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​The Studio Crawl Is Celebrating Its 20th Year

Arts | September 18th, 2023

By HPR Staff

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The 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 to our communities open their studio doors – to show off their workspaces and tools, talk about what it’s like to be a working artist, and demonstrate their processes. Crawlers are encouraged to ask lots of questions and be inspired! You can find a Studio Crawl brochure at fmva.org, or at a variety of galleries and businesses around town.

It’s Grown!

The motivation behind the Studio Crawl was to have area artists help their fellow artists and design a cooperative project that would support one another.

Getting a group of vastly diverse artists coordinated was no easy task. In fact, the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists organization was born of necessity to help build that coordination and structure. The first Studio Crawl 20 years ago was a much smaller affair – but an overnight success.

Twenty years later, the Studio Crawl’s impact is impressive. People from all over the region and the country travel to Fargo-Moorhead to meet up with friends and “do the Studio Crawl.” Out-of-towners fill hotel rooms and restaurants, visit galleries, and shop. Locals always reserve that first weekend of October on their calendars.

Why We Love the Studio Crawl

Groups of friends with a designated driver, couples of all ages, families, students who get their brochures initialed to get school points – the crawling crowd is always diverse and (some may say) half the fun! Who better to tell us about this great event than the people who love it? We asked.

“I have attended and enjoyed the Studio Crawl for all its 20 years! When my children were young we would look through the brochure every year, each choose a new studio to visit along with our familiar favorites, circle them on the map, and plan a route. Now I attend with my mom and sisters and do the same thing – stopping for coffee and a treat from Nichole’s Fine Pastry between studios. I usually get a good start on my Christmas shopping, and the people on my list love receiving something special from a local artist!” -Lana, Fargo

“The Studio Crawl is so much fun! Not being from the F-M area makes it even more of an adventure. What a party! I really enjoy that you can interact directly with the artists in their studios and get to see their process. The snacks, sweets, and root beer kegs aren’t bad either!" -Tori, Philadelphia

“The Studio Crawl has become my favorite way to welcome fall each year. A few years ago, I invited my parents from Bismarck and now they insist on making an art pilgrimage every year to attend with me.” -DeAnn, Moorhead

“The Fargo art scene is vibrant and runs deep! I especially enjoyed discovering the typesetting facility at NDSU. I grew up a paperboy and wormed my way into the layout room of my local newspaper. This was pre computer, and the paper was laid out daily in lead type. NDSU has the most wonderful collection of antique printing paraphernalia and has the capability to recreate authentic, anachronistic reproductions probably not possible elsewhere.” -Mark, Rochester MN

“Our son has a birthday around the Studio Crawl weekend so we get to spend the day with him. We all choose an artist to see and go crawling from there, then he picks a restaurant and we go have dinner, too. It’s a family tradition.” -Amy and Bill, Campbell MN

“We have traveled from Winnipeg for more than 10 years just for the Studio Crawl, and we look forward to it every year. It’s not often you get an insider look at an artist’s process—everyone is so different. We especially love to see the student work at NDSU and the cool ambiance of the group studios.” -Emily and Nate, Winnipeg

“My first Studio Crawl was six years ago when I moved to Fargo. For the first couple of years, it was about experiencing the art, the artists, and the community. Now, we love getting in the car, getting our morning coffee or a Juice It, and exploring the map to see where we will visit first. Love that ‘inside look!” -Christina, Moorhead

“The Studio Crawl is something our entire family looks forward to each fall, including our two young children who have been triggered, like us, to make their own art. Artists are great influencers for children, and expressing ourselves with art is healthy for everyone throughout life.” -Mike, Fargo

“I Love that the Studio Crawl provides the opportunity to maybe start a new collection or add the perfect piece to an existing one.” -Tania, Fargo

“Fargo-Moorhead has a great reputation as an arts community, and I like to think the Studio Crawl has something to do with that. We’re presenting the artists in a different way – showing the guts and determination necessary to make your living in a stupid but beautiful kind of way. My claim to fame is getting three dozen artists to clean their studios every year. Do you know what artists do when they have empty horizontal space? They fill it up. So come check us out.” -Studio Crawl Managing Director Jon, Fargo

Bonus!

An exhibit currently open (free!) at Plains Art Museum previews the Studio Crawl with a piece of work from each of the artists participating—furniture, clothing, ceramics, turned and carved wood, jewelry, glass, framed prints, photos, paintings, and more. That exhibit will run through December 3 with a public reception on Thursday, December 28, 6:00-7:30 p.m.






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