Need a Break from the Sun? Chill Out with Art this Week

I don’t know about you, but the 90° weather these past few days has drained me of all energy and left me wanting some “inside” time. Back at the office, I’m marveling at the many opportunities The Arts Center offers to provide some relief from weeding, mowing, fishing, boating, picnicking, canning, repairs, etc., etc.

If you are an artist, you need to get busy preparing (or creating) your artwork for the JFAA Annual. Registration materials are due on August 1. You can submit up to three artworks to this exhibition. “Don’t have a piece ready yet?” Send in your form – label the work “untitled”or “TBD” and get busy creating something. The exhibit is a great way to share your creativity and be part of a 50 year old community celebration of art and artists. If you would like more details on the show click here, 2015Brochure and 2015Form.

11755714_10153468481289281_5817533082270262150_nOn July 31, drop by The Arts Center after work (5:00 pm) to hear 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning author, Elizabeth A. Fenn, reading from her book Encounters at the Heart of the World. “The book focuses on the Mandan Indians, whose Plains culture flourished for centuries on the upper Missouri River…Elizabeth A. Fenn retrieves their history by piecing together important new discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, geology, climatology, epidemiology, and nutritional science. Her boldly original interpretation of these diverse research findings offers us a new perspective on early American history, a new interpretation of the American past.” Read more at

2110924On Thursday, July 30 Monroe Crossing returns to The Arts Center. The show starts at 7:00 pm. A perennial favorite, these world-class bluegrass entertainers are coming back to Jamestown with their newly released album “Because You Asked”. Named in honor of Bill Monroe, Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada. More about Monroe Crossing. Tickets are available at The Arts Center: $30 for members / $35 non-members.

19a434a73e34a3a4d6b20df30e236116Finally, there are a variety of art classes offered in everything from Origami to Pointillism, Ceramic Beer Mugs (to use for Oktoberfest on September 12th) to Color Pencil drawing, the full list, descriptions and registration can be found on the Arts Center’s website.



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Mini Art Hunt – Clue Set #2

FullSizeRender-150x150Wow, there are some good hunters out there! Hope you are having fun!

Buffalos 1, 8, 9, 10 and 12 have been FOUND.

Here is the Art Hunt Clue Set 2.

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Let the 2015 Art Hunt Begin!

Here is the 1st set of clues for the Mini Art Hunt. Art Hunt Clue Set 1

MiniArt_ImagesmallCreated by visual artist William Hessian, these little guys are hiding in the Jamestown parks and the Frontier Village, just waiting to be found!

More about William Hessian and his Mini-art hunts:

Remember all mini art pieces are hidden in plain sight – no need to dig or move anything to find them.

If you find a mini art piece please email so we can mark it as found.

Good Luck! At 3:00 pm the second set of clues will be released.

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Hello July, Hello “Artsy” Summer Fun

I can’t believe I’m looking at the calendar and seeing the words July. The Arts Center’s children’s summer arts program is moving along with Week 5 starting on Monday. There are still openings available and selections are varied from Mixed Media Works with Sarah Gamble to Music with Sephra Puffe to Eric Carle Explorations with Jennifer Wentz to Fashion Design with Bonnie Tressler, dance, theatre and more with Sarah Johnson and finally Missoula Children’s Theatre will finish off the “season.”

oboeToday in Jamestown you can not only experience popular culture with the County Fair but also refined culture as The Arts Center we will host The New York Kammermusiker, a double-reed ensemble presenting their 9th Annual Winds of Change Festival Tour. The performance will occur at 6:00 pm at the Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Those 18 years of age and younger can attend for free.  The performance is preceded between 3-5 pm with an opportunity for the public to interact and converse with these talented musicians. Tickets available at the door.

MiniArt_ImagesmallAnnual Mini-Art Hunt will occur Saturday, July 11th and ends when all 12 art works are found! Visit our booth in McElroy park Saturday & Sunday during the White Cloud festivities. 12 unique mini-artworks by visual artist William “Mr. Billy” Hessian will be hidden throughout the Jamestown parks. Four Sets of Visual Clues (photos) to each artwork’s hiding place will be made public: Saturday, July 11th at 10:00 am & 3:00 pm and Sunday, July 12th at 10:00 am & 3:00 pm. The first clues will be the most challenging with the final clues being the most revealing. Clues and details will be posted here and on on the Jamestown Sun website under Area Voices. The Artist will also post the clues on his website: Finders keepers. This original piece of miniature artwork is yours to keep. But Please! keep only one and leave any other artwork you find for the next hunter.

