design | cuisine | art | culture | architecture
On the Cover: Molly Yeh When in doubt, add sprinkles! In the East Grand Forks kitchen of Molly Yeh, this mantra is a recipe for success. A transplant from the Chicago suburbs, Yeh married into the farm life, learned to embrace the country and eventually started a food blog to chronicle her kitchen endeavors. Her blog, my name is yeh, became the perfect avenue to fuse her Jewish and Chinese heritage with Midwest comfort food and family favorites. Nearly one month ago, Yeh debuted her Food Network series, Girl Meets Farm, giving viewers a glimpse inside her sweet and sprinkled passion for food, family and the farm. Learn more about Molly on page #34. Cover Photography By: Chantell & Brett Quernemoen
Architect Travis Miller: Paradise on the Peninsula Just 30 minutes North of Brainerd, nestled in the red pines of Whitefish Lake, the home of Kevin and Cindy Roberg is a testament to creative architecture and distinguished design. To create their dream home on the peninsula, the couple assembled their dream team with Travis Miller of TWM Architecture, Brittany Wille of Redstone Interiors and contractor Jake Wille. Together, they would design and build a rustic, contemporary home that would gather the family for generations to come.
Accent Contracting: Minnesota Beach Makeover
Chris Hawley Architects: Hub41
Lindsey Grace Interiors: Designing a Dream Wedding When Lindsey Christie, an interior designer with Lindsey Grace Interiors, decided to share her big day with our readers, we knew it was going to be something spectacular. Working with an all-star team including Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling, Uppercase L Photography, Acres & Company and Lettering By Samantha - this event did not disappoint. You’re cordially invited to take a peek inside the wedding of the year, at the stunning Grand Forks destination, Sky’s Fine Dining.
Western Products: Celebrating 70 Seamless Years
Mosaic Design + Build: Restoring Home Mosaic Design + Build is not your typical remodeling contractor. Owners Melanie and James Iverson were recently remarried and know a thing or two about rebuilding broken pieces to redefine a space, or their own life...hence the name “Mosaic”. With Melanie as the interior designer and James as the project manager, we were thrilled to go on a journey with them as they gave us a tour of three recent remodels, with the last one offering a glimpse of their own fixer-upper. See how this dynamic duo is perfecting the art of restoring home.
#RedBallProject: Countdown to F-M’s Public Art Debut
Midwest Nest Magazine is a monthly print and online publication which features content and photography focusing on culture, entertaining and home design.
dan francis photography m. schleif photography j. alan paul photograph chantell & brett quernemoen uppercase l photography scott amundson western products angela dirkes-ridl - foto art & design chelsie elizabeth photography brit worgan tom martin kurt perschke
EDITOR tracy nicholson
PUBLICATION DESIGNER noah kupcho
ADVERTISEMENT DESIGNER alison monke, creative monke dennis krull, 5foot20 design lounge
COPY EDITORS kelly schulz tracy nicholson
DISTRIBUTION ROUTE MANAGER
CONTRIBUTORS molly yeh lindsey christie tracy nicholson
ADVERTISING SALES DISTRIBUTION hal ecker
susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson kari lugo patty nystrom
MIDWEST NEST MAGAZINE 4150 40th Avenue South, #310 Fargo, ND 58104 Read Midwest Nest Magazine online each month at issuu.com. For subscription requests go to MidwestNestMagazine.com. For advertising inquiries in Midwest Nest Magazine or on MidwestNestMagazine.com, call 701-640-3284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Midwest Nest Magazine, LLC, Copyright 2017, Midwest Nest Magazine and midwestnestmagazine.com. All rights reserved. This publication cannot be reproduced without written permission of Midwest Nest Magazine. Midwest Nest Magazine will not be held responsible for any errors found in the magazine. Midwest Nest Magazine, LLC accepts no liability for statements made by advertisers.
SOCIAL MEDIA susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson
Yay for Yeh! About a year ago, we started to hear the name Molly Yeh pop up in conversations all over Fargo-Moorhead. This was a name that was always followed by sugary words like sprinkles, cakes and icing - a combination that clearly spurred admiration from child bakers and grown-up foodies alike. What could be so different about her baked goods that people everywhere seemed to be discussing them in-depth? Oh, and it wasn’t just her sweet treats, it was her hotdishes too. Yep, you read that right, hotdishes. Somehow, this local was creating a throw-back phenomenon in the world of foodies. After a bit of following her crumb trail through the vast expanse of social media, to her farm in East Grand Forks, we finally understood the growing interest. Not only is she adorable, humble and cultured, she’s also wildly and artistically talented. In other words, seeing is believing. So, if you haven’t checked out her award-winning cookbooks, food blog, or brand-new Food Network show, Girl Meets Farm - now’s the time to get to know our neighbor to the North. In other exciting news, we are making huge strides in expanding our distribution. In addition to the F-M area, readers can now find Midwest Nest in grocery stores throughout Grand Forks, Wahpeton, Breckenridge and Fergus Falls. We even have a few select locations in Detroit Lakes and Bismarck. With my publisher’s family from Grand Forks, and my own from Fairmount (just south of Wahpeton), making sure magazines get to our entire region is a mission that is near and dear to our hearts. Special thanks to our family and friends that have volunteered their time, mileage and efforts to make this possible. Next month marks our one-year anniversary and we couldn’t be happier to share it with our readers. Although we rarely need a reason to throw a party, this is a pretty great one. Stay tuned as we will soon be announcing our upcoming celebration. As always, thank you for reading! With Midwest regard,
Editor, Tracy Nicholson
Contributors + Team Susan Hozak-Cardinal
Hozak-Cardinal is Midwest Nest’s publisher and owner. She graduated from Minnesota
Fargo native, Lugo partnered with Midwest Nest to specialize in business development
State University Moorhead with a BS, and then from the University of Mary, Fargo Center,
and advertising sales. Twenty years in media have taken her through national radio,
with an MBM. Hozak-Cardinal is the Marketing Director and Office Manager at Friendly
television, and film markets as well as global newspaper brands, giving her an interesting
Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry and a REALTOR® at Beyond Realty. She is also co-owner of The
palette of experience. Upon her return to the Midwest five years ago, Lugo has held
Private Collection, a furniture rental business in Fargo.
positions in both media and marketing in Fargo. She is happy to be living and working back in her hometown again, where she is also a caregiver for her mother, who has ALS.
Kelly Schulz Schulz is Midwest Nest’s Copy Editor and works full time in marketing at Butler Machinery Company’s corporate office in Fargo, N.D. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master of Business Administration from University of Mary. She resides in North Fargo with her husband and two children. In her spare time she enjoys camping, thrifting, chalk paint projects, pretending to read books for book club and chasing after her little ones.
Scott Amundson Amundson is an architectural, interiors and lifestyle photographer. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota he studied photojournalism at the University of Minnesota. He has worked with many talented commercial and residential architects, interior designers and builders across the United States. His works have been published by several national architectural and design publications across the country. He has had his own company for 30 years. You can see more of his work at amundsonphoto.com
Francis is the lead photographer for Midwest Nest and owner of Dan Francis Photography
Krull is the owner and creative at 5foot20 design lounge in Moorhead, M.N., where on any
in Fargo, N.D. He is Fargo’s only Master, Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional
day you will find him working as a designer, photographer and artist. He received his BFA
Photographer. Francis is currently vice president of the Professional Photographers of N.D.
in Graphic Design from MSUM. He creates and photographs for many different businesses,
and past board member of the FMVA. Francis brings 15-years of experience and quality
both locally and nationally. When he is not designing or working in photography, he can
work to Midwest Nest, contributing stunning home, art and portrait images to our pages.
be found creating art with his encaustic medium. He is currently president of Gallery 4
He is looking forward to showing readers his unique approach to his art that you won’t
artist co-op in Downtown Fargo.
see anywhere else. Francis works out of his downtown Fargo studio and can be found at www.DanFrancisPhotography.com
Monke is the owner and designer at Creative Monke in Fargo, N.D. As Midwest Nest’s lead
Schleif is a contributing photographer and is the photographer and founder of M.Schleif
advertising designer, Monke brings multi-faceted experience working with a variety of
Photography. With a degree in Graphic Design and Public Relations from Concordia
companies in their design and marketing departments. She received her BFA in Graphic
College, she found photography to be a natural combination in serving her abilities with
Design from MSUM. Monke has worked on everything from t-shirts and brand strategies to
people and composition. She has a passion for connection, community, and creativity
websites. She is currently a full-time freelance designer helping many small to medium-
which leads to endless opportunities in the F-M area. Her style is less ‘posed’ and geared
sized businesses and non-profits in the F-M area. Monke designed Midwest Nest’s logo
toward capturing a realistic impression of whomever she is photographing- allowing her
and works closely with our team to create branding strategies and bring expertise to
clients to be themselves and fully embrace their current phase of life. A photographer by
ad designs, helping local businesses speak their own brand and capture the audience’s
day and pint pourer by night at Junkyard Brewing Company, she is an extrovert who is
attention. Find Monke’s work at creativemonke.com.
most inspired by atmospherics, conversation, and human expression. She is eager to add her take on the vibrant lifestyle that is Fargo, North Dakota to Midwest Nest. To find more of her work, connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @ Mschleif Photography, or view her full portfolio at Mschleifphotography.com.
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CORNERING LAKE & CITY
Hub41 Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Scott Amundson
The beachside strip of West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes, Minn., is easily one of the summerâ€™s hottest lakeside destinations. Itâ€™s home to Lakeshirts, Lakeside Tavern & Brewery, Zorbaz, The Pavilion and a slew of beach bums ready to relax and bury their toes in the sand. Last summer, the strip got a little hotter with the opening of Hub41, a new restaurant designed by Chris Hawley Architects and owners Gretchen and Nate Hunter. See how this team created the perfect beach bum hang out with a stunning rooftop view and eclectic surf and turf menu.
