An Evening Celebrating Women and Music

January 1, 1970 - to
An Evening Celebrating Women and Music

Wednesday’s Rush Hour concert was quite a treat. We got the opportunity to hear music from not one, not two, but three artists over the course of the evening. Singer/songwriter Molly McLain (left) kicked off the evening with sweet and earnest indie/pop, while Sarah Morrau and accompanist Rebekka DeVries finished the evening with their polished and powerful jazz/pop.

The concert was part of the “Celebration of Women and Their Music,” four days of music at various venues throughout Fargo that culminates in the main event tomorrow night at the Fargo Theatre.

Many special thanks to our Rush Hour Music Series sponsor, Minnesota Public Radio.

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Meme Theory and Disembodied Heads: New Work by Don Renner

January 1, 1970 - to
Meme Theory and Disembodied Heads: New Work by Don Renner

The art we choose to hang in the Museum is always thought provoking – any good piece of visual art can do so many things to get your noodle working. It can grant you as a viewer a depiction unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It can interrupt your space and make you realign your opinion of your attachment to objects and your surroundings. Or, it can simply please because it pleases. But this new show, this is something else. Here’s why.

As the communication guy here at the PAM, I’m often in the difficult position of trying to wrangle the broad and challenging concepts that come through in our exhibitions into a paragraph or two of “copy” or “content” (other terms I throw around are “verbiage,” “descriptors,” and “language”) that attempt to relate the exhibition and its significance to our audience. After viewing Don Renner’s new ArtView exhibition, Encoded Solutions, and becoming acquainted with Renner’s central theme, the difficulty of communication through disparate social and ideological systems of thought, I realized that a part of my job in talking about this exhibition would require me to engage in the same processes that he depicted. I would have to be one of his subjects and you, dear reader, would be too.

It was all very meta.

So, anyway, here goes: in the above painting (entitled Bang Head Here), I’m the Museum communication guy and I’m one of the disembodied heads with a “!” on their forehead because I have something exciting to tell you and it is this: “stop by and see Don Renner’s show, Encoded Solutions, on display at the Museum through May 22 in the Xcel Energy Gallery.” And you, dear reader, are one of the people with a “?” on their foreheads because you’re curious about this message or maybe a little confused (perfectly understandable, and exactly Renner’s point). And then the other heads, I suppose, are others in our respective groups, all talking about Renner’s show and with messages alternating between curiosity, persuasion, enthusiasm, and confusion. And this blog post you’re reading? I guess that’s one of the blue arrows connecting the disembodied heads. The meme of “go to Renner’s show!” passes among us, through various media, with the result that maybe you get in your car, maybe you drive to the Museum, and maybe you stop up on the second floor to check it out.

And, maybe you leave a comment on this post, at which point you become one of the “!” heads and I become one of the “?” heads.

Whoa.

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Vote for Your Favorite S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

January 1, 1970 - to
Vote for Your Favorite S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

Which design has the right stuff?

Through March 3, you’ll have the chance to vote on the next design to be constructed for our outdoor sculpture pad. Each of the two candidate designs was conceived by student Kyle Meerkins with help from Concordia College sculpture professor Duane Mickelson. Click on the images below to see a full photo and read a description accompanying each piece. Vote by stating your preference in the comments, or vote the next time you visit the Museum.

The Museum holds the S.P.A.C.E. (Sculpture Pad Art Collaborative Experiment) vote each spring, soliciting designs from each of the universities in Fargo-Moorhead on a rotating basis. Last year’s design, “Star Monster,” came from students and faculty at MSUM will be on the sculpture pad through April. Next year, we’ll open it up to students at NDSU.

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A Day of Printmaking

January 1, 1970 - to
A Day of Printmaking

This past Saturday, we had a whole lotta printmaking going on. In the morning, our monthly Kid Quest event focused on printmaking through common everyday objects, including food, showing a packed room of budding artists that inspiration can come from just about anywhere:

We held the opening reception for our new printmaking exhibition, Vermillion Editions to Hannaher’s Studio: The Print Renaissance Comes to Fargo, 1977 to Today, on Saturday evening. MSUM printmaking professor and Vermillion guest curator John Volk (below) took attendants through the exhibition and shared his enthusiasm for the art of printmaking. Volk voiced his respect for the Vermillion Editions Ltd. works that comprise the show as well as his respect for Vermillion founder and master printer Steve Andersen. (Andersen was also instrumental in the early planning phase of the Museum’s Hannaher’s, Inc., Print Studio).

MSUM photography professor Wayne Gudmundson also joined in, demonstrating the experimental photo print process he and Volk have been working on.

Our celebration of printmaking doesn’t end there. On Saturday, February 19, from 1 – 4 p.m., art students from MSUM, Concordia, NDSU, and the University of Manitoba will come together at the Museum for a portfolio exchange and discussion of their printmaking techniques. Also, Volk will lead a two-day workshop on wood cut printmaking for all ages on Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 (go here for details and registration). On top of all of this, Volk and his students will be on hand Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays this spring to show free print demonstrations to the public in the Print Studio on the third floor.

An exhibition, youth activities, a student artist meetup, a class for adults and kids, and ongoing public involvement … all centered around printmaking. It’s a joy and a privilege to be presenting this worthwhile art medium to such a broad group of people. Please join us!

(All photos by Britta Trygstad, Milestones Photography.)

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Chris Walla’s ‘Wait & See’ Can Now Be Seen

January 1, 1970 - to
Chris Walla’s ‘Wait & See’ Can Now Be Seen

Recently, MSUM sculpture professor and artist Chris Walla completed Wait & See, a site specific installation in Cafe Muse and the second in our Art = Food series.

Walla’s piece is contemplative and peaceful, but it also begs the viewer to look closer and peer into long strands of ball chain (commonly used to make lamps) to decipher a message. It also features a nice big ampersand (pictured) that provides a slightly comical tone. In addition, Walla has placed small assemblages of ball chain throughout Cafe Muse cut into pleasant, decorative patterns. All together, the piece provides a dose of serenity (which anyone could use during lunch on a busy day) while encouraging and rewarding some extra attention. Stop by, take a look, and enjoy a tasty midday meal made by our friends at Mosaic Foods.

See more photos here.

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