By Sean Coffman
On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, Fargo Moorhead will be treated to an exhibition of some of the most talented artist and their studios in the area.
The Studio Crawl has returned for its ninth year, providing residents the opportunity to mingle with artist, see firsthand the artistic process and the infrastructure needed to allow it to happen, and to support local artist by purchasing original and unique art available nowhere else in the world.
Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA) started the Studio Crawl with the aspiration of connecting the local vibrancy of art to the community.
“One of the purposes,” said Jon Offutt, Director of the Studio Crawl, “is to showcase the amazing diversity of art in the area.”
True to form, this year the Studio Crawl has an eclectic blend of mediums and artist, from local favorites to the young and emergent. Sixty artist at more than 40 locations have opened their studio doors to the public, and the community is encouraged to visit the studios to see not only completed pieces, but to see and experience the artistic process as well.
“It’s the difference between the gallery and the studio,” Offutt explains.
While both are important, they offer contrasting experiences of art. At the gallery, art is packaged, displayed, discussed and enjoyed.
The studio, however, allows patrons to see and experience the process of art. The studio also allows for patrons to connect with the infrastructure required to create art: the physical space to produce, the equipment that is as various as the crafting mediums, and the time needed to produce a work are all important ingredients to the alchemy of art.
Through this process, the community is able to better understand the economic importance of art as well. Facilities are rented in local neighborhoods, and materials are purchased through local vendors. Even the sale of art through local shops or through the artist’s studios brings revenue into the community.
The arts are an integral part of the community, acting not only as an important conduit for the exchange of ideas, but also as a viable economic channel. Helping patrons of the arts understand this marketplace and the economy it drives in Fargo-Moorhead is an important component of the Studio Crawl.
“Arts are the highest form of culture,” Offutt said. “The Studio Crawl allows people to experience the amazing things people can do. It also gives a sense of neighborhood, so that people know what we’re doing when the light is on in a workspace at 3 in the morning. A lot of people aren’t art makers, but art makers need art patrons. And art patrons deserve to be educated.”
On hand for the Studio Crawl are artists who work in a myriad if mediums: ceramics, watercolor and oil paintings, glasswork, pencil and ink drawings, photography, metal workers, wood and stone workers, screen printing and more.
A complete list of artist and studio locations is available at the FMVA website, but some notable attractions include:
:: Dale Cook’s stunning woodwork, whose pieces have the appearance of ceramic or glasswork.
:: Fargo-born Dan Francis will be featuring his speciality for combining old and new photographs. Check out what he’s done with images of downtown, forming a whole new work of art.
:: Brenda Luthi’s work and studio in Moorhead will be open, showcasing her methods and work in a variety of mediums, including photography, digital images, drawing, mixed media and sculpture. Earlier in 2012, the FMVA presented Luthi as the Member of the Year, noting her work coordinating exhibitions, her advocacy of the arts and her work in arts education as having a substantial positive affect on the Fargo Moorhead Arts Community.
:: Facilities that represent multiple artists, including Roberts Street Studio. Roberts Street will showcase the 2D and 3D works of Mackenzie Kouba, James Wolberg, Matt Wolberg, Joe Bailey, Zach Delorem and John Berdahl.
:: The artistic co-ops Midwest Mud and the Spirit Room Art Studios. To coincide with the Studio Crawl, the Spirit Room will formally open the exhibition “Political Animal” at 6:30 on Saturday night.
:: For the new and emerging artist, North Dakota State University’s Student Art Society will have work from a number of students working in a variety of mediums.
When the Crawl wraps on Sunday evening, the aims to educated and connect the community with local talent will have been achieved for another year.
“It something we, the artist, do to thank the community,” said Offutt. “They have simply done so much for us.”
FMVA was founded with the goal of promoting and supporting quality Visual Arts in the Fargo-Moorhead area, primarily through education and by supporting and encouraging visual artists and their communities.
The Studio Crawl is one of many endeavors of FMVA. Individuals interested in supporting FMVA through membership, sponsorship, donation or through volunteer efforts are encouraged to visit their website. All proceeds raised help FMVA provide vital services to the Fargo-Moorhead arts community and audiences, and support events such as the Studio Crawl.
For a map of the studio locations and the participating artists, visit http://www.fmva.us.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: The Fargo Moorhead Visual Arts Studio Crawl
WHEN: Oct. 6 & 7, 12-6 p.m.
HOW MUCH: All studios are open to the public and free of charge. Additional information and studio maps are available at http://www.fmva.us
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