Boost Your Creative Pursuits in 2016

Just back from a long holiday break I was reading the latest Arts Center newsletter and see that there is no lack of “artsy” offerings for the opening of 2016. If you have resolved to take in more creative pursuits with the new year then The Arts Center has you covered.

In the upcoming months there are numerous classes, concerts, performances & parties to help lighten the winter and provide enticement to get out of hibernation mode (an easy trap during the cold days). These arts activities are always better when shared with friends and according to the latest medical news — socializing with friends and doing creative activity is important to a long and healthy life, on par with exercise! I can’t argue with that rational for enjoying arts activities. Here are just a few highlights but check the website and Facebook for more on classes and additional concerts.


FluddFriday, January 15th
7:30 pm at The Arts Center

Arealeius “Lion” Fludd is a charismatic performer who specializes in theatrical mind reading and sleight of hand magic. He has amazed fans all over the globe and works with various celebrities in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas. Now Lion comes to Jamestown to entertain our community. Prepare to be amazed! Tickets at the door: $15 /$10 for members & students.


Friday, January 22nd
7:00 pm at The Arts Center

Johnny is a modern-day crooner: smooth, romantic, charismatic, with a classic gentleman’s style. He renowned for his ability to blend jazz, swing, pop, country, gospel and rock to bring back a bygone era experience. Learn more about Johnny: Tickets at the door: $20 /$15 for members & students.


Wednesday, January 20th
5:30 pm at the Hansen Arts Studio

Meet people, mix drinks, make art… Join us after work for a creatively good time. In January artist David Dobbs will be guiding the group through the creation of an acrylic still-life painting. $10 materials fee. RSVP required to or 701-251-2496.

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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En plein air

Missouri Valley Gold

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 12.08.35 PM
The exhibition opening this week features an artist who works En plein air a phrase borrowed from the French equivalent meaning “open (in full) air”. It is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. We often think of Plein air painters working in the parks of Paris or seashores of California not the banks of the Missouri River or the Badlands of North Dakota. But artist Greg Walters does just that.

Greg Walters was born and raised in the Mississippi River Valley region of La Crosse, WI. He has been teaching art and design since 1998, and has been at Dickinson State University since 2013.

SeptSoybeans3Walters paints on site, outdoors, directly within the landscape environment, and only finishes the paintings in his studio when time and weather do not allow him to do so on location. Plein Air artists insist that this is the best way to get the truest light, color, and atmosphere of a landscape.

Walters does not typically pick places to paint which are widely considered to be scenic or popular such as waterfalls, sunsets, etc, because he prefers to show people beauty in places that are usually walked past and overlooked. His intent is to show people the beauty in the more mundane or commonplace, beauty which many do not see until it is shown to them. Many more examples of his work can be found at

The exhibition will open to the public on December 18 continuing through January 16. Please note that the gallery will be closed December 24 – January 3 for the Holiday week.

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What Makes Me Happy…

I was reminded this past weekend about essentials for great fun and happiness. These things give me fuel for creative thought. I think disconnecting from the routine, in good company, can give an artist, writer and musician lots of new material. Try it sometime.


  1. the company of friends – true friends that bring out the “real you” whether you see them everyday or once a year you can always feel comfortable just being yourself
  2. good music – the kind that transports you to another time, that can move you to tears, that can cause your feet to tap and your heart to beat
  3. good stories – the kinds that make you laugh, the kinds you’ve heard 100 times, the kinds you know are tall tales
  4. good food – the kind that tastes incredible because it was all you had at the moment and you were so, so hungry from fresh air and hard work or play
  5. reminiscence – memories of times past, either your own history or the history that surrounds you
  6. spontaneity – dropping everything and going in a completely unplanned direction
  7. fresh air – getting away from traffic, busy life
  8. exercise – moving outside, no path, breaking trail
  9. exhilaration – the thill of the unexpected flush of a pheasant–holding tight, or the doe–ears pinned back, neck stretched long and low running like it was her last moment only to disappear over the hill
  10. beauty – the change of light and shadow as twilight approaches, captured snow in the plowing–purple in the evening’s light, fresh snow on the railing, sunsets over the buttes–better than the desert, the kaleidoscope of color trapped in a pheasant’s plumes
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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Turkey Time

In honor of the holiday I decided to share a few examples of how artists have depicted the mighty symbol of Thanksgiving. I can say from personal experience wild turkeys strutting their stuff is an awesome sight. Whether you plan to travel or stay home, eat turkey or not, The Arts Center wishes you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

monet-turkeysClaude Monet, The Turkeys at Montgeron, 1877, oil on canvas, Musee d’Orsay

920x920John James Audubon, Wild Turkey (New-York Historical Society Edition), watercolor



Pieter-Claesz-Still-Life-with-Turkey-PiePieter Claesz, Still Life with a Turkey Pie, 1627, oil on panel

Screen-shot-2012-05-08-at-12.43.39-PMHans Heysen, Bronzewings and Sapling, 1921, watercolor on paper

James Ward, Study of a Turkey 555px-James_Ward_-_Study_of_a_Turkey_-_Google_Art_Project





Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want, 1943, oil on canvas

40955Lionel Lindsay, Heysen’s Birds (Turkeys), c. 1923, wood engraving

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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Gift Giving – Make Art and Avoid Stress

Handmade gifts are always more meaningful. The Arts Center is offering a series of classes to help you make your own special gifts. If you would like to take any of these classes please call 701-251-2496 or go to The Arts Center website.

