You’re Our Story: 2023

You’re Our Story

As another year draws to a close we thank you. Plains Art Museum is not just a building, it is a living, breathing, and evolving part of our community – thanks to you! You’re Our Story. We are nothing without your ideation, creativity, and support. How does the past year look to us? It looks great.

Throughout the next 90 days we are sharing statements from Museum leadership, Staff, as well supporters as we reflect on the past and look forward to the future. We are Your Art Museum and You’re Our Story.

Donate anytime before December 31, 2023, to our end-of-year campaign.

When you donate to Plains Art Museum, you support FREE and accessible art that the entire community can enjoy. During 2023, Plains Art Museum showcased 20 diverse exhibitions, including three currently on display:

This Is Not Black and White examines the complexities of place, identity, culture, and medium within works drawn from both the museum’s collection as well as borrowed through the Art Bridges Collection Loan Program.

Ikíćiksapa features the works of South Dakota artist Oscar Howe and examines his artistic process from initial sketches to finished paintings.

And The Practice is the Point shows how ceramic artists have promoted societal change.

The Museum is always looking for ways to make art exhibitions like these accessible for people in our community. One way the Museum did this in 2023 was through a series of talks that examine the unseen sides of Plains Art Museum. This talk series, titled Uncrated, has included tours of collection storage and preparation areas, stories of art heists, and a bike tour of public artworks and murals within downtown Fargo. The diversity of topics covered in this series provides multiple points of access to the museum with the goals of increasing visitor numbers, demystifying museum work, and building connections between museum staff and the community.

We hope to see you at an Uncrated event in 2024, and we hope you will stop by the Museum (for FREE) this holiday season to celebrate the creativity in our region.

Steve Jacobs
Director of Curatorial & Operational Logistics

I’m thrilled to join the remarkable team at Plains Art Museum as the new Director and CEO. I want to say thank you—I’ve truly been blown away by the warm welcome, energy, and enthusiasm of the community. Fargo is a special place, and my family and I are so pleased to now call it home.

I was drawn to Plains Art Museum, in large part, because of the institution’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. It is my firm belief that art is for everyone; the benefits are innumerable, and you don’t have to be an artist or an art historian to engage, learn, and enjoy. Museums evoke a sense of wonder, encourage open dialogues, and lead to self-discovery for all ages and abilities. As the largest, and only, accredited art museum in North Dakota, Plains Art Museum is unique in its offerings. Not only can visitors view world-class art (for free!), but they can also join a studio class, experience hands on learning, and participate in one of our community exhibitions. I look forward to building upon this legacy of excellence and to cementing Plains Art Museum as a nationally recognized destination for art, education, and innovative experiences.

Please consider a year-end gift to Plains Art Museum. Museums encourage lifelong learning and, as I embark on this new adventure, I am excited to learn alongside all of you. Together, we will forge the future of Plains Art Museum.

With gratitude,

Erin Shapiro
Director & CEO

As 2023 draws to a close and you look for ways to give back, consider a gift that celebrates what makes our community unique by donating to Plains Art Museum. How is Plains Art Museum unique?

  • The Plains is the only accredited art museum in the region, a status claimed by only 3% of museums in the nation.
  • Plains Art Museum is also unique because it has a print studio, a ceramic studio, and 2D studio space, which is very rare for museum spaces.
  • The Museum also offers free general admission to all exhibitions, which is not the norm for museums across the nation.

In addition to all of this, Plains Art Museum also offers many free programs for the wider community, including programs specific for families, people with Autism, parents with toddlers, established and emerging artists, indigenous youth, teens of all backgrounds, and more. Plains Art Museum is a museum for ALL because art is for everyone. Please consider a year-end gift as a way to give back to our community and keep Fargo-Moorhead uniquely ours.

Megan Even, Director of Development

P.S. Memberships make great gifts!

Every year, 5th grade students at Horizon West look forward to their field trip at Plains Art Museum. It would be difficult to miss how powerful this experience is for these students as you listen to their conversation. Students build connections with each other and the art as they discuss interesting pieces of art in person. It is immediately clear that this visit is having a profound impact on how the students perceive art. They are fully engaged and will remember this experience for their entire lives. I recall one year, a student coming up to me with absolute excitement, telling me how all this art was about him.

Local 5th Grade Teacher