Kid Quest Starts Another Great Year, Thanks to Xcel Energy

January 1, 1970 - to
Kid Quest Starts Another Great Year, Thanks to Xcel Energy

Kid Quest Xcel Energy grant 102213The 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

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Call For Entries: Happy Birthday, James Rosenquist!

January 1, 1970 - to
Call For Entries: Happy Birthday, James Rosenquist!


The North Dakota Mural by James Rosenquist at Plains Art Museum. The mural was commissioned by the Museum and dedicated in 2010. Milestones Photography

To celebrate James Rosenquist’s 80th birthday, Plains Art Museum invites artists to submit images of work to be displayed in an exhibition titled Happy Birthday, James Rosenquist! Works in all media will be considered that are inspired by or in the spirit of this major 20th/21st century artist, whose roots run deep in North Dakota and Minnesota. Submissions will be reviewed by museum staff, and the selected works will be featured in a curated show in the museum’s Atrium from February to May 2014.

Please submit images of work by December 1, 2013. Artists are invited to submit already made works or they may create new pieces. Submissions may be large, but must remain smaller than 6 x 6 feet in size. Email submissions to Becky Dunham, museum curator, at and include the following information about the work in the email: title, medium, dimensions, and date of creation.

For more on Rosenquist’s art, visit and here.

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Bestselling Author Sena Jeter Naslund to visit Oct. 17-19

January 1, 1970 - to
Bestselling Author Sena Jeter Naslund to visit Oct. 17-19

SenaflyerFINSena Jeter Naslund, bestselling author of Ahab’s Wife and other novels, will appear in Fargo on Oct. 17-19 for an author’s visit hosted by Plains Art Museum and North Dakota State University (NDSU). A reception is set for 5:30 p.m., Oct. 17, at Plains Art Museum, followed by a reading at NDSU Barry Hall at 7 p.m. Zandbroz will also hold a book signing at on Oct. 18.

Jeter Naslund’s acclaimed 1999 novel Ahab’s Wife inspired artist T. L. Solien in Toward the Setting Sun, a collection of his newest works currently on exhibit at the museum. A prominent surrealist who grew up in Fargo-Moorhead, Solien also created mixed media pieces and paintings based on the classic novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Both novels are the focus of the “3.2.1 Project: Three Communities, Two Books, One Art Exhibit,” a collaboration by the public libraries in Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead along with the museum and NDSU to encourage people throughout the region to the read the books and participate in related events.

“Sena Jeter Naslund takes a female character only mentioned twice in Moby-Dick and builds a tale of epic proportions about a woman whose passionate engagement with the world matches her husband’s, but with less disastrous consequences,” said Colleen Sheehy, museum director and CEO. “This fictional character was so captivating that T.L. Solien made Ahab’s wife the centerpiece of his new body of work.”

A “Writing Workshop for Teachers” on Oct. 19 at the museum will feature Jeter Naslund as a speaker. Kelly Sassi, NDSU assistant professor of English and Education, is coordinating the workshop, as well as the Red River Valley Writing Project’s National Day on Writing on Oct. 20, which follows the author’s visit. “Both these writing events use literature and visual art as starting points for inspiring original written works,” Sassi said. “We are excited and honored to have an author of Sena’s stature lead the workshop and share insights on her craft.”

The visit is supported in part through a grant from the North Dakota Humanities Council. All events are free and open to the public; the writing workshop for teachers requires registration. The events include:

Thursday, Oct. 17
5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Author’s Reception at Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave. N., Fargo
7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Author’s Reading at NDSU Barry Hall, 811 2nd Ave. N., Fargo

Friday, Oct. 18
5:00 – 6:30 p.m., Book signing at Zandbroz, 420 Broadway, Fargo

Saturday, Oct. 19
9:00 a.m. – Noon, Writing Workshop for Teachers, Plains Art Museum
Registration required, contact Kelly Sassi at

Sunday, Oct. 20
2:00 – 4:00 p.m., National Day on Writing, Plains Art Museum

About the author
New York Times bestselling author Sena Jeter Naslund has written several novels, including Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette. Her newest novel, The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman, was released in September by Harper Collins. A native of Birmingham, Ala., she is a winner of the Harper Lee Award; and her bio includes Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville; director of the Spalding University brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing program; former poet laureate of Kentucky; and editor of The Louisville Review and the Fleur-de-Lis Press.

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