Taking advantage of an old water park site that had been sitting vacant, owners Gretchen and Nate Hunter, set their sights on creating a new concept in beach dining. Just a stone’s throw away from their other property, the Fairfield Inn & Suites, this corner spot on the strip would provide a beach bum experience worth the drive. Wanting a casual beach vibe and killer lake views, the two recruited the help of Fargo’s Chris Hawley Architects to design their vision, and Detroit Lakes contractor, Josh Lessman, to build it.
CREATING A CONCEPT When the Hunters built the nearby hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites, they left a pad site that was originally intended for a single-story building. “The only stipulation was that it had to be 3,800 square feet on one level. We actually went back to the county and asked if we could split it into two - that would put us at 1,800 square feet on each level,” said architect Chris Hawley. “We just saw that on the first level, you can kind of see the lake, but mainly the view is of parking and boats. If we added a second level, guests would be able to take in the entire view of Detroit Lakes. In this project, the design had to more about the view than the building.”
For Chris Hawley Architects, their design process started with a little outside inspiration. “We looked at ideas from a restaurant in Minnetonka that they liked - there were also a few residential projects that they thought were funky and pretty cool,” said Hawley. “I think the one thing they wanted was to differentiate themselves by not having the classic cabin forms you’d expect. They didn’t want the cutesy cottage feel - they wanted it to be more contemporary and edgy and just have a little more fun with it in terms of design” “Really the whole project was about creating the perfect rooftop patio,” explained Hawley. “So, when you look at it, the design’s success is determined by having as many people sit outside as possible. This is a year-round restaurant, but like all lake restaurants, their whole livelihood is based on three months of having access to the exterior.”
HOT CURB APPEAL
On the exterior, a sleek, contemporary design,
Like many larger lakes, the wind can take a toll
bold pops of mod color and a tiki bar-type patio
on anything near the shoreline. With a rooftop
are bound to lure you in. But, look a little closer
patio plan in place, the team needed to ensure
and you’ll see an ancient Japanese technique.
that guests would get a calm dining experience
The black siding is all charred wood, also known
versus being literally blown away. “Rooftop patios
as shou sugi ban. “The owners actually did the
are great, but if you’re getting drilled by the wind,
charring. The beautiful thing about it is that once
nobody is going to enjoy it. To solve this, we used
you char it, it has natural weather, rot and UV
black glass as a windbreaker about five-feet in the
resistance, so you basically don’t have to touch
air. When you’re sitting up there, you feel pretty
it again. Bugs don’t like it and creatures don’t like
tucked in and it gives you a nice little break from
to live in it.”
the wind,” said Hawley.
To fabricate the exterior signage using steel and exposed bolts, Chris Hawley Architects employed a hefty foundation to ensure stability for the massive, backlit logo.
“This is obviously a fun strip down in Detroit Lakes and a building like nothing else on the beach.” Chris Hawley, Chris Hawley Architects
INSIDE HUB41 Creating the perfect destination for beachgoers meant designing a bar and dining experience that would be fun, creative and non-fussy - a place where flip-flops and beach towels would be welcomed attire.
Guests will find a crisp white palette with details like black plywood with cedar strips, industrial plumbing
fireplace, a contemporary twist on sliding barn doors and birch bench seating. “The details are pretty fun, they did some really great workmanship and yet it’s not fussy, it’s simple and creative,” said Hawley. “Josh Lessman did all of the construction on this project - he did a really great job, especially considering it was a very fast-track kind of project - we started in Nov and it was open by May of last year.”
EMBRACING THE OUTDOORS To bring the outside in, the design playfully utilizes the exterior siding elements and cedar slat detailing. Both levels feature an overhead garage door making the exterior and interior a unified space. “The cool thing is that no matter where you’re sitting in the bar, you’re looking at the lake,” said Hawley. “Instead of your back turned to the water and the bartender looking out, it’s the opposite. This is obviously a fun strip down in Detroit Lakes and a building like nothing else on the beach.”
“The one thing about doing an overhead door is that you can’t do anything overhead, so you have really limited storage in that area. The cedar slat details were one of the solutions to get as much storage as we can in a space that is occupied by an overhead door,” said Hawley. “The exterior siding became storage shelving for the bottles, glasses and other bar items.”
If you’d rather grab a booth, the dining areas offer plenty of natural light and interesting design details to create a true beachside experience. “This is just a really durable design and a little wear and tear will only give it more character. The blue material panel is all technically, exterior siding, but we’re using it in a pretty economical way,” said Hawley. “In other areas, the same siding that we painted blue, we just painted black and screwed on the batton. I think of it like the rainscreen is the black panel, but then the wood is kind of the armor. This project is a very economical approach to design. It really takes common materials and uses them in a very creative way, but not breaking the budget.”
ON THE MENU If you think the design is creative, just wait until you experience their menu featuring weekend breakfast, lunch and dinner. “They have really good food, with kind of a funky menu - I’d say it’s a modern interpretation of a surf and turf,” said Hawley. For a taste of what Hub41 offers lunch and dinner guests, starters include the falafel, California sushi rolls, sweet potato nachos, Cajun shrimp bucket, Scotch eggs and lobster fries. Dinner will definitely delight with eclectic entrees like the shrimp po’ boy, muffuletta, chicken and waffles along with gnocchi mac and cheese, fish and chips and bangers and mash.
For more information, contact: Hub 41 104 West Lake Drive, Detroit Lakes 218.844.8488
Find the Finishes:
Architecture & Interior Finishes - Chris Hawley Architects
Project Manager - Wayne Schommer, Chris Hawley Architects Contractor - Josh Lessman, Ledgestone, Inc.
Chris Hawley Architects 2534 University Dr #3, Fargo 701.478.4600 email@example.com chrishawleyarchitects.com
Ledgestone, Inc. 421 West Main Suite 104, Detroit Lakes 218.849.6140 Josh.Lessman@LedgestoneInc.com ledgestoneinc.com
Designing Our Dream Wedding Words by Lindsey Christie Photography by Uppercase L Photography
As an interior designer and local business owner, my work becomes quickly intertwined with my personal life, and I truly wouldn’t want it to be any other way. This past November, I started my business Lindsey Grace Interiors in Fargo, N.D. That same month, my now husband Jared, proposed and we decided to purchase our first home. It’s safe to say this past year has been the busiest, but most fulfilling year yet. I am so grateful that my amazing clients share so much of their daily lives, dreams and every part of their journey with me. It’s that connection that takes any project to the next level. For that reason, it was an easy decision to share the most special day of our lives with you all - and the journey it took to design our dream wedding.
Lindsey Christie, Lindsey Grace Interiors
Sadie Garner, Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling
THE DETAILS Of course, the biggest decision is setting the date, and everything flows from there. We had
SETTING THE SCENE
our engagement pictures taken in Minneapolis
I knew exactly how I wanted the evening to look
My business has been created off of my experience
immediately after becoming engaged because I
and feel, but I also knew that planning an event
working in both New York City and Minneapolis, but
wanted to make the most of the fall foliage. We
for 200 plus people wasn’t my area of expertise.
also the needs and wants of the local community.
had an instant connection with our photographer,
I quickly enlisted Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event
As a designer, one of my top goals is to always
Amanda at Uppercase L Photography and when
Styling in Grand Forks. I had been to several
listen to what my clients want, while bringing a
she agreed to come to Grand Forks to photograph
events that Sadie had created, and an added
fresh new perspective to the Midwest design
our wedding, we were so excited. I knew I wanted a
bonus - one of my best friends from high school is
June wedding, and the 16th has a special meaning
her assistant. After meeting with Sadie and Jalen,
for us in many ways. Also, a deciding factor was
I knew they would make the perfect team to bring
In 2010, Sadie sold her floral company in Minneapolis
that it was the only Saturday in June that Amanda
my dreams to reality.
and moved back to Grand Forks, bringing her talent
wasn’t already booked.
for event planning with her. Clients would come Through working with Sadie I also learned that she
to her with their ideas and style boards, but the
I had never realized the huge role good photography
and I share a similar background. I recently moved
elements were just not readily available in North
plays the day of the wedding. Amanda and her
my career from Minneapolis to Fargo. I absolutely
Dakota. For that reason, Sadie scaled her business
co-shooter, Trish, kept our timeline running so
love the Fargo community, the growth, and of
to offer floral and specialty decor elements to
smoothly while capturing every special moment of
course the people. There truly is no place like it.
meet the demands of the local community.
For the venue, I knew I wanted something different, fun and intimate. Growing up in Grand Forks, most special occasions for our family are spent celebrating at Sky’s. When we approached them to host our reception, they agreed and I was ecstatic. We had several meetings to narrow down the details. This included the food, of course, but also the cocktails, service and overall layout of the event.
THE BIG DAY Each guest was able to start the cocktail hour with
brisket, mashed potatoes and asparagus.
our signature cocktails. Mine was the “Blushing Bride”, a spin-off of a cosmopolitan, and Jared
I also wanted to make sure our wedding was
decided on a cucumber Moscow mule we named
personal. I brought the ideas and the entire team
the “Mister Mule”.
executed them perfectly. I knew I wanted our wedding to feel feminine and gorgeous, but also
For dinner, the chef did an amazing job. We served
relaxed and fun. The first thing we decided on was
grilled, Faroe Island king salmon, finished with
the color scheme. It all started the same way most
Sky’s famous North Dakota prairie sauce with a
clients bring me their inspiration for their homes -
black bean rice and the most wonderful smoked
a Pinterest board.
