Get Your Beads Out For Thursday’s Opening

Moccasins by K. Monkman are an example of the beadwork that visitors will see in the exhibition.

I love theme exhibits and I love searching to find some kind of exhibit themed garment to wear to the exhibit opening.  Thursday’s opening of Dancing Dazzling Beads will be a fun challenge. We invite you to the reception on March 6, 5:30 pm and I hope to see you wearing your beads.

Dancing Dazzling Beads consists of work by today’s leading contemporary bead artists from across the United States and Canada. It is a rich, vibrant, and fun exhibition for the whole community. Visitors will be treated to both wall and floor pieces, contemporary and work based in bead history. The history of beads is a fascinating history. Beads have been traded around the world for centuries. When White traders moved into the American West, they brought beads along, stashed away to be traded for pelts. Victorian women and folk artists always beaded but it wasn’t until the last few decades contemporary Western artists turned to beads. They recognized that through accumulation, beads and more beads could be amassed into works of art, making whole galleries dance with reflected light. Extended labels have been provided to detail artists’ intent, technique, and influences.

The North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) in Grand Forks developed this exhibition and Jamestown is lucky to host it thanks to their Rural Arts Initiative. The North Dakota Museum of Art started its Rural Arts Initiative program in 2003. Through this program the Museum organizes, delivers, and installs art exhibitions in towns throughout the State free of charge to the host community. In addition, the Museum’s education department develops numerous pages of lesson plans for each traveling exhibition. All lesson plans have been standardized to North Dakota educational standards and its a wonderful opportunity for teachers to get their students out of the classroom and over to The Art Center for a visit. Lesson plans can be found at Click on Education, the Rural Arts.

The Museum even provides funds for transportation so it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Through the Rural Arts Initiative, rural North Dakota schools are eligible for reimbursements if they wish to attend the Dancing Dazzling Beads touring exhibition. In order to assist with out-of-class art education opportunities, the Museum will reimburse schools $10/hr., up to 3 hours, for bus drivers; .80/mile for bussing; and up to $75/day if a substitute teacher is needed to stay with students who cannot attend the exhibition. Reimbursement forms can be picked up at The Arts Center.

The exhibition will be on display until April 18 and is sponsored by The Medicine Shoppe. Exhibit sponsorships help The Arts Center with receptions, promotion and overall operations–such support is essential to allowing us the ability to offer high quality arts programming for Jamestown and surrounding communities.

Schools interested in attending the exhibition should call The Arts Center at 701-251-2496 to arrange a tour time. For questions about the exhibition or travel reimbursements for rural schools, please call Matthew Wallace at the North Dakota Museum of Art at 701-777-4195 or

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