The following blog was written by Stacey Wong.
For the last few years my family and I have been visiting the Fargo/Moorhead area several times a year.
We live in the Twin Cities and whenever we tell people we are headed for our mini vacation in Fargo we get a questioning look followed with an exasperated, “Why?”
This is fair. I also had doubts prior to visiting Fargo. What I learned is that Fargo is filled with great food, a good vibe and a really sensational art scene.
My first time in Fargo I stumbled across this art market organized by The Arts Partnership (at APT, its creative incubator, at that time located downtown). I thought I could score maybe an artisanal candle or some kitschy Fargo swag, but what I discovered exceeded my expectations. There was this massive creative space for artists of all media where I found a podcaster, a poet, painters, mixed media, photographer, expressing themselves in this vibrant collaborative space.
It was this event, filled with creativity and amazing artists, that made me fall in love with Fargo.
When in Fargo we always stop at the Plains Art Museum. First off, this museum is FREE — like no strings free! We were able to visit just before COVID struck and lady luck was on our side because they had an expansive Salvador Dali exhibit. In addition, they had this cool display of artwork from local high school students which was impressive.
Moorhead is just as spectacular.
The Rourke Art Museum welcomes you with one of the area’s painted buffalo sculptures. Yes, you read that right, plastered all over Fargo/Moorhead are buffalo sculptures, each painted by a different artist. The Rourke is filled with a cool mix of regional art and unique exhibits that are on rotation. And it’s ALSO free! Near the exit you can purchase some locally made goods. I am a sticker person so I grabbed some that a local artist had designed.
The Hjemkomst Center is this amazing museum which houses a Viking ship built by a local man and his family. The museum is adorned with American history and art. When we visited, they had the Saint John’s bible exhibit which was extraordinary. There was also an interactive piece where we got to practice calligraphy.
Even if museums aren’t your thing, you can simply walk down Broadway Street in Downtown Fargo. This few block stroll will take you past the historic Fargo Theatre. My first time there I was awed at the main stage. It was draped in red curtains and had an organist playing prior to the start of the movie. This theater filled me with nostalgia as I was watching the latest indie film.
Finally, just going to the West Acres Mall can bring some much needed culture to your day of shopping.
The Arts Partnership has moved their creative space – now called Aptitude – inside the mall. Each artist has their own studio in which to create and showcase their work.
On a recent visit, the charming and brilliant Emily Vieweg wrote a poem for us.Nothing can appropriately describe how amazing this process was. After meeting us, shaking our hands and asking a few questions, Emily set to work using a vintage typewriter to create a beautiful, meaningful work of art for us.
The experience here was truly amazing. In a mall. I love that!
When visiting Fargo/Moorhead you can feel the creative pulse of this area. From the mall to downtown you are immersed in culture and artistic expression.
From out of town but still love Fargo?
We would love to hear about your own trips to the area whether past or present. Comment below or tag us in a Facebook post to see if our followers have any ideas for things to see in the area.