Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Wrapup

January 1, 1970 - to
Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Wrapup

On July 21, representatives of the Museum, representatives of the City of Moorhead, and interested citizens gathered along with artists Kevin Johnson and Rob Fischer to go over ideas for artistic improvements at the site of the Moorhead Power Plant which will be decommissioned next year. This project, still in its infancy, is part of the Museum’s Defiant Gardens initiative, which advocates for the creation of artistically-inspired green spaces in the FM community.

The evening began with a short introduction by Museum Director Colleen Sheehy. Johnson and Fischer gave a short presentation to introduce their work and to the audience. Both artists are native to Minnesota and both currently reside in Brooklyn, N.Y. They focus their work on spaces and use environmental sculpture, native grasses, and pieces that are inspired by natural phenomena in order to give a space greater significance. Johnson, for instance, has been an artist-in-residence for the health care industry and has created and installed healing gardens, outdoor areas that provide patients and family members respite from the more intimidating areas of a hospital. Fischer alters large found objects that are, as he puts it, “informed by history,” becoming new objects that evoke old forms.

Sheehy discusses the concept of a Defiant Garden while Johnson and Fischer look on.

Afterward, meeting moved the over to the power plant itself. Audience members were able to inspect the grounds and, ultimately, go inside for a peek. Here are some photos:

Johnson discusses the power plant site with a member of the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Outside the plant, with some interesting concrete features visible.

Inside the plant.

The plant currently houses a backup generator and is also used for storage.

For more photos, please visit our Flickr page.

The meeting then moved to a concrete slab outside the power plant. Moderated by Moorhead Public Service General Manager Bill Schwandt, roughly two dozen interested residents weighed ideas on the best purposes for the space outside the plant and ranged from the broad (creating a “sanctuary”) to the specific (creating a berry garden). Some in the group advocated for creating an element to the location that would bring in revenue (like a bistro or a community center), while others proposed improvements to the space that would simply make it a nice place to sit. The conversation was lively and all involved seemed excited to have input into this process.

The next phase of this project? Johnson and Fischer plan to revisit the area in October and will present a proposal to Moorhead officials to implement. We’ll keep you posted on any developments and, if you have any ideas for the site and were unable to attend the meeting, please leave comments.

View Event

Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Wrapup

January 1, 1970 - to
Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Wrapup

On July 21, representatives of the Museum, representatives of the City of Moorhead, and interested citizens gathered along with artists Kevin Johnson and Rob Fischer to go over ideas for artistic improvements at the site of the Moorhead Power Plant which will be decommissioned next year. This project, still in its infancy, is part of the Museum’s Defiant Gardens initiative, which advocates for the creation of artistically-inspired green spaces in the FM community.

The evening began with a short introduction by Museum Director Colleen Sheehy. Johnson and Fischer gave a short presentation to introduce their work and to the audience. Both artists are native to Minnesota and both currently reside in Brooklyn, N.Y. They focus their work on spaces and use environmental sculpture, native grasses, and pieces that are inspired by natural phenomena in order to give a space greater significance. Johnson, for instance, has been an artist-in-residence for the health care industry and has created and installed healing gardens, outdoor areas that provide patients and family members respite from the more intimidating areas of a hospital. Fischer alters large found objects that are, as he puts it, “informed by history,” becoming new objects that evoke old forms.

Sheehy discusses the concept of a Defiant Garden while Johnson and Fischer look on.

Afterward, meeting moved the over to the power plant itself. Audience members were able to inspect the grounds and, ultimately, go inside for a peek. Here are some photos:

Johnson discusses the power plant site with a member of the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Outside the plant, with some interesting concrete features visible.

Inside the plant.

The plant currently houses a backup generator and is also used for storage.

For more photos, please visit our Flickr page.

The meeting then moved to a concrete slab outside the power plant. Moderated by Moorhead Public Service General Manager Bill Schwandt, roughly two dozen interested residents weighed ideas on the best purposes for the space outside the plant and ranged from the broad (creating a “sanctuary”) to the specific (creating a berry garden). Some in the group advocated for creating an element to the location that would bring in revenue (like a bistro or a community center), while others proposed improvements to the space that would simply make it a nice place to sit. The conversation was lively and all involved seemed excited to have input into this process.

The next phase of this project? Johnson and Fischer plan to revisit the area in October and will present a proposal to Moorhead officials to implement. We’ll keep you posted on any developments and, if you have any ideas for the site and were unable to attend the meeting, please leave comments.

