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Autumn Art Auction Volume 14, 2012

North Dakota Museum of Art

North Dakota Museum of Art




S at u r d a y, O c t o b e r 2 0 , 2 0 1 2 Wine and hors d’oeuvres 6:30 pm Auction begins at 8 pm

Auction Preview Autumn Art Auction is Underwritten by Long-time Museum supporters

Julie Blehm Ellen McKinnon Mark Stutrud of Summit Brewing Company

patrons All Seasons Garden Center 56* Dakota Harvest Bakers 61

October 7 until auction time in the Museum galleries Monday – Friday, 9 to 5 pm, Saturday – Sunday, 1 to 5 pm All works to be auctioned will be on display

Auction Walk-about Laurel Reuter, Auction Curator, will lead an informal discussion about works in the Auction Tuesday, October 16, 7 pm, in the galleries

Sponsors Bremer Bank 64 Greater Grand Forks Symphony 70

Grand Forks Herald 65 Hugo’s 71 Minnesota Public Radio 79 Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture P.C. 55 River City Jewelers 84 Salon Seva 73 William F. Wosick, MD 52 Independent Radiology Services, Ltd. SCRIPTA, LTD. HermesVelox, LLC In2shapefitnessfargo, LLC

Supporters Amazing Grains Natural Foods Market 76 Blue Moose Bar & Grill 62 Chester Fritz Auditorium 58 First State Bank 54 Frandsen Bank & Trust 60 Grand Forks Country Club 77 Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre 74 HB Sound & Light 60 Little Bangkok 82 Ellen McKinnon 62 Museum Café North by Midwest Craft Spectacular 80 North Dakota Eye Clinic 66 * Indicates page number Auction Supporters continued next page


Supporters North Dakota Quarterly 72 Reichert Armstrong Law Office63 Rhombus Guys 75 Sanders 1907 81

Buy local. Read the sponsor pages to learn about those who invest in the Museum. Almost all are locally owned and operated.

Summit Brewing Company 54 Curtis Tanabe, DDS 77 Duc Tran, DDS 53 Wall’s Medicine Center & Health Mart Pharmacy 69 Waterfront Gallery, Northern Plumbing Supply 82 You Are Here 59, 81

Advertisers Contributors Acme Tools/Rents 63 Alerus Financial 78 Altru Health System 59 Archives Coffee House 58 Avant Hair & Skin Care Studio 69 Browning Arts 58, 59 Camrud, Maddock, Olson, & Larson, Ltd. 78 Capital Resource Management 57 Chad Caya Professional Painting & Historical Restoration 57 Demers Dental 72 Chelsea R. Erickson, DDS Paul Stadem, DDS EAPC Architects and Engineers 53 Forx Roller Derby 78 Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops 83 Mayport Insurance & Realty 69 Norby’s Work Perks 78 Gregory J. Norman Funeral Chapel 80 Opp Construction 66 Oxford Realty 66 Praxis Strategy Group 75 Simonson Station Stores 74 Sterling Carpet One 83 Swanson & Warcup, Ltd. 74 David C. Thompson, P.C. 72 Kelly Thompson, Greenberg Realty 80 Trojan Promotions 83 Valley Oral & Facial Surgery 76 Xcel Energy 76 2

Zimney Foster, P.C. 83

Mary Adams, Prudential Crary Real Estate 75 Bonnie Baglien, GoodInsurance 58 Tim Bernhardt, Crary Realty 64 Brady Martz & Associates, P.C. 59 Forks Chem-Dry 64 Grand Forks Subaru 57 Tyrone Grandstrand, Northwestern Mutual 59 Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals 53 Meland Architecture 70 Marilee Moen, Greenberg Realty 63 Monarch Travel & Tours 70 Newman Signs Rite Spot Liquor Store 75 Shaft, Reis & Shaft, Ltd. 53 Susan Nord Designs 57 Valley Car Wash 63 Vilandre Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. 59

Ross Rolshoven, Auctioneer

Auction Chairs

Ross Rolshoven is a many-sided man. Foremost, he is

NATALIE AND CARSON MUTH: Natalie and Carson Muth

an artist who works in assemblage, hand-colored photography,

are Chiropractors at Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture. Since

and painting. Among his exhibitions was a solo show of

beginning their life in Grand Forks in 2009, Carson and Natalie

assemblages at the North Dakota Museum of Art in 2002. The

welcomed the birth of their two daughters, Ella and Collette.

work was based in the iconography of the West, in historical

Carson is a Nebraska native who obtained his undergraduate

myths and representations of cowboys and Indians. These themes

degree at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. Natalie

overlap with family and relationships and contemporary life.

grew up in Mayville, North Dakota. They met as students at the

Rolshoven is a collector of early Western settlement and American Indian art and artifacts. He is completing his sixth year on Medora’s North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He has been a volunteer for numerous civic events and charities over the past thirty years, including the North Dakota Museum of Art. In addition to making and collecting art, Rolshoven collects and restores vintage boats. He is North Dakota’s only professional boat racer, having finished as high as fourth place in the National APBA tournament in Kankakee, Illinois—and totaled a boat or two along the way.

Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. While still in school, they participated in a humanitarian mission trip, along with twenty students and faculty members, to Vietnam to provide chiropractic care and aid. In Vietnam they and their fellow students provided care to over 3,500 patients in rural areas of southern Vietnam. Upon graduation, they returned to Mayville before settling in Grand Forks to open their own practice. Natalie's interaction with the Museum began when she volunteered at the Winter Gala while studying at UND. After returning to the area they became more active in NDMOA events and enjoy attending the Summer Concert Series as a family. According to Museum Director Laurel Reuter, “the Muths are

In everyday life, however, he is a legal investigator who handles

part of a wave of young professionals either growing up or

high profile cases involving corporate, civil, and criminal

moving into the region who are becoming core supporters of the

matters. He owns and operates Great Plains Claims, Inc., along

Museum. They and their children are the Museum’s future. I am

with his brother Reid, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. His work

so pleased to see this wonderful transition.”

routinely takes him across the Upper Midwest—a boon to his collecting and his need to acquire endless numbers of objects for making assemblages. Rolshoven is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Dakota with a degree in Business Administration. He has three children; his oldest daughter, Ashley, is a professional barrel racer living in Texas. Daughter Jensen and son Carsen attend school in Grand Forks.

Auction Committee Sadie Gardner Brian Goodman Chulita Goodman Katie Norby Sally Opp Maura Tanabe Kelly Thompson


Rules of the Auction

Each registered guest will receive a bidding card as part of

In 1999, the Museum held its inaugural Autumn Art Auction. This

the price of a ticket. Upon receiving the bidding card, each

was the first live auction of work by contemporary artists in North

guest will be asked to sign a statement vowing to abide by

Dakota and beyond. Our goal was to develop a buying audience

the Rules of the Auction listed in this catalog.

for our artists. Neither Museum staff nor the artists knew what

Absentee bidders will either leave their bids on an Absentee Bid Form with Museum personnel in person or by phone, or arrange to bid by phone the night of the auction. Absentee bidders, by filling out the form, agree to abide by the Rules of the Auction.

would happen. Would the auction be perceived as a place to pick up good work at rock-bottom prices? And yes, during those early years prices were often close to wholesale. The Museum’s faith in its audience, however, didn’t waver and gradually prices began to climb. Fortunately, our artists stayed with us.

Each bidder will use his or her own bidding number during

Today it seems that everyone is sponsoring sales and auctions,

the Auction.

strategically positioned before the Museum’s auction. Clearly we have been successful. Artists are making money—the Museum is

All sales are final.

In September 2002, the Office of the North Dakota State

to local artists to cover their walls have helped us, with Kim

Tax Commissioner determined that the gross receipts from

Holmes from Sanders leading the way. Best of all, young people

the sales made at the Auction are subject to sales tax of

are growing up expecting “real” art to be part of their lives.

6.75%. This does not apply to out-of-state buyers who have works shipped to them. •


From the Museum Director

covering expenses. Local non-chain restaurants owners who look

As you know, this auction set the precedent for paying artists before paying ourselves. We never ask artists to donate art—

In the event of a dispute between bidders, the auctioneer

although some do. These are the rules of the game: Artists set a

shall either determine the successful bidder or re-auction

minimum price, which they are guaranteed to receive. Work that

the item in dispute.

doesn’t reach minimum, is brought in by the Museum and

Purchasers may pay for items at any point following the

returned to the artist. Any amount over the reserve bid and the

sale of a work but must pay for all art work before the

Museum’s equal match is split 50/50 between the artist and the

conclusion of the evening—unless other arrangements are

Museum. For example: Reserve bid is $1,200. The work sells for

in place. Absentee bidders will be charged on the evening of

$1,395 and the artist receives $1,200 and the Museum receives

the Auction or an invoice will be sent the next business day.

$195. If the same work sells for $2,400, it is split evenly.

Works of art in the Auction have minimum bids placed on

Remember, when you buy through the Auction, the price

them by the artist. This confidential “reserve” is a price

includes framing or presentation. Frames are often custom made

agreed upon between the artist and the North Dakota

by the artists or the Museum staff who use archival materials. This

Museum of Art below which a work of art will not be sold.

adds significant value to most artworks, often as much as $400 in the Grand Forks market but considerably more elsewhere.

The Artists

The Museum

Listed by lot number

#34 Kelly Thompson

Others in the region have adopted our policy. Therefore, instead

#1 Mollie Douthit

#35 Trygve Olson

of always being asked to donate, artists can count on actual

#2 Warren MacKenzie

income from auctions. And, bless you for not forgetting that this

#3 Alana Bergstrom

is also a benefit for the Museum so you have been generous in

#4 The Oakes Twins

your bidding.

#5 Pirjo Berg

Each year we widen our pool of artists with ties to our audience,

#6 Dan Jones #7 Dan Jones

thus creating a richer environment for art to flourish. This year we

#8 Zhimin Guan

have artwork by artists who have had recent solo shows: the

#9 Kevin Flicker

Oakes Twins, Warren MacKenzie, Lena McGrath Welker, John

#10 Megan Brabec

Hitchcock, and Margaret Wall-Romana.

#11 Adam Kemp

We could not publish this catalog without the underwriting of

#12 Albert Belleveau #13 William Harbort

our sponsors. Please take your business to these companies and

#14 Matt Anderson

individuals, thank them for their significant contribution, and

#15 Duane Shoup

note how most are locally owned and operated. Sometimes they

#16 Duane Shoup

say, “I don’t care if I get an ad, I just want to give to you guys.”

$17 Guillermo Guardia

Supporting cultural life is not in the interest of most chains but

#18 Paul Barr

rather has become the business of the butcher, the baker and the

#19 Terry Jelsing

keeper of bees—and of Ellen McKinnon who buys her own ad

#20 Herman de Vries

because it pleases her. This year the Auction is underwritten by

#21 Herman de Vries

three individuals who have supported our programs for decades: Trustee Julie Blehm; Mark Stutrud, the Founding Owner of Summit Brewing in the Twin Cities but a native of North Dakota; and our own great lady, Ellen McKinnon. Thank you. —Laurel Reuter, Director Above left: Tim Schouten, Laurel Reuter, acrylic on canvas, 2012, 10 x 8 inches. (Upon seeing the painting, Reuter said, “I once had a painting of Sitting Bull, which I gave to United Tribes Technical College. Wonderful, I look just like Sitting Bull.”) Above right: Permanent Collection installed in the Museum. Left, Terence La Noue (France), Prosperous Voyage, 1991. Right, Georgia Papageorge, (South Africia), Barrier, 1988-89.

#22 Jack Dale #23 Margaret Wall-Romana #24 Margaret Wall-Romana #25 Michael Madzo #26 Timothy Ray #27 Robert Wilson #28 Laura Youngblood #29 Vivienne Morgan #30 Rustam & Rena Effendi #31 Walter Piehl

#36 Armando Ramos #37 Marley Kaul #38 Mike Lynch #39 Lena McGrath Welker #40 Tim Schouten #41 Keiko Hara #42 Meghan Duda #43 Meghan Duda #44 Jessica Matson-Fluto #45 Marlon Davidson & Don Knudson #46 Milena Marinov #47 Brian Paulsen #48 Butch Holden #49 John Colle Rogers #50 Emily Lunde #51 John Hitchcock #52 Barton Lidice Benes Listed by page number 3 Auctioneer Auction Chairs and Committee 4 Rules of Auction 5 Director’s Introduction 48 Barton Benes: Dance With the Gods 67 Kelly Thompson interviews Laurel Reuter Back cover, Trustees and Staff

#32 Nishiki Tayui #33 Carl Oltvedt


Lot #1

Mollie Douthit Grand Forks, North Dakota All the Clocks Stood Still, 2011 Oil and graphite on paper 22 x 30 inches (image) Range: $600 - 800 framed

Mollie Douthit was born and raised in Grand Forks,

consistency in which time passes. “All the Clocks Stood Still”

North Dakota. She graduated in painting from the University of

speaks of that moment of realization. The environments and

North Dakota in 2009, and two years later she received a Post

cultures that we live in are all constructed, along with behavior

Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art from the School of the

and attitudes. We live our lives through these structures, each

Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This fall she leaves for Burren

moment moving forward to the next day, place, goal, and

College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland to begin work on her

experience. As the days, places, goals, and experiences are

Master of Fine Arts degree. Douthit begins her paintings with a photograph. She says, Photographs, specifically personal snapshots, originates in personal relationships and experiences. The photograph isolates a piece of information from those experiences, allowing my memories to build around the visual starting point of a physical object, the photo. The paintings sourced from these photos build on the emotional weight that a photo carries as well as comments on its physical properties. In photographs, objects become

achieved, they are stored as memories and in our past, drifting ever further from us as time continues. Experiences are not always what is sought, rather to achieve storage of that experience. Memory: the need to hold something in the past when the present will never seem as bright, until it too becomes the past. As we retrieve and begin to remember places and things an overwhelming sense of past invades . . . nostalgia, the mirage of time that can never be grasped. I was influenced specifically for this auction work by the visual

shapes and forms that develop graphic, compositional elements

nature of Peter Doig’s works on paper and Mamma Andersson’s

rather than environmental factors of the space from which the

landscape paintings, using drawing to build up layers of oil

image was derived. Re-expression of these images is not intended

washes. The writings of Simon Shama have been influential in

to transport the viewer to experience the feelings of the

that memories become dictations of visual spaces as much as

photographer, subject, or place, but to begin an investigation of

their physical forms. This thought provides a space for new visual

relation to those people and places by taking the image out of its

representations of familiar places or snapshots, allowing the

original context.

mediums of painting to reveal the otherwise undernoted emotion

6 She continues, All moments are fleeting, and what remains is the

of these spaces.

