Masquerade Madness!

January 1, 1970 - to
Masquerade Madness!

Our 15th Annual Spring Gala has officially come and gone and, boy, was it a doozy. So many masks! And not only were there so many masks, but there were so many creative masks … and costumes! Many of you opted for handmade, and more than a few were quite elaborate. And that, frankly, is awesome. Thanks so much to those who attended and joined in the fun. The Gala was a roaring success both as a party and as a fundraiser. We appreciate the chance to throw such a great shindig and thank you, again, for your support of the Museum.

Below is a selection of photographs from the evening courtesy of our good friends at Milestones Photography. You can find more photos on the Milestones blogsite and tag-able photos on the Milestones Facebook page, and you can order prints from Milestones here.

Were you at the Gala? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

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Preliminary Reaction from the ‘You Like This’ Survey

January 1, 1970 - to
Preliminary Reaction from the ‘You Like This’ Survey

Phase one of the You Like This: A Democratic Approach to the Museum Collection, the initial survey, is well underway. As more votes come in, some trends in the results are being revealed, here’s a preview of the way things are looking so far:

  • One thing is very clear—you are not interested in seeing historical toys or West African objects in this exhibition. Just under 40 percent of the votes say, “no way!”
  • The majority of voters prefer paintings and mixed media objects, but sculpture and photography are close behind within only a few votes
  • The majority of votes for mode of art are in modern and recent works, while the least popular vote is for still life
  • Over 60 percent of voters say they would like to focus on female artists in the exhibition, with a focus on local artists in second at 49 percent
  • Eleven percent of you said you would prefer not to see work focused on male artists

We’ve also had some insightful comments to consider:

  • You want to highlight local artists — focus on our community for our exhibition.
  • Numerous comments mentioned “domestic” works and folk art like quilting, pottery, homemade books and woodcarvings.
  • Many comments said you are excited to see works that are hidden away in the Museum vault and how interested you are to see more results from this process. We agree!

Don’t like what you see or want to solidify your favorites’ position? Keep voting! Remember, this is your exhibition of the Museum’s permanent collection. The survey will be live until June 1. After that, the advisory panel will meet for phase two of the exhibition process to analyze the votes and narrow down specific choices to vote on. Then, a final survey will be posted July 1 for the select pieces to be featured in the exhibition beginning October 6.

Thank you for your involvement so far. We are really pleased with the amount of voters participating. Your continued support is needed to make this exhibition a success!

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Jack Becker Presentation, Part of Go 2030

January 1, 1970 - to
Jack Becker Presentation, Part of Go 2030

Jack Becker, executive director of Forecast Public Art, will give a presentation this evening at 7 p.m. in the Fargo city commission chambers on advancing and strengthening the field of public art. Becker is a dynamic speaker who has also served as a public art consultant since 1994, helping connect the ideas and energies of artists with the needs of communities. In 2007 he received Public Art Network Award of Excellence from Americans for the Arts for his contribution to the field.

Becker’s presentation is part of a series of talks and community meetings, Go 2030, being held by the city of Fargo in advance of its 2030 comprehensive plan. Currently, the city is in the exploratory phase of the plan and is gathering public input through these events. (Learn more at the Go 2030 website and get updates through their Facebook page.)

Advancing public art initiatives has been a focus of the Museum’s mission through the Defiant Gardens program and a variety of other efforts. The Museum is working closely with city officials in Fargo and Moorhead, artists, community members, and art educators to demonstrate how communities can be strengthened and quality of life improved through such initiatives. We encourage you to attend today’s presentation to learn more about public art and the 2030 comprehensive plan.

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New S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture!

January 1, 1970 - to
New S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture!

Today, we got a new resident on the outdoor sculpture pad thanks to some talented artists … and a little elbow grease.

Just a week or so ago, we said vaya con dios to “Star Monster,” the 2010 sculpture in our S.P.A.C.E. (Sculpture Pad Art Collaborative Experiment) series, and made way for the 2011 entry, Cultivating Truth by Concordia College student artist Kyle Meerkins. Meerkins, who had help in fabricating the piece from Duane and Dwight Mickelson, based the design for this sculpture on a couple different concepts. First, the brackets on the side of the red component recall the design of the awning over the Museum’s entrance and acknowledge the present and future of the building. Second, the red component is an abstracted International Harvester cultivating shoe, acknowledging the past use of the Museum building and calling into mind the important act of cultivation.

The installation of this piece took roughly two hours and required the generous assistance of Tim, one of the contractors working next door who took some time out of his day to help with the lift. (UPDATE: Tim works for Edge Electric LLC.)

First, the brackets had to be assembled:

Then, the brackets were lifted into place:

Meerkins (left) and Duane Mickelson discussing the progress:

The red “shoe” was carefully unloaded…

…and lifted into place:

And there you have it! Nicely done, guys!

Want more installation photos? Head over to our Flickr stream.

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