View Event

Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Set for Wednesday Evening

January 1, 1970 - to
Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Set for Wednesday Evening

Gin Templeton, "Moorhead Power Plant"

Calling all Moorhead residents, artists, master gardeners, and anyone interested in art, landscape design, and the future of the Moorhead Power Plant site: we want your input! Meet the two artists who will be designing a garden for the Power Plant site and help shape your community!

  • When: Wednesday, July 21, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: City Council Chambers, Moorhead City Hall in the Moorhead Center Mall building at 500 Center Ave.  (6:30 – 7:15 p.m.) and the site of the Moorhead Power Plant (7:30 – 8:30 p.m.).
  • Who: Meet the artists, Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson, and representatives of Plains Art Museum and the City of Moorhead, who are partnering on this art project.
  • What: Hear about the plans and provide input and feedback, ask questions, brainstorm ideas.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, please leave your ideas in the comments and we will take them with us.

BACKGROUND

The concept of a “defiant garden” grew out of a two-day public symposium held by Plains Art Museum in September 2009 titled, “Defiant Gardens for Fargo-Moorhead.” The idea is based on a book by landscape historian Kenneth Helphand (University of Oregon), called Defiant Gardens. In this context, “defiant” means resilient, able to overcome obstacles, provide sustenance and well-being against the odds. The symposium brought together a dozen artists from the local region and the national level to discuss how the idea of a defiant garden could be adapted to help us improve our cities.

Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson are sculptors who were invited to present at the symposium. They work with the landscape and also with industrial buildings and building materials, often using cast-off remnants of old buildings. They think the Moorhead Power Plant is a beautiful edifice in a beautiful location with good proximity to parks, parkways, and neighborhoods.

At this point, they are thinking that they would develop a garden that uses native plants, perhaps some kind of rain garden that is low maintenance. They would like the garden to be a social space where people could gather for activities or just to enjoy the setting and the Power Plant building. A more fully developed idea will emerge from this planning trip.

Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson are working as a team on the Defiant Garden for the Moorhead Power Plant.  Originally from Minnesota, the two artists now live in Brooklyn, New York, and work nationwide on art exhibitions and public art. Fischer has a Bachelor’s of Fine Art (BFA) degree in sculpture and environmental design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Kevin Johnson has a BFA from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Fisher’s sculptures have been in solo and group exhibitions at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum in New York City, and the Walker Art Center. Kevin Johnson has been awarded public art commissions for gardens and plazas in Washington state and the Twin Cities.

This Defiant Garden project is supported by Plains Art Museum and the City of Moorhead and by a generous grant from the Lake Regions Art Council, with contributions from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Earlier support for “Defiant Gardens for Fargo-Moorhead” was provided by the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts and Community Projects Grant from North Dakota State University.

Image: Gin Templeton, Moorhead Power Plant, 2010, oil on canvas, 9 x 9″, loaned by the artist.

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Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Set for Wednesday Evening

January 1, 1970 - to
Moorhead Power Plant Meeting Set for Wednesday Evening

Gin Templeton, "Moorhead Power Plant"

Calling all Moorhead residents, artists, master gardeners, and anyone interested in art, landscape design, and the future of the Moorhead Power Plant site: we want your input! Meet the two artists who will be designing a garden for the Power Plant site and help shape your community!

  • When: Wednesday, July 21, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: City Council Chambers, Moorhead City Hall in the Moorhead Center Mall building at 500 Center Ave.  (6:30 – 7:15 p.m.) and the site of the Moorhead Power Plant (7:30 – 8:30 p.m.).
  • Who: Meet the artists, Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson, and representatives of Plains Art Museum and the City of Moorhead, who are partnering on this art project.
  • What: Hear about the plans and provide input and feedback, ask questions, brainstorm ideas.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, please leave your ideas in the comments and we will take them with us.

BACKGROUND

The concept of a “defiant garden” grew out of a two-day public symposium held by Plains Art Museum in September 2009 titled, “Defiant Gardens for Fargo-Moorhead.” The idea is based on a book by landscape historian Kenneth Helphand (University of Oregon), called Defiant Gardens. In this context, “defiant” means resilient, able to overcome obstacles, provide sustenance and well-being against the odds. The symposium brought together a dozen artists from the local region and the national level to discuss how the idea of a defiant garden could be adapted to help us improve our cities.

Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson are sculptors who were invited to present at the symposium. They work with the landscape and also with industrial buildings and building materials, often using cast-off remnants of old buildings. They think the Moorhead Power Plant is a beautiful edifice in a beautiful location with good proximity to parks, parkways, and neighborhoods.

At this point, they are thinking that they would develop a garden that uses native plants, perhaps some kind of rain garden that is low maintenance. They would like the garden to be a social space where people could gather for activities or just to enjoy the setting and the Power Plant building. A more fully developed idea will emerge from this planning trip.

Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson are working as a team on the Defiant Garden for the Moorhead Power Plant.  Originally from Minnesota, the two artists now live in Brooklyn, New York, and work nationwide on art exhibitions and public art. Fischer has a Bachelor’s of Fine Art (BFA) degree in sculpture and environmental design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Kevin Johnson has a BFA from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Fisher’s sculptures have been in solo and group exhibitions at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum in New York City, and the Walker Art Center. Kevin Johnson has been awarded public art commissions for gardens and plazas in Washington state and the Twin Cities.

This Defiant Garden project is supported by Plains Art Museum and the City of Moorhead and by a generous grant from the Lake Regions Art Council, with contributions from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Earlier support for “Defiant Gardens for Fargo-Moorhead” was provided by the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts and Community Projects Grant from North Dakota State University.

Image: Gin Templeton, Moorhead Power Plant, 2010, oil on canvas, 9 x 9″, loaned by the artist.

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Modern Man and the Farmers Market

January 1, 1970 - to
Modern Man and the Farmers Market

The week that was

Last weekend, Hip Hop Don’t Stop overcame a last-minute venue change to host yet another blockbuster weekend of aerosol mural painting and hip hop culture. We’re working on some photos and/or video and we’ll share those as soon as we can. Once again, we’d like to thank our co-presenter, Idehaus, and the artists who made the trip to give us another awesome mural in town. Kudos also go to our sponsors: Richard Preston of 7th Avenue Auto Salvage, State Bank & Trust, Dawson Insurance, The High Plains Reader and the Hotel Donaldson.

It was a bit of a scrape, but the Plain Food Farmers Market is off and running once again this year. Each Thursday afternoon from 4 – 7 p.m., drop by to browse fresh produce, herbs, artisanal goods, and much more. We’d like to thank Mara Trygstad of It’s About Thyme for all of her help getting the farmers market off the ground this year; we had planned on shelving it due to a lack of personnel, but Mara filled in our gaps and took it upon herself to organize the event herself. When you stop by, be sure to give her a pat on the back for her hard work and take a jar of her pickled garlic home while you’re at it. That stuff works wonders.

The Downtown Street Fair is currently going on in downtown Fargo, which prompted this week’s Theme Photo Thursday (our weekly photo submission project) theme of “Fairs.” Click on over to our Facebook page to check them out. Unfortunately, no photos of foods on a stick were submitted … yet.

Last night, we hosted a delightful tribute to Modern Man, Fargo’s favorite “comeapartist” whose works have encompassed an astonishing amount of media (potato chips, glow-in-the-dark paints, objects, plus his own … ahem … fluids) and have been piquing our curiosity for decades. In addition to his talents and idiosyncratic style, Modern is also a funny, gracious and humble soul. His presentation, a 15-minute slideshow that served as my “Modern 101,” also showed why such a gifted artist found his way into the heart of our artistic community. Video of the tribute, featuring some shared memories from some of Modern’s good friends, is on its way within the next few days. However, you can see a few shared photos at our Facebook page.

The week that will be

Next Wednesday, world/jazz/folk duo Patchouli will play for July’s Rush Hour Music Series as a breezy antidote to our mid-summer heat. The tunes fire up at 5:30 in the p.m.

Also next Wednesday, the City of Moorhead will host a community meeting to discuss the installation of a garden at the site of the old Moorhead Power Plant in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The project is a partnership between the Museum (as part of our Defiant Gardens initiative) and the City of Moorhead. Two artists, Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson, will be on hand to discuss their plans as well as hear suggestions and ideas from artists and the community at large. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Moorhead City Council chambers at 500 Center Ave. and will move to the power plant site later on. If you’re interested this addition to the neighborhood, please plan on joining us.

Lastly, our good friends at the Fargo Theatre will host a two-Beatles film series on Wednesday the 21st and Thursday the 22nd. “A Hard Day’s Night” will show at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 7 p.m. on Thursday, while “Yellow Submarine” will show at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 5 p.m. on Thursday. Admission for any show is $5 – totally worth it to see these gems on the big screen.

