Picasso once said “Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  The Plains Art Museum is trying to ensure that everyone in the Fargo/Moorhead area has an opportunity to embrace the artist inside of them and nurture the creative spirit within us all.  Thanks to the PlainsArt4All initiative, admission to the museum will be free beginning July 1st.  Membership to the museum will still be available and continue to offer a variety of perks and discounts.“Plains Art Museum has the opportunity to put North Dakota on the cultural map, but there is also an opportunity for the museum to serve as a community space for people of all backgrounds,” explained director and CEO Andrew Maus.  “In order for us to serve in these ways, we need to remove the admission fee barrier and extend our mission.  PlainsArt4All is our way of saying to our community, ‘We are yours!’”

It’s All About the Children

The museum has always had a strong focus on developing programs for children, and removing the admission fee should bring even more budding artists through its doors.  “We want to be a welcoming space with no barriers,” explained director of education and social engagement Netha Cloeter, adding that the museum hopes to boost family and tourist traffic over the summer.

Within the museum, staff have developed “Art Explorer Bags,” which provide young people with games, activities, and art guides which help them to look at exhibits more closely and in an interactive manner.  “We want to make the exhibits come alive,” Cloeter explained.  An art lounge on the museum’s second floor is full of art-inspired toys and books, giving children the opportunity to engage with art in a stimulating manner.  The goal of such programs is to foster a love of art that will follow children into adulthood.

Over the summer, the museum will feature a variety of fun workshops designed to provide artistic opportunities for the entire family.  They include Ceramic Garden Luminary ($10 per participant) on Thursday, June 8th, Tee Tuesday ($10 for printing a tea towel, $15 for a tote bag, and $20 for a t-shirt) on Tuesday, July 25th, and Ceramic Pumpkins ($10) on Thursday, August 24th.

Plains Art 2

There are also a variety of youth classes available over the summer for a fee of $19 for members and $24 for nonmembers.  Classes include Table Settings, Making Lemonade, and Emoji Enterprise.  There are also art camps that range in price from $65 to $130.  Topics include Busy Bees: Young Pollinator Camp, Selfie! A Photography and Printmaking Camp, Young Masters of Hand-building, Art Detectives, and Native American Pottery.

This summer, you can find Plains Art Museum leading outdoor art activities at the following community events:

  • Streets Alive in downtown Fargo on Sunday, June 25
  • West Fargo Art in the Park at River’s Bend Park on Monday, July 10
  • Red River Market in downtown Fargo on Saturday, July 15
  • World Garden Commons Summer Series: Pollinator Party at Rabanus Park on Sunday, July 30
  • West Fargo Art in the Park at River’s Bend Park on Monday, July 31
  • Movie in the Park: Honey I Shrunk the Kids at Heritage Garden and Amphitheatre on Thursday, August 10
  • Red River Market in downtown Fargo on Saturday, August 19
  • Streets Alive at Heritage Garden and Amphitheatre on Sunday, August 27

This summer is a great time to foster a love of art in your children or get back in touch with the creative child inside of you, especially with the aid of the PlainsArt4All initiative. Remember, every child is an artist, regardless of how old they are.  See you at the museum!

More information about the Plains Art Museum can be found at plainsart.org.


By Jamee Larson