Today Plains Art Museum announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.
“Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the arts and military communities,” said NEA Acting Chairman
Joan Shigekawa. “Our work with Blue Star Families and with more than 1,800 museums ensures that we can reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice.”
“Blue Star Museums is something that service members and their families look forward to every year and we are thrilled with the continued growth of the program,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Through this distinctive collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 1,800 museums across the United States, service members and their families can connect with our national treasures with this unparalleled opportunity to visit some of the country’s finest museums for free.”
This year, more than 1,800 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and
American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 450 new museums this year. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and 75 children’s museums. To find out which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.View Event
ArtPlace America announced today the award of a $260,000 grant to Plains Art Museum for its public art projects, Defiant Gardens for Fargo-Moorhead. The Museum’s project was chosen from over 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative placemaking. The Museum was one of only 54 organizations across the United States to receive a grant in this round of funding.
ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking; putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities. This is ArtPlace America‚s third cycle of grant awards. With this round of grants, in total, ArtPlace America has awarded a total of $42.1 million in 134 grants to 124 projects in 90 communities across the U.S. (and a statewide project in Connecticut).
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be a recipient of an ArtPlace America grant award,” said Colleen Sheehy, Plains Art Museum Director and CEO. “We have been working on these public art projects for Fargo-Moorhead for several years, and an ArtPlace grant will help us to bring three of them to fruition. Our communities want more public art.”
Funds from the grant will be used to increase the vibrancy of the urban cores of downtown Fargo and neighboring Moorhead by fulfilling three artist-led initiatives in Plains Art Museum‚s program, Defiant Gardens for Fargo-Moorhead. The project was inspired by landscape historian Kenneth Helphand’s book, “Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime” (2006) and applies his concept of “defiant gardens” as a productive model for place-making by artists to build vibrancy and social engagement into urban spaces. Projects include:
Defiant Garden for the Moorhead Power Plant
The Moorhead City Council, Moorhead Public Service Commission, and citizens have been grappling for five years about the redevelopment of the Power Plant building and site. The Defiant Garden for that site will bring people to a new garden in an area that has been off-limits because of its industrial nature and will create an amenity. Brooklyn-based sculptors Rob Fischer and Kevin Johnson are serving as the artists for the Power Plant, with collaboration from Su Legatt, who teaches photography at North Dakota State University‚s Department of Visual Arts.
Pollinator Garden for Plains Art Museum
The Pollinator Garden will be created with K-12 school students and be tied to 4-H and science classes. The Museum site, which is surrounded by building, streets, and parking lots, will incorporate a lively green space and learning laboratory, where people in the neighborhood can convene and enjoy the outdoors. Christine Bauemler is serving as the lead artist for the Pollinator Garden, working in collaboration with Seitu Jones of St. Paul, poet Juliet Patterson of Minneapolis, and Fargo-based artist Melissa Kossick.
Fern Grotto for Fargo
The Fern Grotto will bring people to a new amenity a small greenhouse on the main retail street of downtown and be a pleasant respite during North Dakota’s long winters. Mark Dion is the lead artist for the Fern Grotto, in collaboration with NDSU architect Regin Schwaen and Michael Strand, Chair of the NDSU Department of Visual Arts.View Event
Plains Art Museum will open the exhibit Wing Young Huie: Hidden Fargo in Plain Sight on Thursday, May 16 at 7 PM. Minneapolis-based photographer Huie joins the Museum again to present images taken during his residency at the Museum last October.
Huie’s subjects come from the everyday: people whose faces we see but often fail to notice. Within each of those individuals, personal stories unfold on the grand and small scales; yet all are affected by a confluence of cultural and social forces. His photographs capture glimpses into these private stories as a way to gain insight into the lives of others.
On May 16, Huie will facilitate and take part in a special talk in the Starion Financial Gallery that will be transformed into a “Third Place,” where participants are encouraged to share their own thoughts and experiences living in our increasingly diverse community. In addition to the images by Huie, the exhibit features work from Fargo-based photographer Ann Arbor Miller. Miller spent time as an informal apprentice with Huie as he worked with various members in the community, documenting and emulating his process.
WHAT: Wing Young Huie Opening Reception including gallery talk, karaoke, ping pong, hors d’ouevres, and cash bar
WHEN: Thursday, May 16 at 7 PM
WHERE: Plains Art Museum
COST: Members free, students $5, nonmembers $10View Event