Lot #2

Warren MacKenzie Stillwater, Minnesota Drop Rim Bowl, 2012 Stoneware, yellow, matte glaze 4.5 x 10.5 inch diameter Range: $200 - 250

Warren MacKenzie was born in 1924 and graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948, having taken several years off to fight in World War II. He married fellow-potter Alixandra and they set off for England to apprentice in the studio

After Alix’s death, MacKenzie continued to operate the pottery

of Bernard Leach for two years. When the couple returned from

while teaching at the University. He also tried to produce work

England, they established their pottery in the country near

that would fit into the average American home and priced it so

Stillwater, Minnesota. There they built a two chamber climbing

people can easily afford it. This carries on the tradition of

kiln, patterned after the one at the Leach Pottery, where they

Bernard Leach; although, MacKenzie has never had a catalog of

jointly produced functional stoneware until Alix’s death in 1962.

shapes such as the Leach Pottery had. Instead, he makes the pots

MacKenzie has been one of the major forces in the United States in establishing the aesthetic–philosophical credo of the functional potter based on his affinities with the Anglo-Oriental beliefs of Leach. MacKenzie’s wheel-thrown pots are fired in a reduction kiln—600 pots every six weeks still today.

that interest him and if people see work they like they can purchase it. This system allows for natural growth and change. Most of the 6,000 – 8,000 pots produced every year are until recently sold in a showroom at the studio. In addition, MacKenzie tries to have between two and six solo exhibitions in various ports of the world each year in order to spread his ideas

In a statement made some years back, MacKenzie outlined the

of personal expression tied to functional pottery. In 1984, he

basis of his belief: A pot must be made with an immediacy,

married Nancy, a fabric artist whose studio is above the pottery.

without unlimited change being possible, which is unique in the visual arts. For this reason each piece, in a sense, becomes a sketch or variation of an idea which may develop over hours, days, or months and requires up to several hundred pieces to come to full development. One pot suggests another, proportions are altered, curves are filled out or made more angular, a different termination or beginning of a line is tried—not

MacKenzie’s main interest is in the form and surface of the pots. Decoration, if used at all, is confined to poured glazes and simple brushwork. He is happiest when the gesture of the making can convey his feelings to the observer or user of the work. The pottery of Shoji Hamada and the Yi dynasty of Korea have been his main inspirations and influences.

searching for the perfect pot but exploring and making

According to the artist, Out of a kiln load of hundreds of pots

statements with the language at hand. From thousands of pots

only a few continue to ring true after several years. These are the

produced some few may sing. The others are sound stepping-

ones to learn from since they tap a source beyond the personal

stones to these high points and can also communicate between

and deal with universal experience. To assess these pieces, I rely

the artist and the user )Ceramics: Double Issue, 1958).

on intuition and feeling rather than intellectual argument and

MacKenzie taught at the University of Minnesota from 1953 until his retirement as Regents Professor Emeritus in 1990. During those years many strong potters were developed under his tutelage and some of the best have established their own studios

analysis. Some pots just feel right and a person who is open will know them. If given time to absorb the inner nature of the work and its maker, this person will share the creative act which produced the piece.

near Stillwater. Most are producing functional pottery and the

MacKenzie’s pots are simple, traditional wares, but they contain

region has, jokingly, become known as the Mingeisota, after the

a sense of importance. The best of them are among the finest

Mingei movement in Japan.

“straight” pots being made in the United States today.


Lot #3

Alana Bergstrom Baltimore, Maryland Untitled, 2011 Gouache, acrylic, and watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (image) Range: $400 - 500

Alana Bergstrom was born in Rapid City, South

I saw a lot of action. There was an attack and at least one truck

Dakota, where she lived until age ten when her mother died.

was hit. Mortars and shelling came from all around. Upon

After a stint in Warwick, North Dakota, on the Spirit Lake

returning to base, I would just run out of sheer joy of having

Reservation, she moved to Manistee, Michigan, where she stayed

survived a mission and still with legs. Painting was a release.

through her sophomore year in high school. She completed high

Painting was methodical, rhythmic. Painting gave me a way of

school in 2001 at Red River in Grand Forks while living with her

meditating and keeping my mind off what was going on outside

brother. She attended Massachusetts College of Art on full

the Combat Outlet Posts (small bases containing one squad).

scholarship, graduating in 2007. After her Boston experience,

Usually so small cooks or mechanics would be added to the

she returned to Grand Forks to live with her brother while

squad so there were enough people for a mission. There had to

preparing graduate school applications and her portfolio. Then, typical of this most untypical young woman, Alana Bergstrom joined the Army and became a member of the Military Police. Her reason: She needed to know more about life in order to become a really good artist. She turned out to be wonderfully successful, quickly climbing the military ladder.

be a certain number in order to go out on a mission. If that number couldn’t be reached there was no mission. Every day we went out; every day we saw action, and I would return to the barracks and paint to release the crippling anxiety. One became mechanical. I would have to turn it off. Painting released the fear. Always carried a weapon. Slept with a weapon. Being without it left me feeling naked and unsafe. The weapons were a big part of

Mannheim, Germany, May 25, 2011: 18th Military Police Brigade's Warrior/Warrior Leader of the Year competition.

daily life. They were inescapable. Painting allowed me to separate from the weapons, violence, and war.

Spc. Alana Bergstrom, a military police soldier with the 527th MP Company, 709th MP Battalion from Grand Forks, ND, was

Colors: Very bright and child-like. The colors reflect the pureness

named Warrior of the Year.

of a child. Not necessarily Afghan children, as they have lost their

Deployed to Afghanistan, she spent her time training officers to work in the communities to establish peace. She finished her military service and applied to art schools. She was accepted twice—in two different divisions—at the Maryland Institute College of Art. And across town and as an officer, she is teaching full-time in the ROTC program at John Hopkins University. Alana’s painting in the auction was done while in Afghanistan. 8 About it she says, It was a hot time as far as military action goes.

childhood very early. The colors reflect the innocence of children in general or the perception of childhood innocence. The colors in this painting wanted to be bright and alive. Colors were used as a reaction to what took place outside the COP. The opposite of the blood, dust, machines of the outside world. Painting separated me from what happened. It provided the outlet that kept me sane. This painting tells that story.

The Oakes Twins were raised variously in Colorado,

Lot #4

Wisconsin, Scotland, Virginia, and then West Virginia. Trevor and Ryan were drawn to artistic expression from the start. Their early occupation with seeing independently netted both of the twins full scholarships to Cooper Union in New York, New York, which they entered in 2000. They continue to live in New York City.

The Oakes Twins New York, New York Evergreen Cemetery in Ridgewood, New York, late winter 2011 Digital print from the original drawing

Having collaborated on various visual explorations since the age

pigmented color markers on concave cotton paper

of three, identical twin artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes made a

Vitrine housing drawing 25.75 x 27.25 x 10.75 inches

startling discovery about how to render perspectival images on

Concave image 25 inches diagonal

the inner surface on a sphere. Their discovery was all the more

Range: $3,500 - 4,500

intriguing in the light of recent controversy surrounding David Hockney’s thesis about the use of spherical lenses in making perspective drawings in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

concave drawing and produced an enlarged version engraved

Hockney concluded that those early painters were using

onto a six-by-six foot metal armature, which was displayed right

concave mirror-lens, the camera obscura, and the camera lucida.

there along side “the Bean” in Millennium Park. The work now

Now in their late twenties, the twins have developed a

resides in Terminal 2, O’Hara International Airport in Chicago.

remarkable new method for tracing the world before them onto

Their work is characterized by an in-depth investigation of light,

a curved surface, completely freehand and by eye alone. This

vision, and the interplay between the visual cortex and the

method has been described, by no less an authority than

human retina. Their technique relies on human vision formed by

Columbia University’s perceptual historian Jonathan Crary, as

two eyes merging two images in the brain. Using a special easel

one of the most original breakthroughs in the rendering of visual

with a concave surface, plus a headset to keep the artist’s head

space since the Renaissance.

exactly in place, they simultaneously view the paper in the

Subsequently, they have used their new method to draw such things and places as the Great Hall of the Field Museum in Chicago, their alma mater Cooper Union from a nearby engineering building rooftop, the Pacific Ocean off the Santa

foreground with one eye and the background with the other. This action forms a “ghost image” of their chosen subject that floats over the paper. The image is then traced onto strips of paper inside the easel resulting in the finished drawing.

Monica Pier, and several sites in Florence, Italy, including the

The Oakes Twins exhibited their work at the North Dakota

Palazzo Strozzi Museum, the Duomo, and the Palazzo Vecchio.

Museum of Art in August/September 2012. The show was curated

They made a monumental drawing of Anish Kapoor’s landmark

by Lawrence Weschler for CUE in New York before coming to

Chicago sculpture Cloud Gate. They subsequently took that

North Dakota. Weschler’s text is quoted in part in this essay.


Lot #5

Pirjo Berg Grand Forks, North Dakota January 25th, 2010 Oil on canvas 60 x 48 inches Range: $1,200 - 1,500

Pirjo Berg suggests that color, texture, and shape are at the

affiliate by critic Gary Faigin (2008); and a three-person exhibit

core of her paintings, which are inspired by the lines, repetition,

at Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum (2007). Commissions

texture, and geometric forms she sees in the familiar and mostly

include one by the NBBJ (architecture firm) for Valley Medical

Finnish textiles she lives with in her home. The rhythms,

Center in Renton, Washington, and another by the Max-Hotel.

contrasts, and lines of January 25, 2010 reinforce the idea of

(Seattle artists each created work for one guest room. Catalog

textile just as her thick application of paint is tactile, beckoning

produced.) She was invited on the curatorial team for “Nordic

the viewer to touch.

Artists Northwest,” an invitational exhibit at the Nordic Heritage

This Finnish artist was born in Helsinki and grew up there. She moved to Seattle in 1991 with her geologist husband, returned to art school in Finland from 1996-2000, and rejoined her husband in Seattle in 2000 after graduating with a BFA in painting from the School of Art and Media, Tampere, Finland. In 2005 she studied with the EDGE Program, Artist Trust, Seattle. Career highlights include the six-person exhibition “Paint Local” at North Dakota Museum of Art (2009); a solo show in Seattle’s 10 Gallery 63Eleven, which was reviewed on NPR’s Washington

Museum, and Convergence–Ballard Building C Artists (where she maintained a studio and helped develop the Ballard ArtWalk). In August 2010, Berg opened a two-person exhibition at the Vanhan Suurtorin Galleria, Turku, Finland. Spring 2010, she was the featured artist selected by the North Dakota Council on the Arts for a solo show in the Governor’s Office in Bismarck. Berg was included in the 2012 Fargo Plains Museum’s “Art on the Plains XI” juried exhibition.

Lot #6

Dan Jones Fargo, North Dakota Bird House by Red River, 2010 Woodcut 14 x 11 inches Range: $600 - 800

Dan Jones will open a solo exhibition of recent drawings at the North Dakota Museum of Art February 9, 2012

Dan Jones, who lives and works in Fargo, is among North Dakota’s few artists able to make a living from their art. He has long practiced plein aire painting, gathering with a group of fellow artists and going to the countryside to sketch and paint. The landscape of the Red River basin provides him with endless subjects. In the summer of 2007, Jones joined fellow plein aire painters Carl Oltvedt and Robert Crow at the Plains Art Museum in the exhibition “Personal Journeys on Common Ground.”

Lot #7

Dan Jones Fargo, North Dakota Hydrangea, 2012 Charcoal and conte on paper

On April 7, 2009, Dan suffered an aneurysm. He was airlifted to

8 x 9 inches (image)

the University of Minnesota hospital where he stayed until May

19.5 x 19.5 inches (framed)

1st. After a month at Sanford Health, Fargo, he was admitted to a

Range: $600 - 800

skilled nursing facility specializing in brain trauma rehabilitation located in Mandan, North Dakota. Due to the severity of his injury, Dan was unable to pick up a paint brush or a pencil for a long time. Finally, however, he has fully recovered. According to Reuter, “Dan has returned to painting with renewed vigor and deeply-felt gratefulness for another chance at life. I have always been a big fan of his drawing, considering him one of the best in the entire region, especially with charcoal. Recently, I challenged him, ‘Dan, I will give you a solo drawing exhibition,’ to which he replied, ‘Okay.’” His exhibition opens in conjunction with the Museum’s Benefit Dinner on February 7, 2012. The artist’s paintings are included in many museum, corporate, and private collections including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, and the Rourke Art Museum, Moorhead, Minnesota.


Lot #8

does during our snow-filled northern winters. The landscape of the Red River Valley is absolutely flat and goes on and on,

Zhimin Guan

completely circling the viewer. Guan created a diptych painting

Moorhead, Minnesota

wherein the image isn’t hinged and doesn’t exactly meet in the

Snowscape: Red River, 2011

middle. Instead two landscapes echo each other as they float

Oil on metal

near each other.

Diptych, each 26 x 36 x 2 inches

Zhimin Guan was born in China in 1962. He started to paint

Range: $1,100 - 1,300

when he was nine years old, influenced by his father, Chintian

Zhimin Guan: For the last few years, I have been experimenting with creating landscape paintings on various surfaces and scales. My intention has been to blend traditional landscape painting with expressionism, conceptualism, and the aesthetics of Oriental philosophy. Each summer I return to China, where a couple of years ago I began to paint the streets and traditional houses of my childhood home in Anhui. This past summer I participated in an artist residence near the southwest corner of China, between Yunan and Sichuan provinces, Lugu lake areas, Xichang City. I had never been here before. This region is covered by a series of huge mountains (about 900 square miles of forests and mountains) and 9,800 feet above sea level. One must drive ten hours to reach another city about 300 miles apart on circled mountain roads. It is

very beautiful,

breath-taking, seems dangerous when riding on the charter bus. There are thirty-five artists from China and the US painting everyday. It was co-organized by Dantang Museum in Xichang and Blue Roof Gallery in Sichuan province. Temperatures were 50-65 degrees. It was the greatest learning, painting, and traveling experience ever. (Guan is on the far right in the picture to right.) This Chinese landscape will certainly creep into Guan’s paintings. Guan’s work in the auction, however, was painted in the Red River Valley during winter. It represents Guan’s experimentation with painting on metal whereby he suggests a 12 richer, vaguely phosphorescent light to bath the landscape as it

Guan, a traditional Chinese calligrapher and ink painter. Guan received rigorous training in calligraphy and traditional ink painting before he was fifteen years old. At the same time, he developed a strong interest in the Chinese philosophy of Taoism and in ancient Chinese poetry. During his BFA studies at Fuyang Teachers College in China, he concentrated on oil painting and again received intensive training in drawing and painting in the Western classical style. From 1985 to 1994, he taught painting, drawing, and design at Dalian Institute of Industrial Design in Dalian, China. Besides teaching, Guan devoted himself to his art practice. Then in the spring of 1995, Guan moved to the United States. Since 1998, he has been a professor of art and design at Minnesota State University Moorhead and visiting professor at China Dalian University of Technology, School of Art and Architecture, Anhui Normal University; School of Art, in Wuhu, Anhui Province; and the Dalian International Institute of Art and Design, among others.

Megan Brabec: I was raised in Elk River, Minnesota, and moved to Moorhead area in order to pursue education in fine arts at Moorhead State University. Even though creating art has been dear to my heart for years, I am now studying fine art with an emphasis in painting. I focus on the psychological aspects of human interactions by placing our emotions in universal situations. In order to successfully achieve this study, I question the viewer’s perspective by creating double images and/or surrounding the human form in infinite space.

