Art For Life Update

Spring is a busy time for Art For Life activities at the Heritage Centre and Ave Maria Village. Funded by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the Art for Life program brings artists and arts activities to senior living centers. Designed to be both fun and therapeutic, the activities aim to alleviate boredom, loneliness and helplessness which can be prevalent conditions for the elderly.

On May 14, artist Bill Nybo will kick off “Clay in May” with Heritage Centre residents to build simple, ceramic plant containers. They will make a pot, vase or wall hung container. Participants will use slab techniques to create their vessels. The following week, after the first “firing”, their projects will be glazed. And one week later we’ll enjoy a planting party to fill the vases and pots with spring blooms.

On May 28, at 2:00 pm, Madelyne Camrud will read from her publication Oddly Beautiful. This collection of her poems was inspired by her husband’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. She leads readers through a meditation on love, reflection, loss, and grief. Her poems reveal light in unexpected places, from graffiti-splashed walls to a lone bird perched on a winter branch. These images bring hope to dark times, showing us life is oddly beautiful. Her experiences and the discussion will be benefical to residents who are experiencing similar senarios.

Camrud’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Kalliope, Painted Bride Quarterly, Descant, Soundings East, Water-Stone Review and in the anthologies Prairie Volcano and The Talking of Hands. Camrud is the author of “The House is Filled with Cracks,” a “Minnesota Voices” prize winner in poetry, published by New Rivers Press in 1994. Two of her poems were chosen to airon Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac. In the spring of 2004, North Dakota Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode named Camrud an associate poet laureate of North Dakota.

Hear Madelyne recite from Oddly Beautiful.

Camrud will also do a luncheon reading on Thursday, May 29th, 12:00 pm at The Arts Center. RSVP by May 23 to ( if you would like to purchase lunch for $3.00, or you can bring your own lunch.

On June 4, Sally Jeppson will facilitate a TimeSlips activity with Heritage Centre residents. This is a group storytelling method that utilizes compelling photographic images to create a story. A facilitator asks open ended questions about the photo and all responses are recorded thus creating a story. For our stories we will use images from the publication, Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains. Here is a TimeSlips story that was created at Maryhill Manor in Enderlin.

Foxing Around in the Snow

Playing Fox and Goose in the snow at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. This is a one room schoolhouse with outhouses. It’s a hazy, cold, snowy day–they are running fast to stay warm. Poor girl has to play with all those boys. Its recess, they are strategizing how to win game and having fun outside. They are wondering if grandma and grandpa will give them hot chocolate and wondering about potato and lunch on the schoolhouse stove.

Teacher is watching and she’s cold. If she were inside she would watch from the window. Cherie goes out and rings the bell to come in. The kids say, “Not Yet!”

The girl is Persilla, she is running “slowly” away from the boy, maybe she wants him to catch her and kiss her. Tomorrow they will play Red Rover, Red Rover Send Persilla Right Over. Jim Bob will call her over; he wants her to be his wife with 10 children—that’s why she is running!

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