Archive for the ‘Around the Museum’ Category

New Hours in 2015

January 1st, 2015 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum | Comments Off

Plains Art Museum has new visiting hours for 2015.  The Museum will close on Sundays. While galleries are also closed on Mondays, The Store and The Blue Goose Cafe will be open every Monday, providing two good reasons to stop in at the start of the week.

Museum Galleries
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Thursday: 11 AM – 9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday – Monday: Closed

The Store
Monday – Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Thursday: 10 AM – 9 PM
Sunday: Closed

The Blue Goose Cafe
Monday – Friday: 11 AM – 2 PM
Saturday – Sunday: Closed

Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity
The Center is open during regular Museum hours as well as for scheduled classes and Open Studio.

Studio Crawl Preview, Cuplomacy, and Kid Quest highlight American Craft Week

September 30th, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Exhibitions, Special Events | Comments Off

Plains Art Museum is one of the participating regional sponsors for American Craft Week, a 10-day celebration from Oct. 3-12. Related events offered at the Museum during the week include the FMVA Studio Crawl Preview, the community launch of Michael Strand’s Cuplomacy project, and the Museum’s annual kick off for its popular Kid Quest series.

FMVA Studio Crawl Preview – Now through Oct. 12

The Museum is currently exhibiting 36 works by artists taking part in the 11th annual Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists Studio Crawl, held Oct. 4-5. The FMVA exhibition closes Oct. 12. For more, visit

Cuplomacy: To Washington D.C. …Love, Fargo – Oct. 4, 5

Michael Strand is engaging in a proactive project to invite U.S. senators to cut through the barriers to conversation and share a cup of coffee across the aisle. Strand, Head of the Department of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University, will be at Plains Art Museum during the FMVA Studio Crawl on Oct. 4-5 to involve the community in a series of activities that will illuminate how we collectively value dialog in everyday life and our reflections on the health of our political system.  Strand has also created a platform to involve the community to provide ideas and input on the design of two distinct sets of cups and saucers, one for Democrats and one for Republicans.  Museum admission is free during the FMVA Studio Crawl weekend.

The finished cups, designed by the community and created by Strand,  will be delivered  in 2015 to each senator by a citizen of their state as a mismatched set—with a cup from the respective party and a saucer from the “other” party. Senators will be asked to share in a cup of coffee with someone not in their party and swap saucers. “Hopefully, the completed set will become a gentle reminder of the importance of sitting down face-to-face,” Strand says.  “It’s a simple gesture, but right now, simple sounds like a good place to start.  For more, visit

Kid Quest – Oct. 11

The first Kid Quest for the 2014-15 season takes place on Oct. 11, 1-4 p.m. in the Center for Creativity with “Treasure Nest.” Participants will craft a nest from clay and personalize it with twigs, dried flowers, and other found objects. Kid Quest is a free, family-oriented event made possible by a grant from Excel Energy, with additional support from The Village Family Magazine and Minnesota Public Radio. Kid Quest is offered monthly from October through April. For more, visit our Kid Quest registration page.

For more detail on American Craft Week and area events, visit

Join us at Mark Dion talk and open house on Sept. 16

September 9th, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Special Events | Comments Off

9-1mark dionPlains Art Museum is hosting an open house on Tuesday, Sept. 16, with a talk by international artist Mark Dion, followed by an evening of previews of upcoming events and classes. The talk and open house are free and open to the public.

“Nurse Logs, Giant Gulls, and Cave Bears: The Curious Public Art of Mark Dion,” begins at 5:30 p.m. on the Museum’s third floor. Dion will provide insights into his process of gaining commissions and creating engaging public spaces and sculptures. His public art projects are in Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, Norway, and England, among other locations. He has exhibited at London’s Tate Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and was featured on the PBS series art:21.

Dion will also give an update on his design for the Fern Grotto for Fargo, one of the Museum’s Defiant Garden projects. Join the Mark Dion event on Facebook

The open house is from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., and is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about the Museum’s creative offerings for individuals, families, educators, and groups/organizations.