I created this painting in particular to address a personal relationship that lasted throughout all of my teen years. The subjects are children who portray our child-like beliefs and disconnections to the adult world. Also, the figures are formed Lot #10

overlapping each other in order to express the conformity of people’s actions. Finally and most importantly, the cylinder tube

megan Brabec

the boy holds is a manifestation of the memories and invested

Elk River, Minnesota

years that can only to be held in the past. Megan was recommended for the auction by her painting

Things Aren’t What They Seem, 2012 Oil on canvas

professor Zhimin Guan.

18 x 24 inches Range: $250 - 350

Kevin Flicker graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris, in 1974 with degrees in Psychology and English. Afterwards he followed an irrepressible interest in ceramics by enrolling in numerous classes to develop his skill. In 1985 he sought out an apprenticeship with Richard Bresnahan at the Saint John’s Pottery. In 1987 he returned to the University of Minnesota, Morris, as a ceramic instructor, a position he has held since. In 2001 he received a Distinguished Teaching Award and many of his students have successfully entered graduate programs, residencies, and apprenticeships. Kevin exhibits frequently, and his works have been featured in twenty-six solo and group shows in the last decade. Kevin’s passion is to create high-quality, functional ceramics— Lot #9

vases, cups—from local materials. His quiet, unassuming wares are surprisingly elegant. Their profiles are inevitably clean and

Kevin Flicker

strong, and their surfaces are often adorned with glassy green-

Morris, Minnesota

gold rivulets of glaze that he creates from local clays and wood

Lidded Bell Jar, 2000

ash. Glaze and iron-rich slip also accentuate Kevin’s adept

Woodfired stoneware

carving of natural motifs on some of his pieces, reflecting his love

16 x 17 inch diameter

of his native Minnesota and the Midwest prairie.

Range: $400 - 500


Lot #11

Adam Kemp Grand Forks, North Dakota Moocow, 2012 Acrylic on paper 48.5 x 61 inches (framed) Range: $1,400 - 2,000

Adam Kemp: I have been looking for a new way to bring

from earlier paintings. Drawing has always been the foundation

figurative work into my expressionist work. Subject wise, I want

of my painting but now it is becoming the painting. If evolving

to incorporate our current “boom” life in North Dakota into our

style is part of one’s story—and it certainly is mine—how does

imaginative life. Consider for example, the oil boom and the

one stop? In these paintings, realism is not the whole story.

surrounding support industries. In the northern Red River Valley, there is the escalating presence of drones as part of the booming

I find myself reaching out as well as reaching in. I don’t want to

unmanned aircraft systems. This is extending across our whole

be a total clown but I can still enjoy wearing clown’s shoes.

border with Canada as the Border Patrol takes up drones for surveillance. Cattle prices are good. The regional agricultural

Kemp was born in Ugley, Essex, England. He received a BFA from

field is mostly doing well.

Newcastle upon Tyne in 1986. His studies were based in the rigorous learning of technique and art history. He came to Grand

I have been making paintings of cows for the last few years—a

Forks to work on the casting of the sculpture that stands on the

cow is emerging from the dense drawing strokes in this auction

northwest corner of University Park, having studied bronze

work. Because all of the booms except unmanned aircraft are

casting in Italy. He stayed to earn his MFA from the University of

highly dependent upon water, I believe water will be my next

North Dakota in 1989. Kemp considers himself “mostly” North

subject coupled with the changing landscape of western North

Dakotan and certainly American, a consideration shared by US

Dakota that is driven by water.

immigration. Over the last two years, Kemp mounted a solo show in Grand Forks at the Third Street Gallery and continued with his

Kemp’s acrylic painting Drone was named Best in Show at the

annual exhibitions at Frank and Lucy Matejcek’s barn north of

2012 Pekin Days Art Show. It was made in the drawing style of

Grand Forks. His workshops with teens and children are in great

this Auction painting Moocow. About these two works, Kemp

demand throughout the region, including the week-long sessions

says, I have been returning to earlier studies and artwork to feed

through the Museum’s Summer Art Camps.

14 the new paintings while also going back and letting go of stuff

Driftwood Patricia Conner Bones of trees, washed up on the lake shore, disassembled and put together again, have not lost their sinew. They are mine. I am a woman, every knowing woman. My right arm curves out to a sharp elbow spur. In my youth, I was tempted to let it speak justice for me. Now my lower lip juts forward. You will listen to my words. My fingers, shaped like spindles, can claw, caress, and cover my swollen belly. I am everlastingly pregnant. My sons, grown now, and long since scattered, do not remember. My pelvic cradle does not forget. My cheeks are hollowed with my own hunger, but my breasts are burls of curvature containing all fulfillment for others. My eyes, suspended knotholes, see far into your future, far into my past. My hair, once cascading spills of silk

Lot #12

embroidery floss, has thinned to four stiff wooden tresses. Seduction is no longer my duty.

Albert Belleveau Poposky, Minnesota

My legs are layered muscle. I have walked

Expecting from the Knotty Girl Series, 2008

ten thousand miles on my journey.

Driftwood knots

Their sculptured hardness will not belie

70 x 33 x 12 inches

my tale.

Range: $2,000 - 3,000

My left arm, tired of hanging onto men, has lost the ulna, radius, and hand.

Albert Belleveau: We make art to see better. I look at

It is now a wing.

my world realizing that things are never what they seem on the surface. The art that results personifies this openness and mystery,

My feet are gone. I do not walk. I fly.

as I attempt to record the myriad of paradox that I see as I journey through and beyond this realm of space and time. What I'm really feeling with my stick and stone sculptures is the merging of the human spirit with the organic materials of our creation. The

Poem and Belleveau’s image published in 20 x 20: Art & Words, 2008, for a project sponsored by the Jackpine Writers’ Block with funding from Region 2 Arts Council, Bemidji.

human form shaped of the duff we often overlook leads us to the excitement of "seeing the new in the familiar" and all art is simply "SEEING" better.


Lot #13

William Charles harbort aka Billy chuck Minot, North Dakota Wild Heart, 2012 Mixed-media collage with cast resin 38 x 26 inches with artist-painted frame Range: $700 - 900

William Charles Harbort, a.k.a. Billy Chuck, is

investigation become an important part of the viewing

originally from New York City where he worked as a commercial

experience. Love, true-love, lust, temptation, luck, loss, life, and

artist, a package designer for a major cosmetics company, an art

death are recurring subject matters in his work.

director for a children’s educational software company, and an automotive magazine illustrator. Harbort is currently a professor in the art department at Minot State University. Happy with his life in North Dakota and with teaching, he says, Being a college professor has provided me the opportunity to explore painting; my commercial art background taught me the importance of marketing, sales, and hustle. Harbort has an active exhibition record and regularly shows in many “lowbrow� art galleries. His painting is often inspired by pop culture and bits of ephemera. Paint-by-numbers, coupons, and clip art are just a few ingredients often found in our visual culture and in his art. Bill is fascinated with individual ingredients and the infinite messages that can be expressed by combining and juxtaposing them through collage. It is through their relationship that he discovers 16 meaning and expresses thought. Allusion, suggestion, and

Harbort is known for his generosity, his belief that ordinary people should be able to afford his paintings, his wife, boys and greyhounds, and for founding NOTSTOCK, a rollicking three-day event where students and pros come together to produce posters, print editions, and experiments in silk screening. They are joined by some of the hottest modern, alternative, and local rock bands. At the heart of it all is Billy Chuck, an associate professor of graphic arts at Minot State, who knocks out silkscreen posters with the best of them. Harbort is one of six artists included in the North Dakota Museum of Art collaboration on Spirit Lake Reservation. Funded by the Rauschenberg Foundation, the artists are charged with creating work about contemporary life in this mixed-race, present-day community.

Lot #14

Matt Anderson Grand Forks, North Dakota Clara the Rhinoceros Returns Pen, ink, colored pencil, and graphite on paper, 2012 30 x 40 inches Range: $700 - 900

Matt Anderson: Clara the Rhinoceros Returns is

purported that she had a fondness for beer and tobacco. The

inspired by Albrecht Durer’s sixteenth-century woodcut “The

image of the rhinoceros changed in the public’s perception.

Rhinoceros” and several paintings and engravings of the famous

Paintings by artists such as Jean-Baptist Oudry and Pietro Longhi

eighteenth-century rhinoceros named Clara.

portrayed Clara more realistically. The armor softened, the dragon scales were lost, and the extra horns vanished. Clara was kept on

The early 1515 woodcut by Durer depicts an image of a

display and toured until she died of old age.

rhinoceros that the artist didn’t actually see. The woodcut was created from a description of a rhinoceros that was a gift to Pope

I imagine Clara the Rhinoceros returning to a fictitious future

Leo X from the King of Portugal. Durer’s rhino has fantastic

world, a world that’s been fully explored and constructed. Video

riveted armor covering its upper body, a short twisted horn

cameras survey the city canyons, strange technological devices

protruding from its shoulders, and beautiful scales covering its

whir and hum, antennas and radio transmitters are steadily

legs. Unfortunately, the Pope never received his gift. The cargo-

sending and receiving mysterious signals. Clara returns to this

ship carrying spices and the shackled rhino sank off the coast of

world with a radio collar on her neck, brilliant scales, and

Italy in 1516. Albrecht Durer’s The Rhinoceros was referenced as

fantastic armor. In this modern fustian world, the larger-than-life

an accurate image well into the 18th century.

rhinoceros is unable to move without knocking something over.

Later, in the mid-18th century, a rhinoceros named Clara became

Matt Anderson grew up in the countryside near Gackle, North

a famous sensation in Europe. Clara’s mother was killed by a

Dakota. He received his BA from Northern State University in

hunting party and the orphaned rhino was claimed by the

2004 and graduated in August 2009 with his MFA from the

director of the Dutch India Trading Company. Clara was then

University of North Dakota. His work is in private and public

gifted or sold to a ship’s captain and taken to Rotterdam where

collections within the region including the North Dakota

she was put on display. She was the first rhino in Europe to catch

Museum of Art which acquired two monumental, 34.5 x 85 inch

the public’s attention since Albrecht’s woodcut. Clara had a

drawings from his MFA thesis exhibition. They were both hand

custom made cart in which she travelled, visiting kings, queens,

drawn with Adobe Illustrator and printed on archival

and prominent aristocracy. She also had a special diet, and it was

Hahnemüuhle fine art paper.


Lot # 15

Duane Shoup Shevlin, Minnesota Coffee Table, 2012 Walnut 17 x 48 x 16 inches Range: $700 - 900

Duane Shoup, grandson of a carpenter, grew up in Maryville, Indiana, south of both Gary and Chicago. By his late twenties, he felt the urge to break out so he went fishing in Minnesota. This self-taught furniture maker ended up buying forty acres near the small town of Shevlin, building a house and all its furnishings, and embedding himself in Northern Minnesota deep woods. Here he could find the hardwoods he needed to establish his studio, Wildwood Rustic Furnishings. Shoup says, I use only renewable woods—oak, ash, cherry, walnut, maple, and pine as well as downed and damaged trees that showcase the color and featured wood grains only nature can produce.

Lot # 16

Inspiration for my work flows from the natural world all around me and the north woods I call home. Each log, slab, twig,

Duane Shoup

bentwood, or free-form composition represents materials

Shevlin, Minnesota

purposefully selected on site and processed at my own mill,

End table, 2012

giving me complete control of the creative process from forest to


final form. Finished pieces preserve the force of nature in

20 x 19 x 21 inches

furnishings and have the potential to become family heirlooms.

Range: $400 - 550

He follows in the footsteps of Sam Maloof who also created his own private world where he made furniture masterpieces known for their simplicity and practicality. As his own master, Shoup does what he wishes, challenges his already-formidable skills, handles beautiful woods, and makes a living in the process. Sometimes he incorporates the bark into the design, sometimes he strips the bark away to achieve a more polished work as in the 18 tables in the Auction.

Advice from Duane Shoup: If you buy a table, take it home and wax the surface. Sam Maloof developed the finish I used on the table: equal parts of polyurethane varnish, tung oil, and linseed oil. You add the final wax.

Lot #17

Guillermo Guardia Grand Forks, North Dakota APU, 2011 Ceramics 26 x 16 x 10 inches Range: $1,500 - 2,500

Guillermo Guardia (Memo) was born in Lima, Peru, in 1975. He hails from an ancient pre-Colombian ceramic tradition. From the time he was little he was steeped in the images and materials of those early potters. In particular, he loved the work of the Mochica culture, a pre-Incan civilization that flourished on the northern coast of Peru from about 200 BC to 600 AD, known especially for its pottery vessels modeled into naturalistic human and animal figures. Apu is one of the newest sculptures in the puzzle pieces series. Apu is Quechua word for God of the Mountain. Quechua is the native language spoken in the Andes of Peru and other locations in South America. The very first figure in this series was filled with these puzzle pieces. It was the sculpture of the entire body of a man holding a single piece in his hand as if pondering where it fit or where it came from. According to Memo, “perhaps the image of the puzzle piece came from a childhood memory as I remember my sister always playing with puzzles, something that was beyond my abilities and patience.” Most of us have felt the sensation of something missing and not knowing what it is. We have felt that uncomfortable feeling of emptiness and are unable to describe it. The puzzle pieces represent those little parts of everyone’s life that shape us as human beings. Guardia came to North Dakota in 2002 to pursue his MFA in ceramics at the University of North Dakota. He also obtained his MS in Industrial Technology from UND. Now he works at the NOrth Dakota Museum of Art as the artist in residence. He is a studio member of Muddy Waters Clay Center in Grand Forks, where he keeps working in his own art. Memo has been included in many renown juried art exhibits through the country.


All proceeds from this sale go to the North Dakota Museum of Art for enhancement of its collection. Lot #18

Paul E. Barr 1892 - 1954 Scoria Road, 1937 Oil on Masonite Panel 18 x 24 inches Range: $1,000 - 1,500 (framed)

Paul E. Barr saw and painted many scenes of North

In 1928, Barr was appointed the first Chairman of the Art

America and Europe between the time he left the Tipton County

Department at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, a

(Indiana) farm where he was born (1892) and raised, to the time

position he held until his death in 1953. In December 1938,

he died of a stroke in Grand Forks, where he had served twenty-

thirty-one of Barr’s fifty-six Badlands paintings were exhibited in

five years as Chairman of the Art Department at the University of

Memorial Hall of the North Dakota State Capitol Building in

North Dakota. During his career, he painted in more than half of

Bismarck. Described by then–Governor William Langer as a

the states in America and in more than ten foreign countries. He

“visual record of one of the state’s greatest scenic assets,” the

maintained studios in New York City, Paris, Colorado, and

paintings had such titles as Breaks of the Little Missouri, East Rim:

Indiana and attended eight different colleges and universities

Painted Canyon, Teddy Roosevelt’s Horsepasture Road, and

including the Art Institute of Chicago; Sorbonne University of

Ranchhouse in the Badlands. When parts of the exhibit toured in

Paris; and the universities of Colorado, Chicago, and Indiana.

the East, viewers were said to have expressed surprise at the

Subjects of his paintings included the architecture and

organized pattern of light, shade, texture, and vivid colors (such

landscapes of Holland, Switzerland, and Mexico, along with

as blue skies, purple rocks, scoria-colored buttes, and green

rivers, woodlands, southwestern landscapes, and national parks

plateaus) that Barr used as well as disbelief that such scenery

and mountain ranges, such as the Rockies, Grand Tetons,

existed. The scenes were all too real, however, to those who were

Catskills, Alps, and Tyrolese Alps. During the summer of 1938,

familiar with them.

