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A new look at crows: 'Great Winter Crow Show' opens

Dawn Morgan, the executive director of the Spirit Room in Fargo has said she thinks of the crow's caw as a wake-up call. She's not the only one to be drawn to the raven's cry. When Morgan asked for area artists to submit depictions of the bird fo...

Karla Gallagher's acrylic painting
Karla Gallagher's acrylic painting "Calling the Moon" is part of the "Great Winter Crow Show," which opens tonight at the Spirit Room Gallery in Fargo. Special to The Forum

Dawn Morgan, the executive director of the Spirit Room in Fargo has said she thinks of the crow's caw as a wake-up call.

She's not the only one to be drawn to the raven's cry.

When Morgan asked for area artists to submit depictions of the bird for the "Great Winter Crow Show" - a celebration of all things genus Corvus, which opens tonight at the Spirit Room - Karla Gallagher saw the notice and for the first time entered two paintings in her first show.

The Dent, Minn., painter talks about her colorful - and in one case colorless - portrayal of the crows she sees in her own backyard.

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Forum: Both pieces have areas that are broken up into little colorful bits, almost a mosaic. Was that intentional?

Gallagher: I've had other people comment on that, and it just happens. It's nothing I intentionally did to make it look like a mosaic. That just happens.

Most people think of crows as jet black. Why the painting "White Raven?"

I thought it would be interesting. There are albino crows. And I found an image I liked. It was a different way to see a crow. We always see them as black and kind of menacing little creatures, but I thought this was a lighter way of seeing a crow. Kind of beautiful, I think.

Do you think crows have a bad reputation or are misunderstood?

I think so.

You've painted horses in the past. Was it hard to transition to painting birds?

The more familiar you are with an animal, the easier it is to paint. I really had to study it and look at the details. They really are beautiful. I hadn't noticed that before.

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If you go

  • What: "Great Winter Crow Show" opening reception
  • When: 6:30 to 9:30 tonight
  • Where: The Spirit Room, 111 Broadway, Fargo
  • Info: Free. (701) 237-0230

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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