|North Dakota Museum of Art kicks off "Art and Fun for Adults" April 8|
Know nothing about art? Know lots about art? It makes no difference to the organizers of the Museum’s Art Odyssey. Each year the Museum will plan three or four annual events for Odyssey members. Events include private receptions with artists, lectures, museum and gallery trips, and special receptions and gatherings for members.
The goal is to explore contemporary art while learning one’s way around the international art world. Each year will be capped by a national or international trip that might be organized around an art event such as an international art fair. Or the group might choose to make an art tour of a city. In addition to an annual trip outside of the region, the Museum organizes events in the region that are fun, easy to get to, and affordable. For example, next season Odyssey members will be invited to private tours and receptions in homes belonging to established collectors in the Fargo area.
The public is invited to the North Dakota Museum of Art at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, for an introduction to the Art Odyssey program. This event is free and open to the public. There will be a brief overview of the program followed by a behind-the-scene tour of the Museum. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. A fee will be charged to join the group, money used to pay the costs of local sessions.
Art Odyssey evolved from the earlier Cultural Enrichment Group, founded in the early 1990s to enable adults from all walks of life to learn about contemporary art in a social, unthreatening environment. After the 1997 flood, Cultural Enrichment evolved into Art Odyssey, which attracts astute collectors, young adults beginning their own collection, and those generally interested in learning about art but not necessarily as owners.
In 2006, Art Odyssey members gathered in Montevideo, Uruguay for the opening of The Disappeared, an exhibition organized by the North Dakota Museum of Art. Following the opening, members were treated to an architecture tour of northern Uruguay, before leaving for Buenos Aries, Argentina to visit museums and artists studios. Many studios and private collections were open to the members as a result of relationships built by the Museum staff while organizing The Disappeared. In 2007, the Museum took Art Odyssey in a different direction leaving the big city for Marfa, Texas, situated on a high plateau of the Chihuahuan Desert. Marfa experienced an unlikely renaissance when artist Donald Judd permanently installed living and working spaces, libraries and archives there. Other places visited by the group include Vancouver and Montreal, Kansas City and Mexico City, New York, Los Angeles to see the newly opened Getty Museum, New Orleans a few weeks before Katrina, and multiple places in between.
If you are interested in being an Art Odyssey member, come to the introductory evening on April 8, 7 p.m. There will be a reception at the home of Mike and Ann Brown immediately following the Museum event. Anyone wishing to attend the private reception following the Art Odyssey introduction and Museum tour, will need to RSVP by Tuesday, March 7.
-- Brian Lofthus, Assistant to the Director, North Dakota Museum of Art, email@example.com, 701-777-4195