We decided on French blue floor length linens, mixed with blush pink, ivory and gold details. Since the decor of Skyâ€™s leans more toward a masculine and industrial feel, we had to work on how to blend the two very different styles. We decided to remove all the existing chairs in the restaurant other than a few of the French round back chairs at the head table. Then we brought in gold chivaris chairs, complemented with gold charger plates at each table setting. To bring in the blush, ivory and gold in the color scheme, we turned to the floral arrangements. My all-time favorite flowers are peonies, so we mixed those in with a gorgeous combination of hydrangeas, roses and ruscus greenery. To bring in the drama, Sadie created arrangements of various heights based off of various table sizes. The French blue candles and brass holders created such a romantic feel.
I am obsessed with stationery and I put a lot of time and detail in selecting and designing our invitations. I wanted them to match the feel of our entire wedding day, and also be super functional when it came to navigating the day and of course RSVPs. I chose Shine Wedding Invitations and they were so easy to work with.
For the place cards and table numbers, I found a wonderfully talented local business - Lettering By Samantha. Samantha created custom marble tiles with each guestâ€™s name and table number to help navigate the seating chart. She also designed and created each table number to coordinate. Each place setting had a tiny box of pink macaroons, which were baked locally by Acres & Company.
One of the biggest challenges of our venue was the strict number of guests that we could seat. For that reason, we expanded the seating area to the skywalk connected to the restaurant. It created a unique experience for our guest to be able to dine over the passing traffic and be immersed in all of the downtown action. Our head table was placed in the center of the restaurant. I loved this idea because we were surrounded by all of our loved ones.
SWEETS + SETTINGS Not only did Mindy of Acres & Company make the tiny macaroon gift boxes, but she also created an entire dessert buffet. Along with our three-tier cake, we had mini 6â€? naked cakes, cake pops and cupcakes. This was a huge hit with our guests and each item received raving reviews. I sourced our custom cake topper from Etsy along with the bride and groom signs on the back of our head table chairs. Paper Petals By Sophie created a gorgeous backdrop for the dessert table with custom paper flowers to match our color scheme.
Wedding Day Breakdown: Design - Lindsey Christie, Lindsey Grace Interiors Event decor & floral - Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling Photographer - Amanda Hammarstedt, Uppercase L Photographer & Trish Burtzel Venue - Sky’s, Grand Forks Food & drink - Sky’s Fine Dining, Grand Forks Reception stationery & marble tiles - Lettering By Samantha Cake & desserts - Acres & Company Paper floral decor - Paper Petals By Sophie Invitations - Shine Wedding Invitations Cake topper & bride/groom signs - Etsy
For more information, contact: Last minute, I decided to place polaroid cameras next to our guest book, to create a fun little photo booth-feel on our dance floor during the cocktail hour. It was so fun to look back on, not only the sweet messages everyone left us, but also have fun pictures of everyone that came to celebrate. It was truly the best day of our lives. It’s all because of our amazing family, friends and of course each one of the amazing vendors that contributed to our day!
Lindsey Grace Interiors - Fargo 701.330.6008 firstname.lastname@example.org LindseyGraceInteriors.com
Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling 899 2nd Avenue North, Suite 1 - Grand Forks 701.317.3255 email@example.com sadiesfloralnd.com
GIRL MEETS FARM: MEET MOLLY YEH
Yay for Yeh! Words by Tracy Nicholson, Molly Yeh Photography by Chantell & Brett Quernemoen
When in doubt, add sprinkles! In the East Grand Forks kitchen of Molly Yeh, this mantra is a recipe for success. A transplant from the Chicago suburbs, Yeh married into the farm life, learned to embrace the country, and eventually started a food blog to chronicle her kitchen endeavors. Her blog, my name is yeh, became the perfect avenue to fuse her Jewish and Chinese heritage with Midwest comfort food and family favorites. A few impressive awards, thousands of followers and a best-selling cookbook later, Yehâ€™s kitchen creativity had officially caught the eye of Food Network. Nearly one month ago, Yeh debuted her TV series, Girl Meets Farm, giving viewers a glimpse inside her sweet and sprinkled passion for food, family and the farm.
GIRL MEETS FARM In the seven-episode series, Girl Meets Farm, Yeh gives Food Network viewers a glimpse inside her life and kitchen on their East Grand Forks farm. While her nostalgic, farmhouse kitchen creates a worldly fusion of cuisine and sweets, many would say it’s her charm that has stolen the show. Infusing elements of five-star, fine dining with Midwest comfort foods and artfully crafted desserts, Yeh is now one of the most sought-after food bloggers and cookbook authors today.
MOLLY’S MENU If you missed the premiere episode, Yeh made an eclectic buffet for her sister-in-law Anna’s baby shower. On the menu were Fish Tacos with Crunchy Cabbage Slaw and Cilantro Dressing, Pigs in a Blanket with Harissa Ketchup and Honey Mustard, as well as Molly’s signature Meatball Sliders with a Twist. Molly Yeh and her husband, Nick Hagen
Yeh is the author of the International Association of
As with all of Yeh’s kitchen endeavors, the
MEET MOLLY YEH
Culinary Professionals award-winning cookbook,
experience is not complete without a sweet ending.
Influencing her eclectic cooking style, Yeh grew up
“Molly on the Range.” She is the creator of the
Baked Donuts with Rhubarb, Blood Orange and
in the Chicago suburbs with a Chinese father and
critically-acclaimed and highly popular food and
Blueberry Glaze took center stage on the shower’s
Jewish mother, followed by a post-high school life
lifestyle brand “my name is yeh”, which has been
dessert table. Upcoming episodes feature Yeh’s
in New York City studying percussion at Juilliard.
recognized by the likes of the New York Times,
family visits, girl’s brunch, farm supper, a special
After getting married and starting her food blog,
Food & Wine, New York Magazine, Saveur (“Blog of
anniversary celebration and recipes like her Garlic
Yeh relocated with her husband to a sugar beet
the Year”) and Yahoo (“Food Blog of the Year”). She
and Onion Challah, Dark Chocolate Scone Loaf
farm in East Grand Forks, N.D., where she currently
was also in the ranks of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list
with Marzipan and Scallion Pancakes with Maple
MIDWEST NEST MEETS MOLLY YEH! Whether you reside in Grand Forks, Bismarck or Fargo, everyone seems to know everyone, right? It seems nearly impossible that Yeh has managed to quietly create her foodie empire, right in our own backyard. If you haven’t followed her wildly popular food blog, viewed her new show, or ventured to one of her local cookbook signings, now’s your chance to get to know this locally-based talent on a more personal level. Midwest Nest sat down with Yeh to get the lowdown on life on the farm and her new Food Network show, Girl Meets Farm.
Q&A WITH MOLLY YEH!
How will you fuse your background, culture and
What does your family, community and husband
family into the show?
think of your TV debut and success?
Yeh: Pretty much all of the recipes draw inspiration
Yeh: I think they’re happy as long as they get to be
my first call taste testers!
upbringing and my new surroundings. There will
From growing up near Chicago to settling down on
be a whole episode about Chinese food with my
When you first moved to East Grand Forks, what
dad, an episode with my mom’s brisket and a show
did you feel was the funniest or most surprising
centered around hotdish.
characteristic of the region? Yeh: That people leave their cars running in the
a farm in East Grand Forks, how has this changed
parking lot of the grocery store in the winter.
or inspired you?
What do you want Food Network viewers to take
Yeh: It has opened my eyes to hotdish and cookie
away from Girl Meets Farm?
salad! I thought that adjusting to East Grand Forks
Yeh: How fun, colorful and meaningful food can
Where/how did you first meet your husband and
wouldn’t be very drastic since I grew up in the
be. Cooking for others has always been my favorite
will he be an active part of the show?
Midwest, but the upper Midwest is so different
way to show people that I love them and it’s also
Yeh: In college through mutual friends and yes, he
from the suburbs of Chicago and it has been so
been my window into learning about my heritage
has the best lines of the show! I was at Juilliard
fun and delicious to learn about this whole new
and other cultures, so if I can show others how to
then, focusing on contemporary music.
do the same, then I’ll be satisfied.
What do you think has been the biggest factor in
Who in your life do you consider to be your greatest
Yeh: Cakes. I love baking cakes for anyone, for any
the creation of your lifestyle brand and becoming
inspiration or mentor?
occasion. I also love making hummus and hotdish
an award-winning cookbook author and blogger?
Yeh: My mom is my biggest inspiration in the
for people. I really like using tahini and wish good
Yeh: Hard work. I am definitely inspired by how
kitchen. She’s an amazing cook and baker, and I
tahini was more widely available in the states -
hard my farmer husband and other farmers in the
keep a binder of recipes that she made for me. I
same with marzipan, machlab, naturally colored
area work. At first, I was shocked at the million-
love having them near, it’s like we’re hanging out in
sprinkles and rosewater.
hour days and weekend work days that farmers
the kitchen together.
What are your favorite things to bake/cook?
What is the most challenging recipe you have ever
put in during the season, but then I just thought, well, I guess I’ll just spend that time decorating
For your youngest fans who want to bake and blog,
tried and why?
cakes and blogging about it!
what kind of advice can you offer for pursuing
Yeh: Halva, a Middle Eastern candy that’s like the
inside of a Butterfinger but made with ground
When did you find out that you were being
Yeh: Share your unique perspective and story and
sesame seeds. I failed my first few times and it
considered for a Food Network show?
always push yourself to learn and improve. And
was maddening because the ingredients are not
Yeh: When my book Molly on the Range came out.
when in doubt, add sprinkles!
cheap. In retrospect, I think it was because my candy thermometer was broken.
