Sunday: Music, art and poetry at N.D. Museum of Art

"A Winter Afternoon to Celebrate the Arts" will feature music, art and poetry Sunday afternoon at North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks. Beginning at 2 p.m., pianist Sarah Cahill will perform as part of the museum's concert series. She'll be ...

This untitled 1984 oil paint polymer transfer onto aluminum by Paul Fundingsland is part of the current art exhibit at North Dakota Museum of Art.

"A Winter Afternoon to Celebrate the Arts" will feature music, art and poetry Sunday afternoon at North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks.

Beginning at 2 p.m., pianist Sarah Cahill will perform as part of the museum's concert series. She'll be followed by a reception beginning at 4 p.m. for NDMOA's current art exhibit, and for Cahill, Dyan Rey and Eliot Glassheim.

An art talk and poetry reading regarding the Glassheim /Rey book "Foreign Exchange: American Encounters in China," recently published by North Dakota Museum of Art, will begin at 5 p.m..

Cahill's most recent long-term project involves commissioning 18 composers to write works envisioning peace, a project titled "A Sweeter Music." She performed in Grand Forks in December 2009 as part of the Human Rights Symposium.

Village Voice has praised Cahill for "phenomenal technique, her instinctive command of recent aesthetics, and quite possibly the most interesting repertoire of any pianist around." She specializes in new American music as well as the American experimental tradition.


'Mystical tone'

For this performance, her program "The Mystical Tone" will explore mysticism in early 20th century music, especially the relationship between mysticism and dissonance.

Concert tickets will be $13 for members, $15 for non-members, $5 for students and military and free for children 12 and younger.

The art and poetry reading portions of the afternoon celebration will be free.

Beginning at 4, the museum will host a reception for its latest exhibit, "Language: Concrete and Abstract," featuring work from the museum's permanent Collection, and for Rey, Cahill and Glassheim.

Rey will talk about her art collages and Glassheim, the author of the poetry in "Foreign Exchange," will read from the book, beginning at 5 p.m.

Rey and Eliot, who are married, traveled to China in 2009. The book "Foreign Exchange" captures their experience in poems and images, a news release said. While preparing for the trip, Glassheim read translations of the poems of Wang Wei, Li Bai, and Du Fou,

Rey's "Vase Series" was inspired by the historical and contemporary art she saw in China during this visit. She created collages that echo the shapes of bronzes, ceramic vessels, and plant forms, which became the images in the book. The originals reproduced in the book are on display under the Mezzanine Gallery on the main floor of the Museum and are for sale through the artist.


The publication of this book was underwritten by US Bank with additional support from 52 friends of the poet, artist and museum. The book is available for $14.95 and $18.95

The museum's current exhibit is from its collection which it began amassing in the early 1990s. Because the museum has had a miniscule budget for collecting, it has begged, swapped, commissioned and bargained for each work, a news release said. Rather than buy important "names," the Museum has collected around ideas.

Coffee house-style art

There is one work in the exhibit not from the museum collection. It is a borrowed work, Iranian artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari's "Coffee House Painting," a 2009 video projection installed in the Museum's Mezzanine Gallery.

According to Azari, coffee house-style painting flourished in Iran in the early 20th century. Based on Persian mythology, the large paintings depicted the heat of battle, the afterlife and martyrdom, truth and justice and the apocalypse. They expressed respect for religious and traditional beliefs and served as a backdrop for entertainment in the coffee houses of Iran as storytellers would act out the epic scenes depicted in the paintings.

For Azari's "Coffee House Painting," he appropriated coffee house painter Modabber's, "The Day of the Last Judgment," a painting dense with imagery and symbolism. Azari transformed it into a contemporary video work projected onto a black canvas, which he infused with television clips of today's "saints and sinners."

Contemporary art

The North Dakota Museum of Art is building a significant collection of contemporary art that contains collections within the larger collection. exhibition contains Xu Bing's "Apple Picking Time," which is based on Robert Frost's poem and written in Square Word Calligraphy -- a new kind of writing, almost a code, designed by Xu Bing.


Scottish artist Will Maclean's "A Night of the Islands" is a series of 10 etchings written in Gaelic. Maclean chose 10 poems from Scottish literature and from different centuries. Once translated into English or Gaelic, the artist strove to evoke the presence or essence of each poem in its corresponding etching. Other works by Americans include:

- Daniel Heyman's eight drypoint prints from his Amman series. Heyman drew portraits of civilian Iraqis and recorded the stories they told after being released from Bagdad's Abu Gharib prison.

- A 1987 collaboration between writer Patricia Hempl and artist Steven Sorman, "Spillville" is based upon Antonin Dvorak's 1893 visit to Spillville, Iowa, where he completed his American Quartet.

n Twenty-eight monotypes by Douglas Kinsey, a collaboration with the late Grand Forks writer William Borden, for publication in the 1989 book "Eurydice's Song."

- Works by Icelandic artist Kristin Jónsdóttir, who exhibited at NDMOA in 2003 and worked at Cavalier (N.D.) Public School and at Grand Forks Air Force Base Carl Ben Eielson Elementary School.

- "Contra la Muerte" ("Against Death"), a collaboration by Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas and artist Guillermo Nunez. The wall mounted, limited edition portfolio of poems and abstract images was given to NDMOA by Cultural Center Matucana 100 in appreciation for bringing NDMOA's "The Disappeared" exhibit to Santiago de Chile in 2008.

Additional artists in the exhibition include Francis Wilson, Ewa Tarsia, Paul Fundingsland, Adam Kemp, Kellyann Burns, Marjorie Scholossman, Kiki Smith and Claire van Vliet, all creating abstract work.

Monday in Mayville, N.D.


Cahill will present another piano concert, at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Mayville (N.D.) State University in the Classroom Building. Tickets, sold at the door, will be $12.50 for adults, $5 for for high school students and free for MSU students with college ID. For more info, contact Mike Bakken at (701) 788-4742 or e-mail .

Sarah Cahill
Sarah Cahill will perform a piano concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at North Dakota Museum of Art.

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