Town Hall, 2011

I’m a huge fan of the Plains Art Museum here in Fargo, N.D. Maybe it’s the beautiful space [hard wood floors meets high ceilings and lots of windows]. Maybe it’s the location [downtown Fargo where I spend most of my waking hours]. Maybe it’s the fabulous art and educational programs [you have read about vermin right!?].

In a few short weeks I will have not one, but two photographs on display at the museum as part of two different shows. “Town Hall, 2011” [pictured above] will be included in a silent art auction as part of the 2012 Spring Gala. The annual auction always features a host of local and regional artists. The gala is set for the evening of Saturday, May 5 and tickets are on sale now. Proceeds from the event benefit the museum’s educational programs.

“Hamburger Meats, 2010” [pictured below] is currently on display in the first floor gallery as part of the Art the Plains XI exhibition. I’m excited to be one of 48 artists from four states included in the show. AOP is in its 11th year and this is the third time my work has been featured in an AOP show [not bad considering I’ve only applied four times]. This year’s exhibition is up until the end of May.

If you happen to be at the Spring Gala, I’d love to say hello. The Internet is great and all, but I like people, real people better. Best, Ann

Hamburger Meats, 2010 at Plains Art Museum

Kid Quest has come to mean two specific things in our family. For me [a photographer, artist and creative entrepreneur], it’s an excuse to bring our 6-year-old son to the Plains Art Museum to create and consider art. For Young M. [a football fan, Star Wars aficionado and typical 6-year-old kid], it’s a chance to play with an assortment of toys in the second floor lounge. Our practice has always been to complete the art project first and then retreat to the lounge.

That was before we learned about vermin and were encouraged – as part of our Kid Quest experience – to look for them. These 4-inch tall ceramic figures are scattered around the museum in all sorts of places. They are awkward and charming at the same time. Artist Jamie Burmeister has hundreds of vermin installed at museums and public spaces around the world.

As soon as we learned about vermin, Young M. was on the hunt. Finding and counting vermin soon became a shared mission. We hit galleries on all three levels. We checked hallways and stairways. We rode the elevator. We learned to look here, there and everywhere. We counted and re-counted. We offered encouragement to others who were also looking for vermin. We thought we had them all and then found a few more.

Our final tally came in at 336 or maybe it was 339. Regardless of our numbers or how many vermin are actually installed at the museum, we both considered our adventure a resounding success. And, that’s what made last Saturday our most favorite Kid Quest to date.

Have a great weekend. – Ann at Plains Art Museum at Plains Art Museum

Landmark: Views of the Moorhead Power Plant

The old Moorhead [Minn.] Power Plant appears to stand watch over the surrounding neighborhood and nearby Red River. Up close, the structure offers a visual delight in terms of both texture and line. The building’s future is uncertain and undergoing study.

Earlier this year, the Plains Art Museum requested submissions for views of the structure or work inspired by it. The resulting exhibition – “Landmark: Views of the Moorhead Power Plant” – features work by seven artists and opens in early June. “Stack” [pictured above] is one of three photographs that I contributed to the exhibit. Other artists are: Janet Flom, Juliet Hanratty, George Pfeifer, Richard Skauge, Gin Templeton and Britta Trygstad.

The museum is encouraging visitors to share their ideas about the building’s possible re-use. I encourage you to do the same.