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The Art of Today: Artists from Minnesota and North Dakota

The Art of Today: Artists from Minnesota and North Dakota is a new exhibition created for the Rolling Plains Art Gallery. It presents a fresh look at today's world from the perspective of 26 contemporary artists from the two states. (left: Brian Stewart, Lake Homes, 21 x 36 inches, oil on canvas)

The artists transform the familiar with artists' tools and everyday materials, creating interesting artwork that gives each viewer an opportunity to rediscover aspects of everyday life often overlooked. The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, decorative arts, printmaking, photography and computer-generated art. The art gallery was created by the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND and is housed in a 48-foot semi-trailer.

The 2003 spring tour begins in Renville, MN March 18 through 24, 2003 where the community event organizer is Nora Luski.

After Renville, the spring tour continues with visits to Madelia, Minneapolis, Lake City, Stillwater, Cleveland, Lester Prairie, Norwood/Young America, Pierz, Battle Lake and Detroit Lakes. During the 2002-2003 school year, the gallery will visit a total of 22 rural Minnesota communities. The gallery will spend a week in each community. (left: Margo Seiski, The Flight 1, 30 x 40 inches, oil varnish, bee's wax on canvas)

The gallery will complete its tour with a similar number of stops in North Dakota during the 2003-2004 school year.

The museum's Assistant Curator of Outreach Pam Jacobson presents the exhibition to each community through personal, in-depth tours. She introduces each community to the art with a teacher orientation, group tours and art activities. Community volunteers host public hours during which admission is free. In conjunction with the gallery's visit, an artist whose work is in the exhibition will provide art lectures, activities or demonstrations.

MetLife Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Plains Art Museum for the support of this signature outreach program.

About the Rolling Plains Art Gallery

The Rolling Plains Art Gallery (RPAG) is an educational outreach program of the Plains Art Museum. An exhibition space on wheels, the RPAG is an 8-foot by 48-foot semi-trailer that has been converted into a mobile art gallery. (left: Rolling Plains Art Gallery)

The gallery is a fully accessible, climate controlled facility. Developed to provide rural access to art, the RPAG visits communities across Minnesota and North Dakota and is open free to the public.

Schools and community groups are the focus for the RPAG. Educational materials, including an introductory video, are sent to each site prior to the gallery's visit. In addition, classroom support resources are available for local educators.

The museum's assistant curator of outreach accompanies the gallery and conducts interpretive tours. The assistant curator works with the Community Events Organizer (CEO) to create a RPAG visit that may include a community open house, teacher orientation or art activities. The week-long RPAG visit may also include a two-day artist-in-residence program. This guest artist conducts art activities and demonstrates his/her work.

Making Rolling Plains Possible

Major funding for upcoming tour is provided by a grant from MetLife Foundation. Recent tours have been made possible through support from the North Dakota State Legislature, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, Minnesota State Legislature and National Endowment for the Arts. Past sponsors have included Nodak Mutual Insurance Company and Cargill.

Each host community pays a $500 booking fee. Additionally, the community must supply a licensed electrician to do the hook-up and disconnect process and pay for electrical power for the week, provide a suitable community location with good visibility for the semitrailer and select a Community Event Coordinator (CEO) to coordinate the RPAG visit.

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Plains Art Museum in Resource Library Magazine

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 2003 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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