Archive for the ‘Around the Museum’ Category

“Sodbuster” is on the move

November 18th, 2015 by jayricharson Posted in Around the Museum | Comments Off on “Sodbuster” is on the move

After more than a decade in storage, one of Fargo-Moorhead’s most important pieces of public art is finally headed for conservation. Today the iconic Sodbuster sculpture, created by Luis Jiménez in the early 1980s, was carefully loaded on a truck heading for Oberlin, Ohio. Once it reaches its destination, the famed statue will spend more than two years under the care of The McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory, experts in outdoor sculpture conservation with specific experience conserving other Jiménez sculptures.

Once restored, the sculpture will be brought back to Fargo and installed as a centerpiece in the Fargo City Hall Civic Plaza. We’re excited to see the results of this major conservation project, and look forward to sharing progress details with you on our website. Read more about this exciting announcement, and stay tuned for future updates!

Fall events – We’re turning 40 and bringing Picasso to town!

August 25th, 2015 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Education, Exhibitions, Special Events | Comments Off on Fall events – We’re turning 40 and bringing Picasso to town!

Plains Art Museum marks a milestone anniversary of 40 years since incorporating in 1975 as a nonprofit art museum with a new season featuring Picasso, Star Wallowing Bull and the Internet Cat Video Festival.  Upcoming events for September and October include the following:

FMVA Studio Crawl Preview: Spotlight on Crawl Founders
Exhibition runs from September 12 – October 10, 2015
The FMVA Studio Crawl Preview features a selection of artworks by four founders of the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists Studio Crawl: Dale Cook, Ellen Jean Diederich, Jon Offutt, and Meg Spielman Peldo.

FMVA Art Educators Exhibition
Opening Reception, Thursday, September 17, 5-7 p.m.
Exhibition runs from September 17, 2015 – January 2, 2016

This group exhibition of talented area art educators is organized by Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists and co-curated with Plains Art Museum. The opening reception will be held in the Katherine Kilbourne Center for Creativity on Sept. 17, 5-7 p.m., free and open to the public.

FMVA Visual Talk with Jescia Hopper
Thursday, September 24, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Artist Jescia Hopper will discuss her current body of work, Dinorama, which features whimsical paintings and sculptures that challenge the seriousness of adulthood. Sponsored by Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists; free and open to the public.

Picasso: Passion for Clay
Star Wallowing Bull: Transformer
Opening Reception – Saturday, October 3, 7 – 10 p.m., Members free, Nonmembers $15, Students $5
Both exhibitions run from October 3, 2015 – January 2, 2016

Plains Art Museum proudly opens its 40th anniversary season with Picasso: Passion for Clay, featuring 40 dazzling ceramics Pablo Picasso made at the famed Madoura Pottery Studio in Southern France. The artworks in this touring exhibition are from the private collection of Martin Rosenbaum, a world-renowned expert on Picasso’s ceramics.

The solo exhibition Star Wallowing Bull: Transformer showcases recent paintings and signature Prismacolor drawings by this celebrated area artist, whose colorful and charismatic style mixes personal biography with American pop culture and Native American images and symbols.

Sanford Health is the presenting sponsor for the Picasso: Passion for Clay exhibition, with additional support from The Barry Foundation, Heartland Trust, Joan Justesen, Jim Meier, Arlette and Richard Preston, Vogel Law Firm, Anonymous, Dawson Insurance, Serkland Law Firm, and Flint Communications.

The Transformer exhibition is supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

FMVA Studio Crawl – Hannaher’s Inc. Print Studio
Saturday, October 3, 10 – 5 p.m., and Sunday, October 4, Noon – 5 p.m.
Stop in during the FMVA Studio Crawl weekend to see works by FMVA founding artists and Print Studio Manager Amanda Heidt. Free admission both days during regular Museum hours.

Creative Voices Gallery Talk – Star Wallowing Bull
Thursday, October 8, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Museum educators Laura Youngbird and Netha Cloeter will hold a conversation on Star Wallowing Bull’s artwork and influences in his Transformer exhibition. Free and open to the public.

Supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Kid Quest
Saturday, October 10, 1 – 4 p.m.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Plains Art Museum, kids and family members will create cupcake still lifes in vibrant oil pastels. Free and open to the public.

Kid Quest is offered monthly from October to April through sponsorship by Xcel Energy and with support from Minnesota Public Radio and The Village Family Magazine.

Internet Cat Video Festival
Saturday, October 17, Screenings at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fargo Theatre
The cats are back! Produced and curated by the Walker Art Center, the wildly popular collection of the year’s best screen stars of the cat video world has become a national and international phenomenon, and was a sellout show in Fargo last year. The new reel will feature approximately 100 cat videos culled from nominations by the public in the categories of Comedy, Drama, Animated, Musical, Action, Vintage, and Documentary. Tickets: $8 adults, $6 children.

Laura Youngbird: Common Thread
Opening Reception – Thursday, October 22, 5 – 7 p.m., Members free, Nonmembers $10, Students $5
Exhibition runs from October 22, 2015 – February 6, 2016

Common Thread is a solo exhibition of recent work by artist/educator Laura Youngbird, featuring portraits of individuals who have been major influences in her life and career, along with a series of prints that use a dress motif to challenge assumptions about Native American women and culture.

Supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Community Collections from North of Normal
Exhibition runs from October 23, 2015 – February 6, 2016
Community Collections from North of Normal explores the art of collecting by presenting unusual and interesting collections amassed by area residents.

Final Friday Art Break on Picasso: Passion for Clay
Friday, October 30, Noon – 1 p.m.
Learn how Picasso revolutionized the field of ceramics in this gallery talk and tour.

Sanford Health is the presenting sponsor for the Picasso: Passion for Clay exhibition, with additional support from The Barry Foundation, Heartland Trust, Joan Justesen, Jim Meier, Arlette and Richard Preston, Vogel Law Firm, Anonymous, Dawson Insurance, Serkland Law Firm, and Flint Communications.

Plains Art Museum is located at 704 First Ave. N. in downtown Fargo. For more information, visit


Summer events and programs

June 16th, 2015 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Special Events | Comments Off on Summer events and programs

Here’s a look ahead at upcoming events and programs for July and August 2015:

Julie Buffalohead Reception and Creative Voices Artist Talk
Thursday, July 9, 6:30-8 p.m., talk at 7 p.m.

The Creative Voices talk offered at 7 p.m. is a conversation between Julie Buffalohead and Christina Chang, organizer of the Coyote Dreams exhibition and Curator of Engagement at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul. Reception and talk are free and open to the public.

Supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Narrative Vocabulary Workshop with Julie Buffalohead
Friday, July 10, 10 a.m.-Noon

Julie Buffalohead will lead this session for building visual vocabulary and generating characters in art that help tell a story or craft a narrative. Bring a sketchbook and drawing materials. Free for Native artists, $25 for other artists. Register at

Supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Summer Ceramics Sale & Art Fair
Thursday, July 16, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Find unique ceramic works by multiple professional and emerging area artists, including studio members and instructors at the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity. Plus, discover offerings by artists who work in other media, from painting to printmaking and more. Additional afternoon activities from 1 to 5 p.m. include a kid-friendly Pollinator Party: meet Buzz Lab interns, take tours, and create a work of art inspired by the Museum’s Pollinator Garden, plus Pie Project Fargo will provide pie (while supplies last). Free and open to the public.

FMVA Visual Talk with Tim Lamey
Thursday, July 23, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

A 2014 change to the drilling permit review process in western North Dakota requires additional review and public comment for a number of areas of extraordinary interest. Hear from artist Tim Lamey about his ongoing photography project to capture the unique qualities of the areas of extraordinary interest and contrast them with surrounding oil development. Sponsored by Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists; free and open to the public.

