Art That’s Out There
Take the Time to Look Around You
BY MARIJO VIK
Art surrounds us if we only take time to observe as we move about downtown Fargo-Moorhead.
What is art? This answer is found in the sidewalk in front of the Rourke Art Museum, 521 Main Ave., Moorhead.
In addition to the collection of art inside the museum, Rourke displays art outside for all to enjoy.
“The peacock is entitled ‘Proud Parent’ and was created by Matthew Brasel,” gallery manager Cady Mittlestadt said. “The metal assemblage is entitled ‘Topsy with Cindy Lou and Grinch Gear’ and was created by Brett Van Sant.”
The collection of painted bison throughout the community is part of the local art project called “Herd About The Prairie: A Virtual Art Stampede” initiated by the Lake Agassiz Arts Council in 2005.
The project resulted in 39 full-size bison and one calf all created in a minimum 90-day timeframe by local artists selected by a jury. There are seven of these 100-pound fiberglass statues in downtown Fargo-Moorhead but many have been damaged by vandals as well as careless drivers.
“Sunny,” owned by Wimmer’s Jewelers, stands on the corner of Broadway and Main, Fargo, in front of their store.
Artists often find their canvas on the side of a building, like this mural painted by Mandel on the Junkyard Brewing Company wall at 1416 1st Ave N, Moorhead.
Authorized spaces for street art, including the wall shown below that’s on The Forum building in the alley off First Avenue North between Fourth and Fifth streets, are indicated with legal art wall labels.
Sometimes called “permission walls” in the aerosol art world, these spaces shed the stereotypes of the label “graffiti.”
Ace Hardware at 20 6th St S, Moorhead, also got into the act by displaying a large artist rendition of the Moorhead ZIP code 56560 on the side of their building.
Artist Tristan Pollock said, “Colorful cities provide a platform for more people to get inspired by art.”
Pollock installed a mural in Roberts Street Alley behind Fargo Linoleum Co. and he encourages people to take a second glance through mural art that adds color to cityscapes.
Some art may not be to your liking, but this guy, ‘Workzone Wally,’ is a hit with children.
“Wally was produced by Darrell Dodge Signs in Barnesville from old inventory from NorthStar Safety in West Fargo and other odds-n-ends that Darrel sourced. The cone creature was suggested as a grassroots tactic for public engagement in a different way than typical about road construction and improvement projects across the City of Fargo,” said Melissa Reichert from the Flint Group (who serves as the public information coordinator for the City of Fargo Engineering Department).
This rooftop art is atop the ‘Roberts Street Chapel’ and art gallery at 333 Roberts St., Fargo. According to their website, “The word ‘chapel’ may have different meanings for different people, but this Chapel is open to people of all religious and secular beliefs, free of charge, and full of art.”
Along Broadway, the main thorough-fare of downtown Fargo, you’ll find informational “pillars” and sidewalk inserts that serve as interpretive markers explaining the buildings nearby.
This particular pillar is near the Fargo Theatre and on one side of the piece, a description and history of the theater is provided.
On each intersection along Broadway, if you look down you’ll see these pieces of art embedded in the four corners of the intersection which also give you an impression of the history of the area and the buildings surrounding that particular corner.
Along your walk, you might find art sitting on the sidewalk outside a business, such as this Celtic-inspired piece at Dempsey’s Public House (an Irish tavern) at 226 Broadway N, Fargo.
At Revland Gallery, 409 Broadway, Fargo (the former Schumacher Goodyear tire and service shop) you’ll find art painted on the building and signs inviting you to come in and share an artistic experience with your children.
Revland and his colleague Maren Day Woods invited six student artists to submit original paintings to hang on the six panels of the temporary building until Revland Gallery moves in May.
The project complemented Revland’s goal to help student artists launch their professional career while making the gallery more appealing to visitors.
“There’s been a push for public art, and we wanted to be part of that (initiative),” Revland said.
So take the time to look wherever you go and you may enjoy a free art show.
(Marijo Vik is a 71-year- old senior in her senior year as a multi-media journalism student at MSUM. She has been a reporter for the Twin Valley Times, Twin Valley, Minn., since 2009 and will use her education to be a better reporter and editor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org)