From the Curator: An Unveiling at the NDSU Ceramics Department

January 1, 1970 - to
From the Curator: An Unveiling at the NDSU Ceramics Department

NDSU KilnHello from your new Curator at Plains Art Museum! Earlier this week, a few of the Museum staff and I accepted the invitation of David Swenson, NDSU Associate Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture, and Daniel Siverson, NDSU Studio Technician, to watch them unload freshly fired ceramic wares from the Art Department’s massive wood-fire kiln.

As an amateur ceramist, I readily welcomed this opportunity. And what an experience it was! Despite the encroaching wintry weather, it was a perfect sunny day to see David and Daniel carefully remove and inspect all of the objects, with assistance from an undergraduate ceramic student and members of the newly-launched post-baccalaureate ceramics program. It was especially memorable as one of the works unloaded was a large pot by Daniel that will be featured in the Museum’s upcoming exhibition Red River Reciprocity: Contemporary Ceramics in Minnesota and North Dakota (Feb. 8 – May 11, 2014).

This exhibition is part of the Museum’s new initiative to promote the education of and collecting and exhibiting of ceramics. We are partnering with Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis to showcase the amazing work local artists are making in ceramics, a medium that has a long, rich history in the region. With this exhibition, along with our ceramics facilities in the Center for Creativity and continued collecting of ceramic objects, the Museum is poised to become to a leader in the field.

Thank you to NDSU for including us in your unloading—we look forward to partnering with you and the other local schools on future projects!

Photo: Daniel Siverson, top, carefully removes a large pot he created from NDSU’s wood-fired kiln with help from Michael Weiss, left, and David Swenson, right. The pot will be featured in a contemporary ceramics exhibition at Plains Art Museum, opening Feb. 8, 2014.

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Welcome to Curator Becky Dunham

January 1, 1970 - to
Welcome to Curator Becky Dunham

Becky DunhamWe are pleased to announce an exciting addition to our Museum team with the appointment of Curator Becky Dunham. In this leadership role, she will organize museum exhibitions, direct the development of the Museum’s permanent collection, and serve as a key liaison to artists, scholars, and other museum professionals regionally and nationally. “Becky brings extensive experience in organizing exhibitions that are solidly grounded while also appealing to the public, and she excels at working with a permanent collection,” says Museum Director and CEO Colleen Sheehy. “She is excited to join our community engagement work, too, and is already getting to know many artists in Fargo-Moorhead.”

Prior to joining the Museum in early October, she was on the curatorial team for five years at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, working in the departments for Prints and Drawings, and for Modern and Contemporary Art. She has also worked at the Museum of Art and Archaeology in Columbia, Mo., and interned at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Fla.

Becky pursued Ph.D. studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia and earned her master’s degree in art history from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In addition to her curatorial experience, she was an adjunct professor of art at Houston Community College and also taught courses at the University of Missouri and the University of Florida.

“I am honored to be joining the talented and enthusiastic team at Plains Art Museum, and I’m excited to explore and become an active member of the Fargo-Moorhead arts community,” Becky said.  As a works on paper specialist, she admires the Museum’s history and commitment to collecting and displaying prints, photographs, and drawings as well as works in all media. “I hope to contribute to this and cultivate the innovative spirit of the region by programming stimulating exhibitions reflecting a wide variety of contemporary art practices,” she said.

“The Museum’s state-of-the-art educational and studio facilities will also be a daily inspiration as I collaborate with PAM staff to engage the public and foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the visual arts.  With such exceptional universities in the F-M area, I look forward to working closely with professors and art students both inside and outside of the Museum.”

A “Meet the Curator” reception will be held in mid-January.

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