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Among twenty snowy mountains, The only moving thing Was the eye of the blackbird. â€”Wallace Stevens
North Dakota Museum of Art
Barbara Bosworth, Boston, Massachusetts. Black-billed Cuckoo, 2005. Chromogenic development print.
Winged Shadows On display at:
Life Among Birds
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The Snowy Egret in full stilted stature Regal and poised, stalking her prey What a generous contrast to this gray dreary day. —Susan K. de Vegter
The North Dakota Museum of Art This is North Dakota’s state art museum. As it is located in Grand Forks, it can be difficult for families and schools to plan day-trips to the Museum. Due to these great distances, the Museum started touring exhibitions to communities across North Dakota through its Rural Arts Initiative, launched in 2003 with funding from the State of North Dakota. Exhibitions have travelled to all corners of the State, including smaller towns such as Crosby, Pekin, and Bowman, but also larger North Dakota cities such as Jamestown, Fargo, and Bismarck. Through this program the Museum delivers, installs, and returns to take down and repack exhibitions of original artwork free-of-charge to North Dakota communities. In
An Exhibition Touring Through the
addition to free exhibitions, the Museum’s Education Department creates lesson plans and makes them available on the Museum’s website at www.ndmoa.com. The program also provides free bussing costs for schools within a fifty-mile radius of the hosting venue. “Winged Shadows: Life Among Birds” is the Museum’s seventh travelling exhibit. Collected in this exhibition are numerous ways of looking at birds through paintings, photographs, prints, video, and an electronic installation by artists from the Canadian Arctic, across the United States from Boston to Salt Lake City, and from Europe and North Dakota. The artists have created works of art that remind the viewer of the sheer beauty of birds and the various relationships that exist between them and humans. Included in “Winged Shadows” are floor-to-ceiling banners by Utahbased artist Rosalie Winard, known for her photographs of pelicans in the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, fifteen miles northwest of Medina, North Dakota. Winnipeg-based artist Erika Lincoln created an electronic installation of the objects that urban magpies collect to make their nests. She is interested in how birds adapt and thrive in cities around the world, and more specifically, how the magpie flourishes among urbanites and their refuse. Matt Anderson’s eight-foot digital drawing takes a different approach. In Anderson’s work, birds devour cities and reclaim what they lost to development. Photographer Terry Evans is known for photographing the Great Plains. When she moved to Chicago and could no longer shoot the grasslands, Evans gained access to the Field Museum’s prairie specimen collection. Evans worked to photograph bird specimens taken over 100 years ago by collectors, professional and amateur, as they sought to document the wildlife of the Great Plains. This is an exhibition from the North Dakota Museum of Art. The next time you are in Grand Forks, visit the Museum itself. It is open to the public without charge.
North Dakota Museum of Art Rural Arts Initiative
Funded by the State of North Dakota
Right: Victoria Neel New York, New York Stages, 2011 Gouache on paper, 12 x 16 inches Courtesy Jason McCoy Gallery Left: Rosalie Winard, Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Anna Maria Island, Florida, 1999
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They paddle with staccato feet In powder-pools of sunlight, Small blue busybodies Strutting like fat gentlemen . . . —Richard Kell Right: Rebecca Norris-Webb Brooklyn, New York Havana, Cuba, 2008 Chromogenic development print Below: Victoria Neel New York, New York Luzon Bleeding-Heart Pigeon in "Birds Without Sky" 2011, Gouache on paper, 9 1/2 x 13 inches Couresy Jason McCoy Gallery
FROM WAR HEROES TO URBAN NUISANCE The ability to communicate is essential to soldiers in the field. Without communications to their commanders or support units in the rear area, soldiers on the front line can't send messages about their progress, request needed supplies, or call for help when things reach their worst. During World War I, messages were sometimes transmitted by wire (telegraph or field phone), but two-way radio communications had not yet become available. Sometimes a unit was ordered to attack over a broad and often difficult terrain, making it impossible to string the wire necessary for communications. In these situations, a field commander often carried with him several carrier pigeons. Pigeons served many purposes during the war, racing through the skies with airplanes or even being fitted with cameras to take pictures of enemy positions. But one of the most important roles they served in was as messengers. An important message could be written on a piece of paper, then that paper neatly folded and secured in a small canister attached to a pigeon's leg. Once the pigeon was released, it would try to fly to its home back behind the lines, where the message would be read and transmitted to the proper military planners. The Egyptians and the Persians first used carrier pigeons 3,000 years ago. They were also used to proclaim the winner of the Olympics. In 1436, people imagined that the birds made round trips, out and back. Now we know that they can only fly back to their “home.” To communicate back and forth, one must have two pigeons, one from each place.