The Oil Project presented by Theatre B and Plains Art Museum
Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14, Noon and 7 p.m. both days

Leading up to the closing of the Bakken Boom exhibition on August 15, The Oil Project is an original hour-long theater performance about the changes happening in western North Dakota. Theatre B performers will use interviews, published reports, stories and music to create this collaborative work, premiering at the Museum. Free and open to the public.

Creative Voices Artist Talk with Denise Lajimodiere
Thursday, August 20, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Artist Denise Lajimodiere will talk about the lost art of birch bark biting, a nearly extinct centuries-old practice that was once common among Native American artisans. Free and open to the public.

Supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Go-To Guide for the Gala!

April 30th, 2015 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Special Events | Comments Off on Go-To Guide for the Gala!

Gala collageCarnaval: Saturday, May 2


  • Shimmy to the Samba and other popular dance sets by the Carluster Crumplebee Brazilian Orchestra, featuring percussionist Kenyon Williams and other special musical guests.
  • Mix with costumed performers and marvel at displays of daring aerialists, staged by Ryan Domres of Experience BLUR.
  • Feast on sumptuous Brazilian-flavored fare by Mosaic Foods and delicious desserts by Nichole’s Fine Pastry.
  • Sample wine and beer tastings until 9 p.m. by Happy Harry’s.
  • Mixology served up all evening by Sidestreet Grill & Pub, including Brazil’s national cocktail, the Carnaval Caipirinha (available at the Art Auction Bar).
  • Enhance your look with a sophisticated and stylish accent by Pikadilly Face Painting.
  • Pose at the Carnaval backdrop and get a souvenir photo at the Carnaval photo booth. We’re posting images from the evening with #CarnavalFargo.


  • Carnaval is a mix of masquerade, Halloween, and Mardi Gras all rolled up into one great night!
  • Put on a persona, come in costume, fit into your feathery finest, or wear whatever you want.
  • It’s worth it to add some zing to your attire–our Gala co-chairs Cris Linnares, Bill Marcil, Jr., Kathryn Helgaas, and Doug Burgum will give out special prizes for best costumes.
  • Looking for inspiration? Check out Applause Costumes and Dancewear, Gompf’s, or Party City for costume accessories.
  • Feel free to be colorful, creative and—most of all—have fun!


  • Check out the 80+ artworks available at the silent art auction!
  • When you buy your ticket online, you’re automatically registered to bid/donate. You can spend your time dancing instead of registering!
  • Bring your smart phone to the Gala so you’ll be ready to bid. Don’t have a smart phone? No worries! We will have iPads for you to use.
  • Once you check in, you’ll get a text with a link to the silent auction and you can immediately start bidding.
  • The first 50 bidders get a free cocktail, the Brazilian Caipirinha! (You bid, tell our staff in the
  • Art Auction – Starion Gallery and they’ll treat you to a free drink available ONLY at the bar in that gallery.)
  • Winning bidders will also receive a limited edition print commemorating Carnaval.
  • Didn’t win your bid, but still want an original piece of art to take home? Donate $100 or more from your smart phone and get a limited edition print by artist Amanda Heidt (while supplies last) before you leave.


  • Order your tickets at
  • Members get a discount! The cost for members is $100, nonmembers $125. Sign up for membership at to get the discount code (and much more)!
  • All proceeds from the Gala go to Museum education programs. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we appreciate your support! Half the ticket price is tax deductible.
  • NO printed tickets this year. When you order online, you are automatically on “the list.” Give us your name at the door and we’ll nod you in. You can also buy at the door, but advance purchase is preferred to help everything move along a bit quicker.
  • Arriving later? The late night cover charge for the Gala is $30 after 10 p.m., payable at the door.
  • Questions? Call 701.551.6100 or email

Get ready to shine this Saturday—see you at the Spring Gala!


Presenting Sponsor: Border States Electric

Diamond Sponsors: WDAY

Platinum Sponsors: The Barry Foundation, Bell State Bank & Trust, Bobcat Company/Doosan Infracore Construction, H2M, Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops, High Plains Reader, Kilbourne Group, Reading Digital, R. D. Offutt Company/RDO Equipment Co.

