Story and photos by Keiko Kimoto
MSUM mass communications major
|Cameron MacKenzie and Camille Federowich dance at the opening event of the Great Winter Crow Show.|
Six years ago the Spirit Room started its biennial art exhibition “The Great Winter Crow Show.”
This year the Crow Show is back with its themes of crows, ravens and blackbirds. In all, 73 pieces of artwork are on display. The non-competitive exhibition runs for the month of March.
“I think (the show) is wonderful," said Donna Chalimonczyk, a first-time viewer of the Crow Show. "I like the variety.”
Variety is the main characteristic of the show. The artwork includes paintings, photography and sculpture. Each work focuses on the crow itself along with the shape of the crow — feathers, eyes and other details. In addition, the opening event of the Crow Show featured music, dance performances and literary and poetry presentations.
|Kevin Carollo reads his poem with the accompaniment of a cello and guitar at the Crow Show.|
The Spirit Room
The Spirit Room is a non-profit organization founded in 1997. Its mission is to enrich people’s lives through the development and practice of creative, contemplative and healing arts. The Spirit Room, at 111 Broadway in Fargo, has hosted about 150 art exhibits in its gallery.
Dawn Morgan, executive director and curator at the Spirit Room, said what she likes about her job is she can realize her ideas for projects at the Spirit Room and also work with other people to develop their ideas.
“We’re open to projects that people bring to us,” Morgan said.
|Dawn Morgan, director and curator of the Spirit Room, and one of the works of the Crow Show.
People and the Crow Show
Morgan came up with the idea of the Great Winter Crow Show. She selected crows as the theme of the show because she likes crows for their intelligence and human-like and culture-related aspects. She pointed out the relationship between people, especially those who live in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and crows.
“One of the few animal companions that we have in town is the crow,” Morgan said. “We have a long winter here and people notice crows are always around. They seem like they are always with us, no matter what culture you go into or how far you go back. Almost everybody has a crow story.”
|Merlin Londo plays a native American flute at the Crow Show.|
The Spirit Room’s largest audience is during the Crow Show, Morgan said. She said that March, the month in which the show is held, is a turning point when Fargo-Moorhead people start to move from winter to spring. The show becomes a gathering place for people after the long winter.
"It’s social interaction,” she said. “It’s kind of like that murder of crows coming together. The crows coming first and then all the people come and gather and gather.” (A group of crows is called a "murder." The name came about because a group of crows will sometimes kill a dying crow, according to the PBS Web site "Nature," which gives other facts about what it calls the most intelligent of birds: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/critters/crow.html.)
“You don’t have to take yourself seriously,” Morgan said about the Crow Show.
The show is different every year; different art and different people. She recommends the show for anyone who likes to have fun and appreciates the winter and the human and cultural connection to the crow.
Visit these Web sites for future event information: