Gallery exhibition showcasing works of local artists opens Thursday at Columbia Mall

An opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday for the exhibit of works by Pirjo Berg, Matt Anderson and Tait Simonson at the ArtWise gallery in the mall's center court

Artwork by three local artists, including this piece by Matt Anderson, will be on exhibit at the ArtWise gallery in the Columbia Mall center court from Thursday, Jan. 13 through Feb. 25. An opening reception is planned for 5-7 p.m., with a short artists talk at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13.
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ArtWise will host a gallery exhibition, titled “New Work, Unless It Isn’t,” from Thursday, Jan. 13, to Feb. 25 at Columbia Mall’s center court. It will feature works by local artists Matt Anderson, Pirjo Berg and Tait Simonson.

An opening reception is planned for 5-7 p.m., with a short artists’ talk at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13.

Berg, an ArtWise staff member who has exhibited internationally, will show abstract paintings based on landscapes and geology. Her artwork “is rooted in the folklore of her Finnish upbringing and her love of landscape and geology,” said Rita Haag, ArtWise director.

Berg, a native of Helsinki, Finland, has lived in Grand Forks since 2008. She works in oil paint and watercolors at her studio and in clay at Muddy Waters Clay Center.

pirjo pic.jpg
This piece is among the works by Pirjo Berg that will be displayed at an exhibition, entitled "New Work, Unless It Isn't," from Thursday, Jan. 13 through Feb. 25 at the ArtWise gallery in the center court of Columbia Mall.

Anderson, director of education at the North Dakota Museum of Art, will exhibit his abstract imagery in mixed media. He also has shown his work internationally and his work has been acquired for public and private collections, Haag said.


“I’m interested in how the mind tries to make sense of ambiguity,” Anderson said of his art. “I’m focused on the conceptual language and interaction of subtle gestures, mark-making, color shifts and texture, which evolves as the work develops. My practice is intuitive and responsive to the immediate experience of making, as if playing visual music without a score.”

Simonson, of Grand Forks, teaches art to K-12 students at Central Valley School, Buxton, N.D. He likes to test art boundaries and make new discoveries in material usage, Haag said, and he enjoys woodworking, metalworking, metal casting, ceramics, printmaking, drawing and painting.

Artworks by Tait Simonson, including this piece, will be among pieces shown in the exhibition which opens Thursday, Jan. 13, at the ArtWise gallery in the Columbia Mall center court. Simonson, of Grand Forks, teaches art at Central Valley School near Buxton, N.D.

Simonson emphasizes that “when making art, you need to be able to use anything available, and sometimes that can make it interesting,” Haag said. “He will exhibit several skulls cast in concrete and decorated in mixed media.”

This exhibition showcases the work of artists from different walks of life who work in different media, she said, but “who come together to celebrate our community of art in many different ways.”

The exhibition is open from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Related Topics: ART
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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