Barr spent six weeks and traveled 2,000 miles in North Dakota’s Badlands to produce fifty-six paintings of the area.

cerebral hemorrhage as the result of a stroke. His work lives on,

Something of a prodigy, at the age of eleven he exhibited in the

though, in private collections all over the country, including that

Louisiana Purchase Exposition at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, and

of the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, the

in 1916 he became an annual exhibitor at the John Herron

North Dakota Museum of Art, and the North Dakota Governor’s

Galleries in Indianapolis. He painted steadily, exhibiting his work

Office. His book North Dakota Artists, a collection of

in the Marshall Fields department store and the Hoosier Salon

biographical sketches on notable visual artists from North

and Galleries in Chicago; the Indiana Artists Club and Pettis

Dakota, was published posthumously in 1954.

Galleries in Indianapolis; the Fort Wayne Art Museum; the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida; the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; and Rockefeller Center in New York City, among other places. 20

Barr died in late 1953 at the age of sixty-one, having suffered a

Barr was also a lecturer, teacher, illustrator, and poet. He served as State Chairman for American Art Week, has been added to the Honor Roll of the American Artist Professional League, and coauthored with Eugene Myers the art textbook Creative Lettering.

Lot #19

Terry Jelsing Rugby, North Dakota Messed up Bagels, December 2004 Graphite on paper 6.75 x 11.75 inches (image) Range: $450 - 550 framed

Terry Jelsing, a native North Dakotan, creates art that is

After graduate school, Jelsing taught multimedia courses at the

spiritually tied to the prairie landscape. He says, Although my

University of North Dakota, served as director of Beall Park Arts

work often references a common place shared by people who

Center in Bozeman, Montana, and became curator and then

live in rural environments, I am more concerned with exposing

Director of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. Later

the internal and private environments of one’s life. I try to make


the viewer aware of common, universal relationships by

transformation of an historic International Harvester branch

depicting this energy in painting, sculpture, and drawings.

house into an award-winning arts facility.

Born December 10, 1954, in Rugby, North Dakota, Jelsing’s

In 2000, Jelsing established Eye In the Heart Studio in Fargo and

artistic abilities appeared at an early age. By the time he

began teaching art and design at North Dakota State University.

graduated from Rugby High School he had several public

In 2006, he relocated his studio to Rugby while teaching art at

commissions to his credit. Before enrolling in the BFA program

Rugby High School. In 2011, he left teaching to work full time as

at the University of North Dakota, he completed a three-year

an artist. His studio is a former granary on his family’s original

tour of duty with the Army in Europe. He later returned to Europe

homestead outside of Rugby, where he lives with his wife Cathy.







to study at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria, where he was strongly influenced by the German expressionists.

Jelsing is one of six artists included in the North Dakota Museum

In 1986 he completed his MFA at the University of New Mexico.

of Art collaboration on Spirit Lake Reservation. Funded by the

During that time he was part of the first American post-modernist

Rauschenberg Foundation, the artists are charged with creating

movement, experimenting with time-art studies and conceptual

work about contemporary life in this mixed-race, present-day

projects. His graduate exhibition, “Circus for Matthew,” received


national media coverage and was published in Artspace.


it a day later a few miles away, the motor gone and the boat shot full of holes. Due to the foam in the hull, however, the boat refused to sink, and the thieves just left it in the swamp. She sounded so disgusted in her interview. ‘Who would do that to an

Herman de Vries: There was flooding in Manitoba that

old lady like me?’ It definitely was a miserable and cowardly

started in the spring of 2011 that went on and on. The floods

thing to do to her, but her friends and neighbors helped her get

were caused by huge amounts of snow and rain. Hundreds of

out a little while longer until the flood water receded.

homes and cottages were affected by the wind and resulting waves and thousands of people were required to move out.

Now, the tree: My uncle planted a long row of Manitoba maples (box elder trees) on the property back in the 1920s, and they are

I got a phone call one day from my brother. He said, ‘CJOB radio

now beautiful, huge trees. All the water had loosened the soil,

is interviewing Lena.’ Lena is my cousin, who was born on the

though, and one of them with a giant branch hanging off the side

ship as her family (mom, dad, aunt, and little brother) immigrated

simply toppled over. When I heard about the tree I was

to Canada in the 1920s to hear her say that when her mom and

immediately interested in acquiring some of it, and called Lena

dad (my uncle and aunt) homesteaded in Canada, they settled on

to see if I could.

the south shores of Lake Dauphin, about six miles west of where I would find her. Now in her 80s, Lena still lives in that same yard. A beautiful site, but a bit out of the way. Lena is a widow, and the flooding literally cut off every access to

When I arrived in Lena's yard, this is what I saw. The magnificent old tree stood proud for more than eighty years. In many ways the trees were like my uncle who had planted them and his daughter—both tall, proud and tough as nails. As a young man

her place. For a while, her cousin (my brother) would come and

well over six feet tall, my uncle had been a bodyguard for Kaiser

get her out with his ATV, and then someone was generous


enough to lend her a small boat and motor so she could go to her southern neighbor where she had her car parked. This was working pretty well. The spry and determined eighty-plus woman would go out, get into the boat, start the motor, and be off. 22 Then, one day someone stole the boat. She and her friend found

The rest of the tree had already been cut up and was lying off to the side, and the trunk that was left was about 14 inches long. The stump still attached to the ground was a crotch in the tree and measured about 28” wide by 48” long. Cutting it up was a big job but this was the wood I used for the pieces in the Auction.

Far Left: Lot #20

Herman de Vries Winnipeg, Manitoba Manitoba Maple Vase, 2012 Manitoba Maple or Box Elder wood 16 x 11 inch diameter Range: $1,700 – 2,100

Near Left: Lot #21

Herman de Vries Winnipeg, Manitoba Bleached Manitoba Maple Vase, 2012 Manitoba Maple or Box Elder wood 16 x 16 x 4 inches Range: $1,000 - 1,500

Lot # 22

Jack Dale: I am an abstract expressionist painter who

Jack Dale

primarily works with oil on a variety of surfaces. My process is

Cannon Falls, Minnesota

spontaneous, intuitive, and reactive. My work is the result of this

Map, 2012

process coupled with a lifetime of experience.

Oil on canvas

Painting, for me, is all about texture, color, composition, line,

40 x 40 inches

movement, positive/negative space, etc. All the elements that go

Range: $1,400 - 1,900 (framed)

into making a painting that “works” whatever your style might be. It’s not about landmarks, narrative, or recognizable imagery. It’s about creating something that viewers can relate to on an emotional level through their visual experiences. I want the viewers to remember my paintings for the feelings that they evoke rather than for what they might represent.

connection became more real when I embraced the idea of “calmness within chaos.” As a hockey player, one wanted to get to this psychological state as soon as possible during a game. The sooner you reached this state, you stopped worrying about what you wanted to do on the ice, what opposing players had on their

The chaos that I experience while painting is like being in the

agenda. You forgot about the crowd, the possibility of making

painting. Being surrounded by paint, brush strokes, scrapings,

mistakes, and the significance of the game. You, in effect,

and layers in an environment that is ever changing. I have

removed yourself from these distractions. You were then able to

learned to exist calmly within this chaos which allows me to

play in a completely spontaneous and reactive way. All your

interact with the painting as it pulls and pushes me along the

talents were then manifested.

path to completion.

Painting is similar for me. Once I envelope myself

I have always thought that there is a connection with my past life

psychologically in a painting, my abilities all seem to come out

as a hockey player and my present life as an artist. The



Margaret Wall-Romana is a painter who engages with the long history of her medium, with influences as varied as fifteenth to seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish painting, Mannerism, the Hudson River School, Abstract Expressionism, and Color Field painting. In a San Francisco Chronicle review of ”The Spaces,” Wall-Romana’s 2007 exhibition, Kenneth Baker noted that “a viewer senses her constantly marveling as she rediscovers Western painting’s ultimate strangeness and the achievements that have sprung from it.” Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, the artist moved to Minneapolis seven years ago. She holds a BA from the University of California, Davis, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her 2011 exhibition at the North Dakota Museum of Art, “Taking Time,” referred to the temporal layering of large and complexly orchestrated works, as well as to the amount of time it takes the Lot #23

Margaret Wall-Romana Minneapolis, Minnesota The Last of the Roses, 2012 Oil and acrylic on Baltic birch panel 20 x 20 inches Range: $1,700 - 2,500

Lot #24

Margaret Wall-Romana Minneapolis, Minnesota Flora Clot Suite, 2004 Oil and acrylic on Plexiglas with rock maple frames Each 24 x 19 inches Range: $3,500 - 4,500


Michael Madzo’s artwork is sponsored by the Grand Forks Herald Lot #25

Michael Madzo Excelsior, Minnesota A Shapely Consolation, 2011 Machine stitched and painted paper 18.5 x 12.25 inches Range: $800 - 1,200 (framed)

Margaret Wall-Romana’s work is sponsored by All Seasons Garden Center Michael Madzo: According to Los Angeles dealer, Darrel Couturier, there is an unmistakable air of mystery to the collage paintings of Michael Madzo. This enigmatic ambiance Margaret Wall-Romana — cont.

suggests the atmosphere of Marc Chagall and the visual

viewer to fully absorb them. The work in the auction, The Last of

construction of Picasso. But Madzo’s work is original and unique

the Roses, comes from this large series. Her juxtaposition of

in terms of both method and substance. Madzo takes art history

varied painting techniques and seemingly contradictory attitudes

as his literal material and starting point, cutting up reproductions

toward abstraction versus representation invites a quizzical kind

of classic paintings and reassembling or “suturing” their visual

of viewing: one feels almost compelled to step forward to query

elements back together in faintly disturbing and dreamlike

the paintings. Standing where the artist stood when she applied

configurations which he then paints over with deft matching of

the paint, the viewer becomes engaged in her working process,

color, values, and textures. A blatant and poetic device of the

completing it by enacting the paintings in his or her own way.

artist is to stitch on a sewing machine the disparate patches of the

Mary Abbe of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, while describing the

original cutout sections. This Frankenstein touch reinforces both

elements of time in her work, referred to Wall-Romana this way:

the visual trickery and the meaning behind these tantalizing and

“Working in a stylistic fusion of abstraction and illustrative detail,

elusive images. There is also something monstrous about this

she everywhere commingles earth and air, renewal and decay,

stitchery. It is a poetic affront to the spectator, an insistence upon

life and death.” The larger work on Plexiglas in the auction is the

an apparently necessary honesty, and an important reference to

precursor of “Taking Time.”

the assembled and man-made nature of this art. Finally, Madzo’s

Viewing a painting is a process that unfolds through time and space. These paintings encourage one to notice how we employ

mutations achieve the sublime by prodding and eluding our attempts to understand them.

different registers of looking to really see something. What begins

Michael Madzo hails from southwest North Dakota where he

at a distance with a first glance—where many potential viewing

and his artist-brother David Madzo have built a home and studio

experiences end—becomes up close an extended and immersive

near Medora on the family ranch. He graduated from Arizona

visual experience. Wall-Romana wants her paintings to be

State with a BFA. Since 1987, he has been represented by

rewarding, unexpected, and sustained “places of seeing.”

galleries in Los Angeles, New York, New Mexico, and Paris.


Lot # 26

Timothy Ray Moorhead, Minnesota This Side intentionally Left Blank, 2000 Inks and acrylic on paper 24 x 29.5 inches Range: $300 - 500

TIMOTHY RAY was born in 1940 in Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada. He received his BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1964. Ray studied papermaking at the Emma Lake Artists Workshop at the University of Michigan in 1967 and took his MFA from the University of Arkansas in 1969. In 1970, Ray moved to Moorhead, Minnesota, where he has worked and lived ever since. For decades, Ray has been a practicing artist, teacher, curator, Lot # 27

and leader in the Fargo/Moorhead arts scene. From 1970 – 1996 he taught art at Minnesota State University in Moorhead.

Robert Wilson

Ray developed a personal form of abstraction that is never

Winnipeg, Manitoba

informed by subject. Rather, his works are studies evolved from

Pine Pieces, 2012

the formal elements of art: point, line, shape, value, color, space,

Pine branch slices glued onto pine form with dyed sawdust

ornamentation or the lack of ornamentation, texture, and weight.

filler and fifty coats of Tung oil, mahogany finial

His extensive study of both collage and papermaking inform

12.5 x 8 inch diameter

much of his art alongside painting.

Range: $1,000 - 1,300

In 2010 he curated “Abstraction 100,” a centennial exhibition that marks 100 years since non-objective art was first recognized.

reassembled creating a hybrid language. The inventive aspect of

This exhibition by thirty-one artists traced the historical genesis of

the experimentation is the assembly of these fragments onto an

abstract painting and sculpture in the Red River Valley region

actual canvas and the further subversion of support by not having

which included Canada.

the assembly laid out in a perfect rectangle. In other words, the

About the painting in the Auction, curator Rusty Freeman wrote, In this painting, Tim Ray pushes not only the bounds of abstraction through several representations, but also the formal boundaries of the canvas—the traditional surface support of

shape of the assemblage also critiques the surface of traditional painting by not conforming to the grid, while seeking an expression all of its own. The painting is a brilliant exposition on the limits of painting and an adventurous exploration beyond these limits.

painting. Ray mixes a variety of abstract languages—painterly abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction with the grid, and 26 color-field. These language “fragments” are then cut apart and

The North Dakota Museum of Art will mount a retrospective exhibition of his work in the winter of 2013.

Robert Wilson is one of a small handful of Canadian master wood turners. According to Helen Delacretaz, Chief Curator and Curator of Decorative Arts at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, “Robert Wilson’s work is defined by its beauty, sensual finish, and meticulous craftsmanship.” His proportions are based upon the Greek’s golden means. The vessel is divided into thirds with the widest point two-thirds up from the bottom. The bulbous, high-shouldered vessel is balanced by the delicate, elongated finial, which he designs and then turns on a lathe. The finial is mahogany dyed black. Before retiring, Robert Wilson spent years as a sheet metalist for the railroad where he worked on engine heat shields among other things. And he taught himself about wood. He read every book he could find on wood turning in order to learn techniques. His sense of art, however, came down through his family. His Lot # 28

brother paints and his great-great grandfather, William Thomas, was a watercolorist. Living in Brighten, England, Mr. Thomas became known for his paintings of ships. A collection of his

Laura Youngblood

paintings dated 1850 hangs on Wilson’s Winnipeg living room

Breckenridge, Minnesota

walls where he lives with his quilt-making wife Diana.