Have a great weekend and, remember, admission is free every Thursday through Labor Day!

View Event

Modern Man and the Farmers Market

January 1, 1970 - to
Modern Man and the Farmers Market

The week that was

Last weekend, Hip Hop Don’t Stop overcame a last-minute venue change to host yet another blockbuster weekend of aerosol mural painting and hip hop culture. We’re working on some photos and/or video and we’ll share those as soon as we can. Once again, we’d like to thank our co-presenter, Idehaus, and the artists who made the trip to give us another awesome mural in town. Kudos also go to our sponsors: Richard Preston of 7th Avenue Auto Salvage, State Bank & Trust, Dawson Insurance, The High Plains Reader and the Hotel Donaldson.

It was a bit of a scrape, but the Plain Food Farmers Market is off and running once again this year. Each Thursday afternoon from 4 – 7 p.m., drop by to browse fresh produce, herbs, artisanal goods, and much more. We’d like to thank Mara Trygstad of It’s About Thyme for all of her help getting the farmers market off the ground this year; we had planned on shelving it due to a lack of personnel, but Mara filled in our gaps and took it upon herself to organize the event herself. When you stop by, be sure to give her a pat on the back for her hard work and take a jar of her pickled garlic home while you’re at it. That stuff works wonders.

The Downtown Street Fair is currently going on in downtown Fargo, which prompted this week’s Theme Photo Thursday (our weekly photo submission project) theme of “Fairs.” Click on over to our Facebook page to check them out. Unfortunately, no photos of foods on a stick were submitted … yet.

Last night, we hosted a delightful tribute to Modern Man, Fargo’s favorite “comeapartist” whose works have encompassed an astonishing amount of media (potato chips, glow-in-the-dark paints, objects, plus his own … ahem … fluids) and have been piquing our curiosity for decades. In addition to his talents and idiosyncratic style, Modern is also a funny, gracious and humble soul. His presentation, a 15-minute slideshow that served as my “Modern 101,” also showed why such a gifted artist found his way into the heart of our artistic community. Video of the tribute, featuring some shared memories from some of Modern’s good friends, is on its way within the next few days. However, you can see a few shared photos at our Facebook page.

The week that will be

Next Wednesday, world/jazz/folk duo Patchouli will play for July’s Rush Hour Music Series as a breezy antidote to our mid-summer heat. The tunes fire up at 5:30 in the p.m.

Also next Wednesday, the City of Moorhead will host a community meeting to discuss the installation of a garden at the site of the old Moorhead Power Plant in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The project is a partnership between the Museum (as part of our Defiant Gardens initiative) and the City of Moorhead. Two artists, Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson, will be on hand to discuss their plans as well as hear suggestions and ideas from artists and the community at large. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Moorhead City Council chambers at 500 Center Ave. and will move to the power plant site later on. If you’re interested this addition to the neighborhood, please plan on joining us.

Lastly, our good friends at the Fargo Theatre will host a two-Beatles film series on Wednesday the 21st and Thursday the 22nd. “A Hard Day’s Night” will show at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 7 p.m. on Thursday, while “Yellow Submarine” will show at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 5 p.m. on Thursday. Admission for any show is $5 – totally worth it to see these gems on the big screen.

Have a great weekend and, remember, admission is free every Thursday through Labor Day!

View Event

Hip Hop Don’t Stop … and Neither Does Street Art

January 1, 1970 - to
Hip Hop Don’t Stop … and Neither Does Street Art

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Hip Hop Don’t Stop will present another weekend of aerosol mural painting, hip hop music and dancing. For the full slate of activities, check out the event on our website or visit the Hip Hop Don’t Stop Facebook group.

Last year Hip Hop Don’t Stop, a collective of artists specializing in urban culture events (dj’s, hip hop concerts, b-boy dancing contests), created the jaw-dropping mural currently adorning the wall on the west side of the Museum parking lot. Here are a few photos from that weekend:

The obvious parallel to be drawn to this substantial artwork is the act of making graffiti and, in fact, it is graffiti. Graffiti is broadly defined as the images and text scratched, painted or drawn on property, although the term “graffiti” usually carries the connotation that the image created is considered vandalism. “Street art” may be a more applicable term for the Hip Hop Don’t Stop creation and the embrace of spray paint art in hip hop/underground culture.