2110924On July 30 The Arts Center will host the ever-popular Monroe Crossing. Named in honor of Bill Monroe, “The Father of Bluegrass Music,” Celebrating their 15th year together in 2015, Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada. Don’t wait to get your tickets. Space is limited. Tickets in advance only. Available at The Arts Center beginning July 10th:  $30 members / $35 general admission.

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Meet Our Intern – Cassy Gilbertson

DSCN0676_floatHello Everyone! I would like to introduce myself and provide some brief background information. My name is Cassy Gilbertson. I have been a resident of Jamestown North Dakota for several years and I am currently a junior in the Art Education program at Valley City State University. As a young adolescent growing up in rural North Dakota, opportunities to learn and exercise various types of art techniques were at a dreadfully low quantity. I took it upon myself to research and experiment with different mediums and I realized just how passionate I am about art and art history. Undoubtedly, I became addicted to the research and study of artworks, I couldn’t absorb enough information and I was never satisfied. This ongoing thirst I had developed became an outlet for my emotions also, it prevented me from making horrible decisions that would impact the rest of my life.

Currently, my desire for knowledge is resilient and my abilities have improved in a variety of mediums. I have been referred to as Jack of all trades, Master of none. Nevertheless, I always find myself going back to my favorite medium, painting. I receive a sensation of freedom and relaxation when creating various marks with a paintbrush. However, I do have a new love in my life, ceramics. Thanks to my professor Armando Ramos encouragement, I pushed my skills. I could spend all day, everyday in a ceramics studio throwing clay on a pottery wheel; all I want to do is get my hands dirty. Working with clay sends me into a tranquil state, when I throw I’m at peace. One might say I have an out of body experience.

This summer, I accepted a summer internship working with the staff and artists of the Jamestown Fine Arts Association (The Arts Center). It was suggested that I share any thoughts and experiences that I have encountered at The Arts Center. The staff working at JFAA makes everyone who walks through the door feel welcomed and appreciated. They all strive to make the community stronger through the power of art and enhance art through the support from the community. As a future art educator, I share the same passions and interests and believe that having a strong supportive community will help strengthen art awareness and the benefits an art experience may provide.

I have accomplished various tasks, such as, researching possible art park projects and assisting in the summer art camp for kids. Recently, I helped in the Art for Life program, which was a mobile painting project with artists Jeff Nachtigall and Margreat Sam (a Bharatanatyam dancer). Everyday I am ready for any task the staff has in mind and I set out with a determined, positive attitude. I am grateful for the past and future experiences here at The Arts Center. I would like to say thank you to Cyndi, Angela, Sally and Miranda for letting me in your world and sharing your knowledge.

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The Story of A Painting

maxresdefault I want to tell you a story…It all began with the concern, compassion and ingenuity of an artist.   Jeff Nachtigall is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, speaker, and social entrepreneur. His work has been exhibited throughout North America, Europe and China, and is represented in numerous public and private collections. He is the co-founder of Make Work Projects, a 2000-square foot storefront studio and sometimes art project space, located in the Riversdale district in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He has been seen on television and has also done at least one TED talk.  If you are not familiar with TED talks they are a series of talks available on YouTube which feature the great thinkers of our time.

Working as a full-time artist-in-residence at an assisted living facility for eight years, Nachtigall developed the Open Studio, a model that he has successfully replicated throughout Canada and the United States. This inclusive, non-hierarchical, client-centered strategy challenges traditional clinical approaches and pushes the boundaries of the arts in health care.

Nachtigall is the inIMG_3807ventor of the Mobile Painting Device (MPD), an adaptive technology that transforms the wheelchair into a giant paintbrush, giving people living with neurological disabilities opportunity to express themselves on a very large scale. With delicate and precise movements of the wheelchair’s “joystick,” the artist applies calligraphic lines of paint. This is not an accidental process, a virtual substitute, or a computer-generated facsimile—the artist is in control in real time on a real canvas with real results.

On Monday and Tuesday, June 1-2, 2015, Nachtigall brought his expertise and his MPD to  Jamestown through The Arts Center’s Art for Life Program. This is the first time the MPD has been used in North Dakota. Combining another unique “first” was the inclusion of a traditional dancer in the process. The sounds and dance of Margreat Sam (a Bharatanatyam dancer originally from India, now living in Moorhead MN) gave colorful inspiration and encouragement to the artists’ work while her movement and music both entertained and engaged the audience.

IMG_3763Residents of Ave Maria Village/Heritage Centre plus a few community members joined to create a 12 x 15 foot painted canvas. Those having mobile wheelchairs used the MPD to create meandering designs of intersecting lines, others used walkers and improvised painting devices (rags tied to canes, broomsticks and roller extension poles, feet and hands) to make marks and apply color. By the end of Day 1 we had a solid underpainting, so much paint was applied that many ofIMG_3770 the marks became obliterated. Nachtigall wasn’t concerned, mentioning the first day is always “crazy” with all painters getting accustomed to the process.

