Happy Holidays from Plains Art Museum

January 1, 1970 - to
Happy Holidays from Plains Art Museum

On behalf of our board and volunteers, and the staffs of Blue Wolf Casino, King Pin Casino, and Big Top Bingo, the Plains Art Museum staff wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

We had a wonderful year and we’re thrilled to see what 2012 has to offer, especially with the opening of the Center for Creativity. We couldn’t do it without the support of a vibrant and dynamic community, and for that we extend our sincerest gratitude.

(The big picnic table we’re on is a work entitled When I Was Five by Jon Offutt. Read more about it here. Photo by Britta Trygstad, Milestones Photography.)

Top row, l to r: Frank McDaniels, Museum preparator; Cody Jacobson, graphics director; Mark Henze, CFO; Becky Gwinn, accounting clerk.

Middle row, l to r: Mark Ryan, director of collections and operations; Joni Janz, director of development and marketing; Megan Johnston, director of curatorial affairs and interpretation; Colleen Sheehy, Museum director and CEO; Kris Kerzman, communication manager.

Bottom row, l to r: Jade Larsen, facility management; Amanda Sayre, administrative assistant; JoAnn Abrahamson, accountant; Sandy Ben-Haim, director of education.

Not pictured: Tonya Scott, visitor services and store manager; Penny Solum, events coordinator; Kaylyn Gerenz, events coordinator; Chelsea Lee, events coordinator; Steve Johnson, facility maintenance coordinator.


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The Robert Kurkowski Ceramics Studio

January 1, 1970 - to
The Robert Kurkowski Ceramics Studio

We made a monumental announcement last week – a major gift and challenge grant from the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Trust and the Burgum family that, once complete, will trigger an $800,000 matching grant from the Kresge Foundation and allow us to begin construction on the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity.

But amid the hoopla and high spirits around the Museum, one person was sadly missing; Bob Kurkowski. After a long battle with cancer, Bob passed away just three days prior to the announcement. Given his dedication to arts education and the development of the arts in our community, his absence was notable. Bob was a fixture at the Creative Arts Studio at Clara Barton Elementary, a facility that set a standard for community involvement in the arts, was an inspiration to scores of students, and whose activities will move to the Center for Creativity. Bob also was co-founder of the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists, an organization that continues to be a strong voice for area artists and for their interests.

We’ll be hosting the memorial service for Bob this afternoon at 4 p.m. and we welcome everyone touched by his legacy to join us in celebrating his life, his commitment to his craft, and his influence on our arts community.

Also, we’re pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has given $80,000 toward the $100,000 required for naming the Robert Kurkowski Ceramics Studio at the Center for Creativity. To make a contribution in honor of Bob, click over to our Razoo page here.

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Announcing the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity

January 1, 1970 - to
Announcing the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity

(From l to r) Doug Burgum, Colleen Sheehy, Rick Buresh, and Meg Spielman-Peldo discuss the Center for Creativity following today's announcement. Photo by Dave Arntson.

Today marked a watershed moment in the history of the Museum. Doug Burgum and James Burgum announced, respectively, a $300,000 gift from the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Trust and a $200,000 challenge grant from the Burgum family. The combined funding from these sources will allow us to begin construction on the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity and will cap off the There’s a Little Artist in All of Us capital campaign.

As you can tell from Meg’s reaction in the photo above, we’re absolutely thrilled.

The Center for Creativity marks an innovative partnership between the Museum and Fargo Public Schools. It will replace the current Creative Arts Studio, but also function as a hub for creative life for the entire community.

This is great news–amazing news–but we still have just a little bit to go before the Center becomes a reality. We need you to help us meet the $200,000 challenge grant by December 31. To make your contribution AND have it matched by the grant, click over to our Donate Now page.

And, thank you to all donors, community members, artists, and advocates who have gotten us this far. It’s thanks to your inspiration and dedication that we’ve made it this far.

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NEA chair Rocco Landesman visits the Museum

January 1, 1970 - to
NEA chair Rocco Landesman visits the Museum

He couldn’t stay long, but Rocco Landesman, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), managed to swing into the Museum for a quick tour and photo op with our curator, Megan Johnston (left), and our director, Colleen Sheehy, during a visit to Fargo today. Landesman’s official business? To check in on the City of Fargo’s progress with The Fargo Project, a design program under the direction of artist Jackie Brookner looking to transform a neighborhood drainage basin into a vibrant community space. Fargo received $100,000 for the project from the NEA through its Our Town program, which seeks to encourage the expansion of the arts in community cultural life. That sum will be matched by the City of Fargo.

While here, Landesman toured our exhibition You Like This: A Democratic Approach to the Museum Collection and chatted with a small group of folks in our atrium. If he’d stayed longer, we no doubt would have had to discuss the future of Albert Pujols, as we understand he’s a big baseball fan. Next time.

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Noon Holiday Concerts fill the Museum with good cheer

January 1, 1970 - to
Noon Holiday Concerts fill the Museum with good cheer

Yesterday, Darin Henze and Friends played to a packed house, delighting the crowd with  a variety of holiday favorites.

We hold these Noon Holiday Concerts annually, and what a breath of fresh air they are. They give our lunch visitors a little piece of holiday cheer to take back to their homes or offices and have become a way for many to reconnect with friends. We still have two weeks’ worth of Noon Holiday Concerts left; you can see the full lineup here.

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