Gold Sponsors: Dawson Insurance, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Fredrikson & Byron, Brian Hayer,  Milestones Photography, Mosaic Foods, Nichole’s Fine Pastry

Silver Sponsors: Bremer Bank,  Enventis, Fargo Jet Center, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Flint Communications, Home Instead Senior Care, Land Elements, Minnesota Public Radio, Otter Tail Corporation, Prairie Public Broadcasting, Radisson Hotel Fargo, TMI Hospitality, The Village Family Magazine, Warner and Company

Bronze Sponsors: AE2S, Alerus Financial, The Blue Goose Cafe, Catalyst Medical Center and Clinical Spa, Cornerstone Bank, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, ecce art + yoga,  Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Flowers by Ranee, Indigo Signworks, McCulley Optix, Moore Engineering, Nilles Law Firm, Park Company Realtors, John Q. Paulsen, Santa Magic, Spotlight Media, US Bank

Top 5 Reasons to attend the Plains Art Museum’s Spring Gala

April 28th, 2015 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Special Events | Comments Off on Top 5 Reasons to attend the Plains Art Museum’s Spring Gala

by Diane Miller, High Plains Reader

Graphic by Alexis Dietz

Graphic for High Plains Reader by Alexis Dietz

Brazilian Carnaval meets the Plains Art Museum this May 2 for its biggest fundraiser event of the year. Here are HPR’s top 5 reasons to attend what we consider to be the best party of the year:


The 11-piece Carluster Crumplebee Brazilian Orchestra will feature some of the finest local musicians, including guitarist/band leader Tom Johnson and professional auxiliary percussionist Kenyon Williams.

Attendees will be invited to salsa, cha-cha, tango, merengue or just let loose to hours of music that will, according to Johnson, “make you want to get up and move whether you’re familiar with the music or not.”

“With the arrangements I’m writing, I am trying to encompass the long tradition of Carnaval music,” he says. “So some of the arrangements sound like Carnaval music from the ‘60s to the present, which includes playing their music in a traditional style all the way to playing American popular music in the style of a Brazilian Carnaval band and everything in between.”


The Spring Gala features an art auction that includes pieces by more than 80 local and regional artists. In most cases, half the proceeds go to the artists and the other half goes toward the museum. So this is one of the most direct, feel-good ways people can support local art.

This year, similar to last year, all the voting will be done electronically. Though unlike any other year, people will now be able to make bids on their smart phones. So potential buyers with smart phones can make bids anywhere in the museum and also be immediately notified when someone else has outbid them. There will also be tech staff mingling about the museum with iPads to help people with bidding. It’ll make enjoying the party, seeing all the sights and enjoying all the food a lot more relaxing.

The featured artwork on HPR’s cover as well as on all the promotional material is by Star Wallowing Bull, one of the region’s most celebrated artists.

“We commissioned him to make this painting to be the visual identity of the entire event,” says Becky Dunham, curator of the museum. “So all of our staging for the event is going to be based on his figure and the color and composition, and all of our promotion is based on it as well.”

Some of the featured local artists in this year’s gala include Walter Piehl, Jr., Sabrina Hornung, Gin Templeton, Ben Rheault, Carl Oltvedt, Dan Francis, Amber Parsons, Steve Knutson and Meg Spielman Peldo.

Not every piece of submitted artwork gets selected for the auction. Dunham says, for her, the selection process is the trickiest part of organizing the auction.

Art by Star Wallowing Bull / Cover design by Raul Gomez

Art by Star Wallowing Bull / HPR cover design by Raul Gomez

“You want to pick what you think is the strongest piece by artists, but sometimes artists will end up submitting things that look similar,” she says. “So then you have to go back to the drawing board and say, ‘What is different from these works that is still really strong?’ And then make sure you have an equal balance of different types of artwork … Paintings, print making, drawing, collage, lots of three dimensional stuff. So the selection process is actually really tricky.”

