Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Camelot Revisited at 59th Midwestern Invitational Art Exhibition

Arts | June 14th, 2018

Design by Raul Gomez

By Tayler Klimek
tklimek@cord.edu

Come one, come all to the 59th anniversary of the Midwestern Invitational Art Exhibition! This tradition celebrates each year with a preview and awards selection the first night of its showing, with a reservation-only anniversary dinner at Rustica Eatery immediately prior. The theme for this year’s exhibition is “Camelot Revisited,” and will showcase the work of 70 Midwestern artists.

Digital

The opening date of the exhibition, June 18, holds significance as it was the day the first Rourke gallery opened back in 1960 on 3rd street in Moorhead. “The Midwestern is basically our organization’s anniversary exhibit,” Jonathan Rutter, director and curator of the Rourke Art Gallery + Museum, said. 

Oil on canvas

“The initial exhibition we had was promoted as an exhibition of just 20 Midwestern artists.” The first invitational included the gallery founders, James (Jim) O’Rourke and Orland Rourke, as well as some of the artists living and working there at the time, such as Cyrus M. Running and Betty Strand, among others. “It kind of had a domino effect after that, and they started calling it the Midwestern exhibition, making it an annual event,” said Rutter. “At some point early on, they introduced the idea of having a theme for the exhibit to help keep it fresh from year to year.”

Wet plate collodion

Each year, ideas for the theme are fielded from artists, patrons, and gallery staff. This year’s theme, “Camelot Revisited,” was suggested by former gallery manager Cady Mittlestadt. “This theme has all kinds of different cultural connotations and obviously there’s Camelot and the Arthurian legend,” said Rutter. “There are lots of different interpretations of that story, but there’s probably a political dimension to that as well.” This year, the gallery staff approached a couple of medievalists, an art collector, and Dawn Morgan, the director of the Spirit Room – whom all of which have read a large amount of material surrounding the Arthurian legend and are nuts for the story. The Midwestern isn’t a juried exhibit – selected artists receive invitations and, if they get their paperwork turned in on time, they’re in the show. Artists are not guaranteed an award, but have the privilege of showcasing their work in the Rourke Art Museum’s exhibit, one of the longest running invitational art shows in the country.

Woodblock print

Mediums shown within the exhibit vary greatly – paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, sculptures of various kinds, neon art, video, photography, glasswork, and sometimes even fiber art. “We’re learning how to program our exterior space a little better,” said Rutter. “The fellow who is contributing work that will be displayed in the sculpture court, Dwight Mickelson, is working with us on that.” As part of the festivities at the Midwestern preview, music will be provided in the sculpture garden with Hot Lunch performing this year, a “swanging” acoustic jazz band with classical, soul, and 90s R&B influences.

Polymer plate lithograph

If you’re up for some socializing with other art lovers and would like a reservation for the anniversary dinner at Rustica Eatery, do so immediately as spots are filling up fast. You can find the reservations form online at the Rourke’s website. Pre-purchase tickets at the Rourke by visiting during public hours, through email or phone, or if you’re the procrastinator type, snag a ticket the night of the event at the door. Tickets are $15 for museum members, and $30 for non-members. Selected awards will be announced during the preview.

Charcoal gold leaf on canvas

IF YOU GO:

Show runs June 18 – Labor Day weekend (Sunday, September 2)

Exhibition Preview: Monday, June 18, 7 – 9:30 p.m.

Awards Ceremony at 7:45 p.m. during the preview

Rustica Eatery Anniversary Dinner, 5:30 – 7 p.m.Social Hour at 4:30 p.m.

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.edu Dr. Stephen McDonough researched why North Dakota had the highest COVID death rate and cases in the fall of 2020. His investigation accumulated into a 1,000-plus page book titled…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduOne of the most important books published about the Germans from Russia in North Dakota is “Along the Trails of Yesterday: A Story of McIntosh County” by Nina Farley Wishek, published…

photo credit: Jessica GavinSeptemberOktoberfest: Now-October 3Wurst Bier HallStein-holding competition, happy hour Mon-Fri from 4-6, wear your dirndl or lederhosen, German music.https://wurstfargo.com/Papa’s Pumpkin…

By John Strandjas@hpr1.comOur Opinion: Thank you, Reader readers, for 29 fulfilling yearsChugging along, The Little Newspaper That Could commences its 30th volume and year with this issue. Simply getting here speaks volumes. Just…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comIs Cruelty a Part of Nature—or Is It Just Part of Human Nature?Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has been my economics guru for many years for his pithy columns in The New York Times. In…

We are looking for 55-gallon plastic food grade barrels, do you have ideas or connections?We use these barrels to teach our resilient yard workshop series including Make Your Own Rain Barrel and Make Your Own Compost Tumbler. If…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comMy new venture as a master’s degree student has got me thinking…again about food. Although I’m in an online program with the University of North Dakota, I thought it would be handy to list and…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comThe Melvins formed in 1983 Montesano, Washington, founded by singer/guitar player Buzz Osborne. The group is known for its heavy sound mixed with a dose of punk, forming its own subgenre.…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comFilmmaker Jacqueline Castel’s “My Animal” premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in January, but its vibes are better suited to the rising blood moon of autumn’s spooky season. Now…

By HPR Staffsubmit@hpr1.comThe Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists’ much-lauded neighbor lovin’ Studio Crawl is just around the corner – October 7 and 8, noon to 6pm. During the free event, the people who add culture and vibrancy…

By Eric Dallmanericd@hpr1.comWe recently watched “The PROM” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and it was an experience that left a lasting impact on us. The story, a heartwarming yet familiar one, follows a group of Broadway stars…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Faye Seidlerfayeseidler@gmail.com On the first day of the month I ask people to thank a journalist they know or someone who contributes to papers in some meaningful way. When I grew up, my best friend's father was a journalist…