Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Nicki Marie, ‘Northern Stardust,’ and reasons to keep looking up

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Arts | June 19th, 2019

Art by Nicki Marie

You may have seen Nicki Marie slingin’ her elaborately folded paper star creations at various craft and cultural festivals around the region. She was also a recipient of a folk art and traditional apprenticeship grant made possible for the North Dakota Council on the Arts and learned scherenschnitte and wycinanki through Tower City based folk artist Meridee Erickson Stowman in 2016. This Thursday, Nicki Marie’s first gallery exhibition titled, “Northern Stardust” will be opening at the Spirit Room in downtown Fargo. A total of 36 of her intricately woven pieces will be on view through August 17.

High Plains Reader: What initially attracted you to the paper arts?

Nicki Marie: You know, I think it started in school as a child--remember paper cooties or fortune tellers? I used to fold pieces of paper in half repeatedly until there was a grid of creases and then fold those creases in different directions to create imaginary rooms/dioramas. I would do this over and over again 'til the paper fell apart. I must have enjoyed the precision of it and creating something three dimensional out of a simple piece of paper.

HPR: Your birds and stars are beautifully folded and woven--which is no easy task. Can you tell us a bit about this process?

Nicki Marie: Lots and lots of paper strips! Each star has four strips of paper, folded in half... working with eight ends and each step repeated eight times - folding and weaving ends back in on themselves. Both stars and birds start with a simple basket weave (over-under-over-under). Traditionally, they were done with strips of birch bark or preserving paper stars by dipping them in wax and sprinkling glitter on while wax is still warm.

HPR: Were these stars and birds rooted in family tradition?

Nicki Marie: No, not mine, but I do remember making paper chains with my mother during the holidays and I must cling to that feeling of creating something festive to decorate and brighten a space.

HPR: You’ve been a part of German Kulturfest and various other cultural festivals in the area. How long have you been participating in these festivals and what drew you to them?

Nicki Marie: I’ve been doing them since 2015, wanting to learn more about my own heritage, searching for a sense of belonging and wanting to connect with others in the community.

HPR: How long did it take for you to prepare for your “Northern Stardust” exhibition?

Nicki Marie: I started in May. Since it's my very first gallery exhibit, I wanted to recreate a few favourites from the past years along with creating new pieces specifically for this show that reflected more of where we are seasonally and where I am as an artist. It's a small sampling of paper star variations that hopefully honours and helps keep this traditional art form alive.

HPR: What draws you to the bird and star imagery?

Nicki Marie: They are both very good reasons to keep looking up!

HPR: Tell us a bit about your apprenticeship with Meridee Erickson Stowman, how did you hear about the traditional art and folk art apprenticeship program?

Nicki Marie: I was selling star decorations at the German Folk Festival over at Rheault Farm in Fargo in 2015 when Troyd Geist (ND Folklorist) saw my booth and approached me about my experience with paper cutting and recommended I apply for an Apprenticeship.

HPR: Prior to your apprenticeship did you do too much with 2D paper work or were you primarily working on three dimensional work?

Nicki Marie: I used to do a lot of collage back in high school and mail art in my swapping days previous to my star slingin'.

HPR: What's the most difficult part of your process?

Nicki Marie: I suppose finding unique paper that is weavable--strong enough to handle pulling, but won't crack or break when folded. Hunting for paper is also one of the fun parts.

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Northern Stardust: Paper Folk Art Opening Reception

Thursday, June 20, 4-6 p.m.

Spirit Room, 111 N Broadway, Fargo

Recently in:

News

​‘I have hope’

by C.S. Hagen

FARGO – Millions of people, young and old, joined a worldwide climate strike Friday to demand their governments end the age of fossil fuels, and Fargo was no exception.By noon, nearly 200 people waving signs and chanting slogans…

I am sure that you have reflected about how some of the web sites you use get your name or other facts about you, shopping habits, area of the country you live in or even your closest friends. The answer to your questions is data…

September 25-29Junkyard Brewing Co. 1416 1st Ave N, MoorheadWednesday-Sunday, Junkyard Brewing will be celebrating Oktoberfest. You can bet your boots that each day brings different shenanigans. Whether it be beer releases, live…

According to an article written byJohn Reinan in The Star Tribune last Friday, Sue Kern, chairwoman of Brainerd’s school board said, “You know, Darwin’s theory was done in the mid-1800s and it’s never been proven, so I’m…

It Takes More Than Money To Remain UnequalOne Percenters are complaining. It takes dedication, perseverance, innumerable hours, and a helluva lot of money to stay elite. The toil starts in early childhood. It is normal for the rich…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

It’s no secret that I like to explore the roads less travelled and rediscover some hidden gems along the way. In fact some of these small communities are all too well hidden gems. In a previous issue I offered a six pack of some…

When asked to describe their sound, Max Dameron guitarist and vocalist of the Portland, Oregon based two piece Wizard Rifle replied: “People call us a doom band sometimes which I think is funny because we are pretty spazzy.” On…

Cinema

Hear our voice!

by Sabrina Hornung

When asked about the origins of the LGBT Film Festival, Raymond Rea, MSUM film instructor and LGBT Film Festival founder said, “When I lived and taught in San Francisco I taught many classes on many variations of Queer Film. So,…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Plains Art Museum Executive Director Andy Maus about “Symphony of the Cosmos,” the upcoming improvisational, live performance with artists Aida Shahghasemi and…

Theatre

No Big Disgrace

by HPR Contributor

By Scott Eckernotharrisonford@gmail.comOn Wednesday, September 11th the tour of We Will Rock You is coming to BlueStem in Moorhead. We Will Rock You is a jukebox musical based on the music of Queen that originated in West End in…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.eduWhile actual leftists were elated by Bolton’s ouster, corporate Democrats were publicly circumspect and even critical, using terms like, abrupt, chaos in the White House, disarray in foreign…