On Thursday, April 2, the North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND, in collaboration with the Ellendale Area Arts Council and Ellendale O.P.E.R.A, Inc., will open the exhibition Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom at the Ellendale O.P.E.R.A. House in Ellendale, ND. The exhibition will be on display until April 30. Exhibition hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 – 4 pm, or by appointment. Call 701 349 2490 for appointments and information.
Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom was developed by The Field Museum, Chicago, in collaboration with Terry Evans and Elizabeth Farnsworth, Fellows of the Center for Art+Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. The North Dakota tour is made possible through the North Dakota Museum of Art’s Rural Arts Initiative.
About the Exhibition:
For decades, North Dakota was seen as a fly-over state. When one of the nation’s largest oil reserves was rediscovered and fracking—a means of extracting oil from shale—came to the Bakken shale formation, attitudes changed. One couldn’t turn on the TV or open the morning paper without seeing a splashing headline about the State’s booming oil industry. In Fractured, viewers can follow Chicago-based photographer Terry Evans and journalist Elizabeth Farnsworth’s explorations of the Bakken through photographs, interviews, poetry, and accumulated wisdom.
“To me, oil smells like roses and money,” states Fred Evans, who is grateful for the financial reward the oil under his pastures provides. On the other side, rancher Scott Davis, who tried, but failed, to stop drilling on his native prairie, says, “Our way of life as we’ve known it is over.”
This drilling process alters prairie habits and could bring catastrophic global warming ever closer, but it also offers temporary fiscal stability to the state and may help make the United States energy independent. Through the vivid photography of Terry Evans, visitors will be presented the evidence just as she sees it. The exhibit ultimately asks, “What is your point of view?” The questions, however, are posed through the voices of the people of the Bakken.
Portraits of workers, landscape photography, and first-person quotes from interviewees are featured in order to present a narrative of interlocking stories. Join these modern day explorers as they document the changes of a storied landscape, and decide for yourself what it means for the future.
About the artists:
Terry Evans has photographed the prairies and plains of North America and the urban prairie of Chicago. Combining both aerial and ground photography, she delves into the intricate and complex relationships between land and people. Her work explores the virgin prairie, working steel mills, Greenland ice sheets, a small town in the Kansas Flint Hills and the oil boom in North Dakota. She showed her aerial photos of the Prairies in the 1990s at the North Dakota Museum of Art and a second exhibition of photographs of prairie specimens from The Field Museum's scientific collections in 2007.
Elizabeth Farnsworth was chief correspondent and principal substitute anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer from 1995-2000. She then became a senior correspondent, reporting mostly from overseas. She now works free-lance as a writer and filmmaker. Her writings have appeared in Foreign Policy, World Policy Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, Mother Jones and other publications.
About NDMOA’s Rural Arts Initiative:
The North Dakota Museum of Art is the official state art museum. As it is located in Grand Forks, it can be difficult for schools to plan day-trips to the Museum. Due to the great distances some schools face, the Museum started touring exhibitions to towns throughout North Dakota through its Rural Arts Initiative program, which started in 2003. Exhibitions have been installed in all corners of the State, including smaller towns such as Crosby, Pekin, and Bowman, but also larger North Dakota cities such as Jamestown, Fargo, and Bismarck. Through this program the Museum delivers, installs and de-installs exhibitions of original artwork free-of-charge to North Dakota communities. In addition to touring exhibitions, the Museum’s Education Department creates lesson plans and makes them available on the Museum’s website at www.ndmoa.com. To assist schools with out-of-pocket expenses, the Museum offers travel reimbursements for North Dakota schools wishing to attend the exhibition.
Ellendale O.P.E.R.A House Events:
In conjunction with Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom, the Ellendale Area Arts Council has organized two events to coincide with the exhibition.
Thursday, April 16, 7 pm - An Evening with Jessie Veeder
Singer, songwriter, and photographer, Jessie Veeder, has been singing and talking about the buttes and creeks of her family’s working cattle ranch since releasing her first original album at age 16.
Friday, April 17, 7 pm - Man Camp Dialogues
Scholars from the ongoing North Dakota Man Camp Project will share their research and will engage communities in a discussion of how man camps have changed the lives and histories of these communities.
1600 East Century Avenue, Suite 6
Bismarck, ND 58503-0649
(701) 328-7595 (Fax)
Hours of business are:
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on National Holidays