A dynamic trio of artists joins forces this summer at Plains Art Museum to debut Drawing Comics, an informal class and networking experience focused on graphic novels. Beginning June 12 from 5-6:30 p.m. and continuing on the second and fourth Thursday of each month until Sept. 25, aspiring comic artists will meet at the Museum’s Center for Creativity to draw and discuss techniques, styles, and graphic novel concepts.
The instructors—John Berdahl, Zack Coleman, and Bill Thompson—all share the same super powers: finely honed drawing skills and a passionate love of comics. All three are also published illustrators and will share their expertise by providing demonstrations in drawing and inking, multiple media types, and laying out stories from script to page.
“Even though there is an instructor present, individuals are free to show up, work on their work as they see fit in a space filled with other illustrators, artists, and writers,” says Berdahl. “If they choose to take some time to participate in the lessons that we offer, it’s their prerogative.”
He emphasized that a valuable aspect of each session is the ability for artists to assess their work, as well as the work of others, and participate in discussions of ideas in a supportive, open studio-style format.
“Comic books are one of the more pure pop expressions of the collective human imagination,” Berdahl said. “They excite the kids. They elate the teens. They stir something in the adults that reminds them, ‘Hey, life can be colorful, bizarre and, sometimes, fit into little boxes on the page!’ We’re structuring this guided class to be free-form and accessible to everyone who loves comics. So drop in, draw, get inspired, draw some more, and see where it takes you.”
5 – 6:30 p.m. on second and fourth Thursdays of the month, June through September
$5 advance registration, $7 at the door
Register at http://plainsart.org/learn/art-experiences/ or with the specific session links below. Call 701-551-6100 for more information.
June 12 Session: Narrative
Host artist: Zack Coleman. What story do you want to tell? Learn to construct your story to its maximum potential, flush out your characters, find the audience you want, and decide how you wish the look/aesthetic of your story to be.
June 26 Session: Characters
Host artist: Zack Coleman. Explore the creation of characters in your story, including how their physical features describe their personality without words. We will also consider the development of protagonist vs. antagonist and their continuity in the narrative.
July 10 Session: Places
Host artist: Bill Thompson. Whether on the planet Mars or in your own backyard, your setting is just as much a character as the characters themselves. Learn the tricks on how to frame your panels for the best dramatic effect and show what needs to be shown.
July 24 Session: Pencils and Panels
Host artist: John Berdahl. What’s better to use: HB or Charcoal N? Come to learn the difference between tools of the trade, while developing a proper feel for pacing from panel to panel.
August 14 Session: Discussing Work
Host artist: John Berdahl. Sometimes a second pair of eyes are what you need to push forward. Sit down with peers and instructors to go over your material and critique what you’ve accomplished so far to see if you’re getting the most out of your work or find out what you need to do to go further.
August 28 Session: Inking and Scanning
Host artist: Bill Thompson. “Inking is just tracing, right?” Find out what the professionals use and what may work for you, from traditional methods to more modern tools. You will be introduced to many options for this difficult step in creating comics.
September 11 Session: Coloring
Host artist: Bill Thompson. Learn about using color to enhance your story – its mood, progression, and aesthetic.
September 25 Session: Publishing
Host artist: John Berdahl. “I’ve completed a comic, now what?” Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to publish your work for all to see. Learn the rules of commissions and publishing and what’s best for you.
The first Kid Quest for the 2013-14 season kicked off in October in a big way. More than 250 kids and family members visited the Moby-Dick-inspired exhibitions by T.L. Solien and Kim Bromley, and then collaborated on a community art project featuring an eight-foot-long wire whale sculpture constructed by Dwight Mickelson. Children drew images of their own adventure stories, which were used to create a colorful paper maché covering over the whale’s metal framework. The finished whale is on display at the Center for Creativity.
To help make Kid Quest a free program, Plains Art Museum received a generous $10,000 grant from Xcel Energy this fall. The grant also will allow the Museum to offer a gallery and studio program for teens in the coming year. Kid Quest is held on the first Saturday of the month from October through April, and also is supported in part by Minnesota Public Radio and The Village Family Magazine. The monthly event offers children and parents the opportunity to explore in the art galleries and then participate in creating an art project together at the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity, the Museum’s studio and education wing. More than 2,000 youth and adults attend the free Kid Quest programs each year.
“We’re thrilled to have this continued support from Xcel Energy. It’s so important for families to have opportunities to nurture creative skills and thinking in children, as Kid Quest does,” said Museum CEO and Director Colleen Sheehy. “Xcel’s support allows us to offer Kid Quest for free to all, no matter the financial capacity of families.” Xcel Energy’s grant is part of the company’s corporate giving Arts focus area, which supports nonprofit organizations like Plains Art Museum that foster creation and access to arts and culture.
For more Kid Quest events and registration, check here.
Photo by Milestones PhotographyView Event
Plains Art Museum will host two simultaneous opening events on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m., to display new artwork by the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA) and the Museum’s teaching artists. Both events and the Museum galleries will be free and open to the public that evening.
The FMVA reception is a preview of works across a range of mediums by more than 40 artists participating in the annual FMVA Studio Crawl. The show and reception will be in the Xcel Energy Gallery and stays on exhibit through the Crawl, which is held on Oct. 5 and 6. During the Crawl, visitors to the museum who present a Crawl brochure will have free admission to all galleries.
The “Meet the Artist” open house in the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity showcases the talents of several professional teaching artists who lead adult and youth classes. Visitors are invited to explore the various classrooms in the Center for Creativity and connect with instructors during the open house.
For more information, visit fmva.org and plainsart.org.
Photo: Pottery by Ren FuglestadView 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
We had a gorgeous spring morning today, a perfect setting for a formal launch of construction activities at the future Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity.
Before a group of approximately 100 donors and supporters, Museum Director Colleen Sheehy praised the support of foundations, individuals, and the community as a whole that went into our fund raising campaign, “There’s a Little Artist in All of Us.” Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Rick Buresh complimented the partnership between the school district and the Museum, noting that arts education lends an advantage to our nation’s children that leads to innovation. Museum board chair Arlette Preston thanked area donors, including the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Trust, the foundation whose donation-coupled with a challenge grant from the Burgum family-provided the final funding push to begin construction on the Center. And, area philanthropist Doug Burgum stressed the impact of creativity on the economic vitality of our region.
On top of that, we unveiled a super-sweet construction sign that will sit in the window of the future Center, a sign that got some color thanks to a group of fourth graders from Kennedy Elementary School:
You’ll see the sign hanging in the windows facing 1st Avenue North sometime soon.
Construction is now in full swing over at the Center and will continue through the summer. A grand opening celebration is planned for Sunday, September 30, with a season of special events and programming in the works to kick off its inaugural year. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on the construction process and to learn more about this wonderful community asset.View Event
It doesn’t look like much yet, but construction work on the future Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity has taken a number of steps forward. Asbestos has been removed, walls and structural elements are being improved, and plumbing and electrical are being updated. Compared to the state of the building prior to the beginning of construction, the above photo represents a massive improvement.View Event