The Republic of Genoa equipped their system of watch towers in the Mediterranean Sea with pigeon posts. In 1860, Paul Reuter, who later founded Reuters press agency, used a fleet of over forty-five pigeons to deliver news and stock prices between Brussels and Aachen, the terminals of early telegraph lines. The outcome of the Battle of Waterloo was also first delivered by a pigeon to England. During the Franco-Prussian War, pigeons were used to carry mail between besieged Paris and the French unoccupied territory. Possibly the first regular air mail service in the world was Mr. Howie's Pigeon-Post service from the Auckland New Zealand suburb of Newton to Great Barrier Island, starting in 1896. Certainly the world’s first “airmail” stamps were issued for the Great Barrier Pigeon-Gram Service from 1898 to 1908. Homing pigeons were still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in Orissa state in eastern India to provide emergency communication services following natural disasters. In March 2002, it was announced that India's Police Pigeon Service messenger system in Orissa was to be retired, due to the expanded use of the Internet. Also the Taliban have banned the keeping and/or use of homing pigeons in Afghanistan.
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Canada Geese land on the pond as if eager to learn ice skating.
And Birds, And Birds and Things
Charles Beck Fergus Falls, Minnesota Carved birds, sizes various Private collection Above: Terry Evans Chicago, Illinois Field Museum, Sandhill Crane, May 15, 1935, Alberta, 2001 Iris photographic print Left: Armando Ramos Valley City, North Dakota WK-5, 2011 Floor sculpture, wood, paper, acrylic 33.5 x 25 x 5.5 inches Right: Erika Lincoln Winnipeg, Manitoba Mechatronic Magpie, 2010-11 Yarn, electronics, lights, ipod, alarm clocks, and sound
“In Mechatronic Magpie, I was thinking about the collecting of objects and the story of magpies that collect shiny objects,” according to the artist. Curator Mary Reed continues, “The deeper one goes inside the nesting grouping, the more actively the bits of found electonic debris behave: the computer fans twirl, the giveaway airline headsets broadcast CBC, and the ubiquitus digital clocks count time at unusual rates. What the artist’s magpie has collected is as amusing as it is troubling. The molded joysticks in one, tweak nostalgia for computer games of a not too long ago era. However, the reality is that these computer systems, although recyclables in Lincoln’s art, do not break down and hence will stay in a landfill site forever. With this piece, Lincoln dissolves the novelty of a bird incorporating a sparkling bit of tinsel in its nest and references larger ecological concerns regarding how manmade pollution is impacting birds’ behaviors and habitat.”
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I have only my song Though it too is slipping from me. —Akjartok
From Shaman to Art Stars: Twentieth Century Inuit Artists
Kenojuak Ashevak Northwest Territories, Canada The Wonderful Bird, 1964 Copper engraving, 10 x 12 inches, ed. 20/50 Collection of North Dakota Museum of Art Gift of Douglas Kinsey
Helen Kalvak Canadian Northwest Territories 1901 - 1984 Legend, 1965 Stone cut print on paper, 12.5 x 19.25 inches, ed. 7/20. Collection of North Dakota Museum of Art Gift from Douglas Kinsey
Kenojuak Ashevak Kenojuak is one of Canada’s most acclaimed graphic artists. Her long list of achievements and honors is surpassed only by her stamina and good humor. Printmaking was introduced into the Arctic in the 1950s and Kenojuak became one of the first women in Cape Dorset (the Capital of Inuit Art) to begin drawing. She has created many carvings from soapstone and thousands of drawings and prints including etchings and stone-cuts. Born on south Baffin Island at a camp area known as Ikirisaq, Kenojuak grew up travelling from camp to camp on south Baffin and in Arctic Quebec (Nunavik). As a young woman, she was married to Johnniebo and lived with him in various camps including Keakto, a scenic area seven miles from Cape Dorset. While still living at Keakto in the late 1950s, both Kenojuak and Johnniebo first experimented with carving and drawing. They moved to Cape Dorset in 1966 in order for their children to attend school, and continued to work closely together until Johnniebo’s death. In 1970 her print, Enchanted Owl (1960), was reproduced on a stamp commemorating the centennial of the Northwest Territories, and again in 1993, Canada Post selected her drawing entitled The Owl to be reproduced on their 86-cent stamp. She is the most celebrated of Inuit artists with books and films about her and a legion of awards, prizes, and honors. Kenojuak is now in her late 80s and the senior member of the Cape Dorset stable of graphic artists. Much loved and well respected, Kenojuak began designing stained glass windows in 2004.