A few folks from the network set up a meeting when I was in New York for the launch and it was
What has life been like since the show debuted on
great! Their offices are right above my favorite
What are some of your favorite restaurants or
Yeh: Really fun because each episode brings
stores in the F-M or Grand Forks areas?
another opportunity to connect with my Instagram
Yeh: Toasted Frog, Rhombus Guys, Darcy’s, Unglued,
Did you film at your farm and what/how long was
friends and see what recipes they’ve been making
Bernbaum’s, India Palace, Kittsona, Zandbroz, Blue
the shoot process?
from the show.
Moose, the Prairie Roots Food Co-op.
Yeh: Yes, we shot the pilot in December and that took a week, and the rest of the season was shot over two-and-a-half weeks in April. From what readers and followers know of you now, is there anything that you will be doing differently on the show? Yeh: I’ll be showing them more of the farm and of Grand Forks than I do on the blog. They’ll see my trusty old Buick boat cruising around town.
“Her passion for food, her family and farm life are front and center in all of her recipes, which are truly written from the heart.” Courtney White, Executive Vice President, Programming, Food Network and HGTV.
Makes one 9â€? x 13â€? sheet cake
1 3/4 c. (350g) sugar
1 c. (128g) roasted pistachios (preferably unsalted)
1 3/4 c. (223g) all-purpose flour
1 c. (225g) unsalted butter, softened
1 C. (85g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c. (360g) powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. kosher salt (omit if pistachios are salted)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
with Pistachio Butter Frosting
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Molly Yeh from my name Is yeh
2 large eggs
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 c. (240g) buttermilk
2 tbs. heavy cream
Chocolate Sheet Cake
1 tbs. vanilla extract 1/2 c. (100g) flavorless oil
Make the Frosting:
3/4 c. (178g) boiling water
First, make the pistachio butter. In a food processor, blend the pistachios, scraping the sides
Make the Cake:
occasionally, until very creamy and spreadable,
Preheat the oven to 350Âş. Grease and line the
about 5-10 minutes.
bottom of a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour,
pistachio butter until creamy. Add the powdered
cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.
sugar and mix to combine and then mix in the
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs,
salt, vanilla, almond extract, lemon zest and then
buttermilk, vanilla and oil. Add the wet ingredients
heavy cream. Spread all over the cake, decorate as
to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Whisk
desired and enjoy!
in the boiling water. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan.
Everything Bagel Galettelettes with Tomatoes & Scallion Cream Cheese Molly Yeh from my name Is yeh
Makes 8 mini galettes
Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes 14-15 oz. pie dough (homemade or store-bought) 1 beaten egg for egg wash
Filling: 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
Everything Bagel Topping:
3 chopped scallions
1/2 tsp. dried minced garlic
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbs. flour
3/4 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400º. - Slice the tomatoes then lay them out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt so that some moisture drains out of them. - Divide the pie dough into 8 balls. Roll out each ball into a circle that’s 6 to 7 inches in diameter. - Mix together cream cheese, scallions, egg yolk, flour and pepper until smooth and well-combined. - Mix together the everything bagel topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Brush the edge of the rolled-out dough with egg wash, spread with filling and top with tomatoes. Fold over the edges and pleat. Brush the outside edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with the everything bagel topping.
Follow Molly Yeh! Catch episodes from her TV series, Girl Meets Farm on Food Network, Sundays at 11:00 a.m. Watch video exclusives with Molly Yeh and get how-to’s on cake decorating and making your favorite childhood snacks at FoodNetwork.com/GirlMeetsFarm. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #GirlMeetsFarm. Follow Yeh on Facebook and Instagram @mynameisyeh.
CELEBRATING 70 SEAMLESS YEARS
Western Products Words by Tracy Nicholson Edited by Erin Thostenson Profile and Office Photography by Dan Francis Photography Celebration Photography by Lori Westland Family Photography by Seventh Street Photography
When we heard Western Products was celebrating 70 years of business, we decided to meet with the team and dig up their deep roots in our Fargo-Moorhead community and beyond. With humble beginnings as specialists in lightning rods and fire control in 1948, to branching out into siding, windows, gutters, roofing, leisure products and cabinetry, we discovered the unique attitude that drives the family-owned business of Mike and Peggy Bullinger.
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: THEN AND NOW To start our journey to find out what makes Western Products tick, we were taken on a quick tour of their 45th Street home base in Fargo. As we walked through their massive third-floor conference room, we saw with our own eyes how important history is to the company. The modern conference room is married with first-generation timber ceiling beams, salvaged from their old Main Avenue warehouse location, once used to hold up the siding. Western Products’ main level features a customer showroom they’ve aptly named their Design and Experience Center. This is where customers can view real-life house facades along with an array of Renewal by Anderson windows and doors, Crystal cabinetry, Sundance Spas and Hunter Douglas blinds. To learn how Western Products became the region-spanning home improvement company they are today, we sat down with Ray Blaha, General Manager, as well as Kelly McComb, Marketing Manager and daughter of Mike and Peggy Bullinger, to get the background behind the company’s humble beginnings.
opportunities to expand and bring on other
Western Products has come a long way since it
products that fit our customer’s needs…he is very
was founded in the 1940s by Peter Schuck. Back
entrepreneurial; he’s very open-minded when
then, the company was known as a lightning rod
opportunities arise and always willing to explore
distributor. “At that time, it was considered a home
new products and innovative technology that will
improvement to put lightning rods on your roof,”
increase our customer’s experience.”
said Blaha. Even during those small early days, founder Peter Schuck showed the work ethic that can be seen in Western Products today. “He would load his truck up with lightning rods and hit the road, not coming home until they were all sold.” By the 1950s, Western Products expanded to begin working in exterior siding. Blaha described the company as one that has made many industry firsts. “In 1963, they changed the industry by introducing steel siding to the region. Western Products actually received the first load of steel siding ever produced in the United States.”
Ray Blaha, General Manager, Western Products
A much different company than their beginning, they have since become a home improvement icon with locations in Fargo, Bismarck, St. Cloud and Jamestown. Each branch offers exclusive lines of exterior siding, windows, roofing, gutters, soffit and fascia, patio and front doors, cabinetry, window coverings and blinds. They also offer leisure products such as spas and Homecrest outdoor furniture. Unusual to a company of this size, all of their products are installed by their award-winning teams, making certain their premium products are installed with quality care.
GROWING WITH THE TIMES Up until last year, technicians would head out to the job site armed with pen and paper. This year, all of their technicians were outfitted with iPads so they can communicate more efficiently with the team, view floor plans, take before and
The Bullinger family from left; Nikki Nelson, Kelly McComb, Mike & Peggy Bullinger, Toni Sandi.
after pictures, do electronic measurements and
As a family business, some might assume that McComb and her two sisters easily fell into
input orders directly to their system. They’ve
their roles within the company, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. McComb, Nikki
also incorporated the ability for employees and
Nelson and Toni Sandin started early on in their teens - doing everything from mowing
customers to text, something that has made their
lawns and shredding documents to filing paperwork, answering phones and cleaning -
communication with homeowners much easier.
eventually heading off to college to pursue other careers. Although they all chose different paths, marketing, accounting, real estate and law - each daughter still has a role within the
Blaha explained that many of these improvements
company, lending their expertise whenever needed. If you’ve noticed the NKT on the front
have come with the help of Western Products
peak of the building, now you know what (or who) it stands for.
owner, Mike Bullinger: “It’s been a very rewarding experience working with Mike and having the
the company. McComb attributes some of this to the positive work culture: “We have a culture committee that gets together and organizes everything from family events to employee-only, to sporting events and picnics. Even though we might not cross paths at work every day, events like this help us be a unified team.”
“One motto my dad lives by is ‘success or failure in life is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capability.’ ” This is a mantra that Western Products at large, and especially McComb, follows closely. “Now, I catch myself saying it to my own
Mike and Peggy Bullinger, Western Products
kids and my 11-year-old looks at me with a smirk and says, yeah I know, and the younger two look at me like they have no idea what I’m talking about,” laughed McComb.
As the years have passed, Western Products has Western Kelly McComb, Director of Marketing, Western Products
Marketing Manager, Kelly McComb, elaborated on Western Products’ early growth. She explained that part of it was a result of following ethical practices that other home improvement companies didn’t back in the day. “The industry was completely different, especially in how they used sales tactics. Homeowners today are a lot more educated on pricing and products, and we think that’s a good thing. Customers trust our company with making improvements on their home—something that might cost the most money they have ever invested in anything.”
KEEPING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE Western Products is clearly something McComb cares deeply about. After growing up seeing her father, Mike Bullinger, run the company, she gained her Master of Business Administration from NDSU. Now, she’s worked her way up in Western Products from assisting the marketing team to overseeing the entire department.
CREATING A CULTURE & A CAREER Many Western Products employees have turned their “jobs” into careers that anyone would be proud to hold. It’s even become the norm that their employees will retire there, having moved through a succession of roles and branches throughout
hard to foster an
changed and evolved with the home improvement
environment of good attitude and teamwork.
The company has a program in place where
employees remains the same. McComb explained,
employees handwrite notes to one another to
“We value family and believe it comes first.
show appreciation for all the good work that gets
As a company, we want a workplace where our
done, and company achievements are occasionally
employees can attain career and personal goals
announced through building-wide speakers. “It’s
within a culture that cheers on accomplishments.”
all about cheering each other on and respecting
She is also a firm believer that achieving success in
the people you work with,” said McComb. “It’s
your work, being present in your family, and giving
pretty fun and we get to show appreciation and
back to the community, are important elements
respect for those who work hard for the company.”
that create a fulfilled and happy life.
