Press Releases

Free summer admission to active duty military and families

January 1, 1970 - to
Free summer admission to active duty military and families

Plains Art Museum will again offer free admission to current military members and their families this summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day through the Blue Star Museums program. The Museum is closed on Memorial Day and Labor Day, but open all days between, from May 27 to August 31. Current military members presenting a valid military ID receive free admission for themselves and immediate family up to five guests. Children and youth always receive free general admission.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums in all 50 states that offers free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day annually. Visit arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums to learn more about the program and find other participating museums.

Plains Art Museum is located at 704 First Avenue North in Fargo.

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Hidden Fargo in Plain Sight

January 1, 1970 - to
Hidden Fargo in Plain Sight

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 $10

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When Pop Goes Your Culture

January 1, 1970 - to
When Pop Goes Your Culture

As an exploration of Andy Warhol’s appropriation of Native American cultural figures, Plains Art Museum asked photographer Joseph Allen to create a set of images in response to Warhol’s print series Cowboys and Indians. Allen will discuss his work in a public talk at the Museum on Thursday at 7 PM. In the two images, Allen challenges the viewer to question perceptions of the Native American as portrayed in art and commerce. While Warhol’s images attempt to examine such figures through the lens of pop culture, stripped of their original social significance, Allen attempts to bring the issue full circle and raise awareness of how such appropriation affects our understanding of Native American culture and history.

WHO: Joseph Allen

WHAT: “When Pop Goes Your Culture: Joseph Allen Talks Back to Andy Warhol”

WHEN: Thursday, April 18 at 7 PM

WHERE: Plains Art Museum

COST: Free and open to the public

Joseph J. Allen (Lakota/Ojibwe) currently lives on the White Earth Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota and has been exhibiting his art for 18 years. His photographs are in the collections of the Weisman Art Museum, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community archives. His work has also appeared in the books  Beloved Child and Minnesota in Our Time: A Photographic Portrait. Joe has won awards for his work, including a “best photo spread” honor by the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) in 1998. He also won a McKnight Photography Fellowship in 1993.

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Curator Elizabeth Armstrong to speak on Andy Warhol

January 1, 1970 - to
Curator Elizabeth Armstrong to speak on Andy Warhol

Elizabeth Armstrong, Curator of Contemporary Art / Director of the Center for Alternative Museum Practice (CAMP) at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) will discuss “Warhol’s Icons: The Artist’s Search for Reality” on Thursday, April 11 from 7 – 9 PM at MSUM King Hall, Room 110.

For Andy Warhol, wandering the aisles of a supermarket was a voyage in reality far more exciting than looking at contemporary art. Today, as viewers of “The Colbert Report” know, we are living in an age of “truthiness,” in which the relationship between reality and fiction has never been murkier. When did we begin to notice that replicas or artifacts of things were more exciting than the actual things they represented? How did it happen that more people now tune in to fake news shows to get their real news?

Curator Elizabeth Armstrong will explore our shifting experience and understanding of reality through the brilliant artifice of Andy Warhol and the lens of international artists working today. Drawing from her MIA exhibition More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness, Armstrong will explore notions of simulation, truthiness, deception, play, and how artists (and she includes Stephen Colbert in this category), help us navigate the growing slippage in our culture between reality and make believe. This project is supported in part by the MSUM Department of Art & Design Colloquium Lecture Series.

WHO: Elizabeth Armstrong, Curator of Contemporary Art / Director of CAMP at MIA

WHAT: “Warhol’s Icons: The Artist’s Search for Reality”

WHEN: Thursday, April 11 from 7 – 9 PM

WHERE: MSUM King Hall, Room 110

COST: Free and open to the public

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Museum finalist for ArtPlace Grant

January 1, 1970 - to
Museum finalist for ArtPlace Grant

Plains Art Museum has been named a finalist for a grant from ArtPlace, an initiative to accelerate creative placemaking across the United States through grants and loans, research, communication, and advocacy. The Museum was selected as one of 105 finalists, representing the best of the 1,225 letters of inquiry from across the country. Finalists were chosen for their potential to transform communities through placing art and culture at the heart of portfolios of integrated strategies that drive vibrancy and diversity.

“It is a huge honor to be a finalist for this prestigious national grant,” 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 would help us to bring these to fruition. Our communities want more public art.”

The Museum’s grant proposal aims 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. Rob Fischer and Kevin Johson are serving as the artists for the Power Plant.
  • 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.
  • 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. There is currently no indoor green space in Fargo, like a conservatory, accessible to the public. Mark Dion, in collaboration with architect Regin Schwaen, is servings as the lead artist for the Fern Grotto.

This year’s grant recipients will be announced in May. To date, ArtPlace has distributed $26.9 million to 76 organizations in 46 communities across the country.  ArtPlace is a collaboration of 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks. Participating foundations include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation and two anonymous donors. ArtPlace also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council. ArtPlace is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.

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