Curator Becky Dunham will provide a preview of upcoming exhibitions at 6:45 p.m. in the first floor Presentation Center. At 7:15 p.m., staff will give a tour of the Pollinator Garden at the Plains, and also offer fall class information, demos of print-making and ceramics, and hands-on art activities for adults and children in the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity.

Visitors are encouraged to take in the exhibition Heart/Land: Sandra Menefee Taylor’s Vital Matters, which closes Sept. 21, and see the works of Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists in the FMVA Studio Crawl Preview, opening Sept. 13.

Contact 701-551-6100  for more information. Join the Fall Open House event on Facebook


Holy Smokes! Drawing Comics course launches at Plains Art Museum

June 5th, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, center for creativity | Comments Off

drawing comics logo copyA 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.”

Drawing Comics
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 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.

Free summer admission to active duty military and families

May 21st, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, News, Press Releases | Comments Off

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 to learn more about the program and find other participating museums.

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

Filmmaker/artist Jason Simon to talk at Plains Art Museum on March 7

February 14th, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Around Town, Contests, Exhibitions | Comments Off

Plains Art Museum and the Fargo Film Festival are co-hosting a reception on March 7 for Jason Simon, the founder of The One Minute Film Festival: 2003-2012, currently on exhibition at the museum. The show features hundreds of one-minute films created by more than 300 artists whose video vignettes range from the meditative and poignant to the startling surreal and outright funny.

New York-based artist Simon curated the exhibition, which appeared at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) prior to opening at the Plains.

Museum Reception/Fargo Film Festival Pre-Party

Friday, March 7, 5 – 7 p.m.
6 p.m. – Brief remarks by Jason Simon
Hors d’oeuvres by Mosaic Foods and cash bar
Complimentary copies of the MASS MoCA show catalog, while supplies last
Free for museum members and Fargo Film Festival pass holders, $10 nonmembers, $5 students

Simon is a media artist and assistant professor of Cinema at City University of New York. He creates films, videos, installations, photographs, and sound sculptures that focus on the intersection of consumption and culture.

The One Minute Film Festival is on display at the museum through May 24. The exhibition and related programs are sponsored by The Forum. Plains Art Museum is located at 704 First Avenue North in downtown Fargo.

Fargo in 60 Seconds: Open call for films through March 17
To expand on the creative vision of The One Minute Film Festival, Plains Art Museum invites submissions from filmmakers to submit their best one-minute films and video creations. There is no fee to enter, and contributors may submit up to two movies. The entry deadline is March 17, and the submissions will be showcased at the museum in a continuously looped screening titled Fargo in 60 Seconds from March 24 to May 24.

The Museum will also host a Teen Filmmakers Awards Night on April 10 for a special screening of films submitted by filmmakers ages 14 to 18. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st Place – $100, 2nd Place – $75 and 3rd Place – $50. Filmmakers ages 19 and above will be eligible for a drawing for two tickets to the museum’s 2014 Spring Gala: Optical Illusions on May 3. For more details and entry guidelines, visit


Giving Hearts Day Noon Appreciation Concerts and Events

January 31st, 2014 by Cody Jacobson Posted in Around the Museum, Special Events | Comments Off


We hope you think of us on Giving Hearts Day, and we’re thinking of the best way to say Thank You! So we invite you to stop in during Valentine’s Week for a delightful series of music and events, here at the heart of the arts in Fargo Moorhead.

Leading up to Giving Hearts Day, Plains Art Museum is hosting a series of free appreciation concerts at noon on February 11, 12, and 13. And on February 13, Giving Hearts Day, all museum galleries will be free and open to the public. That evening, we’ll have a special tour and presentation related to our recently opened ceramics exhibition and we’re also a stop on Downtown Fargo’s “Wine about Winter” event.

