<< All News Sunday, January 8, 2023

Bismarck, ND For over a decade, North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) has partnered with the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department (NDPRD) to host 33 North Dakota-based artists in residence at nine different state parks. Beginning on January 3 through April 25, most of the pieces donated since the program’s inception in 2009 will be on display in the Exhibition Gallery on the 18th floor of the North Dakota State Capitol.

Through a program called Featured Artists at the Capitol, NDCA curates this excellent, bright space which also provides a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view of the community, 35 miles out on a clear day. This will be the first time the Artist in Residency artworks have ever been brought together in one location. 

NDPRD and NDCA will host an opening reception on Thursday, January 12, 2023, from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm. The free event includes a light lunch and an opportunity to meet several of the artists whose works will be on display. The pieces will remain at the Capitol for the duration of the 68th legislative assembly, and then the exhibition will travel to Watford City’s Pioneer Museum from May 5-June 23, Williston’s James Memorial Art Center from July 3-28, and Minot’s Northwest Arts Center from Aug. 8-31.  

“We are privileged to get a glimpse of the artists’ creativity through these incredible works of art,” said NDPRD Director Cody Schulz. “Seeing our park’s beauty from the eyes and ears of the artists chosen for this residency program is truly inspiring.” 

From Brad Bachmeier’s work, described as “Rembrandt meets blacksmith,” using local clays and minerals; and Nicole Gagner’s oil paintings inspired by the scenery in several state parks; to Johnathan Campbell’s breathtaking photography; and the intricate bonadsmaling (tapestry painting) with Pieper Bloomquist’s folk-art style; the gallery showcases the unique perspective of the artists and the beauty of our state parks. In addition to the exhibition gallery, information about the artists, photographs of their work, and the inspiration for their art can be viewed on the NDPRD website at parkrec.nd.gov.   

“This partnership has been wildly successful as park visitors gain a deeper appreciation of the artistic process as well as learn about the diversity of disciplines within the visual arts,” said NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow. “For the artists, the gift of time and space to create in a natural setting is invaluable.” 

The Artist in Residency program offers ND artists the opportunity to stay and work in various environments where they can draw inspiration from a North Dakota state park, demonstrate their skills, and assist park visitors of all ages in discovering their artistic side. The program's goal is to continue creating works of art that showcase, document, and celebrate North Dakota state parks while providing opportunities for visitors to become stewards, with a deeper appreciation of artistic works inspired by the state parks.  

ND State Parks’ Artist in Residency program will be inviting artists in all disciplines to apply for 2023. Applications will be available starting Feb. 13 at parkrec.nd.gov 

This project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

Visit arts.nd.gov to learn more ND Council on the Arts’ programs, including the Featured Artists at the Capitol. 

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