See Ya, Star Monster

January 1, 1970 - to
See Ya, Star Monster

A few days ago, we bid adieu to our good friend, “Star Monster,” a sculpture constructed by student artists from MSUM and last year’s winner of our annual S.P.A.C.E. sculpture contest. I’ll be frank; we loved “Star Monster,” and the public did, too. A lot of people had their photos taken with him and he was a frequent subject for our blog and Flickr stream (here and here). He was something of a temporary mascot, I suppose, and we loved being associated with such a whimsical and colorful symbol.

Our education director, Sandy, was fortunate enough to get photos of “Star Monster” as he was taken to his permanent home on the MSUM campus. He’s all grown up now. ::sniff:: On the bright side, we’ll have a brand new work on our sculpture pad within the next week or so thanks to our friends at Concordia College.

Side note: how awesome would it have been to share the road with a big, freaky work of art during your commute?

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What to Expect at the Spring Gala

January 1, 1970 - to
What to Expect at the Spring Gala

Our 15th Annual Spring Gala, “Masterpiece Masquerade“, is just a couple weeks away. We’re putting on the finishing touches as we speak and gearing up for what should be quite the evening of spectacle. If you’re attending, or thinking of attending, here’s a handy dandy guide to help you familiarize yourself with this fantastic event.

This year’s event is called “Masterpiece Masquerade.” What does that mean?

That means it’s a masquerade party, which means we’d love it if you showed up in a mask and costume, or just a mask. This isn’t a new idea, of course; masquerade balls have been around for a long, long time. But, this isn’t quite a masquerade “ball” either. It’s a party. And that means we encourage creativity with your getups.

We’ll have a few masks on hand in case you forget one. Also, don’t feel like you need to wear a costume or mask. It’s all good.

I really want to wear a mask … but where do I get one?

Gompf Displays in Fargo carries a lot of masks. There are also plenty of options online. Masks, especially the masquerade variety, aren’t that hard to make.  Here are a few resources online for creating your own. And, why not be imaginative? Grab some poster board or cardstock and just start cutting away. It’s all in good fun.

What else is there to do at the Gala?

Eat, drink, listen to music, dance, and ogle at art! Our friends at Mosaic Foods have prepared quite the menu of heavy appetizers, including a pork loin carving station, a beef rib eye carving station, miniature cheeseburgers, candied bacon, jerk-marinated shrimp skewers, and lots more. Happy Harry’s will provide plenty of wine for tasting. Nichole’s Fine Pastry will present some of the best desserts in town, while Moxie Java will provide coffee, everyone’s best friend. The Sidestreet will also be slinging drinks. On top of all of that, Swing Motion will play jazz on the first floor during the early evening and Betty Does will rock the 3rd floor until late.

Last, but certainly not least, is your opportunity to check out our silent auction of art on the second floor. We have a strong lineup of work from regional artists sure to compliment (or begin) your art collection.

Who will I see at the Gala?

Many types of people; young and old, artists, business and community leaders, art enthusiasts, art supporters, and those that just like a good social event. And, each one of them is unwavering in their support of the Museum.

All right, I’m convinced. How do I get tickets?

Just click here.

You didn’t answer my question.

If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments or email me (Kris) at kkerzman@plainsart.org. I’d be happy to help.

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You Like This: Handpick the Work for an Upcoming Exhibition

January 1, 1970 - to
You Like This: Handpick the Work for an Upcoming Exhibition


You could say 100,000 heads are better than one.

That’s the aim, at least, of the crowdsourcing phenomenon, where large groups of people pool their tastes, talents and resources into a project. Examples include open design calls for a company’s new logo or calls for solutions to logistical problems although, if loosely defined, you can see the phenomenon everywhere. Crowdsourcing is especially popular in new media, where web platforms like Reddit and Digg use it to prioritize information that is the most meaningful to its users.

In this way, museums have begun utilizing the phenomenon to create crowd-curated exhibitions. In 2008, the Brooklyn Museum put this method to use with “Click!”, a photography exhibition that invited the museum’s visitors to participate in the selection process. Featured artworks were installed according to their relative ranking from the juried process.

With the success of this crowdsourced exhibition and many others like it, we thought, why not give it a try here at the Museum? The Museum’s permanent collection is made up of over 3,500 (and growing) pieces of art in all different shapes and sizes.  We can’t display them all at once, so you’ll have the pick of the litter. The exhibition, titled You Like This: A Democratic Approach to the Permanent Collection, will be on display October 6 to January 15, but will be gathering your input about the exhibition beginning now.

Your feedback will be collected in a three-step process. We’ll start with a short survey you can fill out online or at the Museum that will have you rate your favorite types of art. From there, the Museum will select several voters to serve on an advisory panel to discuss the results and narrow down the choices. After that, you will be able to vote online and “like” the specific pieces that will be a part of the exhibition. We are looking for about 50 different pieces of art to display, so let’s get crowdsourcing!

Keep updated with the entire “You Like This” process by checking back to this blog, joining our Facebook discussion group, or volunteering for the advisory panel. Happy curating.

Still curious about crowdsourcing? Watch this video, check out www.what-is-crowdsourcing.com or read these articles from NPR and The New York Times.

or read these articles from

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Popsicle Stick Towers: a Tasty Treat for the Eyes

January 1, 1970 - to
Popsicle Stick Towers: a Tasty Treat for the Eyes

Popsicles are well and good, but under their slushy sweetness lies a unique treasure: the stick. Get a bunch of them together and you’ve got the makings of a fun project. Or, in this case, you’ve got the makings of a serious (but still mostly fun) project.

Hot off the heels of its striking Birdhouse Project we displayed a few weeks ago, the NDSU architecture department is displaying a class project of popsicle stick towers through April 12 in the Museum atrium. The students created these mini skyscrapers to be at least as tall as themselves, learning fundamentals of construction and design along the way. Lucky for us, we get to enjoy them as much as we would a tasty popsicle.

Click thumbnails for a larger picture.

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