and the insurers to determine values of individual pieces in case something is lost or broken while it is at the center.


Occasionally an exhibit will be selected for the Kaul or Lakeview Gallery in other ways.

“We are sometimes approached by other art organizations and asked to host a particular show like the Surface Design Associations Annual Members Show,” Lori added, “and sometimes artists or guilds propose a group show or even create their own concept of a juried show as Mary Therese did in 2022 with her ‘Umbrellas of Unity’ exhibit.”

The BSU Harlow | Kleven Gallery does three four-month exhibits per year, drawing from BSU’s 1,600piece collection of prints and ceramic

sculptures from some of the best artists in the world, a collection donated by Margaret Harlow and Lillie Kleven. Laura Goliaszewski draws from this collection to build exhibits.

“I start with a theme,” she detailed, “and then try to find things that reflect that theme.”

From there, she selects 12-14 prints and 10-14 pieces of ceramics from the collection to include in the exhibition. Some of the prints are not framed, so she mats and frames them. A BSU student assists with transporting, taking down and displaying the pieces.



Program Director Karen Goulet is well-connected for bringing Indigenous artists’ work to the Miikanan.

“We had to establish ourselves,” she said. “This is the first Native American art gallery in this region. We’re always seeking out artists to bring in.

“The priority for me is to show

diversity in the art forms that are available, so then it’s reaching out and finding artists who are painters or sculptors or (work with) fiber or textiles — sort of a rhythm — going back and forth between traditional and contemporary. I like to change it up because there are not a lot of venues for Native artists.”

Karen said Miikanan works with many new and emerging artists and has gone from doing a lot of group exhibits to solo and two-person shows. “We do a lot with artists who are moving forward in their professional lives, which is really fun to do,” she added.

Recently closed, GaaMiinigoowiziyang — “What We Were Given” was a group exhibit by Manidoo Ogitigaan, a Native American grassroots organization based in Bemidji with connections across the United States and Canada.

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R.J. Kern’s exhibit “The Unchosen Ones: Portraits of an American Pastoral” is on display through March 25 in the Kaul Gallery at Watermark Art Center.

Karen said exhibits like this are important because they show artists who are learning a traditional art form. She reached out to the organization because she wanted to make their work more visible.

“Part of my role is to challenge the notion of art versus craft. I think that creativity is its own voice,” Karen said, differentiating on the basis of the work’s caliber.

Pointing out the variety between works displayed in the previous exhibit and the current one, she noted, “diversity is important in the kind of exhibits we have and the authenticity of the artist’s voice. My job is to show people it doesn’t have to fall into a formula to be Indigenous art.”


Mike Ohl, retired art instructor and Watermark exhibit committee member, does much of the installation in the center’s three galleries. He helps Karen and Lori with exhibit installations and has been invaluable in helping trouble-shoot some of the trickier ones.

Details like how and where the pieces will be placed, spacing of the work and lighting are an integral part of exhibit installation.

Prior to installing Diamond Knispel’s exhibition in Lakeview, the walls were prepared: nail holes, patched; walls, spot-painted. Mike and Lori then lined up Diamond’s paintings along the walls according to her prescribed order — from early morning, progressing through the day as captured in her paintings.

Mike used a laser level to line up the paintings on the walls and hung them at 57 inches on center with ample spacing between them to allow the viewer to focus on each.

Meanwhile, Lori focused on the informational text Diamond had sent with her paintings, which would be printed, mounted on core board and placed. Lori said the text provided by Diamond — in a Microsoft Word document or Excel spreadsheet — makes it easy to edit or reformat if needed.

But installation is about more than just hanging pieces on a wall or placing them on pedestals. Laura referred to a study that estimated the average museum-goer spends just nine seconds looking at a piece of art.

The number of items needs to make sense for the space, and she strives to set up exhibits that will slow the viewers down to give them time to interact with and think about each piece.

“I want there to be space,” she said, “so that people don’t scan.”