Print Your Holiday Cards with Cyndi Wish 

13. Colors one and two onlyUsing relief printmaking techniques you will make two-color unique cards for the holidays (or any other kind of cards). Come with a 5” x 7” design in mind. Inks stain, so dress for a mess. We will go over how to make an edition as well as mono printing. Three Sessions: Nov. 9, 16, 23 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Hansen Arts Studio • $70 / $60 for members.

Crochet with Tracy Middaugh

crochet-flowers-small1Students will learn how to read a crochet pattern, basic stitches/abbreviations, chart reading, and symbols. Students will have the opportunity to complete five separate projects that can be used in their home or would also make beautiful gifts. Students are asked to pick up a supply list and provide their own materials. Five Sessions: Thursdays, Nov. 5, 12, 19 & Dec. 3 & 10 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Hansen Arts Studio • $80 / $70 for members.

IMG_4572Jewelry Making with Matt Swearingen

This workshop is a great introduction into the wonderful world of beads! Students will learn about beads, bindings and how to use beading tools. Students will then apply this knowledge to complete a necklace or bracelet that they can wear home or use as a gift. Beginners welcome, 18 years and older, all materials provided. Friday, Nov. 20 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Hansen Arts Studio • $20 / $10 for members.

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Art – The Elixir of Life

Lots of things have been brewing in my mind these days…why is it that we do what we do in the Arts. Lets face it, its a labor of love…lots of work and lots of hours for little monetary return. Reading a draft of The Arts Center director, Cyndi Wish’s letter to the membership coupled with a morning visit by a coworker from my 11 years at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, I am thinking there is something special about the people that work in the arts, to bring what…in the words of Wish, is called “creative spark” or “smiles” or the thing that motivates people to get out of the hum, drum of everyday life.

creative-sparkAs arts professionals, we are purveyors of what some might consider to be the “elixir of life” and perhaps we do what we do because we are addicted to the arts, we thrive on its affect, even if we only reach a few, even if we only get a few “smiles” even if its only our “own.”

We understand and know about all the evidence that the arts can build a creative workforce–a necessity in today’s world. We see how the arts have rehabilitated and transformed communities and how they can transform people, lift spirits, solve problems, and bring diverse views to harmony. Did you know in England, doctors can even prescribe “arts activities” to heal everything from depression to physical maladies? And this therapy is funded by insurance!

I know if you are reading this blog you are probably already and “art addict” but I hope you share your addiction with a friend, a child or grandchild. If you have the means, help support our programs, by attending, donating and volunteering. We appreciate your help, the “smiles” you will receive and the “creative spark” you will feel…can change your life.

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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Why so much concrete?

IMG_4493This question was posed to me this morning by an arts center supporter. The question in reference to the work being done in the Hansen Arts Park. Initially this gave me pause. I also tend to like a more natural setting but I know that as the park moves through its various stages of development it will look and feel very different. Right now, I’d equate what is being done as the framing of a canvas or the bones of skeleton that provides the framework for what will later occur in the park.

IMG_4494The concrete pathways are in, yes, they seem wide but, as so, they offer full access and movement for all people and they will be flanked by benches, grass, shrubs and trees to soften the industrial feel. Today, the pavers are being laid, they are colored and will provide contrast and texture to the smooth planes of concrete.

IMG_4497The process for securing artist/designers to create the pavilion and the signature sculpture is underway. The artists are working on their designs and the finalist for each component will be selected in the upcoming weeks. If all goes as planned, the Park will have its grand opening next September.

We have been lucky to have a wonderful fall for the “hardscaping” to occur. Stop in and see the progress, it changes daily. When you visit try to imagine the finished space, awash with colorful plantings, engaging sculptural features, and people of all ages enjoying the space.

Want more details about the Park’s progress and how it got its new name…? Check out this link, Arts Park has a New Name an article from the Jamestown Sun newspaper.