Maymaushkawash, 2011 Monoprint

The labor-intensive vessels are sometimes colored with aniline

20 x 16 inches (image)

dyes, the most light-resistant dye on the market for wood. The

Range: $600 - 900 framed

color holds for many years if kept out of direct sunlight. When the basic form is complete, Wilson applies up to fifty coats of Tung oil in order to achieve the remarkable visual depth of the surface. Over the years, he has won many Juror’s Awards from the Manitoba Craft Council. One of his career highlights was when Princess Anne, visiting Winnipeg for the 1999 Pan Am Games, chose a piece of his work as a Manitoba memento. Susan Sarandon also chose a piece of his when she visited Winnipeg for the movie Shall We Dance. Wilson’s work is also in the collection of Great West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. The prize-winning prototype for the vessel in the Museum’s 2011 auction was included in the touring exhibition “Prairie Excellence, which included work from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

Laura Youngbird is an artist and art educator. She earned her BS, BFA, and MA from Minnesota State University at Moorhead with a minor in American Indian Studies. As an undergraduate she worked in the archeology department as a lab and field assistant. She's an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa, Grand Portage Band. Laura currently lives in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and teaches art at Circle of Nations School in Wahpeton, North Dakota. The themes in her work originated from experiences her family and

“Clearly, a Robert Wilson sculpture is a work of art of the highest

particularly her grandmother had while at boarding schools

order no matter how you categorize it. We recently acquired one

and issues that surrounded their assimilation into non-Indian

of his vessels for the Museum’s collection,” according to North

culture. Laura also explores the influences of Christianity on

Dakota Museum of Art Director Laurel Reuter.

American Indian spirituality and life views.


Lot # 29

Vivienne Morgan Bemidji, Minnesota

though they are about to fall to their death together, and trees that look as though they are pulling up roots together, about to walk away. That implied movement led me to ideas of migrating trees.

Paths Divided/Typology/Beltrami County

During 2010, I also became more aware of the effect of climate

to Cumbria, 2011

change on the land. In Cumbria that year, the lakes were at the

Archival digital print

lowest in thirty years. Species of fern were dying off. Lakes were

27 x 60 inches (framed)

becoming entropic. I realized that sense of place doesn’t matter.

Range: $900 - 1,100

Instead, the health of the place matters. Now my work is becoming an examination of what is changing,

Vivienne Morgan: I work in multiples, creating typologies that are not simply systematic collections of trait; my typologies are more loosely associative and create a dialogue about time, seasons, movement, and place.

shifting in the environment, changing the identity of a landscape, changing the sense of place. I think about where these changes might be headed. The trees are moving, sometimes at their own slow pace by themselves, sometimes we carry them, always towards a cooler climate.

Since 2005, I have focused on ideas about a sense of place, belonging, and migration. I lived in Bemidji, Minnesota, for over thirty years before becoming an American. I had a long time to think about the reasons why people move, migrate, and immigrate. In my own experience, it was my love of the English landscape and wanting to associate with an idealized, nostalgic sense of place that kept me from becoming a citizen earlier. My work followed a path that was tangential to becoming a citizen. I have explored my Minnesota landscape through my English eyes, trying to find a vision of England in my Minnesota environs, and I created a body of work called “ A Sense of Place” exhibited at the North Dakota Museum of Art in 2008. In 2010, I traveled between Beltrami County, Minnesota, and Cumbria, England, and created an ongoing series, “Lakes to Lakes.” The comparison naturally formed typologies, of a sort: essentially dialogues about place. In this series I did compare places, but also became specifically interested in trees. I thought about trees that literally tie together at the roots and move 28 together. I found trees that live on a precipitous edge, looking as

Below: Rena Effendi’s photo that is paired with Rustam Effendi’s butterfly [photo upper right] in their book Liquid Land.

Lot #30

Rustam Effendi Deceased 1991, Baku, Azerbaijan Parnassius nordmanni. Endangered species rarely found in Shah-Dag and Baba-Dag mountains of Guba, Azerbaijan, c. 1985 Mixed media on board Photographic film converted to digital 22.5 x 22.5 inches Range: $800 - 1,000

Rustam Effendi and Rena Effendi: This

was in the fresh mountain air. The butterflies that he had hunted

photograph of a butterfly will be reproduced in Liquid Land

since he was a boy are spectacular in their symmetry. Carefully

which I co-authored with my father, the late Rustam Effendi, a

placed on plants, they shine with vibrant colors, yet he had to kill

dissident scientist and entomologist who devoted his life to

each one of them for a picture, piercing his microscopic pins

studying, hunting, and collecting over 30,000 butterflies in the

through them.

Soviet Union. Inherited by the Azerbaijani State Institute of Zoology after his death in 1991, a large part of his collection has disintegrated. Alongside thousands of glass boxes filled with butterfly dust, locked away in the dark corridors of the Zoology Institute, the only other visual evidence remaining of his life’s work is the fifty photographs of endangered butterflies for a manuscript he never published [one of which is shown above]. Next to my father’s dead but iridescent butterflies, my photographs show life in some of the world’s most polluted areas near Baku where I was born and grew up (photo left).

In my mind, the contrasting images gravitate towards each other—as I have to my father. Since working on this project I have gotten to know him much better than when he was alive. I recollect his dark humor—the assortment of obscene Russian poetry he recited, my bedtime stories from Edgar Allan Poe, and a bogus will in which I would inherit his shadow, because, he said, there was nothing else. And though I did not inherit his shadow, he passed on to me something that changed the course of my own life: his spirit of searching for the unknown. Our book, Liquid Land, will be published in the fall of 2012.

Salty Waters is the translation from Persian of the “Ab-sheur-an” Peninsula; in and around its main city Baku, the earth is breathing with petroleum fumes, as oil oozes to the surface, turning it liquid. The Caspian Sea hugs the eagle-beak shaped land, salting its gas-pocked soil. I photograph the barren, liquid land of Absheron—its environmental and urban decay, its people living amidst the chaos of industrial pollution. My father’s work

Note: Rena Effendi’s 2010 photograph left, “Iodine” lake polluted with oil and plastic, Balakhani village. Baku, Azerbaijan, is avaliable upon request if one wishes to purchase the pair as they appeared in the 29 Museum’s recent exhibition and in the book Liquid Land.

Walter Piehl’s painting is sponsored by Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture P.C.

Lot #31

Walter Piehl Minot, North Dakota Purple Vamps with Orange: Cowgirl Stuff, 2012 Acrylic on canvas 40 x 30 inches Range: $3,000 - 3,900

Walter Piehl is a painter who draws and also

Unlike most artists, Walter Piehl was quite young when he

incorporates drawing into his acrylic paintings. He does not use

decided to make art from his own life. Born into a family that

drawing to make studies for paintings but as a primary medium,

raised rodeo stock, Walter rode as a matter of course. Likewise,

either embedded into paintings or as separate works of art. But

in a household without television, he drew constantly. He went

ultimately Piehl is most widely known as a painter. His goal is to

on to paint and draw horses, year after year, never wearying of

make his surfaces dance with subtle variations. Drips, feathered

his subject, never despairing in his quest to create contemporary

edges, scumbled paint, and the judicious use of glazes all

Western art. This master painter, while continuing to live the

contribute to his rich surfaces. His fractured spaces, transparency,

cowboy life, has found the means to visually enter the sport. In

multiple images, and their afterimages cause his works to sing

the process he has led droves of artists into a new arena called

with movement.

Contemporary Western Art—but most don’t know that this artist

This work in the Auction, Purple Vamps with Orange, represents

from North Dakota charted their course years ago.

a change in direction for this artist. For several years, Piehl has

In 2008, Walter Piehl won the Bush Foundation’s first Enduring

been making still life paintings of riding paraphernalia. Never

Vision Prize worth $100,000. Earlier, he received the 2005 North

quite happy with the static quality of still life, he would go back

Dakota Governor’s Award for the Arts. The artist has

to painting bucking, riding, moving horses and riders while

twice served on the Board of the North Dakota Council on the

continuing to think about how to change. Finally, he has painted

Arts, for several years on the Board of Trustees of the North

the whole surface of the canvas with dancing, moving, abstract

Dakota Museum of Art, and is on the founding governing board

images. Movement enlivens, circles, and waltzes away with the

of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora.

boots in this painting. He unveiled the new paintings in his solo show at Karen Stoker’s Donaldson Hotel in Fargo in the summer of 2012, a fitting choice as the grand “Big Dog Suite” in the hotel 30 houses a dozen Piehl paintings.

North Dakota Museum of Art Director Laurel Reuter credits Walter with being her staunchest supporter during the years when the Museum was just beginning. He shared the dream.

Lot # 32

Nishiki Tayui Grand Forks, North Dakota Rookie II, 2009 Oil on linen 72 x 50 inches Range: $1,000 - 1,800

Nishiki Tayui’s painting is sponsored by River City Jewelers

Nishiki Tayui: Born in Kanagawa, Japan, Nishiki Tayui

“I am in-between, navigating the tension between my native

grew up in Japan and began college at the Tokoyo Gakuen

culture and those I have assimilated through my experiences in

Women’s College in Tokyo. Next, she set off to see the world, first

the world,” said Tayui, whose parents encouraged creativity with

on a year-long “working holiday” visa in Australia, finally ending

activities such as family furniture making or wood-block printing.

up in the United States. She entered art school and came out with a BFA in painting from Portland State University (magna cum laude) and an MFA from Indiana University (2010).

Nishiki Tayui is in-between both personally and in her art. This state of tension and her ongoing process of navigation are the subjects of her work. Included in this Auction, the painting

Along the way she became a US citizen but never let go of her

Rookie II represents a view of Japanese culture from an

Far Eastern cultural roots. For example, in 2009, an anonymous

individual who has been apart from the culture and is

blogger said, “American artist Nishiki Tayui does mostly ink and

experiencing it with brand new eyes. This work was executed

watercolor paintings, but also some oil paintings and wood

solely with a non-dominant hand in order to enhance the feeling

prints. Lots of organic forms, mixed with pale colors and writing

of “new”-ness in the process of painting.

in layer upon layer. If Hokusai had been a graffiti artist without a spray can, this is what his art might have looked like.”

Tayui exhibits her work nationally and internationally, working primarily with oil on linen. But ever the locus of change, she is

After several university visiting artist stints, Tayui filled in for a

back to watercolor and ink on paper. In September 2012, she will

year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo

open a solo exhibition as a part of the International Education

followed by another replacement year teaching painting at the

Week at the University of Cincinnati College Art Gallery,

University of North Dakota.

Clermont, Ohio.


This artwork is sponsored by Hugo’s

what we all experience each fall as we shift into the mindset of the presence of winter. The owner of the buildings agreed to leave the color of the siding of the building outside my studio window the same green-blue for me, because of the many paintings it has inspired. I am moved to begin drawing or painting by the power of form suggested through a subject in a particular light, and formatted to a shape specific to the needs of my expressive intent. This is an emotive state, where the subject carries meaning beyond what it is as a person, a dog, a bicycle, and so on. It is very similar to the experience of an individual being moved to a particular emotional state by the relationship of notes/sounds in a piece of music. Embracing this aesthetic feeling is imperative in creating a work of art, which transcends the material and sincerely reflects Lot #33

my most intimate feelings about life.

Carl Oltvedt

Carl Oltvedt has been teaching at Minnesota State University

Moorhead, Minnesota

Moorhead since August 1983. He is currently a full professor in

Six Wishes, 2004 Oil on canvas 45 x 30 inches Range: $1,800 - 3,000

the Department of Art and Design. He has worked as a guest artist in regional schools and abroad at the Glasgow School of Art—Scotland’s only private art school—and the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, also in Scotland. In January 2008, he had a solo exhibition at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis. He also participated in the annual MSUM Department of Art and

Carl Oltvedt: The painting in the Auction, Six Wishes,

Design Faculty exhibition held in the Roland Dille Center for the

was completed in my studio from the view out of one of my

Arts Gallery. Oltvedt’s paintings and drawings are included in

windows. Many drawings, watercolors, and oil studies preceded

the permanent collections of the Rourke Art Museum, the Plains

work on this version. The initial inspiration came during a series

Art Museum, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the North Dakota

of sessions working on a portrait commission; my patron was

Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the

seated near the window, on the ledge where I had the Chinese

Minnesota State Historical Society. He received a Minnesota

Lanterns resting. The color of the lanterns contrasted with the

State Arts Board Artist Fellowship in 1991 and a Lake Region Arts

lovely green-blue siding on the building next door and, in

Council/McKnight Fellowship in 2002. Most recently, his work

conjunction with the dramatic three-point perspective view I had

was included in the Plains Art Museum “Big Country” exhibition,

of the arrangement, kept drawing my attention to the point that I

in which he exhibited Blue Flag Irises; at 40 x 128 inches it is the

simply was driven to draw and paint from it. The thematic

largest painting he has completed to date.

balance of the lanterns as seeds, the intense color of them, and

Moorhead, Minnesota, and maintains a studio in neighboring

32 the weight (physical and symbolic) of the snow outside speak to

Fargo, North Dakota.

Carl lives in

Lot #34 Kelly Thompson Grand Forks, North Dakota Grain, 2012 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 36 inches Range: $600 - 900

Kelly Thompson: This recent work by the artist depicts

motion that I suggest with trailing brush strokes, with overlapping

a familiar landscape to all of us who spend late summers on these

colors and depth, and with vague definition. These paintings,

northern plains when the wheat turns amber, the crop is

with their balance and their cleanness, are influenced by my

harvested, and the field is clipped to stubble like a flat-top crew

work as a logo designer where my challenge is always to edit,

cut, yet the surrounding fields and trees retain their lushness and

simplify, and reduce to only the most essential and effective of

hold out for another month. Vast, unbroken planes of color,


sometimes the sky and sometimes the fields, are always present, showing the viewer that what is not there can be more impactful than what is.

Kelly Thompson is a Grand Forks native who left the area after graduating from UND in the 1980s, but returned several years later with a fresh perspective, launching several of his businesses

According to the artist, Our landscape, with its natural balance

including Ink, Inc., Urban Stampede, and a real estate sales

of earth and sky separated at a horizontal line, is something that

practice with Greenberg Realty. Â A graduate of the University of

I always come back to in my work, like a comfort. These

North Dakota, he is the father of three.

horizontal rural scenes are often unintentionally collected and stored in my mind as I whir along the regions highways where the images in the outer reaches of my vision plant themselves. It’s this


Lot #36

Armando Ramos Valley City, North Dakota Collection des Maitres, 2012 Porcelain and wood 7 x 12 x 10 inches Range: $150 - 250

Lot #35

Trygve Olson Moorhead, Minnesota Into the Light, 2010 Watercolor on paper 12.5 x 20 inches Range: $450 - 550

Trygve Olson: Watercolor is a favorite media for its transparency and qualities of freshness. Nine times out of ten it’s what I use for illustration purposes. On the other hand, my plein

Armando Ramos: My studio work is sculptural in

air (open-air) watercolors are done solely for my enjoyment.

nature. It is satirical wherein I examine issues of race, class, and

Pastoral settings combined with fresh air are somehow

interpretations humans make. I spent time early in my career

therapeutic after a long period of working indoors.

focusing on functional ceramic and design. That time has left me

Drawing, however, is my real love. I sketch every day, everything from trains to people at the local mall. I enjoy train travel, the feeling of movement of the train as it pulls out of the station is like the feeling of floating as it involves a contrast of directional forces which enhances that feeling of movement. Since 1984, Trygve Olson has been a free-lance artist specializing in humorous illustration and editorial cartooning. Since 1985 his editorial cartoons have appeared on the pages of The Forum newspaper (Fargo, ND). His cartoons are published on a weekly basis in the Forum in print or online. In 1999, 2001, and again in 2005 his editorial cartoons received First-Place Page One Awards from the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for newspapers over 50,000 circulation. Since 1998, Olson has been an adjunct teacher at the University 34 of Minnesota Moorhead teaching illustration as well as drawing.

with a passion for the material and how the making of the object, the user, and thoughtful design intersect. Every now and again I depart from my usual studio interest and make functional pots. This work is a result of that journey I grew up in Texas, did my undergraduate study at the Kansas City Art Institute, and graduate school at Montana State. In the years after graduate school, I lived and maintained a studio in San Francisco, and was a artist in residence at the Richard Cartier studios in Napa California, Vermont Studio Center in Johnson Vermont, and at California State University of Long Beach. I am currently professor of Art at Valley City State University and subsequently received the 2012 North Dakota Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant. I have exhibited at the Virginia Brier Gallery in San Francisco, California; the Oakland Museum; the Dairy Art Center, Boulder, Colorado; and Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, Illinois.