CELEBRATING 70 YEARS One of these such events was Western Products’ annual picnic that celebrates their long history and the people that make every year a seamless success. For this year’s 70th anniversary, we got a glimpse inside the annual picnic in June. With Western Products’ 70th anniversary, this year’s picnic in Trollwood Park held special meaning to the company team. Over 200 employees from across four business locations gathered with their families in the sunny summer weather to celebrate the employee dedication that helped make their long-standing success possible. What is it that makes Western Products stand out? If you ask General Manager, Ray Blaha, he’d probably tell you that focusing on customer needs over the 70 years of experience goes a long way. “We still get phone calls and repeat business from customers that we worked with 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Sometimes they’ve even worked with the same Western Products salesperson the whole time,” says Blaha. “Now, we have an entire company held accountable for every home improvement we do and we’re not going anywhere.” If you ask McComb the same question, she’d probably say the same thing her father and owner
For more information, contact:
of Western Products, Mike Bullinger, often tells
her -”Success is just a matter of attitude, and the
474 45th Street South, Fargo
people who work at Western Products have the
best attitudes in the business.”
WHITEFISH LAKE, MINNESOTA
Paradise on the Peninsula Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Chelsie Elizabeth Photography
Just 30 minutes North of Brainerd, nestled in the red pines of Whitefish Lake, the home of Kevin and Cindy Roberg is a testament to creative architecture and distinguished design. To create their dream home on the peninsula, the couple assembled their dream team with Travis Miller of TWM Architecture, Brittany Wille of Redstone Interiors and contractor Jake Wille. Together, they would design and build a rustic, contemporary home that would gather the family for generations to come. HISTORY OF DONALDSON ISLAND The Robergs chose the property thanks to their good friend and realtor Rob Birkeland. “He felt the location was special, even though the building envelope was a challenge due to setbacks with the lake on both sides of the parcel of land,” said Kevin Roberg. According to the Robergs, the property had once been owned by Keith Donaldson who was CEO of the Donaldson Companies out of Minneapolis. He had gotten permission in the mid-1900s to link the mainland with what was then called Donaldson Island. “After the road was completed he built the main home and a tennis court. The Donaldson estate was once known as a destination vacation place and became popular for its parties in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Eventually, meeting tough times, Donaldson would subdivide the rest of the land and sell some of the property to others. Where the tennis court once resided, the Robergs envisioned their dream home.
contemporary. They had previously lived in cabins
The Robergs met Miller while working on the
that I would consider more lodge-like. They were
design for their South Dakota property, Sutton Bay
log-sided and had a large volume of spaces. This
Club through RemWhirl. Miller helped design their
time, they wanted something different - cozier and
home on the property where they would move
brighter, but still wanted it to fit with the character
to in 2012. “When we moved away from South
of the neighborhood.”
Dakota, we immediately contacted him as we felt he was a good fit for us since not only was he a
talented architect, but one who listened carefully
architecture’, mixing of style and materials, so I
to what his clients were trying to create,” said
studied a lot of homes you’d see in Colorado or
Kevin Roberg. “Plus, we frankly just liked him and
Montana and tried to put my own spin on it,” said
when you design a house, it is in everyone’s best
Miller. “They didn’t want a great deal of square
interest to get along.”
footage, but at the same time, wanted to make the cabin live larger and be comfortable for their day-
From left, Cindy and Kevin Roberg along with architect, Travis Miller
SETTING GOALS + GATHERING INSPIRATION
to-day activity as well as host family and friends.
“Kevin and Cindy came to me with concepts and
The lot was the main challenge, getting them the
photos of other cabins, pointing out specific
space they wanted and fitting it onto the property
aspects that they liked of each one. We dissected
with the lake setback and the road setback.” The
the project so I had a clear vision of their goals
lot is 1.8 acres with 1.3 of it considered upland due
and expectations,” explained Miller. “They wanted
to the West bay’s wetland status. The Robergs
something that was rustic but had a light and airy
have 260 feet of frontage on the East lakeshore
feel, so it became a combination of rustic and
and 276 feet on the West wetland side.
Their new lake home would feature four bedrooms and four-and-half baths. Square footage included a 1,395 square-foot basement, 1,649 on the main level with a 764 square-foot garage and 566 square-foot bonus room.
LAKESIDE DESIGN For the Robergs, their interior goal was clean lines with warm tones. The main living space needed to suit their needs as they aged and the natural light needed to be captured. “We wanted lots of windows for light so that we could accentuate the natural beauty of our peninsula lake location,” said Kevin Roberg. “Having the morning sunrise on the main lakeside and the sunsets on the back bay side was a plus we wanted to take advantage of every day.” “Travis was a pleasure to work with since he listens to his customers so well. He is creative yet practical, and constantly keeps ‘value’ of the design at the forefront of what he creates,” said Kevin Roberg. “We had an overall theme of ‘Rustic Contemporary’ and a set of functional criteria main floor living for Cindy and myself, lower level for family and friends, screened porch that would be our main living area and two large wood-burning fireplaces. Travis was the key to putting everything together and it was a true collaboration.”
HEART OF THE HOME To carry their signature style to the heart of the home, the Robergs worked with Scott Ivy of Ivy Cabinets on their gorgeous kitchen, incorporating clean lines and rustic alder textures. “He’s a very talented young man who made a rather small space seem larger due to his ability to create a great deal of storage in a limited space,” said Kevin Roberg.
For the interior’s design, the team worked with
style standpoint. We felt the rustic, contemporary
Brittany Wille of Redstone Interiors. “We had also
style would fit the region, but be more modern
worked with her on our Sutton Bay and Los Cabos
in look, yet very warm in feel.” For the rustic
building projects. Just like Travis, she was creative
collaboration, flooring was chosen in a resawn
yet pragmatic,” said Kevin Roberg. “We had built
white oak, with cabinets and beams in rustic alder
two other lake homes in more of a traditional log
with a stained finish. To achieve the brighter side
or rustic style and felt that now was a time to
of their design, the team relied on enamel-painted,
separate our cabin from the traditional ones from a
poplar ceilings in a 1x6 shiplap.
The Roberg’s screened-in porch has already
A late addition to the original design, Cindy
become a family favorite and daily retreat. “It has
Roberg came up with the idea to incorporate a
tremendous views on three sides, comfortable
guest suite above the garage. The suite features
furniture and a centerpiece fireplace that gets used
its own entrance, living room, bedroom and a
often,” said Kevin Roberg. With the combination
spacious bathroom. “Travis made it happen and
of EzeBreeze windows and the wood-burning
now all our guests want to stay there instead
fireplace, this porch was designed to be utilized
of the main house,” said Kevin Roberg. “We put
in a breakfast bar and also a refrigerator so that guests can have their own place to just enjoy. The small deck outside the front entrance also has the best sunset views of the entire property. We call it the ‘Eagles Nest Suite’ since there used to be an eagles nest in a 150-year-old white pine just outside the window next to the bedroom.”
“We love the final product and absolutely love our
Recent changes to the county’s building codes
a wonderful combination office, lakeside bar and
home,” said Kevin Roberg. “We love it so much we
allowed the Robergs to build up to a 120-square-
just plain ‘hangout’ by the lake,” said Kevin Roberg.
created a family cabin trust so that it can remain
foot “boathouse” by the lake, as long as it met
“It has a bar, large bookcase, refrigerator, ice maker
in our family for generations. Our children and
certain setback requirements and building codes.
and chairs that make it a great escape when I need
grandchildren love it too and are often sharing the
“We took advantage of this opportunity and built
to get away.”
home with us.”
INTO THE WOODS “To achieve their rustic, contemporary exterior look, we used a product called Rough Rider, combined
windows and a lot of glass,” said Miller. “Rough Rider is a natural wood siding that has an Eternity Finish. The finish process enhances the grain in the wood and accelerates the weathering process, so ultimately it looks like old reclaimed wood but has the characteristics of new siding which provides the protection needed to make it low maintenance.” For the home’s stunning landscape, the Robergs relied on Reid Price of The Woods Landscaping. “We had worked with Reid on a number of projects over the years and he is very creative, listens well and performs at the highest levels,” said Kevin Roberg. “He turned an old, tired tennis court into a masterpiece, park-like landscape.” Adding to the outdoor appeal, the team managed to save the majority of the mature red pines on the site which helped keep the character of the property.
MEET THE ARCHITECT: TRAVIS MILLER
Find the Finishes:
Miller grew up in Fairmount, N.D., and attended
Architect - Travis Miller, TWM Architecture
NDSU receiving his architecture degree in 2002. “I
Contractor - Jake Wille
had college friends that lived in the Brainerd area
Interior Design - Brittany Wille, Redstone Interiors
and really fell in love with the lakes, woods and
Cabinetry - Scott Ivy, Ivy Woodcraft
all of the outdoor activities available,” said Miller.
Landscaping - Reid Price, The Woods Landscaping
He has worked for Widseth Smith and Nolting in Baxter, Minn., and RemWhirl in Crosslake, Minn.,
For more information, contact:
where he ran the architecture department until
starting his own firm, TWM Architecture in 2011.
Travis Miller 11443 Co. Road 77 S.W., Nisswa, Minn. 218.821.6780 firstname.lastname@example.org
LOON LAKE - VERGAS, MINNESOTA
Minnesota Beach Makeover Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Angela Dirkes-Ridl - Foto Art & Design
We love when folks bring us golden oak overhauls, especially when theyâ€™re located at the lake. For this project, the Accent Contracting team hit the road for Loon Lake near Vergas, Minnesota. Their team worked with homeowners, Gretchen and Virgil Hoffman, to do away with their outdated oak, transform the garage into an entryway, extend the kitchen and remodel two bathrooms. See inside the Hoffmanâ€™s revamped summer getaway where the rustic woods of Minnesota meet California beaches.