Left: Kenojuak Ashevak Northwest Territories, Canada Untitled (Owl), 1964 Copper engraving, 12 x 17.5 inches, ed. 26/50. Collection of North Dakota Museum of Art Gift of Douglas Kinsey
Helen Kalvak Born on Victoria Island in the northwest portion of Canada’s Northwest Territories, graphic artist Helen Kalvak lived the traditional migratory life of most early twentieth-century Inuits (Eskimos) for most of her life. Soon after she moved into the settlement of Holman Island in 1960, Kalvak was given the opportunity to draw by Father Henri Tardy, an Oblate missionary who introduced graphic arts to the community. Kalvak made more than 1,800 drawings between 1962 and 1978, 154 of which were made into stencil prints and lithographs issued in the annual Holman Island print editions from 1965 to 1985. Kalvak’s childhood training as a shaman informed the artwork she made in her old age, long after her conversion to Christianity. More than most Inuit graphics, her work depicts women in the roles of healer, sorcerer, and transformational figure. Bird Track, Enchantress, and Dream—all from 1973—represent this theme. Through her prints Kalvak became a well-known Inuit artist. She was elected to membership in the Canadian Royal Academy of Arts in 1975 and was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1979.
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A man and a woman Are one. A man and a woman and a blackbird Are one. — Wallace Stevens American White Pelicans at Chase Lake, North Dakota
Chase Lake, located sixty miles east of Bismarck, has one of the largest white pelican nesting colonies in North America, but it wasn’t always that way. According to a local settler, “When I came here in 1905 there were probably five hundred pelicans that nested on Chase Lake’s island. At that time, pelicans were being hunted in great numbers simply for their feathers to adorn fashionable women’s hats and clothing.” After the number of pelicans had been reduced to about fifty birds, President Roosevelt set aside Chase Lake in North Dakota’s famous prairie pothole country as a bird refuge in August, 1908. The 4,385-acre Refuge includes Chase Lake itself, native prairie, dense nesting cover, and an amazing density of wetlands. The majority of this land has not been altered since Euro-American settlement times. The American white pelican is one of those birds you just can't help but notice. It is one of the largest birds in North America, measuring six feet from bill to tail. White pelicans weigh up to twenty pounds and have a wingspan of eight to nine-and-a-half-feet long. Every year in April, birds arrive from the Gulf of Mexico, spending the entire summer breeding, laying eggs, and raising young at Chase Lake. Sometimes as many as 30,000 birds rest there, sometimes fewer because of climate conditions or other natural causes. In 2003, however, a very strange thing happened—pelicans came in April and left in May. They abandoned their nests, their chicks, and their eggs, moving on to other parts of the Dakotas. Since pelicans breed only one time a year, people were worried. No one
could figure out why they left. Would pelicans be gone forever from Chase Lake? Scientists and naturalists thought the cause might be related to climate changes; some thought there could be predators who were hunting them. Perhaps they were being poisoned by contaminated feed, fish, or water. Fortunately, the pelicans have come back to Chase Lake. The artist, Rosalie Winard helped band the chicks that were left behind before they were able to fly away, so that we could follow where they went and find out when and if they would return. She took many photographs of both the landscape of Chase Lake and the white pelicans, one of which is included in this exhibit.
Left: Rosalie Winard Salt Lake City, Utah, Pelican Chick Below: Rosalie Winard, Marching White Pelicans, Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota, 2003 Digital photograph, 15 x 39.5 inches
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Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all.
