Art across the ages


Kyle Zimmerman/Dakota Student

The UND Collections art gallery at the Empire Arts Center held a exhibition opening on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Ben Godfrey, Staff Writer

On April 25, UND Art Collections debuted a new gallery at the Empire Arts Center. This exhibition contains works from many different artists throughout history. It is entitled, “Art Across The Ages: A Selection of Treasured Works.” The opening event for gallery went from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and included an introductory speech from President Mark Kennedy.

Established in 2012, the UND Art Collections Gallery works in partnership with the Empire in displaying the university’s vast collection outside of UND borders. The two organizations have put on multiple exhibitions in the hopes of enriching the cultural experience of our city.

This particular gallery was designed to illustrate the importance of art and creativity to the human condition, and how the creative spirit has stood the test of time. This show also intends to display the recent growth of the university’s collection through donations and purchases. All purchases for the UND Art Collections are made with funds from provided by the Myers Foundation.

“Art Across The Ages” is true to its name. The exhibition features works from many periods of human history. Some date back to ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. Other pieces come from well known artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali and Rembrandt van Rijn. There are works from contemporary artists as well as unknown makers.

It’s fascinating to see the wide array of methods and styles that creatives have used throughout history. Ancient Roman pieces in the collection are made of molded bronze. Albrecht Durer’s 1510 piece, “Christ in Limbo,” shows a detailed religious scene depicted by meticulous woodcutting method.

There are a handful of Native American works made with traditional beads and animal skins. Of course, there are a wide variety of pieces created with more modern methods like lithography, screen-printing, etching and watercolor painting.

According to the gallery’s program, “Newly accessioned artworks have enriched the educational experience of the University’s students, while also providing the broader public with opportunities to see important art not otherwise often on view in the Grand Forks region.”

The art collection belonging to UND is actually rather impressive. To be honest, I never thought I’d see the day when an original etching from world-famous Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali was right here in Grand Forks, N.D.

When I first came to school here, if you would have told me that pieces from Dali, Picasso, Matisse, as well ancient Egyptians and Greeks were all under one roof at the Empire, I wouldn’t have believed you. Sure enough, that’s really happened. The UND Art Collections have grown significantly over the years, and this is the gallery that proves it.

This exhibition is curated by Arthur Jones, UND Art Collections Director. Peter Stevenson, Emmalee Hazer and Sarah Heitkamp were also involved in curation of the gallery. Emily Montgomery, Mackenzie Teepen and Keith Ostrom provided support from the Empire Arts Center.

“Art Across The Ages” is free to the public and will be open until Sept. 16.

Ben Godfrey is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]