Of This Place Oil Painting August 2020 - April 2021
“Prairie grass and clouds are what we have, instead of postcard scenery. The land, like us, is hard to read, rewarding only patient eyes.” ---From Mark Vinz, Heartland "This collection of paintings is about the quiet 'empty' spaces of North Dakota --- the land and sky --- and indirectly, its people. There are no humans in these images, but we see them in the working of the land, the occasional building, the rowed trees, a fenceline. They, too, have been slow, patient shapers of the landscape, like the glaciers, the wind, the rain, and the frost cycles.
I was born in Minot, ND, and grew up on a farm near Glenburn, in the rich flat farmlands of the Souris River loop. Both sets of my grandparents homesteaded in North Dakota; my parents, my siblings, my husband, and my child also were born here. I came into being out of the Dakota wind, soil, and snow. Those of us who are of this place understand it in a way visitors or transplanted residents can’t. For a few years I have been toying with the idea of painting a scene from each of North Dakota’s 53 counties, as a way of expressing my 'sense of place.' It’s a bigger project than I expected, and I have only just begun. In preparing this body of work, I began a wandering of the back roads of the state, shooting reference photos and gradually expanding my 'county list.' I can’t even say at this point what my countyscore is --- I keep getting lost.
In pursuit of images, I have come home with my car looking like it was in a monster truck mud rally; I have executed bootlegger U-turns on countless prairie roads that faded into nothingness; and I have had a close encounter with a badger. I have also confirmed my suspicion that this state is astonishingly beautiful. My goal is to touch it all through my paintbrush."
James Memorial Art Center August 1 - 30, 2020 University of Mary Galleries November 2 - 30, 2020 Cando Art Center January 1 - 29, 2021 Northwest Arts Center February 9 - March 9, 2021 The Art Center March 11 - April 17, 2021
PO Box 714, Williston, ND 58802 | (701) 557-9443
NDAGA is sponsored in part with funds from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.