Up on the roof

January 1, 1970 - to
Up on the roof

It wasn’t exactly the most picturesque day in downtown Fargo, but that didn’t stop me from jumping at the chance to go up onto our rooftop to take a look around. Going up on rooftops? Always cool.

Why head up to the roof on such a crummy day? I joined Museum Graphics Director Cody Jacobson (left), Raul Gomez (middle), and Museum Director of Collections and Operations Mark Ryan in scouting locations for a photo shoot, the photo from which will be used in the poster for our upcoming Spring Gala.

In the foreground of this photo, you can see a bit of the skylight for our atrium. In the back ground, you get a view of the Burdick Federal Building and, off in the right hand corner, you can see the Black Building and the Radisson.

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T’is the season!

January 1, 1970 - to
T’is the season!

Kaylyn, Steve, and Penny do the inevitable tangle with lights while readying the Museum for the holiday season.

You can see the Museum in full holiday splendor – and catch plenty of our region’s top musicians – at the Noon Holiday Concerts starting next week and running Monday through Friday through December 15.

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A peek at Sodbuster

January 1, 1970 - to
A peek at Sodbuster

We’re getting ready to host tonight’s Sodbuster Summit in just a few minutes (here’s a refresher on the Sodbuster issue, if you need one). We’ll have a quick recap of the meeting on the blog tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are a few photos of Sodbuster in storage at the Museum so you can get an idea of the sculpture’s current condition.

In the photo above, you get a sense of the enormity of this piece as well as a sense of its power and grandeur, but in the photo below, you can also see the severity of the damage to it.

In some spots along Sodbuster, you can see exposed fiberglass where the elements have eaten through the finish. On closer inspection, you can also see cracks and even holes in the fiberglass itself. While the piece is largely intact, these aren’t just cosmetic issues. They compromise the integrity of the entire sculpture.

Sodbuster embodies the hard work and tenacity of the people who settled this region of the country, and it might as well represent the effort it will likely take to get Sodbuster back on its feet. For the sake of this beautiful work of art, let’s hope tonight’s summit will be the first step along that path.

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Rebecca Krinke maps out emotions

January 1, 1970 - to
Rebecca Krinke maps out emotions

This evening, Rebecca Krinke will speak at Fargo City Hall as part of the Go2030 long-range planning initiative. The event will get under way at 7 p.m.

Krinke will give a talk, entitled The Emotional Landscape,  on her recent work, notably the project Unseen/Seen: The Mapping of Joy and Pain. The project involved taking a large map of Minneapolis/St. Paul into public spaces and asking passersby to color in spots where they’ve felt joy and spots where they’ve felt pain. The participants (you can watch them at work in this video) worked different sides of their experiences, leveraging their spatial memories and physical history with their emotional memories and history. The resulting conversations are touching, funny, and revealing. The experience of working with The Mapping of Joy and Pain appeals to participants’ broader emotional sense (“How about that place in St. Paul where your car got stolen?”) and their love of details (“8:07, right there, which is the time that Todd proposed to me on King’s Hill.”).

Krinke teaches in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. We look forward to hearing more about The Mapping of Joy and Pain, along with her many other projects, from her this evening.

To learn more:

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Patrick Marold and public art

January 1, 1970 - to
Patrick Marold and public art

This Thursday, November 3, we’ll welcome artist Patrick Marold to the Museum for the first of three public art-related discussions happening this month. Marold will speak at 7 p.m., and his talk is free and open to the public.

Marold is a Denver native and sculptor whose work is influenced by the relationships between people and the environment:

I create sculpture to invite the viewer to realize spatial relationships and a perspective that grows and changes through my compulsive efforts to explore this world deeper. I draw from industry and our habitation creating works that continue to inform myself and those who experience them. I find that I am driven to create works that efficiently and honestly represent the relationships I am interested in. When I am working I am continually learning, and maintaining a sensitivity to that which I am responding, while communicating to others a sense of wonder and exploration (via www.patrickmarold.com).

All of Marold’s works are characterized by simple, pleasing lines and subtle concepts dependent on external phenomena, but with decidedly intentional results. This entails elegant, sweeping, suspended cables emphasizing the internal space of a building; dozens of small windmills installed into a hillside and glowing relative to the wind speed; or smooth, organic shapes influenced directly by the surrounding environment.

He will visit the Museum as a participant in the U.S. General Services Administration’s Art in Architecture Program. Art in Architecture commissions artists, working alongside architecture teams, to create major works of art for new federal building projects, a tradition dating back to the mid-1800s in the United States.

As the City of Fargo looks to build the arts into its ongoing 30-year plan, the interplay of government and art in our community has become an interesting talking point. To what degree should the city be involved in the creation of public art projects? What are some successes to the approach of government involvement in commissioning artists? When we welcome Marold to Plains Art Museum, we’ll also welcome the opportunity to learn more about this timely and important topic. We hope to see you at his talk on Thursday.

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