The North Dakota Art Gallery Association held their annual meeting in Dickinson this week, and two artists from Williston were chosen to share their work across the state.

The meeting is a chance for art galleries throughout the state to propose artists from their areas to be selected as part of the NDAGA touring exhibits. Gallery directors and representatives met at Dickinson State University from Sunday, Sept. 8 to Tuesday, Sept. 10 to discuss the state of the arts in North Dakota, as well as take part in some hands-on workshops and tours. The group toured Robin Reynolds’ Dacotah Clayworks in Hebron and the Dickinson Museum Center, in addition to taking part in artist sessions on fluid art painting and crate building.

James Memorial Art Center Vice President Deana Novak was among those in attendance, and she told the Williston Herald that one of the highlights of the meeting is the artist proposals, where each gallery presents their artists to be chosen for the NDAGA traveling exhibits. Sixteen artists were proposed, with Williston artists Mack Schroer and Kortney Beth Wilson being among those selected to tour.

Novak said it is important to encourage and promote local artists, and that she tries to bring at least three artists to the meeting each year to pitch their work.

“Sharing the talent in our area is important to show the state that as a whole, Williston has a thriving art community.” she said. “We are so proud of our local artists, and very excited to be able to share their work with the rest of the state.”

Schroer hails from Kansas originally, and has an exhibition of work showing at the James throughout September. Schroer’s exhibition, “Pop Cars,” was created during his time as a truck driver, when he would create colorful, pop culture characters on the pages of his logbook. Johnny Cash, Leonardo Da Vinci and Chewbacca are just a few of the characters Schroer has brought to life with striking detail on the pages. His work was picked up by several galleries in the state, and will tour throughout 2021.

Wilson has been living in Williston for a little over a year, and has created stunningly colorful pieces featuring nature scenes, as well as creating unique pieces using animal skulls. Wilson submitted work for the James’ Juried Community Show, where she took home the top prize. It was at that show that Novak said she knew she wanted a full exhibition of Wilson’s work. Wilson’s work will travel throughout the state, inclusing the Mind’s Eye Gallery at Dickinson State University.

“Her use of color was something that caught me off guard a little bit,” Ian Mabry, director of the Mind’s Eye Gallery told the Williston Herald. “I myself usually work with a lot of neutral, earthy tones, so when I see color used in interesting and creative ways it really catches my eye.”

To learn more about the North Dakota Art Gallery Association and its current touring exhibits, visit ndartgalleryassociation.weebly.com.

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