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Art for Life – Ceramic Totems

Over the past 3 weeks, artist Bill Nybo has been working with residents of Ave Maria Village to create colorful ceramic totems. Eighteen residents participated to create the two 3 1/2 foot collaborative sculptures. These works will be on display in the Ave Maria Village community room.

making the clay cylinder

making the clay cylinder

This project had many steps with Nybo and the Arts Center’s Art for Life coordinator, Sally Jeppson constructing the ceramic forms (essentially super-sized beads), then allowing them to leather-dry for handling, carving and embellishing. That’s where the Ave Maria elders began the process of making faces, flowers, abstract designs or whatever their imagination could  provide. They learned the “scratch and slip” method of attaching additional clay parts to their cylinders. Everyone got dirty and seemed to have a fun once they “took the plunge.” The hardest part for everyone was deciding what to do. It’s every artist’s dilemma when confronted with a blank canvas, sheet of paper or unadorned vessel and for the non-artist its even more daunting.


The clay bead/cylinders were then transported back to the Hansen Studio and fired in a kiln. Once this step was complete, they went back to Ave Maria one week later and elders painted them with low-fire, brightly colored glazes. The beauty of these glazes is, the color you see is the color you get, which is quite different from some of the high-fire glazes, that look completely different from what comes out of the bottle. This allowed elders to control how their final design would look. Their glazed pieces then got a clear top coat and went back in the kiln for their final firing.

IMG_4423During the last day of the project the elders were able to see their finished cylinder and the totem was assembled for all to see. The next step will be some fine tuning to make each section more secure and then installation of the art totem in the community space for the enjoyment of all the residents, staff and their families.

This project is part of the Arts Center’s Art for Life program which is funded by the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

FYI: The totem is supported by a cardboard-sleeved, 2″ pvc pipe embedded in a base of quick drying concrete. This sculpture could also be displayed outside in a sheltered location where it wouldn’t be subject to hail damage.

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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JFAA Annual…and the Winner’s Are…

IMG_432651st Annual JFAA Juror’s Choice Awards

  • Best of Show – Bill Harbort, Love and Fear
  • Painting / Mixed Media – Deane Colin Fay, Roots and Rain
  • Photography – Chad Kainz, Roundabout
  • Hand Craft – Jon Offutt, Winter Out by Davenport
  • Drawing – Jennifer Parker, Roots of Bitterness
  • 3D Sculpture – Susan Morrissey, Armored Trophy Wife
  • Youth – Megan Tichy, Eden
  • People’s Choice Award – Will be determined, based on popular vote, at the conclusion of the exhibit.

Best of Show – Bill Harbort, Love and Fear

About the Best of Show Selection:

This year the show awards were selected by a pair of judges–Art Faculty from Valley City State University (VCSU), Armando Ramos and Karri Dieken. They were attracted to the popular culture aspects of this artwork, its narrative quality and its connection to history. It is the type of work seldom encountered in our region and therefor captured the jurors’ attention. Dieken commented on the process,

“It was an interesting experience working with The Art Center and being exposed to the diverse artworks and mediums from the Region. I feel it is important to expose new emerging artists to the possibilities of what art can be, as apposed to the standard expectation of what art is. Keeping an open mind and encouraging future artists to create art as an ultimate goal.”

The artist, Bill Harbort is a professor in the art department at Minot State University. Bill teaches foundation art, graphic design and illustration courses. He is a co-founder and co-organizer of NOTSTOCK, MSU’s signature live arts event that spotlights the arts at MSU and in the community. Prior to teaching, he worked as a package designer for a major cosmetics company, an art director for a children’s educational software company and built a reputation as an award winning automotive artist. He currently freelances as a graphic designer and illustrator and exhibits as a lowbrow collage artist. (Biography MSU Art Department website).

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Join Our Oktoberfest Celebration!

AC_OktoberfestLooking for something fun to do? Mark your calendar for The Arts Center’s Annual Oktoberfest.

Saturday, September 12

5:30 – 9:30 pm 

Fairgrounds Beer Garden

Tickets $25 – Available at The Arts Center, Cork and Barrel, or from an Arts Center Board Member.  Featuring German food, German style beers, music, fun and festivities.

Costumes are encouraged but not required. Must be 21 or older to attend — please enjoy responsibly.

Oktoberfest-Marzen style Beer:

  • Shiner
  • Goose Island
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Paulaner

Non Alcoholic:

  • keg of cider
  • keg of homemade root beer


Bratwurst, french fries, home-made pretzels, home-made gingerbread, German mustard (in the tube!)


  • Beer Boot Relay
  • Hammerschlagen


Accordion music by Victor Wald from Napoleon, North Dakota.

You might ask…”Why is The Arts Center hosting Oktoberfest?” Part of fulfilling our mission is to present and share all art forms, including the traditional arts and celebrations tied to culture. The traditional arts encompass every aspect of cultural traditions; the arts food making, brewing, music, dance, games and merriment.

The home base of all Oktoberfest celebrations takes place in Munich, Germany each year and spans 16 – 18 days running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event. As with all Oktoberfest celebrations around the world, quaffing great beer, partying with wonderful, enthusiastic members of the community and celebrating life, German style is what it is all about.





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