While in past years, some interested buyers left empty handed after getting outbid, this year, attendees can get a limited edition print by the museum’s print studio manager, Amanda Heidt, if they donate $100 or more to the museum.

Also new to the auction are art experiences. For the right price, gala-goers have the option of spending the night at the Plains Art, taking an art trip with Plains Art CEO Colleen Sheehy to the Twin Cities or taking a three-hour ceramics class.

“Having as eclectic of a mix as possible in here is my goal. So there’s a wide variety of different types of artworks. There’s a wide variety of sizes and a wide variety of price points, a wide variety of subject matter and styles too. So regardless of who the customer is, the attendee of the event, hopefully they will find something they like.”


Want to know what’s on the menu? Sara Watson, owner of Mosaic Foods, gave us the scoop on dinner:

Assorted pastel: hearts of palm, lemon grilled shrimp, garlic and cumin chicken
Bauru: (roast beef sandwich)
Salpicao: (chicken salad with shoestring potatoes)
Grilled beef sirloin skewers with chimichurri
Romeo and Julieta: (fresh mozzarella with guava paste)
Whole poached salmon
Pao de queijo (cheese dinner rolls)
Bison meatballs with creamy vermouth sauce
Vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce
Candied bacon crab cakes with caper aioli
Fresh vegetable crudite with hummus and pesto
Tropical fruit platter
Antipasto platter
Air dried meats, cheeses, breads and crackers
Mushroom and boursin cheese crostinis

You’ll just have to attend to see what kind of colorful sweets Nichole’s Fine Pastry has lined up.

And yes, there will be plenty of wine, beer and spirits provided by Happy Harry’s and Sidestreet Grille & Pub.


Of course, the theme of Carnaval is dependent on bright colors and amusing visuals. That’s why the Spring Gala leadership hired theatrics expert Ryan Domres.

“A big thing this year is to really try to expand the event and make it more of a metropolitan type of feel so that it’s just a huge, huge spectacle,” Domres said.

There will be aerialists, including girls on silks and chandelier girls, and plenty of other costumed performers that will be guiding guests into different parts of the museum.

There will also be a number of installations made up of colorful fabrics, flagging tapes, industrial saran wrap and ribbon throughout the three floors of the museum.

“It’s finding spectacle, but it’s also finding the experiences within the spectacle so that it becomes more than just visual appeal. And I would say probably the first 30 minutes of the event will just be visual appeal, the ‘oohs’ and the ‘ahs,’” Domres said. “And once we get past that we’ll get more into the social hour and get more into the experiences of the evening, where it’s more one-on-one connections or group connections with the performers.”


Deciding on what to wear for this event? A lot of gala attendees come dressed to impress. To fit the theme, Domres especially suggests wearing bright colors. He also encourages women to sport a fun headdress.

Most importantly, wear something that’s comfortable for moving around and dancing, of course.

“Brazilian Carnaval is an event that allows everyone in the community to be what they would normally not be,” Domres says. “So it’s a moment for you to kind of step out of your normal box and to be something different … to embody a different part of yourself and really feel confident about it.”


Spring Gala: Carnaval!

Sat, May 2, 7 p.m. to midnight

Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave N, Fargo

Community Print Exchange Connects University Printmakers

March 25th, 2015 by Amy Richardson Posted in Around the Museum, Exhibitions, Special Events, students | Comments Off on Community Print Exchange Connects University Printmakers

Plains Art Museum presents Community on April 11 from 2 to 4 p.m., a print exchange organized by artist Amanda Heidt, manager of the Museum’s Hannaher’s, Inc. Print Studio. For the exchange, university-based artists will create and submit an edition of 30 prints on the theme “community” and will receive prints from other artists in return.

This event is free and open to the public.

Participants include faculty and students from Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minot State University, North Dakota State University, University of Manitoba, University of North Dakota, and Valley City State University. One print from each edition will be given to these institutions and also will be displayed at the Museum from April 3 – 30.


New Hours in 2015

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

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

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

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 on Holy Smokes! Drawing Comics course launches at Plains Art Museum

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.

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