Center for Creativity Opens to F-M Public
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 12:10
Sept. 30 Fargo: It was a wonderful sunny Sunday morning and just about the perfect weather. The huge crowd of merry little kids accompanied by excited parents was a beautiful sight to see near downtown Fargo. The Plains Art Museum in collaboration with Fargo Public Schools has set up a 25,500 square foot extension for the Center for Creativity. Rightly named after Katherine Kilbourne Burgum, a pioneering leader, arts advocate and teacher in North Dakota, and former Dean at North Dakota State University, this center was built as an “Art Hub.”
Pottery, shirt painting, sketching, tile painting and a lot more activities had the huge mass of K-5 children running around and having fun. Kids took turns at a pottery wheel to design their own personalized clay ice cream bowls and drinking cups. Head of visual arts at North Dakota State University, Professor Michael J. Strand, conducted a Clay-Karaoke activity where each participant was asked to think of a favorite drink and the shape of the cup they wanted to drink it in. The participant then drew the design and without visual contact guided Michael to shape the clay as close as possible to what they had drawn. Children aged five to ten came up with exotic designs for lemonade and green tea cups.
Upon seeing the variety of shapes that came out on the wheel, Michael said, “I have been an artist for a long time; nonetheless, I could never come up with any of these wonderful designs. He believes that art is the best for of accelerated learning. Michael was grateful to the Plains Art Museum for giving an opportunity to artists. The Center for Creativity is aimed at motivating art and crafts in young students. More than 5000 students from Fargo Schools will visit the museum in this school year. This number is expected to grow to 16,000 in a couple years. The Center for Creativity also looks forward to including Moorhead school kids in these activities.
This project has been in progress for eight years now. Museum Director Coleen Sheehy said, “The artists in Fargo Moorhead area had been taking art classes in a basement at the Fargo Public Schools, and the space was not enough. The number of students participating in art classes kept growing each year.” The Fargo Public Schools approached the Plains Art Museum and they raised the money from local, national and organizational funding. However, the majority of the funding and planning was contributed by Burgum’s children, Doug, Barbara and the late Brad Burgum.
Sheehy also said that the Plains Art Museum wishes to hold many art classes in the studios, such as the Ceramic Studio. The Museum will also unveil nine new exhibitions throughout the two buildings and host two in-residence artists throughout October. A lot of parents were very happy. The parent of a nine-year-old girl said, ‘’She is usually so shy and does not talk to anyone she does not know, but look how she is running around making friends and playing.”