Tim Liebl, Kitchen & Bath Specialist - Accent Contracting
MEET THE TEAM To find out more about their project, we met up with Tim Liebl of Accent Contracting to get the low-down on the upgrade. “When Gretchen came into the Accent showroom, she was in the information-gathering
possible to do with her lake home,” said Liebl. “We let her know about how we go out to the house to try and troubleshoot and rough design and rough quote on the spot. After a short period of
time, I could tell immediately that Gretchen and
After discussing styles with Liebl, the Hoffmans
Virgil were warm and welcoming, but full of life
decided on a unique mix of rustic Minnesota and
and energy. This was something that I wanted to
light, beachy tones for their remodel. “We wanted
incorporate into the design and plan.”
a house that reflected our love for the lake and it had to be open and airy - but not kitschy,” said
“Our kitchen needed an update badly,” said
Hoffman. “We want guests to get that ‘ahh’ feeling
Gretchen Hoffman. “Initially we were just going
when they come in. A place to relax and enjoy the
to replace cupboards and add a better island.
outdoors, as well as the inside.”
Accent was suggested by our daughter-in-law as she had heard their work was excellent. Tim came out and asked what our ultimate dream for the kitchen and house was. We told him what we had always wanted to do, after living in it for 25 years and wanting to make it our summer place. After meeting with Tim, we liked Accent’s ideas, excitement and personal approach to the project.”
If you’ve never heard of a “Minnesota Beach” theme, don’t worry, Liebl explained it like this; “When I think of the beach, I think soft greys, browns mixed with worn painted accent features, accented with blue wall paints. However, looking at their house mixed with their personalities and goals, I felt strongly that we should try to fuse a beach theme with a bit of rustic Minnesota style,” said Liebl. “The main premise of this theme is to give a warm and welcoming, rustic feel while keeping the energy levels high and the tones light and beachy. Throughout the entire process, the Hoffmans were a pleasure to work with.”
NON-NEGOTIABLES For this project, the Hoffmans had a manageable list of must-haves, simply asking for a prep kitchen with two ovens and expanded storage.
FROM-SCRATCH IDEAS The Hoffmans cook mainly from scratch and have a constant stream of visiting family and friends, so Accent’s challenge was to figure out a plan to utilize the entire space. One month into the project, the Hoffmans left their lake home for the winter, returning in the spring to a new and refreshed lake home.
KITCHEN CREATIVITY In the kitchen, Accent took a calculated, but rewarding risk and mixed a natural hickory with a black glaze for the main cabinets. “This was a leap of faith for Gretchen and myself, because I had never seen it or worked with it before and Gretchen had to go on blind faith that the color would work,” said Liebl. “The island was Norcraft’s Portobello paint. We implemented
from Cambria, and accented it with a ‘3 stage’ backsplash. The backsplash was key to separating the three zones that she wanted distinguished.”
In the butler’s pantry zone, Accent did all splitface stone. In the kitchen zone, they incorporated a ‘Rustic Italian Stacker’ design mixing stacked stone and mosaic. “In the beverage center, we did one hundred percent mosaic,” said Liebl. “I also utilized the double oven to split up the butler’s pantry zone and main kitchen area.”
“There was just one more part that we needed to complete the look; since we took out the walls and opened up the windows, the space was very open, so we took that as an opportunity to frame down a custom wood soffit that housed the custom range hood above the island,” said Liebl.
“After that, I loaded up the cabinets with tons
“We love how open the house is and how easy
of storage features with functionality for the
it is for six people to be in the kitchen cooking
Hoffmans in mind.”
and we aren’t tripping over each other,” said Hoffman. “Everything is beautiful and functional - it definitely exceeded our expectations and I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Accent
BATHROOM BLISS The final phase of the project included renovations to the Hoffman’s two bathrooms. The original bathroom provided some unique challenges with an unusual shape, five-foot fiberglass tub shower and an oddly-designed vanity area.
added things in the design that we hadn’t even thought of and we love all of it.”
remodel “The goal was to try and open up the bathroom site-lines maxing out the shower,” said Liebl. “So we implemented the hip wall systems. I personally like to do this, because we put the valve to turn on the water in that wall so the Hoffmans don’t have to walk into the shower to turn it on. It also creates identifiable zones between shower and toilet with a barrier between the shower and vanity cabinets. With that in mind, we shrunk down the vanity zone by about 18-inches.” This kind of savvy thinking allowed the Hoffman’s to have a 6-foot shower.
Find the Finishes: Flooring - Karndean - Country Oak, Luxury vinyl plank Main cabinets - Norcraft Hickory, Natural stain, Black glaze Island cabinets - Norcraft Maple, Portobello stain Kitchen countertops - Cambria Beaumont Kitchen backsplash - Travertine in various textures and colors with Glazzio mosaics Bathroom countertops - Cambria Harlech Tiled shower - Ragno Rewind Corda with Glazzio accents, beige onyx, sliced pebble floor Faucets and fixtures - Brizo / Kitchen - Touch 2 o Articulating faucets Sinks in kitchen and bath - Kohler products Feature wood above the island - Grain Designs Mirror in bathroom - Fleurco Luna series Shower glass - Frontier Glass Fridge - Sub Zero
For more information, contact: Accent Contracting (A division of Accent Kitchen & Bath) Tim Liebl 3151 Main Avenue, Fargo 701.293.6000 email@example.com accentcontracting.com
MOSAIC DESIGN + BUILD
Restoring Home Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography
Mosaic Design + Build is not your typical remodeling contractor. Owners Melanie and James Iverson were recently remarried and know a thing or two about rebuilding broken pieces to redefine a space, or their own life...hence the name â€œMosaicâ€?. With Melanie as the interior designer and James as the project manager, we were thrilled to go on a journey with them as they gave us a tour of three recent remodels, with the last one giving us a glimpse of their own fixer-upper. Together, this dynamic duo is perfecting the art of restoring home.
#1. Boho Minimalist Makeover When Krysta and Matt Bye were ready to downsize and take on a fixer-upper, the couple contacted Mosaic Design + Build to transform their 1928 character home in North Moorhead. With only a couple of months of pre-planning and one week to do the actual remodel, Melanie and James Iverson hit the gas, working day and night to complete the home, just in time for their closing day. See inside the Boho minimalist makeover that gave new life to this home’s good bones. result would allow them a home they loved, and a life they could live to the fullest. Although the Byes were initially considering buying a more extensive fixer-upper, they came across this home and felt it was a gem they couldn’t pass up. “James and I walked through the home with them before they bought it, then we put a bid together so they would know ahead of time how much to budget for the project.”
IN THE DETAILS Even though it’s an older character home, this gem has all of the updates one would need, including
Fortunately for the Byes, one of the couples
Smarthome features. “There’s really nothing big
that had previously lived in the home had been
that they had to do to the home, mainly just
a professional millworker. He was the one that
The Byes had most recently lived in a home that
cosmetic updates,” said Melanie Iverson. “One of
designed all of the stunning beams, existing
had far more square footage than their smaller
the unique things about working with a smaller
floating shelves and coffered ceilings. The following
family of four required. Their ultimate goal became
home is there is very little wasted space. Here,
owners had painted the entire main level a dark
to downsize and take on a fun remodel. They
every inch of this house is functional or at least
chocolate brown and red with navy blue upstairs,
decided that if they downsized strategically, the
leaving the home feeling very dark throughout.
Matt Bye, Krysta Bye, Melanie Iverson
Melanie Iverson, Mosaic Design + Build
THE REMODEL Since the home was never actually listed because the past and current owners knew each other, Mosaic was able to get in last week, and about one week prior to the closing. “One of the first things that we did is to repaint every inch of the home,” said Melanie Iverson.
“On the main level, we used a light grey (Heron Plume), which looks great with the white subway tile and truffle-toned grout we installed in the kitchen. We kept the existing ceiling millwork, cabinetry and countertops. We replaced the lights throughout and have completed the upstairs remodel, except for decor. We basically spent an entire week just updating the finishes so that the
Mosaic knew this project was going to have to
new owners could move in last night - they’re
work on a tight schedule, so Melanie and James
closing on the home is today.”
had every inch mapped out with idea boards and knew exactly how they wanted to piece it together. “For the furnishings, Krysta and I had gone shopping quite a while ago and picked out all of the furniture, lighting and samples - we had been going back and forth since the beginning of May,” said Melanie Iverson. “We bought some things together, checking out pieces online and worked together on the placement of the furniture. They’re amazing clients and it’s been a really fun project to do.”
“We call this style Boho Minimalism, just because
This month’s issue shows the Bye’s home after a
it’s not the traditional Bohemian style, which tends
couple of months of pre-planning and one week’s
to be a lot busier,” said Melanie Iverson. “We have
worth of work, almost solely on the main level.
the dark, warm tones of the existing millwork, bold
What is not shown, is the upstairs remodel which
pops of rich color and texture, with some larger
consisted of replacing the stairwell and upstairs
patterns mixed in. Krysta was really fun to work
flooring, and updating the master bedroom, office
with because she was excited to take risks. A lot
and bathroom. After Mosaic completes the upstairs
of homeowners I’ve worked with in the past get
decor, Krysta’s office, just off of the master, will be
really worried about colors and prints, but she was
transformed into her creative suite, helping her to
really bold and brave, so it was fun getting to work
work from home as a musician and entrepreneur.
with her. When we spotted the teal linen recliner chairs, we both looked at each other and thought...
MEET THE HOMEOWNERS:
we need to get these chairs. The sofa is a soft-
KRYSTA AND MATT BYE
blend grey linen which looks amazing with the fun
“This process was awesome, it went so smoothly
checkered and magenta pillows from The White
and Melanie and James made it really easy. We
had fun collaborating on design ideas and I’m thrilled with how the space turned out and the vision they brought to life. I had a concept in mind and a feel that I wanted - Melanie took that and ran with it, creating a kind of Mid-century modern, Bohemian feel,” said Krysta Bye. “The bones of the space were really great, so it was fun to be able to come in and transform it.”House Co.”