She creates an environment to help the artist say what they want to say and a place for people to view the art without a lot of distracting graphics.


Selecting, planning, scheduling, promoting and installing all happen before the public sees the exhibits. From start (proposal or idea for an exhibit) to finish (installation), the process may take anywhere from months to years. Karen said Miikanan is booked about two years out, which is typical of the Kaul and the Lakeview Galleries as well.

Since Laura is working with an existing collection and building exhibits from those pieces, the process for the BSU Gallery is a little different. She usually plans out a year’s worth of exhibits at a time, and as soon as one is up, she’s matting, framing and researching the artists for the next one. Only one exhibit here has

included work from outside the Harlow | Kleven collection: a retirement farewell exhibition for BSU Professor Natalia Himmirska in 2020.

Exhibits are promoted well in advance of their openings — part of the job of Watermark’s Communications Director Lisa Seter. Usually an opening involves a welcome and presentation by the artist. Often programming accompanies the exhibit. When R. J. Kern’s exhibition opened, for example, the photographer presented a pin-hole cameramaking workshop.

When an exhibit ends, the work isn’t over. Pieces are packed up and shipped off, walls are patched and painted again, the entire cycle continues and visitors return to view new works. n

14 | inBemidji Spring 2023
A variety of tools are required when swapping out exhibits at the Watermark Art Center.
“Part of my role is to challenge the notion of art versus craft. I think that creativity is its own voice.”
- Program Director Karen Goulet

How an artist prepares for an exhibit

R.J. Kern has been exhibiting his work since 2014, both across the U.S. and internationally. He started work on “The Unchosen Ones” in 2015, took most of the initial photographs in 2016, and exhibited in Bemidji in 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, “The Unchosen Ones” was seen only online or through the windows of the Watermark.

Since then, he has extended the project with 50 “four-years-later” follow-up portraits of some of his original subjects and published his monograph “The Unchosen Ones: Portraits of an American Pastoral” in 2021. The current exhibit at Watermark includes pairings of some of his original portraits and the more recent shots of those subjects.

In preparing for an exhibit, R.J. thinks about new audiences that will resonate with his projects and approaches venues that seem to be good matches.

“To book one of my exhibitions, a signed agreement and retainer is required, which guarantees availability of the work with a precise budget and timeline, and my time and energy to be available for artist talks, book signings, panel discussions, and workshops tied to the exhibition,” R.J. said.

He ships his touring pieces as unframed canvas prints that can be rolled up and shipped in cases with wheels and handles. Installation involves top and bottom frame pieces that hold the canvas in place with powerful magnets.

“Venues get creative control of the installation of the work,” he added. “Sometimes I will send additional exhibition prints to choose from, which offers venues greater curatorial control.”

R.J. said he is “a fan of bringing the art to the people,” since most of this project was created outside the Twin Cities metro and was originally funded by a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.

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R.J. Kern’s exhibit “The Unchosen Ones: Portraits of an American Pastoral” is on display through March 25 in the Kaul Gallery at Watermark Art Center.



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Whether it’s a calming nature hike in the pines or a campsite to call home for a few days, Lake Bemidji State Park has something for everyone. This year, the state park is celebrating 100 years of family picnics, sunset boat rides, fishing trips, and days spent bird watching, hiking, camping, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing along with year-round naturalist-led activities.

More than 40 miles of hiking trails wind through the serene

pine-moraine Northwoods and over bogs filled with rare orchids and lady’s slippers peeking through. The forest is calm and peaceful, but comes to life in the evenings when the frogs and crickets sing. Deer, porcupines, racoons, squirrels, rabbits and the occasional black bear wander through the woods and many birds, owls and bald eagles soar above.

Longtime Bemidjian John Flypaa worked at Lake Bemidji State Park for decades as the park’s naturalist from 1981 to 2017 and witnessed the park

come to life firsthand.

John said people from Bemidji would boat to the north end of the lake beginning in the early 20th century for picnics and other outings.

