Artists have always held a certain fondness for the cities they’ve called home. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is as much his love letter to Paris as it is Quasimodo’s story. Federico Fellini’s movie Roma encapsulates everything about the ancient capital, from its food to its frescoes to its nightmarish traffic. Even Gotham, Bob Kane’s grimdark Batman setting, is in its own way an ode to New York City (albeit to its seedier facets). In this tradition a great many of Fargo’s artists find they need look no further than their hometown for inspiration and beauty.
Fargo Stuff is the place to go for the best of local artists’ work. Founded in 2006 by John Borge, the gallery began as one of Fargo’s very first e-commerce companies. Borge offered Fargo-centric designs which people all over the country found amusing. His Moscow, London, Paris, and Fargo print puts Fargo on the same plane as some other (if arguably more prominent) cities. His Four Fargos unites Arkansas, Georgia, and Oklahoma along with North Dakota for sharing the distinction of containing a town named Fargo. Although Fargo Stuff’s ownership has changed, Borge’s designs remain available there today.
Fargo Stuff is now operated by Office Sign Company. They took over because they wanted to offer their craft to a wider variety of clients than only business owners, and also because they enjoy presenting Fargo and greater North Dakota in a positive a light as much as their featured artists. Office Sign Company is able to reproduce Fargo Stuff’s art on prints as large as 4 x 8 feet, and they can print on mediums including foam core, wood, and metal. They make every one of their pieces to order, and offer a greater selection of art than they’re able to display in their gallery alone. Their prints are popular in local offices as well as Fargoans’ homes.
Fargo Stuff’s approach is simple: They ask their artists what they would like to offer in their gallery and on their website, and they offer just that. Available pieces include Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Bison in Spring by Caroline Klinkmueller, featuring one of North Dakota’s furry bovines in his favorite spot, Fargo Theatre in Black and White by Bri Lee, an emotional glimpse of the city’s signature theater, Woodchipper by Dennis Krull, an illustration of Fargo’s most celebrated piece of landscaping equipment, and Bras on Broadway by Dean Johnson, which is self-explanatory. Other landmarks like the Fargo Clock, Scheels Center, and the World’s Largest Tin Family are well-represented, too.
Fargo Stuff has more than just the best from local artists. They also have Fargo-themed apparel, drinkware, decorations, gifts, foods, and officially licensed NDSU products. Go to Fargo Stuff’s gallery at 310 NP Ave N or visit fargostuff.com for a better look at what they have to offer. However you would like to proclaim your devotion to Fargo, you will find it there.
By David Scheller