Anyone who makes a pledge of $10 or more to Plains Art Museum during Giving Hearts Day will get a coupon for a free cup of coffee at Café Muse (courtesy the staff of Café Delight). Donors at $250 and above will get a unique gift of art, donated by nationally known glass artist Robin Lehman.

To keep our exhibitions, events, and classes available, affordable—and often free—for the community, take a moment to give back on Giving Hearts Day, an amazing 24-hour community event organized by Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation. Gifts made to the museum on Giving Hearts Day on Thursday, February 13, will be doubled by a generous anonymous donor, up to a total match gift of $4,000! Give online on February 13, 2014, at

Tuesday, February 11
Noon Appreciation Concert with Romantic Chamber Music

A performance by Sue Nagel, piano; Sonja Harasim and Jane Linde Capistran, violins; Timothy H Nelson, viola; and Elise Buffat Nelson, cello.
Free and open to the public
Join the chamber music concert on Facebook

Wednesday, February 12
Noon Appreciation Concert with Darin Henze and Friends

Pianist Darin Henze will be joined by Victoria Melchior, vocalist; Liz Lyngstad, flute; and Jim Kapphahn, vocalist.
Free and open to the public
Join Darin’s concert on Facebook

Thursday, February 13

Noon Appreciation Concert with Sarah Morrau and Bekka Devries
Vocalist Sarah Morrau is accompanied by Pianist Bekka Devries
Free and open to the public
Join Sarah and Bekka’s concert on Facebook

Ceramics 101
A gallery walk and studio talk with Curator Becky Dunham and Studio Manager James Wolberg
5:30 PM, Free and open to the public

Wine about Winter and Sweet Treat Stroll
A Downtown Community Partnership wine crawl
5 – 9 PM, $12 advance tickets, $15 day of event

“The One Minute Film Festival” and “Fargo in 60 Seconds”

January 13th, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Education, Exhibitions | Comments Off

We’re excited to present The One Minute Film Festival: 2003-2012, an exhibition of hundreds of one-minute films created by more than 300 artists whose video vignettes range from the meditative and poignant to the startling surreal and outright funny. Curated by New York-based artist Jason Simon, the film festival comes to Fargo from January 25 to May 24, 2014, as a traveling exhibition created by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). A reception will be held at the Museum featuring a talk by Jason Simon on March 7 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The show also includes artist-designed, full-size movie posters for a selection of the films, many of which are humorous takes on traditional Hollywood movie posters. An hour-long film compilation, Exquisite Corpse 2012, will also be on display. Acting as a modern variation on the Surrealist “exquisite corpse” party game, the film was created by 60 artists who each received the last second of a previous film and built a new minute based on that glimpse. The exhibition and related programs are sponsored by The Forum.

Fargo in 60 Seconds

Open call for films through March 17
To expand on the creative vision of The One Minute Film Festival, Plains Art Museum invites submissions from area filmmakers age 14 and up to submit their best one-minute films and video creations. There is no fee to enter, and contributors may submit up to two movies. The entry deadline is March 17, and the submissions will be showcased in a continuously looped screening on the Museum’s Third Floor from March 24 to May 24.

Entries received before February 17 will be considered for inclusion in the Fargo Film Festival’s 2-Minute Movie Contest held in March. The Museum will also host a Teen Filmmakers Awards Night on April 10 for a special screening of films submitted by filmmakers ages 14 to 18. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st Place – $100, 2nd Place – $75 and 3rd Place – $50. For more details and entry guidelines, visit

Free Workshop on January 30: Making Your Own One-Minute Film
Area filmmakers from Minnesota State University Moorhead will provide tips and insights on crafting short films on Thursday, January 30, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Museum atrium. The workshop is funded in part by Xcel Energy.

Meet the Curator: Now on January 23!

