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, Paterson Clark, Matt Collishaw, Joan Linder, Vivienne Morgan, Judy Onofrio, Eggert Pétursson, and Margaret Wall-Romana.

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.


Francisco Alvarado-Juárez

August 13, 2017 - January 10, 2018


Yerba Linda / Pretty Weed, Installation, 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.

Alvarado-Juárez has had over forty-five individual and eighty group exhibitions. His site-specific installations date back to 1988. His artwork is represented in various permanent museum collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Everson Museum of Art, and Museo Pablo Serrano in Zaragoza, Spain.

The artist received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1985 and 1989), the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (1982 and 1985), the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (1993 and 1998), the New York Foundation for the Arts (2000), and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation  (1991 and 2000). He was artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem (1987-88) and the Fundación Valparaíso in Almería, Spain (2004). In 2004, he received grants from the Gottlieb Foundation and The Wheeler Foundation. He was awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship to work in Oaxaca, Mexico (2005). His most recent installation was Aqua-Terra / Terra-Agua at the Denver Art Museum (2016), which remained on view for a year.


Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017

Copyright: Francisco Alvarado-Juárez, 2017


Marley Kaul:
Meditation Suite 2017

August 13 - October 22, 2017

I use forms of meditation to engage in a visual
dialogue, using processes both ancient and
contemporary, to experience a personal journey both true and beyond words. These paintings were completed between October of 2016 and June 2017.

Marley Kaul, Bemidji, Minnesota. Will, 2017. Egg tempra, 13.5 x 13.5 inches

Marley Kaul, Bemidji, Minnesota. Tracks, 2017. Egg tempra, 13.5 x 13.5 inches


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...


Radiolab Podcast: As It Happens




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