Find the Finishes: Paint color - Heron Plume, Sherwin Williams Furnishings - Slumberland, HomeGoods Checkered and magenta pillows - The White House Co. Pink pillows - HomeGoods
“For the tablescape, I found all of the decor at The
Live-edge slab mantle - Dakota Timber Company
White House Co., then placed a captain’s chair at
Boho rugs - Amazon
the end that would not obstruct the pathway,” said
Live-edge side tables and dining set - Slumberland
Melanie Iverson. “Eventually, we will have a bench
TV cabinet - Ikea
on the kitchen side of the table, so that will help
Stairwell carpet - Carpet Garage
to open up the pathway even more.”
Triangle wall art - Hobby Lobby
Melanie Iverson, Mosaic Design + Build
#2. Rose Creek Remodel As the senior pastor and co-founder of Burning Hearts Church, Jana Sawchuk’s home
UPSTAIRS BATH To complete the upstairs bath, Mosaic completely
is meant to be a sanctuary, but there was nothing soothing about the honey oak that
gutted the space down to the studs. To achieve
seemed to be everywhere in her home. Built in 1996, Jana and her husband, Dr. Ted
more efficient use of the space, they swapped the
Sawchuk were ready to either love it or list it - but either way, they knew it was time to remodel. To manage two bathroom remodels and a fireplace refacing, the couple
single, lower vanity for double sinks and designed a new walk-in shower with a unique swiveling glass door. Honey oak was replaced with crisp,
worked with Mosaic Design + Build to complete all three projects in less than one
white subway tile and the clean lines of shiplap.
Outdated fixtures made way for articulating sconces, brushed nickel fixtures, marble counters and square sinks.
you might see in a rental unit, just very basic
Although the couple has three grown kids, they
fixtures and cabinets,” explained Melanie Iverson
are still in the stage of sporadically coming and
of Mosaic Design + Build. Overwhelmed by their
going. In fact, all three had planned on being home
outdated finishes, the Sawchuks had considered
for the summer, so it was a major goal to have
selling as a solution. “I realized that If we wanted
the bathrooms completed before the start of the
to sell our house, we’d have to update it,” said Jana
summer. Since they had two other bathrooms
Sawchuk. “So, we decided to follow through with
to use, Mosaic worked on both remodels at the
the updates, but live in it updated, rather than sell
same time. They also asked Mosaic to take on a
resurfacing project with their fireplace surround in the great room.
COASTAL VIBES For style inspiration, Mosaic relied on Jana Sawchuk’s love of travel and the beach. She had once lived in Hawaii and many of their family vacations were centered around surfing. Finding a way to diffuse the honey oak and infuse a bright coastal vibe would become their end-goal.
“Their old bathrooms kind of looked like something
“Jana really wanted a floating shelf, so we used a piece of reclaimed wood, running it from one end to the other for display. We used a 3x6, extra-wide subway tile with extra white grout - we didn’t want to see the grout at all, just to give it that really clean look,” said Melanie Iverson. “We also added some outlets to bring it up to code, so if the family ever decides to sell, they’re not going to have any issues.”
“I knew I really wanted the shiplap and definitely a half shower door - I don’t like shower curtains and I don’t like full doors, I think they’re dysfunctional,” explained Jana Sawchuk. To properly install the swivel door, the team had to adjust the plumbing moving it to the other side where it made more sense. According to Iverson, there were about 110 different options for the swiveling door, but this is the one their plumber recommended as one of the sturdiest and safest options. Beyond the swiveling glass door, Melanie Iverson designed a marble hexagon mosaic pattern which was added to the niche in the shower wall. Unable to make this bathroom larger due to the layout, Mosaic laid the flooring in a more strategic way to make the room appear larger, without adding square feet. “Knowing that we’d have to re-sheetrock and texture, we covered all of the stairs and flooring with plastic. We just did a lot of additional cleaning so
that they could maintain their normal lifestyle.”
LOWER LEVEL BATH In the lower level bath, Mosaic opted to keep the tub surround but replaced the flooring with a more grey-toned luxury laminate. Melanie Iverson worked closely with the Jana Sawchuk to choose the finishes, consisting of a new black oak vanity
Before / After
with marble top, antiqued gold lighting and reclaimed wood towel hooks. “I really liked Jana’s style that brings in that light, airy beach vibe, and there’s also a lot of personality in this design,” said Melanie Iverson. “It’s been really fun working with her and bouncing ideas off of each other.”
Before / After
FIREPLACE REFACE For the final phase of this remodel, Mosaic took on the forest green marble of the fireplace surround in the great room. This would be a less extensive project that would mean painting the gold detailing black and replacing the green facade with a crisp, white marble.
they wanted it, not what I wanted. I knew that Melanie really understood what I wanted. That reclaimed wood shelf and some of the other things that I asked for, were not easy tasks, but they were willing to work with it. On the contractor side, James was great managing all of the other subcontractors and they got it done very quickly. We have more projects to do, so we plan to work with them again.”
scheduling and really, take care of everything -
“We completed all three projects in under a month.
then communicate it to the client. We have a lot
Find the Finishes:
I think there is real value in working with a design/
of strong relationships within the trades, so that
Wall paint - Reflection, Sherwin Williams
build,” said Melanie Iverson. “We can move swiftly
really helps us to get the job done well.”
Lower Vanity - Joss & Main
through the project because there’s only one point
Upper Vanity - Wayfair
of contact. It’s an aspect that really saved them
FEEDBACK FROM THE HOMEOWNER:
Laminate flooring - Carpet Garage, Dilworth
money and time.”
Articulating sconces - Build.com
“James and Melanie were great to work with and
Glass shower door - Custom Design Plumbing, LLC
“With Mosaic, I have a mentality that I want to
Subway tile - Menards
do as much for the client as we can, with the
right away, and I’m not your normal North Dakotan,”
Mosaic Tile (Bathroom Niche) - Syverson Tile & Stone
least amount of stress,” said James Iverson. “So,
laughed Jana Sawchuk. “I’ve worked with other
Reclaimed wood shelving - Tornell Construction
we deal with the contractors, we handle the
designers, and the house ended up looking how
Fireplace marble - Home Depot
- they understood what I wanted
#3. At Home with Mosaic Design + Build Last, but certainly not least, Mosaic Design + Build gave us a glimpse inside their own fixer-upper. After recently getting remarried, James and Melanie decided to embark on a fresh start with a new home. One month after their closing date, we visited the couple to take a quick tour at the start of their project, and their personal mission of restoring home.
FUSING STYLES “I personally love more of a Bohemian, eclectic style, mixed with some Mid-century modern. I really enjoy mixing patterns that you wouldn’t typically see together,” explained Melanie Iverson. “I think it feels fresh and different. A lot of people think they could never do that in their own home, but with the right ensemble, it can be beautiful.” “Most of the time, in each room, I find something that I hate so much that I think I will love it -
PHASE 1: LOWER-LEVEL DEN
something that really pushes my own boundaries.
“The day after we closed, James started demolition
“On the fireplace, I decided to white-wash the
That happens to be that zebra chair. It’s so ugly, I
on the lower-level den, so that’s where we began
brick because it was old and almost too yellow
just love it,” laughed Melanie Iverson. “I also did
our renovation. It had that old, 70s-style paneling
for me. I picked up the live edge mantelpiece
some jewel-tones in here with a goal for it to
and James gutted it entirely off of the walls and
at Dakota Timber Company. This is part of their
feel somewhat coastal. A lot of the clay pots and
fireplace,” said Melanie Iverson. “He installed the
Urban Reclaimed collection that is sourced from
baskets around the room are from my mother-
sheetrock, did the tape, texture and mudding,
boulevard trees taken down by the City of Fargo,”
in-law - she was downsizing, so I inherited those
ripped out the old carpet and installed the new
explained Melanie Iverson.
things. She just had some really interesting pieces,
flooring. I took on the painting and design finishes.”
including the two art pieces behind the lamp.”
“For the artwork above the mantel, I found the painting of the woman for a dollar at a rummage sale and wasn’t even sure if I liked it, but it works really well in this space. The floral painting over the sofa is also a rummage sale find, and the brightly colored face painting in the corner was going to be thrown away, so I snagged it. I just like to surround myself with really interesting pieces,” said Melanie Iverson. “The coffee table was first made by Grain Designs in a grey-toned wood, but for this room, I needed it to be lighter, so I painted over it with white.”
PHASE 2: THE SPA ROOM Just beyond the kitchen, the Iverson’s new house has a gorgeous spa room with fun architectural details in pine and brick. Before their cosmetic makeover, this room was mint green with all walls finished in pine. To brighten up the space, they opted to paint the shared wall white for a more modern approach. “With a house like this, there were a lot of things that needed to be fixed or worked on. For us, it’s a perfect house because everything does need to be redone,” said Melanie Iverson.
MARRIAGE + MOSAIC James and Melanie were remarried in September last year, and they knew that this next season of their lives with their children, was really important. This time, they would invest wisely in their family and their time. “In November, when we started dreaming about what our new lives would look like, we attended a conference and this woman that heard our story had said, ‘Your lives are interesting, it seems like, through your first marriage and divorce, everything shattered. It seems that God is placing you back together and making a really beautiful mosaic of what was once broken.’ That really spoke to both of us,” said Melanie Iverson.
