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on the cover

photo on the cover of magazine

Michael J. Strand is an associate professor and head of visual arts at North Dakota State University. He has a background as a functional potter, and more recently his work has moved into social practice and community engagement. He remains dedicated to the traditional object as he investigates the potential of craft as a catalyst for social change.

Strand's work has been published internationally, with articles in American Craft, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception-Technical, The Studio Potter, Hemslojen, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Public Art Review. His recent Artstimulus projects were cited in the Yale University Press publication "40 Under 40: Craft Futures" by Smithsonian curator Nicholas Bell. 

Projects and exhibitions include an exhibit in Estonia featuring the second of 10 iterations of his initiative, "The Misfit Cup Liberation Project," launched at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo. This project has continued locations including Houston, Minneapolis, and Amsterdam, with plans for the exhibit to reach all seven continents in the next four years.

The "Bowls Around Town Project" at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon, for the exhibition "Object Focus: The Bowl" - featured on the cover of this issue of NDSU magazine - is still in circulation after a year presented to the community. 

Strand lectures and does workshops internationally. Strand recently was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship. With this award he will focus on human system dynamics and other fields as complements to his existing art practice to connect rural communities in North Dakota with China, Germany, Brazil and South Africa. 

photo on the cover of magazine

Strand's "Bowls Around Town" project is part of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon, exhibition, "Object Focus: The Bowl." The project extends the purview of the museum into the city of Portland where Strand has launched a series of trunks that contain a bowl, a camera and a published hard-bound cookbook diary. The project is moving through the fire stations in Portland, community groups, and has been taken on by the Portland Library system as a permanent media object to check out. The goal of the project is to publish a community curated and developed cookbook that brings together images, recipes and the history of these recipes to be shared among participants and the public.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.