January 2nd, 2014 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Around Town, Museum People, Special Events | Comments Off

becky4Join us for a fun, informal gathering with Becky Dunham, curator at Plains Art Museum, and learn about her outreach with area artists, her thoughts on future exhibits, and how her professional road led her 1,300 miles straight north to Fargo-Moorhead from her prior curatorial role at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Meet the Curator
Thursday, January 23, 5:30 to 7:00 PM
Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
FREE and open to the public

Join our Facebook event for Meet the Curator

Prior to joining Plains Art Museum in October 2013, Becky was on the Houston museum’s curatorial team for five years. She pursued Ph.D. studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia, earned her master’s degree in art history from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and worked at the museums associated with both universities. She received 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.

Plains Art Museum is located at 704 First Avenue North in Fargo. To learn more about upcoming exhibitions, events, and art classes, visit

Meet Our New Board Members

December 9th, 2013 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Museum People, News | Comments Off

We are delighted to welcome four dynamic new members to our Board of Directors. Mike Allmendinger, Brian Hayer, Susan Mathison, and Sam Wai bring great enthusiasm and business expertise, and we are grateful for their participation. Read on to see what drew them to the Museum.

SONY DSCMike Allmendinger
General Manager, Kilbourne Group
Principal, Land Elements

“To locate the Museum in downtown Fargo was a visionary move, and it’s had a tremendous impact on our culture in Fargo and Moorhead. I’m especially excited to support the experiences that the Plains Art Museum creates for our region, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to support this vision.”

Mike is the founder of Land Elements, a landscape architecture company with a team of landscape architects who focus on concept design to create a unique sense of place in the outdoor environment. In 2006 he also joined the Kilbourne Group as general manager. Kilbourne Group is a catalyst of inspiration and action for vibrant downtown communities. Mike is an active board member of Fargo’s Downtown Community Partnership and a hockey coach with Fargo Youth Hockey.

brian_hayer_sqBrian Hayer
President and CEO, Warner and Company Insurance

“I have been interested in art since I was a child. I collected artwork over the years and became even more interested when I won an auction item at the Plains Art Museum Spring Gala a few years back for a trip to New York with a guided art tour from the chief curator. It was an awesome experience. I chaired the Gala in 2013, and I’m excited to get more involved.”

After joining Warner and Company Insurance in 1986 as a business marketing trainee, Brian worked his way to leadership positions and was named president and CEO in 2007. In 2012, Brian and his company received prestigious recognition as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Family Owned Business of the Year, and the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. He is an active member of several education, arts, and civic groups, and holds current leadership roles with the United Way of Cass Clay, Fargo Kiwanis, and the Downtown Community Partnership, among others.

Susan Mathison sq Susan Mathison, M.D.
Owner/President, Catalyst Medical Center

“I have been interested in art from an early age when I won a contest for drawing a bunny. My mother and aunt are skilled artists and I loved watching them work. I’ve enjoyed supporting local artists and have filled the walls of my office with regional color.”


Dr. Susan Mathison is the founder and medical director of Catalyst Medical Center & Clinical Spa in Fargo. She specializes in Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), head/neck surgery and facial plastic surgery. A passionate advocate for total wellness and a skillful entrepreneur, Susan is a sought-after speaker, a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, a popular blogger, and the author of an upcoming book, Positively Beautiful: Loving the Skin You Are In. She also serves on the board for Dakota Medical Foundation, and has established a family fund through DMF that supports health initiatives with an emphasis on women and children.

Sam Wai sqSam Wai

Treasurer, American Crystal Sugar

“I enjoy art and have collected art for decades. I feel that art reflects who we are, our time and place, and ultimately, the human spirit.”



Sam Wai is the treasurer at American Crystal Sugar Company, the largest beet sugar producer in the United States, which generates nearly 20 percent of the nation’s sugar. He has worked in various financial roles at the company since 1979. Sam is a keen expert on wine who teaches Fargo/Moorhead Communiversity courses that provide meaningful insights on a region’s wine, history, and culture. A classical music devotee, he is also on the Board of Trustees for Minnesota Public Radio and served many years on MPR’s Regional Advisory Council for Fargo/Moorhead.

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