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NDSU collaborates on community arts event

North Dakota State University, Plains Art Museum and the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo public libraries are collaborating to host several events based on Herman Melville’s classic novel "Moby-Dick." 

The 3.2.1 community event, which stands for three communities, two books, one art exhibit, includes an exhibit by renowned artist T.L. Solien, a book discussion of "Ahab’s Wife" featuring the book’s author Sena Jeter Naslund and a marathon reading of "Moby-Dick." The event runs through Oct. 20. 

“For my part, I’m really hoping to raise awareness of the humanities and get North Dakotans to connect with the exhibit’s theme,” said Kelly Sassi, assistant professor of English, who recently was awarded a grant by the North Dakota Humanities Council to help bring Jeter Naslund into the 3.2.1 project.

Planning for the event began about a year ago with the Plains Art Museum’s effort to host a Solien exhibit. Solien, who is a professor of painting at the University of Wisconsin, is from Moorhead and graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Solien’s work has been included in collections at the National Museum of Art in Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Australia, the Tate Gallery in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and New York University. He has painted hundreds of works based on the book's characters Ahab and his wife, with inspiration from Melville and Jeter Naslund.

Solien will bring 58 works of mixed media pieces, collages and paintings to the exhibit at the Plains Art Museum. The opening reception is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the museum. Solien will host a lecture about his work on Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. at MSUM’s King Hall. 

The "Moby-Dick" inspired work of Kim Bromley, NDSU professor of painting, will run concurrently with Solien’s exhibit. Bromley, who often uses "Moby-Dick" as a teaching tool, will feature a series of large-scale oil paintings that merge his own subjective and personal narrative with imagery culled directly with the book.

“I am totally thrilled,” said Colleen Sheehy, director of Plains Art Museum. “And I know T.L. Solien and Jeter Naslund are as well. It’s also been really fun working with the different library systems, and seeing them use their networks to get a wide range of people who have been reading (Jeter Naslund’s) book.”

The list of 3.2.1 events includes:

·      Sept. 12 ­, 7 p.m.-8 p.m. – Book discussion of Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund at the Fargo Public Library.

·      Sept. 19, 5 p.m. – Artist talk with T.L Solien at Minnesota State University Moorhead’s King Hall.

·      Sept. 21, 5:30 p.m. – Opening reception of the art exhibit “Towards the Setting Sun” featuring T.L. Solien at Plains Art Museum.

·      Sept. 22, noon-10 p.m.–Marathon read of Moby-Dick at Plains Art Museum.

·      Sept. 26, TBA–Panel presentation on Moby-Dick at Plains Art Museum.

·      Oct. 10, 7 p.m.-8 p.m.­–Book discussion of Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund, led by Colleen Sheehy, director of Plains Art Museum.

·      Oct. 17, 7 p.m.– Sena Jeter Naslund reads her book Ahab’s Wife at NDSU’s Barry Hall.

·      Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-noon–Writing workshop for teachers with Sena Jeter Naslund and the Red River Valley Writing Project at NDSU.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
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