IMG_3801IMG_3816Onlookers were soon drafted as helpers (to scrub paint from MPD equipment and wheelchair “wheels”) and included Arts Center staff, past and present, staff from the care center, both past and present directors of the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Jan Webb and Beth Klingenstein, and Troyd Geist, North Dakota State Folklorist who spearheaded the program with Nachtigall. All recognized the significance of project and wanted to see “history” occur.

On Day 2 three MPD-equiped artists, Mary Smith, Beth Neutzman and Martin Suko applied contrasting lines to the base painting. Nachtigall encouraged their movements to be much slower and deliberate creating strong lines of pure color which popped off the background. All in attendance felt the painting needed a final exclamation point so dancer Margreat Sam applied punctuation marks of fire-engine red paint using her feet, hands and dance steps.

IMG_3838This project is being repeated at 3 other facilities in North Dakota; Ellendale’s Prince of Peace Care Center/Evergreen Place Assisted Living, Enderlin’s Maryhill Manor and Wahpeton’s Siena Court. Once all the identically sized paintings are complete they will be mounted for exhibition, travel and will ultimately return to be displayed in each facility.

This project, along with the paired local arts agency and care facility, was supported by the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) and is part of the ongoing Art for Life program.  The project was developed by Jeff Nachtigall, Open Studio Projects, and Troyd Geist, NDCA.

Information about Jeff Nachtigall’s career was taken from his biography on the Center for Creative Aging Website.

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. Jeppson is also the Arts Center’s Art for Life Coordinator. She would love to hear your comments here or email
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Call for Entry – 2015 JFAA Annual Art Show

Calling All Artists to enter the 51st ANNUAL JFAA ART SHOW


2014 Juror Choice Award Winner in Painting, Karen Bakke, Pazazz, 2014, acrylic

51st Annual JFAA Art Show is coming… August 29 – October 3, 2015.

This exhibition is open to all artists, young and mature, professional and hobbyist. Artists may submit up to 3 pieces and all media and styles are welcome. All artwork submitted and meeting basic requirements will be exhibited. Once installed the works will be juried for prizes.

If you would like to participate please send your email address to Sally Jeppson, Gallery Manager ( to receive an entry form. Or use the links below.

2015_BRO_AnnualShow copy

2015_FRM_AnnualShow copy

Deadlines  and  Dates 

  • August 1 – Registration Forms Deadline and Fees 
  • August 23 – Artwork to arrive at Arts Center 
  • August 29 – Public Opening, 1-3 pm
  • October 2 – Last Viewing Day for Show
  • October 5-9 – Artwork Pickup, 10 am – 5 pm

This exhibition is a perennial favorite, having great regional participation. Historically over 60 pieces are shown. The artwork’s many mediums and styles provides for a challenging installation with great variety for gallery visitors.

Need Help with Delivery?

A trip to retrieve/return art will be arranged to help both Fargo and Bismarck artists. There will be a single location selected as a drop off point in each town. Please email to sign up for this service.



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More Proof that Art Can Make a Difference

“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

Once again I am reminded that the arts can improve, enhance and sustain life no matter what age or state of mind we find ourselves. Customized playlists and iPods are finding themselves useful in bringing joy to dementia suffers. Results are conclusive that music is the one thing that dementia cannot destroy.

alive-insideHow many times have you heard a song from your past and instantly you are transported back in time…the people, the cicumstances, the smells, the feelings all return with startling clarity.

I’m reminded of a recent visit to my 88 yr old mother’s elder care center, where I was dining during a festive communal birthday celebration. They had entertainment, a piano player and singer, playing songs from the 40’s. My elder dinner companions knew and could sing the words of every song and they gleefully joined the entertainer in song. I don’t know the mechanics of the brain that makes this possible, I don’t really care as long as its giving joy — I prefer to think its the magic that art is capable of unlocking.

Here is the article if you wish to explore this topic further.

Playlists Unlock Memories

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. She would love to hear your comments here or email
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Be Arts Center Ambassadors – Tell Your Friends

Before I sat down to write this blog I was browsing through the latest issue of North Dakota Living (a publication sent to households serviced by regional electric cooperatives). In the calendar of events section, I was delighted to see at the top of the list on page 44 the Arts Center’s present exhibition, Born of Sand, Forged in Fire: Glass Arts and an accompanying photograph showing Jon Offutt demonstrating glass blowing in the Arts Park. I know who was responsible for this – the “wonder-woman” of marketing Angela Martini.

