Studio Crawl 2015. Photo by Michael RT Photography.
NOTE: This blog post was previously published in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead on Monday, Sept. 26.
Where do painters stash all of their brushes and canvases?
What does a photographer’s darkroom smell like?
What’s that guy down the street really doing in his garage all the time?
It’s time to explore both the highly visible and off-the-radar studios owned by artists in our community during Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists 18th annual Studio Crawl from noon to 6 p.m. on October 2 and 3.
Organized by Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA), a nonprofit organization made up of artists and art leaders in the region, the goal of the annual studio crawl is to allow people “to take an intimate look into the environment where creativity thrives,” according to FMVA.
“People get to go into not only art studios around the area, but in their neighborhood, too,” said FMVA member and Studio Crawl Director Jon Offutt. “It’s just a fun weekend for that reason. To be able to go around and see not just the art hanging in the gallery, but the process, the space and everything that it takes to accomplish that.”
Offutt, a well-known regional glassblower, has participated in the crawl since its inception in 2003 and typically greets 800 to 1,000 studio crawlers each season. In all, 33 artists will open their studios to the public at this year’s Studio Crawl, including several TAP artist partners who have received individual artist grants in the past and continue to successfully contribute to the growth of our community’s arts sector.
Always held on the first weekend in October, Studio Crawl has come to be one of the region’s most coveted fall events. Although COVID put a damper on in-person studio visits in 2020, this year, artists are once again opening their doors with health and safety protocols in place.
Longtime Studio Crawl participant and renowned ceramic artist Brad Bachmeier is looking forward to this year’s crawl weekend for many reasons, but mostly because it gives him a chance to “spend the day with friends investigating the F-M area and meeting and talking with artists in their studios,” he said.
Bachmeier (studio No. 5 on the crawl route) recently expanded his studio and is excited to show visitors the new addition, do some demonstrations, plus showcase new work from several National Park Artist-in-Residencies.
“You’re bound to discover some new and exciting work and techniques that you haven’t seen before,” Bachmeier said of the crawl.
Photographer and Gallery 4 artist Scott Seiler (studio No. 27 on the crawl route) has been involved in Studio Crawl for several years now and finds it a great way for people to interact with artists and learn more about their crafts.
“Scott Seiler Photography has been involved for the past seven years,” he said. “It’s such a great way for art enthusiasts to ask me some great questions. I have families visit, because their daughter or son is interested in photography and wants to experience and see what I do.”
Depending on how you plan your crawl route, it’s recommended you drive or find transportation. Studio locations range from a large swath of downtown Fargo and all the way out to West Fargo, Hillsboro and Glyndon in Minnesota.
“That’s what the studio crawl is all about. One day is downtown visiting studios, the other day is out of town visiting Glyndon and Hillsboro,” Offutt said.
Seiler, who is heavily involved as an artist at Gallery 4, said the Roberts Street fixture in downtown Fargo will be open both days of the crawl and displaying a range of framed originals, jewelry, photography, metal artworks, pottery, encaustic, greeting cards, magnets, smaller sized prints, fiber art, plus lots of activities throughout the weekend.
“Gallery 4 will have giveaways during the weekend and will have artists on display to answer any questions,” Seiler said. “We will also have artist demonstrations. We always enjoy it when our guests ask us about our artistic journey and why we are artists. The answers are always intriguing.”
Ultimately, Studio Crawl allows artists to showcase the process rather than the final product. For Offutt, that means, “I just blow glass for two days. My wife (Prairie Public Broadcasting Communications Manager Marie Offutt) and daughter will be out being social, but it’s mostly about the work, the process, not the thing that is the result. It’s theatre.”
Take a pre-tour tour at Plains Art Museum
Preview artists’ work and plan which studios you’d like to visit at the Plains Art Museum Studio Crawl Preview in downtown Fargo where most artists participating in the crawl are showing a piece of art.
Admission to the museum is free and works by crawl artists will be on display through December 11.
Barbara Benda – Mourning Dove Studio
Watercolor, acrylic, mixed media collage
Mixed media, photography
Britt Dalice – Dalice Art
Shelli Feske – Earth, Chrome, & Wire
Jewelry and leatherwork
Brad Bachmeier – Bachmeier
Emily Williams-Wheeler – Studio e
Ellen Jean Diederich – Ellen Jean Diederich Studio
Acrylics and watercolor
Hayden Swanson – Living the Dream Pottery
Jodi Peterson – Wolfnest Glassworks
Eric A. Johnson – Big Oak Press
Tim Lamey – Aptitude artist
Jon Offutt – House of Mulciber
Jacqueline J. Anderson
Karen Bakke – Bakke Art & Design
Landscape and abstract painting
Joy Ciaffoni – Art by Joy Ciaffoni
Dennis Krull – 5foot20 design lounge
Doug Stuckle – Doug Stuckle Art Studio
Dale Cook – Nature’s Gifts
Barry Kutzer – In The Chips
Marcy Dronen – Marcy Dronen Studio
Ashley Kunz – Autumn in December
Amanda Heidt – Hannaher’s, In.c Print Studio
Scott Seiler – Scott Seiler Photography
Cynthia McGuire Thiel
MaryJo Cayley – Oak Grove Gift Shop
Susan Poitras – Susan Poitras Studios
Bracken Rourke – Cotton Lake Tile
Steve Revland – Revland Furniture Studio
Ceramics and sculpture
Aptitude – West Acres Mall
Center for Creativity – Plains Art Museum
Dakota Fine Art
NDSU Graphic Design and Illustration
PEARS – Printmaking Education and Research Studio, NDSU
NDSU Art Education