Meet the 9 local artists who got grants for their work in ceramics, painting, neon and public art
FARGO — To cultivate a unique arts community full of vibrant and diverse crafts, The Arts Partnership awards grants annually to encourage growth through projects, classes and exhibitions backed by real dollars.
This year, TAP is set to award nearly $36,000 to a total of 18 artists, including visual artists and musicians. We introduced the nine recipients of music grants in last week's feature.
Of the total of 18 artists selected for grants this year, the other half focus solely on the visual side of things, working to add color, content and light to the local community and beyond.
The projects submitted are judged by a panel of jurors to determine how the work will impact individual artistic growth. For recipients, the grants are also the perfect opportunity to try new things, or in the case of Ellen Jean Diederich, a chance to change up her technique in a craft she's dedicated her life to.
Ellen Jean Diederich
"I need to explore and keep myself fascinated," Diederich says. "I'm hoping I will become a better artist because of this grant."
A prominent watercolor artist and educator, Diederich will receive $2,100 to attend a workshop on acrylic painting. She plans to translate her focus on fluid florals, animals and landscapes into painterly forms, challenging her to create with effortless brushstrokes.
"I consider it a piece of public sculpture in a sense, just because of what it adds to a community,” Chris Orth of Fireline Neon says about his newest sign for BernBaum's on Broadway in Fargo.
The neon artist will receive $2,500 toward certification that will allow for more flexibility to build and install his renowned work. Orth has a background in software design and began working with neon in 1999, now working full time on his business.
His keen sense for decoding user experiences translate into authenticity of craft.
"If you've got the real 'Mona Lisa' and a poster of the 'Mona Lisa,' it can be as detailed as your eyes can pick up, but it's going to feel like two completely different things," he says.
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Alicia Underlee Nelson
The freelance writer and photographer explores travel, culture and entertainment in her all-encompassing blog prairiestylefile.com. Alicia Underlee Nelson seeks out art in places big and small.
"There are lots of ways that people can dive into public arts, whether they are able to get in the car and go in person or not," she says about her postcard project featuring local works.
Nelson will receive $1,250 toward photographing site-specific art throughout the state to showcase on postcards and online. The artist cites yarn-bombing as her first awakening to the street art form. She is also the author of "North Dakota Beer: A Heady History."
Editor of the High Plains Reader, a Fargo-Moorhead alternative weekly publication, Sabrina Hornung will get $1,050 to further her passion for rosemaling. The artist will receive funds to attend a workshop at the Duluth Folk School and to supply materials for a project aimed at cross-contaminating fold art with street art.
"Oh, there's so many great pockets of culture out there!" Hornung says. "And the thing is, with Dakota artists, the hardest part is, you know, admitting that you're an artist."
With work instantly recognized for its whimsy and sketchy approach, Catie Miller combines her passion for printmaking and ceramics to explore ever-evolving patterns of flowers, bugs and fine-tooth combs. She will receive a grant of $1,300 to work with photographer Penny Burns of Northern Stories to capture lifestyle shots incorporating her products.
"When you are the artist making the work, you're so close to it," Miller says. "It will be nice to have her to look at the work through a different lens."
To support his project called "Conservation Through Clay," a national traveling exhibition debuting at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, ceramicist Brad Bachmeier will receive $2,500 towards completing his work to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Supported in part by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Bachmeier's first experience as an artist-in-residence at Lewis and Clark State Park turned into five more residencies over six years.
"I was on Lewis and Clark's path and I could stop and see exactly what they described when they went through 200 years ago," says Bachmeier. "Instead of what they saw, all of a sudden I could count 14 flaring oil wells. It wasn't an intention of mine, but all of a sudden conservation concerns imposed themselves very loudly."
Bringing his organically perfect pottery to a national level, Bachmeier leads as an educator and throughout organizations in Fargo-Moorhead .
"I've always felt it a responsibility for art teachers to not only be the expert in their building, but for the community," Bachmeier says.
- $2,500 to ceramicist Tara Fermoyle to purchase a kiln and supplies for Fermie Studios.
- $2,500 to ceramicist Kelli Sinner towards creating a series of prints on handmade paper that will be custom-framed for exhibit.
- $1,650 to photographer Kenneth Anderson to create a series of large-format film photographs depicting military and combat trauma, featuring veterans from the Vietnam era through today.
This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit http://theartspartnership.net.