Kent Estey, Miriam Brack Webber named Artist Fellowship recipients – Bemidji Pioneer

The Region 2 Arts Council has announced contemporary Native American artist Kent Estey and bassoonist Miriam Brack Webber as the recipients of the 2022-2023 Artist Fellowship.

These Artist Fellows were selected on Oct.11 when a committee consisting of established area artists, including the past Artist Fellows and two Region 2 Arts Council board members, convened to review eight applications for the Artist Fellowship award, a release said.

This award is intended for dedicated artists who have created a substantial independent body of work, have received recognition for their work, and whose work has been selected for Solo exhibitions, commissions, presentations, readings or performances.

Kent Estey is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation and his Lineage includes many self-taught artists where black-ash basketry, beading, birch-bark and fiber artistry were Everyday occurrences in his home. His preferred art form is painting with oils, acrylics and inks.

His paintings reflect feelings and emotions through his use of color and movement on the canvas. Some of his most recent work incorporates rock, metal, and Collage on Canvas and board.

Estey’s work has been exhibited in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Wahpeton, North Dakota and other regional exhibitions and galleries in Minnesota.

He has been an educator for most of his life, living and working in his hometown of Naytahwaush, Minn., the release said.

Miriam Brack Webber is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Bemidji State University and an active bassoonist. She is the principal bassoonist of the Bemidji Symphony and Heartland Symphony Orchestras and has performed with orchestras from across the country.


Miriam Brack Webber.


She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Music Theory, a Bachelor’s of Music from Ball State University in Bassoon Performance, and a Master’s of Music from McGill University and the University of Kansas in Bassoon Performance and Music Theory, respectively, the release said.

Webber is a founding member of Silent Voices Project, a large-scale project formed to help create opportunities for female composers engaging in compositional pursuits of writing, publishing, performing and recording western art music for chamber woodwinds.

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