This painting is sponsored by Dakota Harvest

M a r l e y K a u l : The painting Yellow Morning reflects the warm sun in late fall. In early morning the sun soaks objects in an orange glow and gives hope for a great day. The quills on the basket are of Ojibwe design and create beauty on a simple basket. The movement of the strokes remind me of a dance bringing inanimate objects to life. Just an ordinary day. Marley Kaul’s work in both content and energy emphasizes his connection with natural forms and poetic metaphor. Now retired, he was long-time chairman of the Art Department at Lot # 37

Bemidji State University. He continues to paint daily in his studio near Lake Bemidji, to exhibit generously throughout the region, and to see his work moving into significant private and

Marley Kaul

public collections. Kaul’s work has been collected by almost

Bemidji, Minnesota

every major museum in Minnesota and North Dakota, which

Yellow Morning, 2017

speaks to his tireless commitment to his development as a

20 x 16 inches

painter and his desire to explore the world around him. In

Egg tempera on panel

2009, he completed the design for a stained glass window for

Range: $1,800 - 2,800

the First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, where in 2001 he had designed another window for the chapel, as well as created a painting for the altarpiece. Ultimately, Marley Kaul is a superb

paintings. Tempera paintings are long lasting with examples from

painter with a scholarly bent who has become widely

the first centuries CE still in existence.

respected and loved within the region he calls home.

Egg tempera is valued for its crisp, clean colors, its quick-drying

Like Northern European artists of long ago, Kaul paints

matte finish, and its luminosity. Underpainting is an important

domestic life: the world surrounding his home in Northern

part of egg tempera. Each layer that is applied is affected by the

Minnesota, his garden, what he sees out of his windows, the

former layer, and it becomes richer as the layers accumulate.

birds who come to the feeders, his grandmother’s tea pot, and

Marley Kaul is a contemporary egg tempera master.

all the other utensils and accruements of daily existence.

Laurel Reuter, North Dakota Museum of Art Director, loves to tell

Kaul is probably the only artist in the region who paints

the story of visiting Marley in his studio on a day he had spent

continuously in egg tempera, a slow and ancient process.

the morning painting. They decided to drive into Bemidji for

Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is one of the oldest

lunch. Upon their return, and much to their amazement, the

mediums in painting. It consists of dry pigment, water, and egg

painting Marley had been working on just before lunch was

yolk. Tempera was used all over the world: for the icons of the

gone. The support board was leaning against the wall as he had

Russian and Greek churches—and still is—for panels of Italian

left it. The cat had eaten the painting, savoring the egg yolk that

painters, for Islamic manuscripts, and even for modern American

served as the pigment binder.


Lot # 38

Mike Lynch Minneapolis, Minnesota My Lonely Home, 1987 Lithograph, folio edition of five 8.5 x 12.75 inches image Range: $700 - 900 framed

Mike Lynch’s realist style is rooted in American

the Bush and McKnight foundations. He has illustrated books for

Regionalism of the 1920s and 30s. His poetically rendered

notable Minnesota writers Garrison Keillor and Jon Hassler. Yet

Minnesota subjects include urban landscapes such as grain

his name is hardly a household word. Why? Perhaps because he

elevators, taverns by the side of the road, industrial loading

is so profoundly Minnesotan, in the way we like to think of

docks, ships in the Duluth/Superior harbor, and small town


streets. The moody romance of these scenes is heightened by his use of nocturnal or early dawn light.

He is modestly dedicated to creating his art rather than promoting it. Fame tends to follow those who are quotable and

In 1987, Jon Swenson and Bernice Ficek-Swenson invited Lynch

flamboyant, who stand out from the crowd. To Lynch, it is the

to create a portfolio of lithographs in their Minneapolis Land

work, more than recognition, that counts. It is no secret to

Mark Editions studio. The artist would spend up to two days

anyone who knows him that he has made many sacrifices to live

patiently drawing the image onto the lithograph stone before

as an artist, accepting the frugality and insecurity that

turning it over to Master Printer Jon Swenson to print the images.

accompany such a choice.

My Lonely Home comes from that portfolio.

Mike Lynch may not feel “distinguished,” but his dedication to

In 2003, Mike Lynch won the McKnight Distinguished Artists

his craft is clear to anyone who sees his work. It is reflected in

Award, Minnesota’s most important honor with its $40,000

sublime quality, which, along with his humility and work ethic,

purse. Noa Staryk, Chair of the McKnight Foundation, wrote in

has influenced succeeding generations of Minnesota artists. The

the accompanying tribute book: As one of his friends points out

McKnight Foundation is privileged to have this opportunity to

. . . the designation “distinguished artist” doesn’t rest comfortably

recognize Lynch. In these unsettled days, his work reveals the

on Mike Lynch. Lynch’s painterly world of back streets and

fleeting beauty of everyday life and reminds us to cherish the

industrial monuments—portrayed in darkness or at dusk, often

time we have.

just before the wrecking ball strikes—is decidedly ordinary. But, as rendered by Lynch’s pen, paints, and brush, these mundane landscapes are extraordinary emotional documents. Dimly illuminated by a corner lamppost, Lynch’s silent streets attest to the soon-to-be-forgotten moments that make up daily life.

The Southwest Minneapolis Patch reported that at the age of 72, painter Mike Lynch traded his brushes for harmonicas and keyboards. For almost twenty years, Lynch’s hobby has been playing harmonica and keyboards with Mercs, a local bar band that performs monthly at Merlin’s Rest on Lake Street in

Lynch’s mostly realist art is widely collected by individuals and

Minneapolis. Lynch mainly plays harp, a long-time hobby. Later

corporations throughout Minnesota. He has exhibited at virtually

in life, he took up keyboard noting, I play it like a typewriter; it’s

every major Minnesota art museum. He has won prestigious

a good way to figure out tunes. I don’t have the technique in

36 fellowships and awards from Minnesota organizations, including

music that I have in painting; I haven’t worked at it that hard.

Lot #39

Lena McGrath welker Portland, Oregon Secrets II, 2011 Handmade paper collage with stitching 41.25 x 88 inches framed Range: $2,000 - 3,000 framed

This artwork is sponsored by Salon Seva

Lena McGrath welker: There are as many ways for artists to create work from something that moves them or intrigues them as there are artists. Although my work is shifting into a number of new materials and processes, it is still ephemeral and never literal. It follows, therefore, that the two objects from which I chose to make the work called Secrets are equally ephemeral and elusive. They are also connected by formal and conceptual concerns.

the paper and the technique, I was able to reference the texture and layers of paper wasp nests, which are also constructed only with water and paper (bark). Furthermore, because each sheet I made had up to seven layers, I could cut, tear, or manipulate the paper while making it to reveal layers of color below. In this way, I could reference the pale gray, green, dusty tan, and blue palette

The first object was a paper wasp nest hanging in a tree at the

of the very barren Castilian plains and distant mountains where

Ucross Foundation where I was a Fellow. It was below zero with

the film was made.

very strong winds the entire time I was there. Every day on my walk to my studio I would pass under this battered, torn, windtossed nest, and marvel that it still stood. I picked up fragments on the ground beneath it. This object gave me the determination to keep working through a difficult period of generation, and an equally difficult time of art-making. When I chose it for Secrets, two words came to mind: ruins and tenacity.

The film enabled me to work with the ideas and techniques that have had great importance to my work as long as I have been making art, such as writing words that can’t be read, hiding things, or hiding things partially, which sets up a longing to see what can’t be seen. I also added long strips of fabric, stitched and knotted with tangled threads, to represent the confusion and misunderstanding that arises in the film. The spiral strip is a direct

The second object, equally ephemeral, is the classic Spanish

nod to one of the main character’s experiment with a spiral

film, The Spirit of the Beehive, one of only three films made by

beehive, which creates chaos for the bees inhabiting it. Other

the great director Victor Erice. I watched the film many times,

cloth strips utilize omikuji, fortune-telling paper slips found at

taking notes but purposely avoiding reading any critical theory. I

many shrines and temples, which either give one good luck,

wanted my feelings to be mine alone, not influenced by anything

which comes true, or bad luck, which can be averted. For me,

but the film itself. From this object came a number of words:

this represents the deeply religious and superstitious community

secrets, letter-writing, visual images of spirits, remoteness,

in which the film takes place, torn apart by the near-end of the

sorrow, grief, and the idea of misunderstanding.

Franco regime and war that took place in the distance, isolating

Clearly, between these two stimuli I had much from which to

the village even more than usual.

mine The paper wasp nest led me to learn how to make joomchi,

By working with the inspiration that came from two interlocking

a traditional Korean way of layering sheets of hanji, a type of

objects, I was able to add a roughness to my work without losing

kozo paper only available from Korea. Because of the nature of

its areas of refinement and subtlety.


Lot #40

Tim Schouten Winnipeg, Manitoba A dog near a road (Spirit Lake), 2012 Encaustic on plywood 10 x 8 inches Range: $300 - $500



Since 1998, Tim Schouten has

created eleven series of paintings and drawings called “The Treaty Suites Project” dealing with the treaties between First Nations and Canada. Each one of the suites is based on photographs taken at the exact locations where the eleven “numbered treaties” were signed. In one sense, they are history paintings, in another, sites of betrayal, and in still another they

Keiko hara: It isn’t unusual to find people who recently

exist as evocations of the physical beauty of sacred places.

have come from other lands to live in America and who

Schouten is deeply interested in the meaning of place. He says, It seems impossible to speak about the land entirely outside of political context. In most cases my paintings are based on photos

experience a sense of limbo, of being neither of the old country nor of the new. It is unusual to find someone who can translate such feelings into visible form.

of rather unspectacular locales. What the land is and how it holds

Keiko Hara is one of that select few. Born in North Korea of

meaning are things I try to brush up against in my painting. I am

Japanese parents, growing up in Japan and coming to the Untied

concerned with the idea and value of ‘place’ and the idea that

States as an adult, she uses the universal language of art to

history can have a felt presence in a place. My encaustic and

describe feelings that accompany radical life transitions caused

acrylic paintings acknowledge the beauty of the land, but they

by separation, loss, and psychological isolation. Through her

are more essentially about the ways that image and surface can

personal experience she has become acutely aware not only of

convey significance.

the trauma for individuals, but also of the cultural boundaries

In 2009, the Museum commissioned Schouten to create paintings about contemporary life on Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. The work in this exhibition is the result of the artist’s many trips to Spirit Lake where he met with elders,

that separate the world’s people. Her beautiful abstract artworks are poetic manifestations of her wish to bridge the gap between the physical world and the inner world of meditation where the physical becomes the spiritual

roamed the land, connected with those who teach and study at

Some years ago the British poet Sir John Benjamin coined the

Cankdeska Cikana Community College, and researched the

word “topophilia “ to signify a sense of attachment and yearning

history of the Reservation. This work was funded by the National

each of us has for special places. Keiko Hara notes that the word

Endowment for the Arts. In addition to his original commission,

is close to the Japanese term for “aware,” which describes a

Schouten is one of six artists included in the North Dakota

nostalgia caused by a love for a person or thing as well as a place

Museum of Art collaboration on Spirit Lake Reservation. Funded

made special in memory because of its beauty, or more likely, by

by the Rauschenberg Foundation, the artists are charged with

something else that has given it exceptional power. She has

creating work about contemporary life in this mixed-race,

adopted the term topophilia as her overall theme, and she

38 present-day community.

explores its various aspects in large multi-media installations as

Lot #41

Keiko Hara Minneapolis, Minnesota Topophilia, 1981 Lithograph Ed. 3 of 5 Published and printed by Land Mark Editions 22/5 x 33 inches Each print mounted front and back with a layer of silk in between. Top image is front, Bottom image is back. Range: $600 - 800

well as in paintings, prints [as is the work in the Auction] and collages.

with printers in Tokyo and Kyoto, are evident in her art. her use of paper, her interest in calligraphic markings, the flat shapes and

Keiko Hara holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in art

application of color, all associated with the art of Japan, remain

from institutions in the United States thereby achieving a

integral in her work and can be seen here in Topophilia.

thorough grounding in European art as well as exposure to trends

—Lois Allan, Portland-based art critic and author

in international contemporary art.* With her students at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where she heads the art and the issues they deal with. Nevertheless, traces of her

*She graduated with a BFA in painting in 1974 from Mississippi State University for Women, with a MA in printmaking in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and with a MFA in painting in 1976

upbringing and education in Japan, where she sometimes works

from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan.

department, she follows current American and European styles


Lot #42

meghan Duda Fargo, North Dakota Custom Built [1.015], 2012 Laser-cut archival inkjet photograph 21 x 27 x 3 inches Range: $400 - 600

Lot #43

meghan Duda Fargo, North Dakota Custom Built [2.003], 2012 Tin (12 mounted cookie cutters) Installation variable, 3 inches deep Range: $250 - 300

Meghan Duda: Beginning in the 1950s the American middle class exploded and the nation struggled to house the growing young families. Inspired by manufacturing processes, fabricated neighborhoods began to pop up, offering homes that assembled quickly and efficiently to meet rising demand. The introduction of mechanization and mass production to residential

The artist is fascinated with two things, architecture and

construction continues to have a profound affect on the American

photography. Born in Massachusetts and raised in South Carolina,

vernacular. This is the focus of Meghan Duda’s most recent body

she earned a professional Bachelor’s degree in architecture from

of work titled Custom Built. Duda combines analog photographic

Virginia Tech and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of

tools with digital cutting technology to create images that extend

North Dakota.

beyond the two-dimensional image plane, becoming sculptural objects reacting to space and light. This work is part of an ongoing

Meghan settled in Fargo five years ago after living in Virginia for

exploration of the effects of mechanized building practices on the

seven years. She currently teaches an architectural photography

environment. Duda's photographs and sculptural pieces are

seminar in the Department of Architecture and Landscape

intended to provoke the viewer to consider how ready-made

Architecture at North Dakota State University. She enjoys

structures affect traditional building practices on the residential

traveling the landscape to photograph abandoned farmsteads,

40 landscape as they take on cookie-cutter shapes and sizes.

vernacular architecture, and the horizon.