“Initially (the park) was a place where various groups would go for a Sunday afternoon picnic,” he said. “They would either paddle a canoe over or there was a steamship on the lake that brought logs to the mill in the early days. On Sundays, that steamship would take people from town out to the park.”

Spring 2023 inBemidji | 17


Like the land all around Lake Bemidji, its history dates back long before the development of the city. For generations, Sioux tribes used the land for hunting and fishing and later on in about 1750, the westward-moving Chippewa (Ojibwe) reached the area.

Lake Bemidji has many names – the Ojibwe called it “Pemidigumaug,” meaning “cross water” in reference to the path of the Mississippi River through the lake. Early voyageur records identify the lake as Lac Travers, which is French for diagonal.

In the late 1800s, European immigrants were drawn to the area to harvest the prime white and Norway pine trees. Lumber mills on the south shore of Lake Bemidji were the center of logging in the nation during its peak and the foundation of one of the mills is still visible today near the DoubleTree Hotel.

John said that there’s indication that logging mills were within the park at one point in time, but the specific spots are unknown. One of the trails at the park today, called the Old Logging Trail, was used until the mid-1960s for timber cutting off of forestry land.

“In the park there’s a little sluiceway that typically would be used to hold water back on a wetland area,” John added. “In the spring, they’d let the water through so the logs could float down to the south end of the lake.”

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The land now known as Lake Bemidji State Park started as a 421 acre plot used for logging in the late 19th century. Fortunately, a few areas within the park were untouched and the state park was officially established in 1923 by the Minnesota Legislature, which preserved the last few groves of hundred-year-old virgin trees.

The park’s landscape is a result of the last stage of glaciation in Minnesota. Soil, gravel and rock material carried by a glacier as it moved south was eventually deposited as the ice receded 10,000 years ago and the meltwater running off the surface of the glacier also played a big role in constructing the shape of the land.

Swamps, streams and bogs in the park were formed when ice chunks separated from the receding glacier and left depressions which later filled with water — Lake Bemidji itself is the result of two giant blocks of ice left behind by the retreating glacier.

“(The park) has a lot of variety,” John said. “It has a lot of history, a little bit of geology, but mostly glacial geology which is typical in the region. There’s a lot to cover.”


John might be best known for leading the park’s “bog walks,” a trail hike through the park that takes visitors through a kind of visual cross section of its history, including areas that were logged heavily decades ago.

State park naturalists are like storytellers. They’re responsible for learning about the park, guiding visitors through nature, answering questions and providing a memorable experience. John found it important to expand awareness of the park to the public — and he did just that.

Even Bemidji resident and town historian at the Beltrami County History Center Lois Jenkins said when she moved to the area in the 60s she doesn’t remember anything at the park until Lake Bemidji State Park added naturalists. When John became a naturalist, he made the park come to life in a way.

“I think before (the attractions were) camping and the beach,” Lois said. “To me, during (John’s time) it was the bog walk, cross-country skiing, the nature hikes, the pontoon rides and all these activities provided for the community to get out and enjoy nature.”

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Upon asking John what sets Lake Bemidji State Park apart from other Minnesota state parks, his immediate response was the boardwalk across the conifer bog — home to a wide array of some of the state’s most rare plant and animal species.

The boardwalk leads into areas where pitcherplants, sundews, orchids and other plants live without disturbing their habitat. Minnesota’s state flower, the Showy lady’s slipper, grows in bunches throughout the bog and can be easily spotted and photographed from the boardwalk path.

“It’s the best orchid stomping-grounds around,” Lois added.

Studying field biology and limnology — the study of lakes and streams — at Luther College in Iowa and Mankato State, John’s background in aquatic ecology was a reflection of what he brought to the park and why most of the activities, like the bog walk, were centered around the water. But his favorite part was encountering and teaching all the different types of people about what he loved — nature.