No matter what it’s called or the reason for it, as long as we have lived in societies we have also lived with public art designed to fulfill goals as diverse as benign beautification, undermining authority, and outright revolt. Perhaps it’s the reaction to the commodification of space through the use of the sign, or maybe it’s simple acknowledgment of the power of shared space. Either way, these art-making methods embody a long, fascinating history and call into question a multitude of issues as old as humanity itself.

To get a bit of a grasp on the world of graffiti and street art, here are a few resources to check out. If you have a few of your own to suggest, please do so in the comments, and leave your opinions about the often-controversial role that graffiti plays in social life, too. Also, be sure to take an hour or two this weekend to stop by and see the goings-on at the Hip Hop Don’t Stop mural at 1101 1st Ave South in Fargo (near Duffy’s). You’ll see talented artists at work that would love to answer your questions about their craft.

View Event

Hip Hop Don’t Stop … and Neither Does Street Art

January 1, 1970 - to
Hip Hop Don’t Stop … and Neither Does Street Art

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Hip Hop Don’t Stop will present another weekend of aerosol mural painting, hip hop music and dancing. For the full slate of activities, check out the event on our website or visit the Hip Hop Don’t Stop Facebook group.

Last year Hip Hop Don’t Stop, a collective of artists specializing in urban culture events (dj’s, hip hop concerts, b-boy dancing contests), created the jaw-dropping mural currently adorning the wall on the west side of the Museum parking lot. Here are a few photos from that weekend:

The obvious parallel to be drawn to this substantial artwork is the act of making graffiti and, in fact, it is graffiti. Graffiti is broadly defined as the images and text scratched, painted or drawn on property, although the term “graffiti” usually carries the connotation that the image created is considered vandalism. “Street art” may be a more applicable term for the Hip Hop Don’t Stop creation and the embrace of spray paint art in hip hop/underground culture.

No matter what it’s called or the reason for it, as long as we have lived in societies we have also lived with public art designed to fulfill goals as diverse as benign beautification, undermining authority, and outright revolt. Perhaps it’s the reaction to the commodification of space through the use of the sign, or maybe it’s simple acknowledgment of the power of shared space. Either way, these art-making methods embody a long, fascinating history and call into question a multitude of issues as old as humanity itself.

To get a bit of a grasp on the world of graffiti and street art, here are a few resources to check out. If you have a few of your own to suggest, please do so in the comments, and leave your opinions about the often-controversial role that graffiti plays in social life, too. Also, be sure to take an hour or two this weekend to stop by and see the goings-on at the Hip Hop Don’t Stop mural at 1101 1st Ave South in Fargo (near Duffy’s). You’ll see talented artists at work that would love to answer your questions about their craft.

View Event

The White Album Reception

January 1, 1970 - to
The White Album Reception

On June 16, we had a public kickoff for the exhibition The White Album: The Beatles Meet the Plains. A nice crowd of young and old was on hand to stroll through the gallery and hear the extraordinary singer/songwriter Michael Pink, whose affinity for The Beatles made for an appropriate addition to the evening. Chris Gion, Kaylyn Gerenz and Colleen Sheehy – curators of the White Album show – were also on hand to give a dual gallery talk and White Album listening party.

Below are a few photos from the Michael Pink show courtesy of Britta Trygstad at Milestones Photography – a few more are available at our Flickr page. There are some videos of Michael Pink available to view at our YouTube outpost, too. Enjoy, and be sure to visit the Museum soon to see how music and visual art combine in this exhibition. Remember: every Thursday is free through Labor Day. Current members of the military get in free with their families during the summer, too.

View Event

The White Album Reception

January 1, 1970 - to
The White Album Reception

On June 16, we had a public kickoff for the exhibition The White Album: The Beatles Meet the Plains. A nice crowd of young and old was on hand to stroll through the gallery and hear the extraordinary singer/songwriter Michael Pink, whose affinity for The Beatles made for an appropriate addition to the evening. Chris Gion, Kaylyn Gerenz and Colleen Sheehy – curators of the White Album show – were also on hand to give a dual gallery talk and White Album listening party.

Below are a few photos from the Michael Pink show courtesy of Britta Trygstad at Milestones Photography – a few more are available at our Flickr page. There are some videos of Michael Pink available to view at our YouTube outpost, too. Enjoy, and be sure to visit the Museum soon to see how music and visual art combine in this exhibition. Remember: every Thursday is free through Labor Day. Current members of the military get in free with their families during the summer, too.

View Event