Archive for the ‘Around the Museum’ Category
We are able to share some wonderful news today: The Bush Foundation announced the award of a $200,000 Community Innovation Grant to Plains Art Museum. Our project, Public Art and Community Engagement, was one of 34 programs to receive grants from the Foundation, which received 618 grant applications from within Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota for this round of funding.
“This is exciting news for our communities,” said Colleen Sheehy, Plains Art Museum Director and CEO. “The Museum has built a strong network of community partners around specific public art projects and also as part of our ongoing work in social engagement that includes city staff and departments, universities and colleges, area businesses, arts organizations, immigrant organizations, and youth programs. We’re excited to work together to build more vibrant cities with strong community engagement by using art and artists to lead the way.”
Funds from the grant will be used to increase the vibrancy of the urban cores of Fargo and Moorhead through demonstration public art projects, exhibitions, a symposium, community meetings, and workshops. The range of activities includes:
- Three artist-led initiatives that will be demonstration projects in public art, which also have received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and from Artplace America. The Defiant Gardens program includes a Garden for the Moorhead Power Plant, a Winter Fern Grotto for Fargo, and a Pollinator Garden on museum grounds.
- Collaborating with the City of Fargo on “The Fargo Project,” a community collaboration to redesign a storm water retention basin, partially funded by an Our Town NEA grant.
- Supporting socially engaged art and community connections by collaborating on art and community projects in summer 2014 in Living as Form. This will be an artist and community engagement platform that will bring people together to create and experience temporary art and activities that address community needs. A symposium will bring together Midwestern artists to discuss and demonstrate social engagement art practices occurring in the Midwest.
- Collaborating on and presenting public art workshops for artists, developers, city planning staff, faculty and students.
- Engaging with city staff, arts leaders, and artists to advance public art plans and involvement of artists in community projects in order to create more vibrant public places that are welcoming and appealing to all.
The Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Grant program supports organizations working to create or implement an innovative solution to address a community need or opportunity. The innovation must be developed through community problem-solving – inclusive, collaborative processes focused on making the most of community assets – and be more effective, equitable or sustainable than existing approaches. The program is part of the Bush Foundation’s effort to enable, inspire and reward community innovation.
“Community innovation occurs when people come together to think bigger and think differently about what is possible for their communities,” said Molly Matheson Gruen, the Bush Foundation’s community innovation manager. “Our inaugural Community Innovation Grant recipients are tackling a range of issues impacting quality of life in their communities. And they are doing it in a way that ensures all voices are heard and that the solutions will endure.”
The Bush Foundation is awarding more than $4 million to 34 organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography, through its Community Innovation Grant program. The Foundation received 618 Community Innovation Grant applications requesting more than $76 million.
The full list of Community Innovation Grant recipients can be found on the Bush Foundation website.
We 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.
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 Photography
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 Fuglestad
“Grumpy Cat,” “Lil Bub,” “Pudge” and “Henri” are names of just a few celebrity cats made famous by videos on YouTube. The cats are a viral phenomenon, and now they are part of an art museum’s repertoire to expand audiences.
It’s a fascinating new development in museum circles, spearheaded by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. I saw these celebrities in person – and their videos – at the Minnesota State Fair in August, when the Cat Video Festival played to an audience of 10,000 in the fair’s grandstand.
Usually the paragon of cutting edge art, WAC lately has become known across the nation and even internationally for this unexpected hit. The Cat Video Festival was developed by the Museum’s education staff as part of their new initiative called Open Field, with fun activities for the public taking place in the museum’s outdoor spaces, including the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
First organized a year ago, the Cat Video Festival started innocently enough as a fun way to close the 2012 season of Open Field with an outdoor movie screening. Rather than anything avant-garde, WAC staff decided to feature a popular art form – YouTube videos that people make of their cats doing funny things. Some of these are bona fide short movies with plots, characterizations and voice-overs. The museum solicited submissions from around the globe, juried the submissions, and planned to present the best ones.
To their surprise, 10,000 people showed up. Some brought their cats. Some painted their faces to look like cats. Others wore cat costumes. Everyone was flabbergasted at the turnout. It was a super fun evening of people being together outside on a warm night. They laughed their heads off together. A phenomenon had been born.
Front page of the Arts section in the New York Times shortly followed, then an invitation for Scott Stulen from the WAC staff to speak about the festival at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Then came an invitation to do a TED talk. Taking it to the Minnesota State Fair as a grandstand show was a logical next step.
On a serious note, the Cat Video Festival is a lighthearted way to reach out to diverse audiences to get more people involved with museums. And you can look at these shorts as homemade art. The project is an effort to bring people together offline, together in the same venue. Funny is more funny when laughing with 9,999 other people than alone on your computer screen or cellphone.
I’m happy to report that, at Plains Art Museum, we are talking with Stulen and others at WAC about showing the Cat Video Festival in Fargo a year from now. It would be tied to an exhibition and conference that highlight artists working with communities.
Get your cat videos ready! Get ready to get together for a good laugh about our feline companions and the people who love them.
NxNW is an occasional arts and culture column written for The Forum by Colleen Sheehy, director and CEO of the Plains Art Museum.
Photo Credit: Meet Lil Bub by Paul Schmelzer
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.
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.
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
Join the Plains Art Museum for your Fifteen Minutes of Fame at the 17th annual Spring Gala on Saturday, May 4th from 7 PM – Midnight! With presenting sponsor Border States Electric, the theme will be based on Andy Warhol’s Creating Myth and Icon exhibition, so come dressed to impress as your favorite icon or in cocktail attire. The night will be filled with ravishing fun!
Mosaic Foods will be catering their famous food for the event followed by delicious desserts from Nichole’s Fine Pastry. Happy Harry’s will be providing a wine and beer tasting and Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome will be performing live music so guests can dance the night away! In addition, there will be dinner music by Diane Miller and the Silver Daggers, a photo booth to capture your look, cocktails by Side Street, and much more.
A silent art auction will be held throughout the event where regional artists will have their artwork for sale.
Proceeds will benefit the Plains Art Museum educational programs.
To purchase tickets, visit http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6uzv2mca7e09f25&llr=rgnqygcab or call (701) 232-3821.
Written by Savanna, Communications Intern.