Exhibition Videos Cecelia Condit Milwaukee, Wisconsin Why not a Sparrow, 2006 DVD 11:00 minutes
Matt Anderson Grand Forks, North Dakota Robins Eat Worms, 2011 Photography, graphite, and ink 29.25 x 19.75 inches
Guido van der Werve Amsterdam, The Netherlands Walking Pigeon, 2002 DVD 1:39 minutes
Bottom right: Rob Yeo Milwaukee, Wisconsin Of a Feather, 2011 DVD 10:30 minutes
David Krueger Hyattsville, Maryland Kingfisher, 1994 Watercolor, 22 x 30 inches Private Collection
Of a Feather is a lyrical portrait of the vibrant force of life, filmed during the course of a year in a major North American wetland. According to the artist, My son loves birdwatching and I share his interest. On many mornings, he and I travelled to Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin to see and hear the birds as they migrated through the region. I brought my 16mm camera and continued to film and record sounds for the next year. Of a Feather is a record of that time and my impression of the life cycle of this remarkable natural environment.
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It was evening all afternoon. It was snowing And it was going to snow. The blackbird sat In the cedar-limbs. — Wallace Stevens
North Dakota Museum of Art History: The Museum was founded in 1974 as the University Art Galleries located in the University of North Dakota Student Union. In 1985 the Museum was designated as the official State Art Gallery and renamed the North Dakota Museum of Art. The Museum is not funded by the State Legislature except for project-based support. Individuals, foundations, and corporations underwrite the Museum and its programs. Mission: The Museum’s purpose is to foster and nurture the aesthetic life and artistic expression of the people living on the Northern Plains through exhibitions, programs, and publications that engage the region, the country, and the world. PrograMs: The Museum produces over seventy events per year including exhibitions, concerts, children’s programs, lectures, workshops, art auctions, and fundraisers. Temporary exhibitions are housed in the Museum’s three galleries. Exhibitions run from six weeks to two months. Works from the permanent collection are included in temporary exhibitions. In addition, many of the Museum’s exhibitions tour nationally and internationally. ColleCtions: The Museum’s collection, begun in 1989, numbers 900 objects encompassing 1) national and international contemporary art acquired through the exhibition program, 2) works that are vital to the visual history of the region, and 3) contemporary Native American art from the 1970s on. The Museum also commissions new work by artists that explore the unique and changing culture and environment of the Northern Plains.
We have come to value the arts because they make our hearts wise—the highest of human goals. Therefore, in an environment that might be perceived as alien to the arts, we propose to build a stellar museum for the people of the Northern Plains. — North Dakota Museum of Art Mission Statement
North Dakota Museum of Art 261 Centennial Drive Stop 7305 Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA Phone: 701 777-4195 Fax: 701 777-4425 E-mail: email@example.com www.ndmoa.com Laurel Reuter, Director Sue Fink, Director of Education Matt Wallace, Director of Rural Arts Initiative Guillermo Guardia Yamamoto, Artist-In-Residence Greg Vettel, Exhibition Coordinator Rural Arts E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Admission: Free to Museum and Rural School Programs Museum suggested donation: $5 from adults and change from children The Museum Café is open weekdays for lunch. Call to book special tours or to rent event space.
audienCe: Historically, the Museum’s audience averages between 35,000 and 50,000 a year but as much as 125,000 including touring exhibitions. Located in Grand Forks, it serves a large, geographic area that includes all of rural North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. The Museum’s penetration into its community (ratio of visitors to population) is one of the highest in the country. rural arts initiative: All exhibitions open at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks before beginning to tour. After Grand Forks, “Fantastic” moved to Pekin for a trial run, invited by Brenda Bjorlie and the Nelson County Arts Council. Mrs. Bjorlie wrote, “Fantastic was just that—fantastic. Overall, both adults and students enjoyed walking through this sometimes strange world of fairy tales, myths, and legends.” Another teacher wrote: “I teach elementary art in Dickinson, North Dakota. My 5th grade art students went on a field trip to your travelling exhibit last year and we loved it. We were able to link the exhibit, Animals: Them and Us, to the duck stamps we were designing in class and also discuss how seeing art in a gallery can effect our ideas about the art. It was a unique educational experience many of them would never have gotten if it wasn’t for the Rural Arts Initiative. Thank you so much for bringing a professional show to our area. I’m going to look for a place to host the exhibit this year, and you will definitely hear from me if I have any success.” Since 2004, the Rural Arts Initiative has taken exhibitions to thirty-seven communities in North Dakota and, with special funding from the MetLife Foundation, to four others in Minnesota—many for multiple bookings. governanCe: In 1996 the Museum underwent significant institutional change when UND turned over management of the Museum to an independent, twenty-member Board of Trustees under its own 501 (c) (3). In 1998 the North Dakota Museum of Art Foundation, was established as a separate 501 (c) (3) charged with raising and managing Museum major gifts and endowments.