It could be said that fairytales have influenced artists creatively for thousands of years.
With some of the oldest fairytales dating back to before modern languages existed, the stories we know today have been passed down, adapted and mirrored by cultures around the world.
The universal narratives told by fairytales are at the heart of an upcoming group exhibition called “Formative Fairytales” hosted by the Spirit Room in Downtown Fargo.
Earlier this week, we caught up with Hollie DeFrancisco, gallery manger and admin assistant at the Spirit Room, to take a look at a painting she’s in the process of finishing up for the exhibition.
Then we chatted with Spirit Room Executive Director Dawn Morgan for more inspiration.
In a cozy corner at the Spirit Room, Hollie sits next to her little one, Uther, as he bounces enthusiastically. She recites a fairytale called Goblin Pony as he trots about, taking a turn or two around.
For her submission to the upcoming exhibition, Hollie chose to explore the story called “The Little Match Girl,” a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen.
“My daughter (Nuria) is so funny, she saw this and she goes, can I hang this one in my room?”
In between taking care of the little ones, Hollie sneaks in a few paint strokes here and there, with eager helpers on call.
“The best part is she always wants to paint whenever I do. She wanted to paint on this one, too,” to which Hollie responded, “Mommy’s working on this one.”
The concept for the upcoming exhibition was developed by Executive Director Dawn Morgan, who says there’s plenty of ways to interpret the theme.
“There are a lot of possibilities for delight,” she says, encouraging artists from various media to submit artwork and even submit video adaptations.
“They could even do their own costuming, too. The important part would be to look for the succinct points. What I’d like people to know is any videos can be submitted throughout the next month (beyond the art submission deadline). If they’d like to come in and have us video, we’ll give them a copy and we’ll use it here,” says Dawn.
In a video call with Dawn posted to our Facebook, we heard about some of her formative fairytale memories and quizzed her on some popular quotes from widely cherished stories.
“I’m so grateful for being inspired earlier in my youth from some of these stories that touch your heart, and touch your mind and reflect on yourself.”
Entry Deadline Extended: Monday, January 25th
Exhibit: January 18th – March 5th
Gallery Hours: 1:00 – 5:00 Monday through Friday
“Formative Fairytales” at the Spirit Room, is a noncompetitive group exhibition. It is intended to be a mad combining of energies and visual ingredients. The Spirit Room asks artists to choose a character from a classic fairytale and depict them as you interpret them to be in any medium of your choosing. The Spirit Room would also like to invite the public to share their favorite fairytale as a reading via Facebook live. Either stop in Monday-Friday from 1-5 or send us your recording to firstname.lastname@example.org