LAUNCHING A NEW LIFE “While we were processing what to do, the idea of starting this company, really came to us. In January, James decided to quit his job and we would launch Mosaic Design + Build. When I met James, he was a commercial paint contractor and when we were married, he had worked for over 12 years as the building and grounds manager for a local company, managing the remodel of their commercial space. After that was completed, James gained valuable experience working
contractors, often doing remodel projects for family members. So, these days, I help create the space and he does all of the heavy work,” laughed Melanie Iverson. “In our old house, when we were first married, she had created the vision. We started that project
married, then we got divorced. I finished her vision in order to be able to sell it. When you look back on it, it’s actually kind of cool because, even with all that was going on at that time, I still kept her design going in that house, which I think is really kind of significant with where we ended up with Mosaic,” said James Iverson. “I really enjoy working on our home, it’s almost therapeutic in a sense,” said James Iverson. “Why not do one more thing that we can work together on? We actually do work pretty well together - we have a lot more fun, then we have trying times.”
NEW VS. OLD Just as in their own life, Mosaic Design + Build has a mission to collaborate with homeowners so that their vision comes to life. “It’s more than just remodeling, it’s restoring home. So many people feel like they have to build new to get what they want. I love new builds, but I think something that is at the core of what I believe, as far as what we do, is that you can absolutely love what you have,” said Melanie Iverson. “Sometimes it just takes a fresh coat of paint or a second set of eyes to be content and happy with some of these older homes. Once you give them a little bit of an update, the result can be beautiful.”
IN THE WORKS What’s next on their agenda? The Iversons plan to repaint the entire main level and knock the wall out between the kitchen and family room, upgrading the floor plan to a more open concept with a shiplap ceiling. They will be refacing the kitchen cabinets, installing new tile, reclaimed wood shelving, and building an 8x4 butcher block island with drop pendants. Find the Finishes: Sofa - West Elm Downstairs side tables - thrift stores Coffee table - Grain Designs Floral pillows & chair - The White House Co. Downstairs rug - Dakota Boys Ranch Pillows, fiddle figs and snake plants - The White House Co.
For more information, contact: Mosaic Design + Build P.O. Box 455, Fargo 701.306.9995 firstname.lastname@example.org mosaicfargo.com
shoppes at BLU
Fargoâ€™s Newest Shopping Destination!
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
#RedBallProject Countdown to Fargo-Moorhead’s Most Anticipated Public Art Debut
Words by Tracy Nicholson Portrait Photography by Dan Francis Photography RedBall photography courtesy of Brit Worgan, Tom Martin, Kurt Perschke
We may travel through our community every single day, but do we really see it? When clay artist and MSUM Art Professor, Brad Bachmeier, spotted the RedBall Project online, he immediately took note of the way each community uniquely interacted with its arrival. This massive, inflatable ball, the creation of artist Kurt Perschke, had been crammed in between high-rises, suspended over bridges, and expertly placed in parks and pathways. This was public art that placed a giant red dot on one week’s worth of locations, that begged for another glance. To get the project to Fargo-Moorhead would require a collaboration between the cities, MSUM, Plains Art Museum and a lengthy list of local supporters and sponsors. Before the ball bounces our way, Perschke made an early trip to scout out locations for its October 4th arrival. Where will the ball be? Just keep your eyes peeled, you can’t miss it.
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
From left; Brad Bachmeier of MSUM, RedBall artist Kurt Perschke, Andy Maus of Plains Art Museum
“It truly is a community project,” said Maus. “We have a history of public art projects here at the museum. We’ve worked with MSUM in a variety of ways over the years and they’re a great partner for a lot of projects, so this seemed like a natural fit. I’m really excited about the project because I think it tests some limits in a friendly way about what public art can be - I think that’s an important
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
dialogue for Fargo and Moorhead right now.”
PERSEVERING PUBLIC ART Nearly 18-years-ago, sculptor Kurt Perschke was
would spend a month on the phone before finding
searching for a way to expand his horizons on a
anyone who would understand his mission and be
much larger and interactive scale. After drawing
able to fabricate his 250-pound, inflatable canvas
up a plan, Perschke found exactly what he was
art. For Perschke, the public needed to be able to
looking for in a giant red ball, roughly the height
touch it, and it had to be able to survive being
of a semi-truck. It would have to be inflatable, but
wedged up against rough building facades.
durable enough to withstand the elements. He
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
Photo courtesy of Kurt Perschke
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
Photo courtesy of Tom Martin
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
Photo courtesy of Tom Martin
This would be a massive, public art install that would intrigue and inspire cities all over the world. After a successful, inaugural run in St. Louis in 2001, Perschke would end up on a journey that would take him around the world to cities like Paris, Bethlehem, Calgary... and now FargoMoorhead. To date, the RedBall Project has made its debut in over 30 international cities, moving to a new site each day. It is currently considered “the world’s longest-running street artwork”.
Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
To get the RedBall Project to Fargo, Bachmeier and Andy Maus, CEO and Director of Plains Art Museum, would be tasked with figuring out the finite details and gathering the supporters. “The beauty of this whole project was that it allowed an opportunity for a ton of collaboration within our community,” said Bachmeier. “There are quite a few large groups of people that will be working together to pull the whole thing off. I’m really excited to get this here, in our own community. I think it will open eyes and a piece like this will bring joy - it’s hard not to smile when you look at it.” Photo courtesy of Kurt Perschke
“It’s temporary, it’s fun and it’s whimsical - it just seemed like the perfect project, at the right time to introduce Fargo-Moorhead to public art,” said Bachmeier. To get the ball rolling, he knew the ideal partner would be Plains Art Museum.
ONE WEEK ONLY “The reason the project happens over the course of a week and not just one day, is that you actually need those different flavors as you go,” explained Perschke. “For me, there’s not one site that is everything the project is because it really needs that whole run - that way it’s theatrical. It needs to be able to move through several acts, through different days, different weather and a different audience - that’s going to create an experience that you might not get out of just one location. I just Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
want people to come out and take the adventure with us - it’s only a week, and it will happen fast.”
FROM PARIS TO FARGO Interested to find out more, we asked Perschke to explain how Fargo’s visit would compare to its prior international locales. “The project actually operates really well in small communities. While it’s been to a lot of major cities, the density of a smaller city, in terms of word of mouth, and in terms of how the project functions, works very well - it’s very much an audience piece,” explained Perschke. “When Brad called, I was really interested and it was immediately clear that there would be sites here that would be fun to work with.”
SCOUTING LOCATIONS To find the perfect sites, announced this fall, Photo courtesy of Kurt Perschke
Perschke spent an entire week in Fargo to physically see and discuss all possible locations. “The project will always operate between well-known locations and maybe some that are surprises, but the main thing for me is thinking about how to build an audience and how to take them on a trip,” said Perschke. “The idea is for you to see something that you might drive by or walk near every day, but have never really noticed. Part of the theatricality of the work is that it can go anywhere and explore and play with the landscape of a city.”
Photo courtesy of Kurt Perschke
As Perschke explained, when he makes a site visit,
creates a conversation which is vital for a healthy
he turns to his sculptural senses to help navigate
each location. “I’m thinking about the physical
“Part of the theatricality of the work is that it can go anywhere and explore and play with the landscape of a city.” Artist, Kurt Perschke, RedBall Project
opportunities there, the negative space, the
For Perschke, the hands-on interaction is why
sculptural aspects of the piece - that’s my internal
it’s considered public art. In public art, people
point that I begin with. Then, in the studio, there
are encouraged to experience it for themselves
will be drawings and collages that come out of the
and interact with it in varying ways. He’s acutely
interested to see if the ball’s placement creates awe, whimsy, disbelief or even occasionally, total
INTERACTION + REACTION
disregard. “For me, the surprising reaction is the
One of the things that Perschke expects will
person who doesn’t engage - the person that
happen is that audiences will build up and
walks by, even though the invitation is there,” said
people will organically begin to interact with the
Perschke. “I think it’s really easy if you’re going from
ball. Some people will find inspiration, some will
point to point in a city to sort of not have your eyes
question it, and for others - they’ll imagine where
open. There’s always someone that will come by
else it could be. Whether it piques an interest,
and they see the play of it, but they don’t internally
sparks an idea or simply provokes a RedBall selfie,
feel permission to engage. How audiences engage
Perschke and many others believe that public art
with it is a really fascinating part of the project.”
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! When the RedBall project arrives on October 4th, for one week only - get ready to map out its locations and engage your senses. This is a public art experience that is requesting your presence. Sites will be announced closer to its arrival.
Organizing Partners - Plains Art Museum - Minnesota State University Moorhead
Lead Sponsors - Fargo Arts & Culture Commission - Minnesota State University Moorhead
Sponsors Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
- Insight to Action / Carol Schlossman Consulting - Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Convention & Visitors Bureau - Fargo Parks District - Plains Art Museum
Additional In-Kind Supporters - Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists - City of Moorhead - The Arts Partnership For more information, contact: Plains Art Museum Andrew J. Maus, Director and CEO 701.551.6123 email@example.com plainsart.org
MSUM Bradley Bachmeier MFA, Professor - School of Art 218.477.5989 Photo courtesy of Brit Worgan
CANVASSING THE CITY
ABOUT THE ARTIST
“For me, it’s about seeing the city and using the
Kurt Perschke is a Chicago native, past art
project - the charisma of it, the humor of it, as a
educator, and artist who works in sculpture, video,
way to take people on a pathway. But, I also think
collage and public space. His most acclaimed
that if someone hears about the piece and says to
work, RedBall Project, received a National Award
themselves, I don’t get it - they just need to see it
from Americans for the Arts Public Art Network.
Find RedBall Project on Facebook and
for themselves and experience it,” said Perschke.
Perschke has a Master of Fine Arts from RIT in
Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag
“It’s not unlike anything else with performing arts
Upstate New York, where he resided for the past 15
#RedBallProject when posting any
or visual arts, you need to be there as an audience
years before recently relocating to North Carolina.
social media images or tweeting via
member and participate to really understand what it is - so for me, that’s the invitation. I think if people accept that invitation at least to come out for one day, then they will understand it.”
Twitter. You may even have your images featured on the RedBall Project website! https://vimeo.com/channels/redball Redballproject.com
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