Lot #44

Jessica Matson-Fluto Horace, North Dakota Encroach triptych, 2008 Oil on canvas 3 panels, 10 x 10 inches each Range: $600 - 900

Jessica Matson-Fluto: Encroach [the painting in the Auction] comes from a body of work which is based upon imagined interpretations of myself or fabricated beings. I often portray these ‘beings’ as emerging, flickering, dissolving, or trapped in space. Such dreamlike images suggest my own journey of self-discovery and represent an ongoing investigation after a life-altering occurrence changed my own perceptions and ways of seeing the world. That haunting experience prompted an ongoing series of ethereal figurative works that continue to weave through my body of work. My images tend to either be strongly premeditated or come to the canvas involuntarily, guided by my medium. I make work to learn more about myself, my dreams, others around me, and the spaces and objects that we occupy. I paint to reveal what I know, and in the process I hope to learn something new. Born in 1980 in Spokane, Washington, Jessica Matson-Fluto studied painting at Minnesota State University Moorhead, earning her BFA in 2006. In 2008, she graduated with her MFA


from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where she studied with Bruce Samuelson, Dan Miller, William Scott Noel, Sydney Goodman, and Vincent Desiderio among others. As a student, Jessica was awarded academic and art scholarships and received an honorable mention in an exhibition.

Fluto continues to display her work locally and nationally and is an active member of the arts community. The artist continues her

Matson-Fluto’s work is included in private and public collections

education by partaking in artist workshops, master classes, and

throughout the Midwest. She teaches in the Department of Art

residencies nationwide. She and her husband currently live in

and Design at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Matson-

Horace, North Dakota.


Lot #45

Marlon Davidson & Don Knudson Bemidji, Minnesota

This artwork is sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio

Carnival Sextet, 2012 Mixed media with wood, paper and acrylic 21 x 72.5 inches Range: $1,500 - 1,800

Marlon Davidson and Don Knudson are collaborative artists who

fragments of wood from the beaches of Lake Superior as well as

live in Bemidji where they have been involved in the art

collage elements. The date on that art work is 1985. Since that

community for twenty-three years. During that time Marlon has

time, the artists have produced hundreds of collaborations in

maintained a career in art production as well as served a five-

various sizes, from about twelve by twelve inches to six and eight

year stint as Executive Director of the Bemidji Arts Council and

feet. Their works may be seen in public settings such as in

as an instructor in visual arts at Bemidji State University.

government buildings and universities as well as in private

Don has been a furniture maker, owned and operated a bed and breakfast, and produced sculpture works on his own. Both artists

homes. The artists have been in the Museum’s Autumn Art Auction for the past eight years.

have worked independently and collaboratively, in both public

Marlon and Don seek to produce a harmonious statement in their

and private collections across the United States and in Europe.

efforts. The goal of the work is to achieve a dialogue between the

They were both educated at Bemidji State College and at the

wood and the collage. They feel that there are elements of both

Minneapolis School of Art.

the current art scene and more traditional movements in their

Their collaborations happened in a natural sort of way. Don had been framing work for Marlon for years and one day it had become apparent that the frames were taking on more than a secondary role in the artwork itself. Both artists realized, almost simultaneously,







collaborations. The wood part of the compositions became more important and Marlon’s collage efforts began to seek harmony with the wood in a new and significant way. The first true collaboration that the artists created is called Altar and is in their 42 own private collection. It is a wall sculpture comprised of

collaboration, and they both take a very serious interest in the history of art. The most important source of inspiration for both artists is the natural world, the forests and fields, the lakes and thickets of northern Minnesota which is their element. Conversations with other artists and reading are also important in their approach to their art and both artists visit galleries and do some traveling. All of these activities are sources of inspiration and they agree with the famous art historian Bernard Berenson that life can be lived as a work of art in itself.

Lot #46

Milena Marinov Fargo, North Dakota St. Marina, 2012 Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood 11 x 8.5 inches Range: $500 - 800

MILENA MARINOV was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She graduated

Marina still rejected him so the governor had Marina thrown into

in 1982 from the Dupnitza College of Education, Bulgaria, with

prison. That same evening angels came and healed her

a degree in graphic arts. Milena started her professional career as

horrendous wounds. When the Devil saw this he was furious and

an art conservator/restorer with the Bulgarian National Institute

sent a huge serpent to the cell that swallowed Marina whole. The

of Cultural Heritage and the Gallery of Old Art in her home city

saint prayed inside the serpent's belly, it burst, and St. Marina

where she fell in love with orthodox religious art. She has works

came out unharmed.

in collections throughout the world, including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Norway, and many other countries. Her works include mostly icons created using the ancient technique of egg tempera and gold leaf on wood. She maintains her studio and lives in North Fargo with her husband and son. The painting in the Auction is of St. Marina who was born into a pagan family in Antioch, Asia Minor, but was orphaned at a young age. The woman who looked after her was a devout Christian and so young Marina came to be a follower of the new faith. Still a teenager, she caught the attention of Antioch's governor who decided he wanted her to be his wife. Young Marina refused his proposal, saying she belonged to Christ and no one else. This angered the governor and he decided to punish Marina. He ordered his soldiers to bring her to him by force and then tried to make her renounce her faith. Marina refused again and the governor had her badly tortured.

Upon hearing of this event, the governor decided to have Marina decapitated. The executioner could not make himself kill the young woman, and Marina ended up talking him into going through with it—he cut her head off and then committed suicide. St. Marina’s wonderful humility, humbleness, and patience are celebrated on the seventeenth of July by the Eastern Orthodox Church as well as by the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Fargo Forum, “As a child growing up in communist Bulgaria, Milena Marinov was drawn to religion even though it was forbidden in her family. Her father, a colonel in the army, knew and feared the consequences of communists discovering her interest in Christianity.” The private life of the painter Milena Marinov echoes that of this third-century Saint Marina. 43

magazine founded in 1902 to present clearly written technical material to the average American man—schooled my imagination. I came to know illustration as practiced by professionals, a world given form and order through signs and symbols and hand lettering. Still today, Paulsen hand letters the exhibition titles on the walls of the North Dakota Museum of Art—maybe the last museum in America to be thus graced. Paulsen, one of North Dakota’s important painters, taught at the University of North Dakota until 2007. UND named him a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, its highest honor. In 2007 the North Dakota Museum of Art mounted a solo exhibition which resulted in a book about Paulsen’s work (2008). He has been a visiting artist at dozens of colleges and universities and shown in more than 100 juried exhibitions, eighty solo shows, and 200 invitational exhibitions. Lot #47

Brian Paulsen Grand Forks, North Dakota Abstraction #17, 2011 Watercolor on paper 4.25 x 3 inches Range: $600 - 850 framed

Brian Paulsen makes small paintings incorporating places he calls home. He hails from Seattle but has become a long-term resident of North Dakota. The work in the Auction springs from his everyday environment, from the alleys of Grand Forks, where he lives. He begins with his camera but “it would be boring to just copy the photograph in a painting so I add objects that seem to relate but which fit no narrative.” According to the artist, Many years ago I saw a miniature juried show advertised somewhere. I have been rejected from such exhibitions in the past because my small works were slightly larger than the rules allowed. In 1973, I made the decision to

Butch holden: When I garden, I am manipulating all

make small paintings. I could then enter juried shows all over the

sorts of variables—location, soil, water—all in hopes of

States because shipping was inexpensive. By 1974-75 I began to

achieving a thriving plant. I monitor the plants, tweaking

win purchase awards and prizes. One of the first was a $500

elements each year. Gardening is an incredibly optimistic activity

prize from Whitney curator Elke Solomon in “Manisphere,” a

and for me, pottery is the same. I work the clay with optimism in

Manitoba/North Dakota annual exhibition.

hopes that the outcome will be what I had planned. Many

I was raised with geometry all around me especially in the materials of carpentry, building, repairing, making, and all those other useful occupations. My grandfather was a sign painter and a muralist. My father was an inventor and builder of houses,

variables must be successful prior to placing my pieces in the kiln. As with seedlings coming from the soil in his garden, when Butch’s pottery finally emerges from the kiln, the clay has magically bloomed.

cabinets, and boats. My studio was in the same space as his

The artist recently named a solo exhibition “Around the Block,”

44 wood and tools. The realm of Popular Mechanics—a service

taking his reference from childhood: As a kid, whether we rode,

Lot #49

John Colle Rogers Oakland, California There Goes the Neighborhood (Giant Pandas), 2011 Box elder wood 12 x 9 inches Range: $300 - 400

John Colle Rogers is a sculptor and blacksmtih living in Oakland, California. Rogers grew up in Grand Forks and enjoys returning to help coordinate the McCanna Artist in Residency Program for the North Dakota Museum of Art, a 1920 farmhouse north of Larimore which has been converted into an artist retreat. A few years ago Rogers started this whimsical watercolor series, with unicorns constantly, but patiently, observing the influx of various unnatural species into their environment of abandoned freeways. In this case, the dreaded giant pandas have begun consuming the concrete infrastructure. According to the artist, I support myself as a blacksmith, doing gates and railings in my shop in Oakland. This allows me the freedom to take time off when I have a big show or, like now, when I feel like I am turning the corner with a body of work and need some immersion time to pull the right heart strings to break Left: Lot #48

stuff loose. I oscillate between making work that is cerebral and conceptual, to working directly and intuitively with materials—

Butch Holden

just goofing around. There is a pretty strong community of artists

Bemidji, Minnesota

in Oakland, and we are constantly having shows and lectures

The Two Percent, 2012

and stuff. I get tapped for many local things as well as putting my

Stoneware with gold luster

work out there through various curators and contacts.

4 x 20 inch diameter Range: $150 - 300

I did my undergraduate work in Japanese studies and probably would have taken a different, academic track if I hadn't gotten

walked, or pushed, we always did so around the block. I have

sideswiped by sculpture my senior year. I've always made stuff

always thought it interesting.

and had studied Japanese brush painting and blacksmithing all

Holden received his BA in two-dimensional art from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and his MFA in ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington. Today he serves as department chair for the Visual Arts Department at Bemidji State University where he teaches various levels of ceramic classes and drawing.

through college to balance out the heavy studying. I went to Japan part of my junior year, and when I came back I had the idea to combine the brush painting and the blacksmithing to make curvy, pointy sculptures that referenced calligraphy. I got hooked on making stuff and made a conscious decision to pursue grad school in art rather than a more academic line. Rogers was born in 1969 in Bathesda, Maryland, but moved to Grand Forks in 1974 with his parents when his father was named the first Dean of the University of North Dakota Fine Arts College. In 1991, Rogers received a BA in Japanese Studies at

Quoted in part from Katie Carter, “The Garden of Holden,” Lake Country Journal, November/December 2008, pp. 34 - 37.

Earlham College, Richmond, and took his MFA in sculpture at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1997.


All proceeds from this sale go to the North Dakota Museum of Art for enhancement of its collection.

Lot #50

good, at least she didn’t think so. My husband didn’t like my work in the beginning either. We got back from Fargo one time

Emily Lunde 1914 - 2003

and he said, “Nobody is going to buy that stuff.” So I stuck them

Born and resided for her lifetime in the Red River

in the attic. I thought I was never going to paint again. But then I

Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota

got some calls for the paintings and from then on he would help

Unexpected Company, 1987

me frame them. One time I painted a threshing machine and after

Acrylic on canvas

I got my horses all harnessed and everything my husband looked

21 x 24 inches

at it, and he said, “The horses are going the wrong way.” He

Range: $750 - 1,000

could have told me that before. I paint things I’d seen at grandma’s or in my own home, things I

Emily Lunde’s father died when she was five years old,

have attended—weddings, carnivals, threshing gangs, things like

and she and her two sisters were raised by her immigrant

that. It’s sort of a satire of the old days, some of it’s affectionate

grandparents on a farm near Oslo, Minnesota. Memories of those

but some of it’s also a put-down. So there’s some kind of bite in

days are the inspiration for much of her painting. Emily left home

The Gossips and there’s a little bit of hypocrisy in the one where

at the age of eighteen and went to work as a maid in Grand Forks,

the preacher comes unexpected. The people weren’t supposed to

North Dakota. Although always interested in art, Emily married

do any of the things they do in the painting, but they did them

and raised four children, and by 1974 was finally able to begin

when nobody was looking. I don’t know if that is the thin line

to paint seriously.

between comedy and tragedy.

Emily Lunde is one of the state’s eminent folk artists and

When I sit down and paint I laugh at my characters. They were

unofficial cultural historians. She has recorded the life of the

like company. It was quiet here at home, my husband didn’t talk

Scandinavian immigrants who settled the prairies and small

much and we didn’t go anywhere, so I painted. I don’t know

towns of the Red River Valley during the early years of the

what I would have done if I hadn’t painted. That and the library.

twentieth century. She categorized her work as a “satire of human nature as I alternately toast and roast those I love.”

Painting’s getting to be work now. But then there are times when there is something I’d like to do. I’d like to do something entirely

Lunde said, There was a time when I would paint on anything I

different once. But when I do that it isn’t what people want

could get a hold of. Any piece of board or paper. It was fun to see

because they have an idea in their mind about what I do. So then

what things looked like. Then I’d take a painting somewhere and

you go back and make it. I don’t care if I never make a country

I’d be too bashful to go back and pick it up. My first art exhibit

store again. I have hundreds of them out, all to different persons.

was at the University; I never did find out what happened to the

But they’re so tedious. I wouldn’t sell one for under $100 now.

painting. One of my first endeavors was to paint the farm home. I gave it 46

to my mother and she hid it in the attic. So I guess it wasn’t too

Emily Lunde, “Amazing Emily: Reminiscences of a Folk Painter” Border Crossings, September 1985.

Lot #51

John Hitchcock Madison, Wisconsin Unexpected Company, 1987 Acrylic on canvas 21 x 24 inches Range: $750 - 1,000

America). Today he serves as Graduate Chair and Associate Professor of Art at the main campus of the University of Wisconsin. He continues to make collaborative printmaking projects wherever he is invited. His uses his art to explore notions of good, evil, death, and life cycles. His depictions of beasts, animals, and war machines act as metaphors for human behavior and cycles of violence. His artwork is a response to intrusive behavior by humans toward nature and other humans. According to the artist, This concept ties to the rich tradition that printmaking serves as a vehicle for expression of discontent with the possibility of promoting reflection and change. From Goya's Disasters of War to the graphic work of José Posada, and, more recently, the art of Leon John

Hitchcock, a Comanche/German/Northern-

Golub, all spoke to their times through printmaking means.

