MARILYN HAGERTY: Art is out there on prairies of North DakotaDear Shirley, Sometimes you have to drive a little farther and dig a little deeper. But art is out there on the prairies of North Dakota.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Sometimes you have to drive a little farther and dig a little deeper. But art is out there on the prairies of North Dakota.
During the past week, I had a chance to attend a quilt auction at Red Willow Bible Camp near Binford, N.D. I also spent an hour or so browsing through Heritage Arts Gallery and Gifts in Michigan, N.D.
No telling where I will go next, Shirley. September is here and it’s a great time to explore our North Dakota countryside before it gets all covered up with snow.
There’s something special about the sunny days of late August and September when the sun is strong, but not as hot as it was. There is a feeling of urgency as farmers harvest their crops and gardeners bring forth their corn, tomatoes and cucumbers.
You drive along country roads and flat fields turned gold this time of year. Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself in the Sheyenne River Valley filled with trees and you find this Bible Camp overlooking Red Willow Lake.
There were more than 100 beautiful quilts on display at Fine Arts on Sunday. Some of the smaller ones were going for $70 or $100 or $300. Some of the donated quilts brought in more for the camp. I heard one go for $1,000.
I had a fly on my ear, Shirley, but I didn’t dare swat at it for fear the auctioneer would think I was bidding.
Heritage Arts Gallery and Gifts is a mecca for North Dakota artists who run a cooperative at Michigan, N.D. There you find pottery, paintings, jewelry. Some people say they always stop when traveling Highway 2. And the guest book has names of people from all over the country who have stopped in this summer.
JoAnna Stinar who runs the emu Morning Star Ranch near Inkster, N.D., was taking her turn tending the shop at Michigan Friday. From her ranch, she sells emu as well as emu art and gives tours.
The Wooly Girls who live near Hannah, N.D., had a beautiful white vest and hat on display. These two women — Janet Jacobson and Diane Schill — make wool hangings, mittens and a full line of products from their own sheep.
There are a couple dozen artists involved in the gallery and gift shop, Shirley. The place is the brainchild of Dave and Amy Joe Paukert, who are local artists and educators. They live in one of the grand old homes of Michigan that was built in 1893 by Edwin Lamb.
Dave Paukert is a photographer who got his start at UND and branched out on his own fine arts Pastime Prints on the Prairies. He also taught art in Larimore, N.D. Amy Jo Paukert teachers at the nearby Lakota, N.D., school.
She is a pianist and often plays at Frost Fire, a summer outdoor theatre near Walhalla, N.D., where the couple directs. They now are in the process of choosing the play for next year. The 2011 production of “Big River” closed at the beginning of August. There was a good summer attendance, but not as good as the previous “Buddy Holly” show that brought 6,000 to the summer theatre.
For them, art knows no season. They are making plans for a variety show in their area at the end of October.
The gallery in Michigan is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.
As Dave says, all it takes is driving a little farther and looking a little harder. I suppose that’s how it is around Tucson, too, when you go down to Green Valley. I imagine your Chamber of Commerce is looking for the early snowbirds to start showing up.
Love from your sister, Marilyn, dodging the wasps and flies on the west bank of the Red River of the North.
P.S. I haven’t had a mosquito bite all summer!
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.