A group of NDSU art students is converting a three-stall garage into the Ochre Creative Studio. The space is located in the alley behind the Teamsters building at 1114 main Ave. in Fargo.
The students include art students Ben Neyers, Emily Beaman, Emma Beaturice, Tyler Gefroh, Andrea Qual and Bea Weber. Artists Nate Carvell and Nikayla Snyder also are participating.
Gefroh came up with the idea last summer and started looking for a location. "My thought was to get a bunch of people together to work independently or in a group in either painting, sculpting or photography," said Gefroh, an art and interior design major from Grand Forks, North Dakota. "I wanted a space outside of a school setting, in the real world, so to speak."
In addition to other projects, the students plan to provide creative services for individuals and businesses. They credit the scholarships they have received from a newly established endowment by NDSU alumnus Jim Falck, which allows them to pursue their ideas on a larger scale.
"Ochre consists of eight artists, all in our 20s, creating a new way of producing and distributing original artwork," explained Neyers, a senior art major from Mankato, Minnesota, and one of the studio organizers. “In the art world you have to make your own opportunities. As an artist you have to prove yourself everyday. If you’re not constantly seeking creative growth, you aren’t going to make it."
Weber, a sophomore from St. Paul, Minnesota, said the studio space is a place of creativity. “I work best when I am surrounded by people," she said. "The positive environment is invigorating and enlightening. I am excited to begin this new journey because I believe that it will help me grow as an artist, provide opportunities and will build lasting friendships. I can’t wait to see what we all can accomplish as a team.”
And Qual, a junior from Lisbon, North Dakota, described the location as an opportunity for artists to collaborate. "We can make connections and produce great art," Qual said. "It's not a typical spot – I mean it's a garage, but that's what makes it unique. It's not a showy place; it's genuine and real. Our ideas and dreams have both of those characteristic as well."
The students hope to hold exhibitions in the studio, as well as increase the presence of public art in the Fargo-Moorhead community.
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