Current Exhibitions

Into the Weeds

August 13, 2017 - January 10, 2018


Weeds are plants that grow in places other than where humans determine they should be. Weeds are the bane of existence across North Dakota, now an intensively planted, agricultural paradise. An adjacent industry has arisen just to kill weeds. Legal wars ensue between environmentalists and agribusinesses. Weeds, these undesirable or troublesome plants, adapt and continue to flourish. They quickly occupy empty spaces, abandoned spaces, condemned spaces. Vacant lots fill with weeds.

Artists, however, relish weeds. They represent exuberance, vigor, abundance, a cornucopia bursting with life. Weeds project the power to take over the world. Even farmers, growers, and gardeners will chuckle at their nemesis, those unwanted and abhorred WEEDS.

Artists include: Francisco Alvarado, Kim Beck, Paterson Clark, Matt Collishaw, Joan Linder, Vivienne Morgan, Judy Onofrio, Eggert Pétursson, and Margaret Wall-Romana.


Vivienne Morgan, Altar of the Immigrants and the Bowl of Give and Take, 2017. Ten tea-toned cyanotype phonograms, poplar and basswood table, black walnut bowl, all made by the artist. All plants were grown and gathered from the artist’s garden where she collects English immigrant plants.

Patterson Clark, Index1312ptd, 2017, Alien weed pigments and handmade paper

Eggert Pétursson, Icelandic Flora by botanist Ágúst H. Bjarnason, Illustrated by Eggert Pétursson, 1981. Folio, 18.5 x 11 x 5 inches. 26.5 pounds. Bright cloth binding, gilt (ice color) edges, 6 ribbon page markers in black cloth-covered clamshell box. First edition of 500 with 271 gouache drawings, each copy signed and individually numbered. Loaned by Laurel Reuter

Margaret Wall-Romana, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elemental Suspension, 2017. Oil on birch panel with metal leaf. Triptych, 40 x 80 inches. (detail)

Joan Linder, New York, New York. Hooker 102nd Street Book (Love Canal), 2013 and on. Ink on 6 Moleskin accordion notebooks, each 5.5 x 105 inches.
Judy Onofrio, Rochester, Minnesota. Twenty-one sculptures of Botanicals, 2011 and 2017. Cow bone, pig bone, small collected animal bones, horn matte gel, colorant, and bronze acrylic paint. Various sizes.

Kim Beck, A Great Piece of Turf, 2014. Graphite on paper 78.25 x 109 inches


Mat Collishaw, Whispering Weeds, 2011. Digital edition tailor-made for screens, video loop. Courtesy of Sedition





Francisco Alvarado-Juárez

August 13, 2017 - January 10, 2018


Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, Yerba Linda / Pretty Weed, Gallery installation 50 x 33 x 18 feet, 2017.

Painted and cut paper bags, acrylic paintings on canvas, 3 video projections, sound, dirt, and organic material.


In my work, nature is a metaphor for the complexity of the human condition. The vulnerability of the environment should be a universal concern that transcends cultures and borders. As an artist keenly aware of the urgency of ecological practices, I have dedicated myself to creating installations that show us, through vivid and colorful shapes and volumes of space, the exuberance of nature; but also underline in a subtle way its fragility, ephemeral quality, and the urgency to protect it.

For twenty-five years, I have created installations aimed at attracting the viewer through a seemingly natural and familiar space. I use organic wastes, recycled paper in the form of thousands of recyclable grocery bags, painted and cut by hand, one by one. Students from Grand Forks contributed additional bags that joined approximately 3,600 used in this installation. All together the bags simulate a natural camouflage for the various animals and abstractions that are carefully painted, and later semi-hidden, by the protruding paper. Weeds naturally take over environments such as this.

My installation simultaneously evokes a sense of calm and chaos, while poetically alluding to complicated environmental problems for which mankind is responsible. Nature is not just something material to be plundered, it is our unique habitat: without it, we would die. The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth. This is a philosophy of urgency that we must accept and practice.

Francisco Alvarado-Juárez is an internationally recognized New York artist born in Honduras who moved to the States in 1965. He graduated from Stony Brook University in 1974 and received his MFA from the Maryland Institute in 1991. He studied color printing at the International Center of Photography in New York. After working in the photographic medium for a few years, he moved to Washington, DC, and in the fall of 1978 began to teach himself painting and drawing in a bold and colorful portraiture style. I was fortunate enough to sell a painting at the beginning of my career to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hirshhorn. That sale helped publicize my work.


Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017


Barton's Place


Barton Lidice Benes lived in a magical apartment in New York City. It was filled with over $1 million in African, Egyptian, South American, Chinese and contemporary art, plus much more as touted in the New York Times when it announced Barton’s intended gift to North Dakota (2/6/05).

Barton Benes and his treasure trove spent decades tucked away in a glorious boxcar space in Westbeth, the artist community in New York’s West Village. There, rare works of art joined ranks with the arcane, the wistful, the amusing, the deeply serious, and a “maddening and morbid array of things” (a human toe found on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge, a stuffed mink wearing a mink coat, an eight-foot giraffe head). This temporary installation suggests the drama and mystery embedded in Barton’s private wonderland. Continue reading...


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