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Notes Toward the Soul of Water

A Photojournalist Adventure by W. Scott Olsen

January 14, 2022 - June 3, 2022

Xcel Energy Gallery

Born in Kansas City, W. Scott Olsen grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago. A pilot, traveler, adventure writer, photographer and professor of English at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, Olsen is the author of eleven books, editor of several anthologies, and former editor of the national literary magazine, Ascent. Olsen has published individual essays, articles, and stories in a number of literary publications including Alaska Quarterly Review, Albany Review, Huffington Post, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Northwest Review, and Tampa Review. Also, Olsen’s work can be found in several commercial publications such as The Forum, Flying Magazine, AOPA Pilot, Flight Training and others. His travel and adventure essays have appeared widely in literary and commercial journals and his photography has been widely published. He currently writes and hosts the podcasts for Frames Magazine and is author of an occasional series of photographs and text called Available Light: A Series on the Photography of Place at Terrain.org.

Notes Toward the Soul of Water: A Photojournalist Adventure by W. Scott Olsen exhibits two series of prints from two of his recent photojournalistic series. An extension of his many different human experiences and spiritual endeavors, Olsen’s oeuvre engages large questions that are deeply personal and spiritually engaging, demanding our attention to how we live, how we move through the world, and how we respond to things that matter to us.

Plains Art Museum thanks our generous PlainsArt4All members and donors, and our Organizational Partners for their support. Additional support provided by The McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation, The Arts Partnership, The FUNd at Plains Art Museum, and the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funds from the North Dakota Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artist Panel Talk
Thursday, February 24, 6:30

Join us for a panel discussion that will pursue W. Scott Olsen’s impetus behind Notes Towards the Soul of Water as well as broadly situate a dialogue about photography’s capacity for narrative, form, and memory. Olsen will be joined by the Museum’s own Steve Jacobs, Director of Curatorial & Operational Logistics for what promises to be an engaging dialogue.

  • W. Scott Olsen, When It Rains At Night 3, Digital photograph, 2020, Courtesy of the artist
  • W. Scott Olsen, Peace at Sea 1, Digital photograph, 2020, Courtesy of the artist

Ongoing Exhibitions

No Time For Despair

Ongoing
No Time For Despair

To say that right now is the ideal time to make art that speaks directly to the people about social justice is an understatement. Because the very nature of art is to undertake or assume the role of a healer by shading light on the human condition.

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City Geode

Ongoing
City Geode
S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

City Geode, created and installed in May 2019 by students and Professor Josh Zeis from NDSU is the latest creation. In response to the work, the lead artists said, “What is a city? This City Geode incorporates many of the things that we thought a city needs; buildings, streets, electricity, drainage, and above all else, the human spirit.

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Bee in Flight

Ongoing
Bee in Flight

Community artist and school art teacher MeLissa Kossick, who guides youth classes at the Museum on art, gardens, and pollinators, has created an enchanting mosaic design in the Creativity Pathway in the Serkland Gallery called Bee in Flight.

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The North Dakota Mural

Ongoing
The North Dakota Mural

Drawing on his childhood memories of the Great Plains, he created a work that speaks to the wide open spaces, huge vistas, and ocean-like skies of the region.

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Fragile Preservation

Ongoing
Fragile Preservation
A Tallgrass Community

While the Tallgrass Prairie is a community made up of a great diversity of species, Fragile Preservation represents a selection of them.

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