BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Tuesday was the first day of the 78th Annual Fall Art Show.

The show features over 170 works of art by 64 artists from across the region. The art show began in the 1940s before Bismarck Art & Galleries Association (BAGA) even existed.

“A group of artists came together and they wanted to show their work and to bring artists from across the area to show their work,” said Lynae Hanson, executive director of BAGA. “So that’s really how it started and being able to expose people to their works of art. “

Hanson said the show was designed to bring artists and art enthusiasts together. She also said the show has always been a popular attraction.

“I read somewhere in the history that at one point there were 300 artists and 6,000 people came to see the show,” said Hanson.

BAGA will host a reception from 5-7 p.m. and will honor the artists.

Tom Marple, an artist and retired graphic design instructor for Bismarck State College was the juror for the show’s awards.

“He selected one Best of Show and 10 Juror’s Choice Awards and he also selected 15 honorable mentions,” said Hanson.

BAGA will also announce the Citation Award Winner at the reception.

The Citation Award is presented to an outstanding artist or promoter of the arts in North Dakota.

The award was created back in 1946.

Hanson said art shows such as this one is important for artists because most of them are trying to make a living off of their creations.

This gives them the recognition they need to live off their art.

“I view artists as a small business,” said Hanson. “So they are really trying to make a living at their art. They are trying to express themselves. So it’s really important for an artist to get their work out.”

According to Hanson, it’s also just as important for people to view and experience different forms of art.

“We’re expecting 90 to 100 people tonight and together everyone will have the opportunity to view the art,” said Hanson. “Talk about what they liked, what they didn’t like, and maybe be inspired to create something themselves.”

All the works of art on display throughout this month will have an opportunity to be displayed at the Elsa Forde Gallery at Bismarck State College and the Clairmont gallery at the University of Mary following the exhibit.