Tracker Pixel for Entry

​What does it mean to leave a legacy?

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | May 2nd, 2018

Aberdeen artists Nick and Nichole Fischer with collaborative murals - photograph by Sabrina HornungThe older I get the more I think about what we leave behind and I’m not just talking about material objects. What kind of wisdom are we leaving behind and what kind of stories, traditions and pearls of wisdom can we collect from our elders before it’s too late?

I learned the art of scherenschnitte through a grant from the NDCA called “The folk art and traditional art apprenticeship program.” The intent of the grant is to keep the tradition of these arts alive. I learned scherenschnitte and wycinanki (Polish paper cutting) from a lady who learned the art from the nuns in her Polish elementary school.

Grantees are supposed to do their best to promote these arts and prevent them from being forgotten. This past weekend I was asked to lead a number of paper cutting workshops at a spot in Groton, South Dakota called the Granary Rural Art and Cultural Center. Along with my workshop, Dan the leatherman, taught the basics of leather tooling. 

Interestingly enough, out of the 100 or so students that I taught, one was a foreign exchange student from Germany and this was the first time she had ever heard of scherenschnitte. Who would have thought a young German would come to South Dakota and learn about the traditional arts of her homeland?

These workshops were part of “The Granary All Dakota High School Art Exhibition.” Not only did it encompass a juried art exhibition and a series of creative workshops exploring media such as cut paper and leatherwork, they also had the opportunity to participate in the creation of a large scale collaborative mural that would be part of the Granary’s permanent outdoor art collection.

The Granary itself was donated by an area farmer, John Sieh, for the sole purpose of being a rural Art Center. He had nine brothers and sisters, and at the end of the night when the work was done and the children were asleep his mother would take out her watercolor pan and paint to relax. He saw that as her outlet and left that granary as a love letter and outlet for the rural arts. Eventually he purchased the community hall from the nearby town of Putney -- which is now a ghost town -- and that too is on the grounds and provides a home for theatre, music and community events.

Part of me wonders if his mother ever lived to see the Granary or if she ever knew of his intent. According to Granary coordinator Lora Schaunaman, he didn’t consider himself an artist but the legacy that he and his family left behind has provided a cultural gem in Brown County, South Dakota. It fills a much-needed niche that too many take for granted. 

On my way back I stopped at Titan’s Cafe in Frederick, South Dakota for supper. Frederick is a town of close to 200 just north of Aberdeen. Here, I met a room full of women embarking on their first ever monthly craft night. They ranged in age from 13-80. The group’s matriarch had taught a number of the ladies how to knit over the winter so many showed up with knitting needles in hand. The woman who had taught the others was from Finland and told me that she had learned to knit and weave in school and that it had been a required class even for the men.

They say there isn’t too much in Frederick but that depends on whose definition of “much” it is. These ladies found their creative outlet and I left inspired.

This week we spoke to John Andrus, President of the Bluegrass Association of North Dakota, or BAND. This year BAND is celebrating 30 years and during our interview one of his quotes resonated with me.

“In the 30 years that we’ve been doing this, there have been a lot of great people that I met when we first started. They were pretty old at the time and have since passed away. I’m really glad I got to know a lot of those people and their enthusiasm for the music. Now we’re looking to hopefully do the same thing for the next generation.”

I know I’m not the only one, but whether you’re an artist, writer, educator, music maker, avid reader, master gardener or unicorn wrangler, it’s never too early to wonder what kinds of pearls of wisdom you can collect. Just be sure that you leave some of those pearls behind so the next generation can relive and meet that same enthusiasm you had once you found your passion.

Recently in:

FARGO – Police are looking for young man in connection to a homicide in South Fargo. On Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11:23 a.m., Fargo Police and Fire personnel responded to an apartment located within 2302 17 St. S. for medical…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comPhoto by Anne BradleyValkyries of the Valley will invade the North Dakota Apartment Wrestling Federation (NDAWF) for Brawl-esque, a variety show that will be held at Prairie Brothers Brewing Company…

Best Bets

Spirit Talk

by HPR Staff

Thursday, September 27, 7-9 p.m.Homewood Suites by Hilton Fargo, 2021 16th St N., FargoGet in touch with the other side! Sunny Dawn Johnston will help you reach the spirit world in this two-hour, eye-opening event. This is a group…

It’s bad enough when his word versus her word regarding sexual assault gets out in a high school hallway, but can you imagine it spreading throughout the national news media? Imagine reliving those events every time you turn on…

We failed to educate the players of “flag” footballI passed all of the American history courses in Morrison County District 54, Little Falls High School, and Moorhead State Teachers College, but I’m often appalled about what…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comAs I sat across from my wife at Himalayan Yak Tuesday evening, it dawned on me that time had slowed down. So often when we go out to eat, we are in a hurry. We get anxious when we aren’t greeted…

Music

Back in the saddle

by Sabrina Hornung

After a long hiatus members of Teenage Lobotomy reunited for the first time in 22 years at Center Fest in Robinson North Dakota this summer. With influences such as Husker Du and the Circle Jerks their high energy immediately had…

Director Craig William Macneill speculates on the infamous legend surrounding Massachusetts murder suspect Lizzie Borden in “Lizzie,” a long-germinating labor of love for star Chloe Sevigny. Working from a screenplay by Bryce…

It may be cliche to say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but when wet plate artist Shane Balkowitsch found out that his 15-year-old daughter Abby Balkowitsch was following in his photography footsteps, he was…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

In the approximately three years I’ve been writing for the High Plains Reader it seems I’ve always circled back to comedian Adam Quesnell. First, I wrote about his farewell show before he set out from Fargo and the comedy…

When walking into the new space on 1st Ave N that now houses Drekker brewing, one can only say, “Wow.” The majesty of the interior is unprecedented for a brewery in the region and provides a feeling of awe and astonishment.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

by Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.com“If a piece of equipment purchased in the 1920s is kept up and can guarantee, at present, an operable rate close to 100 percent and if it can bear the production burden placed on…