“I started working in parks as a summer naturalist and I realized it’s not just one section of people I would be able to work with so rather than, let’s say college students, the naturalist program went from children through adults with a PhD,” John said with a laugh. “So it was always a broad range and that was fun. I learned from them just as much as they learned from me.”

Another big focus of a park’s naturalist is to inspire and introduce the next generation to nature. Working for almost 40 years as a naturalist, some memories stick out more than others. For John, he most enjoyed going into schools to teach the children and taking school groups into the park so they could see it for themselves.

“Helping people understand the natural world and having the opportunity to share more about Minnesota lakes was a highlight for me,” John said. “Being able to connect with the school kids, teach the aquatic programs and the bog walks back up into the wetlands helped me be able to connect with the community as well.”


Lake Bemidji State Park has seen many traditions, celebrations, events and activities unfold over its 100 years. Whether it’s a candlelit ski or snowshoe hike, summer concerts at the amphitheater, family camping trips, catching a fish for the first time or simply enjoying the serenity of the trees and the waves crashing to the shore — the park is the perfect playground all year round.

But the park has come a long way since 1923. Today, Lake Bemidji State Park offers both camping and cabin lodging. In the summertime, campers will find a total of 95 drive-in sites for a relaxing and private camping experience just a few miles from the bustling town of Bemidji.

“It certainly has very good modern facilities for campers now. Back when people first started camping there was nothing, quite a bit of emphasis has gone towards camping,” John said. “Another thing that’s important to people is that they’re close to Bemidji so they could be camping and be near a city at the same time.”

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“It’s the best orchid stomping-grounds around.”
- Lois Jenkins

Many of the buildings that stand today at the state park play roles in the development of what it is today. By the time the 1930s hit and the nation fell into the Great Depression leaving many people out of work, the park responded with much needed employment for local youth through a work program called the National Youth Administration.

With the help of the NYA, the park became the pride of the community. Dozens of young men and women between the ages of 16 and 25 got

to work on the development and expansion of the park.

The work with NYA began with the hiring of Project Supervisor Peter Gregorson in 1936. He led the park’s construction for four years and supervised projects like the Shelter Building, the picnic area latrine, the swimming beach and bathhouse. Years later, he noted that the NYA was a valuable program, especially for the troublemakers.

“Most of (the boys allowed on the job) was townboys that had never


done a day’s work and didn’t know the business end of an ax. Most of them were willing to learn though and everything went fine after we got started,” Peter’s words read on a sign outside the Shelter Building. “There were several boys from around town that had gotten into troublesome in one way or another.

“After the office authorities found that many of the boys behaved so well on our job, they began to get some out on parole and send them to me on trial to see how they would behave.


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“At first, they would tell me when I could expect one of those so I should hold an eye on ‘m and report on their behavior… (later) I told the office supervisor just to send the boys out and I would take care of the rest. I must have had at least 3,000 boys on the job in the four years I was there and I never had a cross look or a sassy word from anyone.”

The Shelter Building was the third building to go up at the park in 1940. Before that, it was the Beach Building which was removed in 1978 due to deterioration. The first building was a latrine in the picnic area built in 1937 — all were built by the local boys through the NYA.


Today, the park has a variety of recreational facilities for visitors to use:

• Picnic area: Shaded with a nice view of the lake with picnic tables and fire rings.

• Picnic shelter: Located at the beach and includes fireplace, tables and electric outlets. It can be reserved by calling the park office.

• Playground: Nestled in the shade of tall pines close to the picnic area and bathrooms.

• Volleyball: Regulation court in the picnic/beach area. Guests can borrow a volleyball from the park office.

• Canoe and kayak access next to the marina.

• Boat ramp: Concrete ramp with 10 slips for guests.

• Dining Hall: The hall and surrounding lawn is a day-use facility that can accommodate up to 120 people. It can be reserved by calling the park office.

Lake Bemidji State Park offers activities for everyone young and old. It features miles and miles of walking trails and over two miles of wheelchairaccessible trails. Another 11 miles of trails run through the forestland ranging from easy to moderate in addition to several miles of both paved bike trails and rugged mountain biking trails. In the wintertime, the park provides many miles of snowmobile, snowshoe, hiking, cross-country and skate-ski trails. n

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Fish dishes for 2

As ice fishing season draws to a close, we were inspired to cook up some tasty fish dishes for two with a little help in the kitchen from Annalise Braught. We chose our favorite types of fish and vegetables for these pairings, but hope you will have fun making them your own. Swap out different starches or veggies, or create a whole new dish with whatever fish you may happen to hook in your ice house over the weekend. Enjoy!

Spring 2023 inBemidji | 23
photos by Annalise Braught

Mediterranean steelhead trout and couscous


1 cup uncooked Israeli or regular couscous

2 6-ounce steelhead trout or salmon fillets

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fern leaf dill (fresh or dried)

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Zest from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of vegetable stock concentrate

4 tablespoons sour cream

Asparagus or green beans / your choice on quantity


In a small pot, combine vegetable stock and 1 ½ cups of water (or whatever couscous recipe calls for) and bring to a boil. Add couscous to boiling water and a large pinch of salt. Cover and remove from heat and let stand until ready to serve.

Heat large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Pat fish fillets with a paper towel to dry and season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Add fish to skillet (skin side down) and cook for about 5 minutes or until skin is crispy. Feel free to add lemon juice for extra lemony flavor. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes until fish is opaque and cooked.

In a small bowl combine sour cream, dill and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper and half the lemon zest. Cook asparagus or vegetable of choice on stove top in a mixture of olive oil and butter or in the microwave with a little bit of water to steam until desired tenderness. Mix cooked vegetables with butter and season with salt and pepper.

Fluff couscous with fork, stir in 1 tablespoon butter, season with salt and pepper and remaining lemon zest.

Divide couscous and vegetables between two plates, place one fillet on each plate and drizzle fish with sour cream sauce, sprinkle with remaining dill and an extra squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

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Walleye Sandwich with sweet potato fries

Aioli ingredients

½ cup mayo

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Sweet potato fry ingredients

2-3 sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Walleye sandwich ingredients

2 walleye fillets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

¼ teaspoon onion powder (optional)

2 ciabatta buns

¼ cup parmesan cheese


For sweet potato fries: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease baking sheet. Peel and wash potatoes, then cut into ¼ to ½ inch thick wedges. Coat potatoes with olive oil and add seasoning mix, tossing until evenly coated. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until they are cooked through and lightly browned.

For walleye sandwich: Pat fish dry and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Preheat skillet to medium-high heat with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon of butter. Cook fish for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Toast ciabatta buns and once slightly toasted, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toast a few more minutes or until cheese is melted. Spread aioli on bottom bun and place one fillet on each bun.

Note: Any leftover aioli can be used as a tasty dipping sauce for the fries.

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Tilapia with scallion and sriracha pesto


In a small pot bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil, then add a pinch of salt and ground ginger. Stir in rice. Cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until rice is tender (about 15 to 18 minutes).


1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

2 tilapia fillets

Ground ginger

Garlic powder

8 scallions

2 limes

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons sriracha

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Green beans / your choice on quantity or vegetable

In a medium bowl combine scallions, sesame oil, half the sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon sugar, juice from ½ a lime, salt and pepper and sriracha to taste.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with a drizzle of sesame oil (or oil of choice) over medium-high heat. Pat fish fillets with a paper towel to dry and season with ground ginger, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Cook green beans on stove top in a mixture of olive oil and butter, or cook in the microwave with a little bit of water to steam until desired tenderness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fluff rice with fork, stir in 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt and pepper.

Divide rice and green beans between two plates, placing one fillet on each plate and drizzling fish and rice with scallion sriracha pesto and soy sauce to taste. Feel free to add a little more lime juice if desired.