Martini does a terrific job at trying to get the word out–its not always easy. There are dozens of deadlines, countless publications and calendars but she keeps up with it all. Yet we still sometimes host wonderful programs for only a handful of people. We ask ourselves…”what is the problem?” We explain it away; if its winter we figure people are hibernating, if its summer we figure people don’t want to hang out inside. When people experience The Arts Center’s many programs they are enthusiastic, complementary and appreciative, again…”what is the problem?” I know this isn’t unique to our organization and the issue of participation occupies a lot of staff consideration.IMG_3663

We want more people to experience The Arts Center so there are three things I want people to do for me. First, the next time you visit bring a friend, preferably someone who doesn’t know much about what happens at The Center. Second, be an ambassador, if you are a member and supporter, spread the word about what’s happening. And third, give us, send us, or email us one suggestion that you think will get more community participation.

This May is a particularly good month to visit and enjoy Arts Center programs. You have already missed a few but the Glass exhibit is up through June 6 and there is also an amazing, spectacularly-colored student installation in the lobby (well worth the visit, just to see what Jamestown’s 5th graders have done with over 3000 discarded plastic bottles). There are two upcoming musical shows, both upbeat performances that are great ways to kick into summer-fun mode.


Friday, May 15th
7:00 pm at The Arts Center

PERFORMANCE BY Canadian Rockabilly Hall of Famer ROBBY VEE

Saturday, May 30th
7:30 pm at The Arts Center

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. She would love to hear your comments here or email
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Busy at Work, Busy at Play

I think its the time of year, spring is here, we are anxious to get outside, to feel the sun, see what nature has to offer. School days are soon coming to a close giving way to summer fun. At The Arts Center we are ready to close out the Arts After School season and begin the Summer programs. Look for a booklet on all our summer activities coming to your mailbox or inbox this week. If you don’t get one, you can always find it on our website

It was suggested that I depart from my normal blog routine and write something about what I’m up to. There is a lot of blurring in my life between work-work and home-work. Last week I was in Medora assisting the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame Center for Western Heritage and Culture with a new summer exhibition – their 4th Annual Cowboys and Indians Fine Art Exhibition. It was like returning home, seeing old friends both the people and the exhibits themselves. Having developed the Hall’s exhibits, I’m always amazed to think that I had a part in every piece on display. Of course, things have been added in the 10 years since the opening, after all the “baby” has to grow up, but I’m still very proud of that accomplishment.

IMG_3498 IMG_3497Thursday and Friday I headed to Minneapolis to gather work for the upcoming glass exhibit, Born of Sand, Forged in Fire. A six hour drive from home had me on the door step of FOCI: Minnesota Center for Glass Arts. I chose the location as a gathering point for artists to bring their work to me. I was welcomed by glass artist Danielle Kieffer who gave me the grand tour and introduced me to some of the working artists. She explained that FOCI uses a non-academic model of teaching, pairing seasoned artists with newcomers to teach the skills of working in glass. Their mission is to engage the Minnesota community in the study and appreciation of glass arts while expanding the potential of the medium. The place had a great “vibe” with lots of relaxed energy and you could feel the community and camaraderie among the artists. They were so welcoming that I was able to secure additional pieces for the Art Center’s exhibition. Interestingly one of our local artists, whose work is in the exhibition, Dan Zimney has been learning and working at FOCI. I highly recommend a visit, you can learn more here: FOCI.

I’m turning 52 this weekend and its had to believe that I’ve been living in North Dakota and working in the arts for half my life! 26 years ago I began work at the Plains Art Museum. I just received an email this morning that the Plains is planning a staff reunion to celebrate the 40 years since the Museum’s founding. I’m looking forward to that event and seeing more old friends.

Coop to Greenhouse

You might wonder what I’m up to this weekend to celebrate…I’m a gardener and I’m staging for the summer garden but will also working on the newest addition to the garden assemblage. For my birthday present, my creative, artist, packrat husband, Deane Colin Fay finished off the conversion of a dilapidated chicken coop into a mega-big pseudo-greenhouse/coldframe. Its been a work in progress for years, with stops and starts and 75+ wheelbarrow loads of “chickenpoop” removed to get to this point. Using an assortment of salvaged windows (some even from one of the grand old houses on Fargo’s 8th Street), the structure is finished and now its my job to embellish it. I’m planning a stained glass panel for above the door and a suite of tropical paint colors for the window panes. I envision this sunny space with flowers in May and tomatoes ripening well into October. Look for a “finished” photo coming soon.

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. She would love to hear your comments here or email


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