European, who blends printmaking, digital imaging, video, and

The approach to studio art practice by some contemporary artists

installation to question, “What have we learned from progress?

has changed. Typically artworks are displayed within a traditional

What will be the fate of my people’s indigenous ways?”

gallery setting, and Hitchcock regularly participates in these

Hitchcock’s art involves ideas of loss of language, spiritual

venues with his prints and drawings. He, however, also brings the

beliefs, and culture due to the influence of Indian boarding

art directly to the viewer by exhibiting in non-traditional venues

schools, welfare programs, and the notion of assimilation and

such as public transportation, billboards, signage, the internet,

control that is reinforced through government systems.

and on reservations. The dissemination of printed information

In 2002, Hitchcock had a large exhibition at the North Dakota Museum of Art, which included an interactive game (knock the chickens down) with prizes and a traditional Indian give-away. It came about because Laurel Reuter had been asked to critique his solo exhibition at the University of Minnesota Morris, a requirement for advancement to tenure track. She was charmed by this man who looked like a reservation Indian, who thoroughly understood Plains reservation life, and who made

through multi-media projects and collaboration is a fundamental part of his studio practice and results in give-away prints, small books, and shippable interactive art. His studio practice can virtually be anywhere at anytime due to laptop computers, smart devices, and Internet technology. The artist has also amassed a large group of national and international colleagues from his art travels and by participating in several art-related social networking groups such as Inkteraction.

smart, sophisticated, worldly art out of his own heritage that

Jelsing is one of six artists included in the North Dakota Museum

blended humor and pathos. Hitchcock grew up on indigenous

of Art collaboration on Spirit Lake Reservation. Funded by the

lands (U.S. Government lands) in the Wichita Mountains of

Rauschenberg Foundation, the artists are charged with creating

Oklahoma (a wildlife refuge) next to Fort Sill in Lawton,

work about contemporary life in this mixed-race, present-day

Oklahoma (the largest field-artillery military base in North



This work is sponsored by William F. Wosick, MD All proceeds from the sale support the development of the Barton Lidice Benes Period Room

Lot #52

Barton Lidice Benes

help of legions of friends and strangers, that strange and

(1942 - 2012) Born and lived in New York City

mysterious cornucopia is taking up residence in the North

Madison, Wisconsin

Dakota Museum of Art.

Ossuary, 2001 Lithograph, Edition 5/40

There was something wonderfully American about Barton. One

37 x 41 inches (framed)

would meet him and know that this was a guy to whom anything

Range: $5,000 - 7,000

might happen. A film star might call and invite him to dinner. The head of the Federal Reserve might give him $20 million in shredded money. A national television network might invite him to come on the morning news to make good some crazy claim of

Barton Lidice Benes

his that they read about on the front page of the Wall Street

A Dance With the Gods

Journal. He might be in the vanguard of a new art movement, or

By Laurel Reuter*

several art movements (book art, money art, AIDS art, and rubber-stamp art). He might beat AIDS—and he did for three

Barton Lidice Benes and his treasure trove spent

decades. Barton and the gods had a long history with each other.

decades tucked away in a glorious boxcar space in Westbeth, the

On May 30, 2012, Barton departed New York University’s

artist community in New York’s West Village. There, rare works of

Medical Center on his final journey, leaving behind a remarkable

art joined ranks with the arcane, the wistful, the amusing, the

compilation of magnificent art and inglorious stuff coupled with

deeply serious, and a “maddening and morbid array of things” (a

the art of his own making. Within all of it he shadow-danced

human toe found on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge, a stuffed

with a host of gods: those of modern technological medicine, of

mink wearing a mink coat, a two-foot hour-glass housing

ancient Egypt, of Christendom, of the Africa illuminated through

cremation ashes). Now that Barton has departed and with the

traditional sculpture, of commercial America, of philanthropy and do-goodism, of childhood, of hope and despair, of death, of

48 *Memorial essay written in June 2012 in response to the artist’s death.

the dead, of the dying, of taboo, of memory, of life.

The artist mulled it over. He wanted to create work that would bring Brenda more acknowledgement in death than she had ever

If I were to compare Barton to a poet, it would be to John Donne, ‘who played with death throughout his work and made it a lover along with an enemy, thus allowing us to live more fully.’ —Laura Whitehorn

found in life, more dignity in dying than she had known in living. He cast about for a visual metaphor and he found one. Barton, himself HIV positive, had come to hate the AIDS ribbon. He saw it as nothing more than a politically correct fashion item. That year everyone had worn one for the Academy Awards. You could buy one inset with diamonds in fancy jewelry stores. Repulsed, Barton countered, “If you want to do something about AIDS, contribute to research or make dinner for a sick friend. Don’t wear one of those awful red ribbons.” He decided to take the image of the red ribbon and give it a potency it never had.

Barton once said, “Living in my apartment is like living in a seventeenth century curio cabinet.” He continued, “My work has been attacked in British tabloids and featured on the cover of ARTnews. I’ve been fascinated by relics ever since I took a monk’s bone from the catacombs in Rome in 1963. Then I went to Africa in 1970 and the real collecting began.” Barton lived for sixty-nine years, always an artist, always an artist exploring what it means to be human. That is the overriding theme of his life’s

The artist set to work fashioning 200 four-inch-high AIDS ribbons of heavy paper, coated with glue and breaded with Brenda’s ashes. They were to be installed on a museum wall, row upon row, in exact order, one after another. The elegant, superblycrafted shapes dressed in that refined, ash-gray, textured surface would be given context by an engraved, bronze plaque centered below: The Cremated Remains of Brenda Woods Born July 5, 1947

work and the thread running through Barton’s Place, the Museum

Died November 1, 1989

that evolved within that 850-square-foot space.

of AIDS Death and its bedmate, memory of the life that was, begot both his living Museum and the art he created. Example: Brenda. She

The work, glimpsed on a far wall is serene and beautiful. Only

was born in New York City of an alcoholic mother and from birth

when the viewer steps close and realizes that these objects are

was doomed to misery. Abused and neglected, she and her two

made from the ashes of a real-life Brenda does the piece take on

siblings soon were placed with a foster family in Harlem. The

its discomforting power. In death Brenda achieves the grace and

home was poor but stable; still, at age sixteen Brenda fled to

dignity denied her in life.

search for her “real” mother. She moved in with her, and life began to unravel. While still a teenager, she gave birth to three children, one right after the other. The first two were put up for adoption. Brenda started to use drugs and through some shared needle somewhere along the way, she contracted the AIDS virus. Soon she lost all her family. Her youngest child was taken by the state. Even her brother Christopher, who was determined to make a better life of his own, fell out of touch. Brenda became one of those lost people to whom no one pays much attention. When she died, Christopher was located in time to assume responsibility for the cremation. Years passed and one day Christopher sought out his friend, Barton. Tucked under his arm

Barton succeeded in his art because he was a master of balancing despair with hope, faith with sorrow, the underbelly of life with laughter. Like a tightrope walker, he perfectly maintained the tension between opposing forces. Were he to fail, his work would fall into prettiness, or sentimentality, or ghoulishness. Instead, the artist reaches across time for sacred and historical images that have been the traditional carriers of hope: a crucifix, a rosary, a carved god, a wishbone, a lucky penny. Then he intertwined the symbols of hope with equally powerful symbols of defeat. His collections expand and intermingle with these same metaphors and symbols.

was a Tupperware container filled with Brenda’s ashes. The foster

Barton Lidice Benes could laugh while all went down around

family didn’t know what to do with them and neither did

him, as AIDS decimated the artistic community, as his own body

Christopher. Almost simultaneously they agreed that Barton

gave way his humor remained intact. It is as if his spirit was

should turn the remains into a memorial—with one caveat:

steeped in Norse mythology which teaches that even though the

Barton insisted that Christopher must approve his concept before

gods destroy you, if you laugh in their faces as they are killing

he would begin the work.

you, you defeat them. Even his name defied loss. Barton’s father 49

gave him his middle name “Lidice” in honor of the village in Czechoslovakia that was destroyed by the Nazis on June 9, 1942. The official announcement came over the radio a day later from Germany. “Lidice is dead. Its residents, and its very name are forever blotted from memory.” Barton’s father responded, “No, it is not. It will live on through my son.” After World War II ended the village was rebuilt nearby and a rose garden now flourishes on the original site. Decades later Barton was invited to Prague for an exhibition of his work and to celebrate the memory of the old village which lives on in Barton’s name. Once again he became a celebrity. It took a long time for Death to find Barton. But through his laughter, his Museum, and his art, Barton Lidice Benes won. His glorious, small Museum with its treasure trove of art and artifacts from across the ages is testimony to the place of art in shadow 50 dancing with the gods.

Above: Barton Lidice Benes standing in the rose garden on the site of the village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia which was destroyed during World War II. Right: Barton’s apartment in New York City, Photograph by Peter Madero for publication in Harlem Style: Designing for the New Urban Aesthetic. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002. page 120.

The contents of Barton’s apartment, his Museum, will be reconstructed in the North Dakota Museum of Art as a Twenty-first Century Artist’s Studio, the Museum’s first period room. Visit the Museum’s web site or call the Museum to help support moving a work from New York to Grand Forks. 51












Marilee Moen





Kelly Thompson, artist and North Dakota Museum of Art Trustee, interviews

Laurel Reuter, Founding Director of the North Dakota Museum of Art

Last fall's auction catalog introduced a new interview feature. I

Pictures by neighbors and family hung on our walls at home.

liked it. In fact, I suggested to Laurel that I could interview her for

Also, we had two illustrated books that we wore out as children:

the 2012 issue you hold in your hand. She agreed.

an encyclopedia of animals of the world and masterpieces of

There's an ever-present, powerful freight train behind the North Dakota Museum of Art, literally, but metaphorically it's Laurel Reuter. Many of us are familiar with the public, all-art-andbusiness Laurel, the museum's creator and director since it's inception, but I was curious to know a bit more of what was a little further up and down that track, so again, I just asked. —Kelly Thompson KT: It’s 1955, a Sunday afternoon in Tokio, North Dakota. Close your eyes and tell me what you sense.

European painting. I pored over both of them. As an adult wandering around Europe I would discover “my paintings” one by one. In particular, I remember stumbling upon Fragonard’s The Swing in the Wallace Collection in London. It especially pleased me because my name was Laurel Wallace. KT: What the hell is art anyway? Keep it simple and break it down for us. LR: Art is visual language just as music is aural language. KT: I remember the art gallery tucked away on the third floor of the Memorial Union in the 1970s. Did you imagine yourself then

LR: Whatever the year, warm sun, running into the wind, rain and

to be where you are today?

snow, sleet and low-hanging clouds. Play, play, play outside with my brothers throughout all the Sundays of childhood, while our

LR: Of course. From the beginning, my goal was to create the

aunt we lived with took a long nap.

best small museum between Minneapolis and the Pacific, or across the western northern tier. Then I went and looked at those

KT: From where did your passion for art arise?

museums and expanded my goal considerably.

LR: I think I was always visual. My brothers remember events

KT: Often your exhibitions have a political or social message.

from long ago in specific ways: who was there, what this one or

What drives that?

that one said, how events unfolded. I probably remember the color of the sky or my dress. I had two jobs while in college, one designing in a floral shop—self taught—and the other correcting tests in the University Counseling Center. Out of curiosity, I would give myself the tests. One day I came across a design aptitude test; took it and scored 100. At the time I thought “How stupid. Why would they make such a simplistic test.” Years later I

LR: In truth, I only curate such an exhibition once in awhile but they are the ones that attract outside attention so they become the ones our local audience remembers. On the other hand, my childhood as a white kid growing up on an Indian reservation turned me into a staunch human rights believer by the time I was eight-years-old. I often found life unfair. I just didn’t know the words or that it was a political point-of-view.

realized it wasn’t stupid, the makers of the test just arranged the images the way I saw the world.

Above: Installation “The Oakes Twins,” August 7-September 30, 2012, 67 North Dakota Museum of Art

our region. So it was intentional. Regarding commonality in the art of our region: Some time ago, I was visiting with a friend, Brian Szott, who is Curator of the Art Collections Department at the Minnesota Historical Society, about this very subject. He observed that artists from our region are still involved with animals in a way that is not common in the rest of the States. I think he was right. This is the one defining factor that I see. Also, our artists make art in timeless ways. I seldom find conceptual or technology-based art being made here. KT: Describe your perfect dinner. LR: Verena Fonder has cooked a sit-down dinner for eight in my home—the menu of her choosing. The house is filled with flowers and a pianist plays for us. Maybe a cellist as well. I have invited close friends, some no longer living, some having traveled I also believe it is my responsibility to curate exhibitions that can

from afar. Verena and her “assistant” Terry, her chef husband, as

be accessed by our intelligent viewers who aren’t necessarily

well as the musicians, also are guests. Of course the party grows

trained in contemporary art. The recent exhibition by the Oakes

beyond eight but Verena expects that of me so we have an

Twins is an example of art taking on issues that reside in the

abundance of food and extra tables nearby.

realm of science, how the eye and the brain process what one sees. Finding avenues into art for ordinary people is one of the challenges I have set for myself. I truly believe that art matters

KT: Where do you go in your mind when you need a cleansing moment?

and has an important place in our lives.

LR: Into the sea, preferably the big wave, all consuming sea.

KT: What art acquisition did you miss out on that causes you the

KT: Do you remember the last time you cried?

most regret? LR: Like everyone I cry in private life. I also am moved to tears by LR: I missed out on finding one hundred million dollars to amass

outer life. One tearful memory lodged in my mind from long ago

an encyclopedic collection of art from around the world. Imagine

was watching Secretariat win the Belmont. My old friend David

if the amount of money it took to build UND’s hockey arena

Gipp and I allowed dinner to become charcoal as that glorious

could have been spent on art. It would have been in investment

horse ran into history. Books like Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of

for all time—and what a good time I would have had building it.

Sarajevo brought me to tears.

KT: You’re stowed away in a room full of art supplies. What might

KT: Tell me about your most treasured possession.

we see from your creative side when you emerge? LR: My most treasured possessions are memories. LR: I am a writer so assuming that among the supplies were paper and pens, or a computer, I would emerge with another book.


Last question: I’m hanging you by the ankles from the

Kennedy bridge. What’s your favorite piece in this year’s auction? KT: You certainly have a novel in you. What does the back cover say to lure us readers in?

LR: I never tell although I am sure my staff can guess.

LR: It repeats the title, Under the Devil’s Heart.

KT: Okay, that begs the very last question. . . can you swim?


The NDMOA Fall Auction catalogs have become a

LR: At least a couple times each week in the summer I swim

wonderful and maybe unintended documentation of our region’s

across Larimore Dam and back. I consider it my private

visual art. Do you see a commonality in what is created here? Is

swimming pool.

there anything we can claim? LR: When I began to publish the Autumn Art Auction catalog I 68 decided to create the catalog as a multi-volume history of art in

Above: Elias Sime’s goat skins stuffed with straw and embroidered with plastic in the 2012 solo exhibition of this Ethiopian arist at the North Dakota Museum of Art




Explore . . . Endure . . . Evolve . . . is proud to support the North Dakota Museum of Art’s Autumn Art Auction—part of our ongoing support of art and artists in the region. North Dakota Quarterly typically showcases artists on each cover and Ann Coe’s original serigraph featured on this cover (left) is part of the Museum’s permanent collection. Copies of the most recent NDQ are available in the Museum shop. Now in its 77th year of publication, North Dakota Quarterly contains a stimulating collection of essays, short stories, poems, and reviews. Ann Coe, Learning How to Deal

Bring this ad to Room 15 of Merrifield Hall for a free copy of the North Dakota Quarterly or $10 off a yearly subscription.


North Dakota Quarterly, Merrifield Hall Room 110, 276 Centennial Drive Stop 7209, Grand Forks ND 58202-7209, (701) 777-3322 e-mail:













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