26 | inBemidji Spring 2023
live life infull bloom.
personal loan might be just the seed
need for that next joyride! ruStar Federal Credit Union FederallyInsuredByNCUA WWW.TRUSTARFCU.COM 218.444.5567 0 Ci SCANTOAPPLY! ■ •t::.::L�F¥::-
is the

NAME: Donna Pawlowski

AGE: 58

OCCUPATION: Professor of communication studies and department chair of sociology and communication studies at BSU

WHERE WE FOUND HER: Across the street

Editor’s Note: Writer Jennifer Koski believes everyone has a story to tell — from the person in line behind you at the coffee shop to the person who delivers your mail. And for 12 years, she’s proved this theory month after month with her award-winning “Random Rochesterite” magazine column in Rochester, Minnesota. A recent Bemidji transplant, Koski is now bringing these random, person-on-the-street interviews to inBemidji.

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by Jennifer Koski special to inBemidji

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM BEMIDJI? No, I’m originally from about 2 ½ hours northwest of here. I grew up on a farm between East Grand Forks, Alvarado and Warren. I went to school in Alvarado. My graduating class was 19.

DID YOU COME FROM A LARGE FAMILY? Yes, I am the fifth of six kids. There were four boys and two girls. It was fun. Everybody got along, and because we were on a farm, everybody had to

pitch in and do the work. We had cows and chickens and pigs. My dad also had a small construction company that poured cement slabs and put up steel grain bins. I was on the construction crew. It gave me a good work ethic.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED WORKING? Old enough to walk! I was foreman of a crew before I graduated high school. And I farmed the land, too. I was combining and driving truck when I was 12, 13 years old.


My husband — he’s my best friend, so he ranks first. I love hanging out with family and friends in the summertime, on the lake, cruising around in the pontoon. I love to read. And we love to travel when we get the chance. But, honestly, I don’t have time to love a lot of stuff. I eat, sleep and breathe my job. My job is something I love, too.


I love the students. I love the teaching part of it. I love the spark students get when something clicks and you can see it in their eyes. I love developing faculty, helping to mentor them. And I love developing curriculum. I was able to put together the minor and major for communication studies for BSU.

WORST PART OF YOUR JOB? Probably paperwork! That’s always the least fun part, isn’t it? But it’s

necessary. The faculty members in my department are wonderful to work with, though — and the people are what make the job.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHT? I was inducted into the Hall

of Fame for the Central States Communication Association. It was awesome. I did not know I was getting nominated, and I didn’t believe the association president when she called to tell me. Being recognized was a highlight of my professional

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was fun.
reached out.
Maybe a three. Not
at all! I thought it
We knew there were new neighbors and thought it was fun you
Donna and her husband, Joe, on a whale watching boat during a trip to Alaska in June 2022. Submitted photo

career. It was in Milwaukee, and Joe even drove to the conference to see me give my speech and get the award.


We hung out at a party after the demolition derby at the county fair. He was four years older, so I knew him a little from high school sports. That was the summer of 1983 and we were married five years later.

WAS THERE AN OFFICIAL PROPOSAL? Yes! We would always go out for a nice meal after fall semester around Christmas time. I was in school at the University of North Dakota, so that time we went to the Westward Ho in Grand Forks. I wasn’t suspicious at all. We hadn’t even talked about it. But then

it was roses, and lobster, and champagne, and a piano player in the background, and bended knee in a crowded restaurant. I cried and said yes, and then I left him sitting at the table and went to tell my mom and dad. That was the ‘80s, and you didn’t have cell phones, so I had to call from a lobby pay phone.

WHAT BROUGHT THE TWO OF YOU TO BEMIDJI? We wanted to get closer to home. We’d been living in Nebraska for 20 years and wanted to be closer to family. We’d already been camping out at Joe’s Lodge on Lake Andrusia for years. My sister, her husband, my brother, and a niece and nephew all camp out there. Then a spot opened at BSU, so we came back here.


