Around the Museum

VOTE! for the new S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

January 1, 1970 - to
VOTE! for the new S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

We need your vote! Stop by the Museum and cast your vote for our new S.P.A.C.E. sculpture by Concordia College art students. There are 3 maquettes to choose from. Voting ends March 4, sculpture will be installed this spring.

S.P.A.C.E. (Sculpture Pad Art Collaborative Experiment) Beginning in 2009, Plains Art Museum began to collaborate with Concordia College, North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead on the exhibition of a sculpture for the Museum’s outdoor sculpture pad.

Click on thumbnails to view.

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Scholastic Art + Writing submission deadline is December 15!

January 1, 1970 - to
Scholastic Art + Writing submission deadline is December 15!

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12.

Starting in 2014, the Red River Valley Writing Project and the Plains Art Museum partnered to serve as the state affiliate for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The mission of the Awards is to identify teenagers (grades 7-12) with exceptional artistic and literary talent and bring their remarkable work to a national audience. Students apply in 29 categories of art and writing, and work is evaluated by a diverse panel of professionals who look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Last year, students submitted nearly 320,000 works of visual art and writing to the Scholastic Awards; more than 85,000 works were recognized at the regional level and celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies. The top art and writing at the regional level were moved onto the national stage, where 2,500 works earned National Medals. National Medalists and their educators were celebrated at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Click here to learn more and submit work.

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From the Director

January 1, 1970 - to
From the Director

Dear Friends:

I have spent much of my life studying and communicating the value of art museums. The impact on communities is immense, with the nonprofit arts industry generating over $135 billion in economic activity annually, and playing a key role in a city’s ability to attract residents, employees and tourists. Supporting your art museum is a great investment in your community.

The impact that art museums have on individuals is also significant, with major studies showing improved empathy, tolerance, and critical thinking arising from even modest interaction with art museums.

In addition, there is a strong link between entrepreneurial success and the creativity that is nurtured through interaction with the arts.

Given the profound potential of the Museum’s impact, my first priority as Director/CEO of Plains Art Museum is to partner with community supporters to share the Museum experience as far and wide as we can. When possible, access to high quality arts experiences should be limitless.

To achieve the community’s goals, Plains Art Museum is proud to announce PlainsArt4All, a campaign and annual fund to. Watch for information soon regarding this exciting opportunity for all community members to contribute to something great!

I hope that you will consider joining me this year and into the future in making something wonderful – a substantial, innovative, meaningful and accessible art museum for the region.


Andy J. Maus

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“Sodbuster” is on the move

January 1, 1970 - to
“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!

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

January 1, 1970 - to
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


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Summer events and programs

January 1, 1970 - to
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.

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Go-To Guide for the Gala!

January 1, 1970 - to
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

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

January 1, 1970 - to
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

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Community Print Exchange Connects University Printmakers

January 1, 1970 - to
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.


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New Hours in 2015

January 1, 1970 - to
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.

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