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IT WAS MEANT TO BE! We love Bemidji. We love the small-town atmosphere, the down-home people. We enjoyed Lincoln, but this feels like home.

WHAT FIRST LED YOU TO NEBRASKA? When Joe and I got married in ’88, I was at UND for my bachelor’s, then my master’s, and then taught for two years as a speech and debate coach. We moved to Lincoln so I could get my PhD while Joe went to school for his architecture degree. Then I got a position at Creighton in Omaha, and I was there until 2013.

SCARIEST OR HARDEST MOMENT? When I was 10, my brother was killed in a tractor accident. That rocked our family’s world. I can relive it like it was yesterday, and it was decades ago now. It was the Oslo Days festival, and my mom and dad and sister and I had left to go to that. David was staying home to take the tractor out to the field and then he was going to go afterward. When we got back, he was not home. We discovered that the tractor had tipped over into the ditch in a culvert just a quartermile from the house. He was instantly killed. He was 16. I don’t think my dad ever got over it. I think he blamed himself.

I’M REALLY SORRY. The other, I guess, is when my parents died. They were both unexpected deaths. My dad

had just had a heart valve transplant surgery. He had been in the ICU for a few days and was doing well. He was about to go to recovery on another floor, and they did a small procedure to remove some wires from his chest and he coded. And then, just five years ago, my mom was in a car accident. She was T-boned on the highway coming back from church.

THAT SEEMS TOO MUCH FOR ONE FAMILY TO BEAR. We’re Catholic and we have a lot of faith. And you surround yourself with people you love. You remember the good times, and you continue forward. You think about them every day. There’s always a spot in your heart for everybody.

ADVICE YOU LIVE BY? I always have my mom in my head: “Be nice to everybody you meet because you don’t know who knows whom.” Give a good impression, be respectful to everyone, and embrace and enjoy life.

DO YOU EMBRACE AND ENJOY LIFE? I try to, as much as I can. I try to see the good in people. I try to appreciate the people and things around me. And I’ve been surrounded by wonderful people. I have a great family, and Joe’s parents always treated me like one of their own. Not everybody can say that they were gifted with wonderful people in their families. We really have been lucky.

Spring 2023 inBemidji | 29
Ian Week,Mortgage LoanOfficer NMLS #2153049 Donna, right, pictured with her sister Carol Bye and mom Doris Vasek at Joe’s Lodge in the summer of 2016. Submitted photo


The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings the luck of the Irish to Bemidji each March.

Can you spot 6 differences between these two photos from last year’s event?

30 | inBemidji Spring 2023
ANSWERS: 1) Yellow buckle added to man with sweatband on head, 2) extra row of green dots on woman’s face with the crown, 3) hand with cellphone above white truck missing, 4) little girl in black coat missing braid on right side, 5) girl on left now has a crown, 6) missing Brigid’s Pub logo on man in the coverall.
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• Mail, office and school paper

• Magazines and catalogs

• Newspaper and inserts

• Phonebooks


• Cardboard

• Cereal and cracker boxes

• Shoe boxes, gift boxes, electronics boxes


• Food and beverage bottle and jars


• Food and beverage cans


• Empty Water, soda and juice bottles

• Milk bottles

• Ketchup and condiment bottles

• Dishwashing and detergent bottles

• Shampoo, soap, and lotion bottles

• Yogurt, pudding and fruit cups

• Margarine, cottage cheese and other containers

• Produce, deli and take out containers


• Clear, rigid packaging from toys and electronics

*Look for this symbol - Only “containers/ bottles” with a 1 and 2 can be recycled in Beltrami County.

Not Accepted

Cartons, plastic bags, film and wrap, plastic foam; Styrofoam™, food waste, paper cups and plates, glass dishes, drinking glasses, window glass and ceramics, trash, containers that held hazardous products; oil, antifreeze

Beltrami County Solid Waste • 218-333-8187 • Click on: Solid Waste tab
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