Traveling Museum Launches Artist Residency Pilot Program

residency-logoThe Traveling Museum’s Artist Residency Pilot Program brings innovative flexibility through creative mobility to the artist residency concept.   When developing this program, the Traveling Museum considered the common limitations that may restrict an artist from participating in a traditional residency program:

  • Inability to travel due to family and/or work obligations
  • Limited residency opportunities within an artists’ geographic region
  • Desire to work in a specific location where residency facilities do not or cannot exist.

The Museum’s objective is to develop a dynamic and feasible residency program that will bring the flexibility of time, space and place for artists and communities to benefit from the art residency experience.

The Traveling Museum Artist Residency Pilot Program will take place in Fergus Falls, MN with a weeklong project by visual artist Naomi Schliesman and musician/sound artist Dan Olson.

The Schliesman/Olson team will be working collaboratively July 20-26th to create an installation of sound and art objects within the Traveling Museum. Stop by the Fergus Falls Space Station throughout the week to watch the project unfold and attend the public reception on July 26th from 4 – 8pm

The Traveling Museum’s Artist Residency Pilot Program is made possible by a McKnight Mid-Career Professional Development Grant through Forecast Public Art.

Naomi RaMona Schliesman is a multi-media artist working with the ideas of sculpture, installation and public art to create physically engaging environments. She was a recipient of a fellowship from the Ragdale and Kimmel Hardening Nelson Center for the Arts. Naomi has participated in residency programs at Vermont Studio Center, VT and Hospitalfield Arts in Arbroath, Scotland. She exhibits her work nationally and resides in rural Fergus Falls where she serves as the Artist Development Coordinator for Springboard for the Arts’ rural office.

Dan Olson has been writing and recording music for 15 years and founder of the musical group Radio On. Through the support of a LRAC Legacy Grant, Olson has launched Space Station, a multi purpose performance/recording venue in Fergus Falls. Space Station strives to be a resource for performing artists in the lakes area by providing the tools to establish an audio/video presence online.



Word Play by Mary Bergs

The Traveling Museum is pleased to announce Mary Bergs has been selected for the August Pop Up Exhibit at the Willmar Public Library.

Mary works with discarded materials and found objects. Through careful re-arrangement, she explores unexpected relationships and associations. Informed by the material and form of the familiar, her sculptures, installations, and drawings obscure and re-invent meaning in forgotten objects.

Word Play, for the Traveling Museum, will focus on her ongoing interest in altering found book pages from an unfinished manuscript by Robert Louise Stevenson. “For me, working with words in this way reminded me of the magical experience of learning to read, “discovering” the alphabet”, said Mary Bergs.

Mary Bergs is a visual artist based out of Minneapolis. She has exhibited her work throughout Minnesota, is a State Arts Board grand recipient, and was recently included in the Minnesota Museum of American Art 2014 Biennial.

Word Play will be presented at the Willmar Public Library on Saturday, August 2nd.

Thinking About Thinking by Mary Bergs
Thinking About Thinking by Mary Bergs
All She Knew By Mary Bergs
All She Knew By Mary Bergs

The Traveling Museum at Danebod Folk School

DSC_0024As part of the annual SMAC artist retreat at the Danebod Folk Art School, Rural Aesthetic Initiative was invited to create a collaborative, on-site project. Through research and interviews, the team developed short, visual, poetic prompts about the history of Danebod that invited attending artists to create responsive drawings.

The project examined ideas exploring collective memory, historicising place, building community, and the process of translating legacy. The day started with the Museum filled with blank pieces of paper that were an inventory of phrases and titles. Slowly, as images developed from these notes, a picture of Danebod’s past and present formed.

Thanks to Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, The Danebod Folk School and the artists who helped make this collaboration a success.

For more images of the day visit our IMAGE GALLERY

Rural Aesthetic Initiative awarded McKnight Grant

Rural Aesthetic Initiative has been awarded a McKnight Mid-Career Professional Development Grant through Forecast Public Art.  The team will use this funding to develop programs and opportunities to expand the territory of the Traveling Museum.

The Forecast Public Art Grant Program supports risk-taking, interdisciplinary approaches and collaborative problem solving. With support from Jerome Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, and Minnesota’s regional arts councils, the program offers financial awards along with training, technical assistance, career advice, networking opportunities, documentation, insurance certificates and promotion.

Rural Aesthetic Initiative is honored to included in this year’s outstanding group of grantees. You can learn more about the artists’ projects here.

Special thanks to Forecast Public Art and The McKnight Foundation for supporting public art and Minnesota artists.


OPEN CALL: one day pop-up project

One Day Pop-up Project

Proposal Deadline: May 26, 2014 

Stipend: $250 for the selected proposal

Project Date: August 2, 2014 Noon – 4pm

Project Location: In The Traveling Museum, parked at the Willmar Public Library, Willmar, MN

The Traveling Museum, in partnership with the Willmar Public Library (Pioneerland Library System), invites proposals from artists of all disciplines to create a dynamic, temporary, site-specific project in conjunction with the Library’s annual Local Authors’ Round Table Discussion. The proposal should spark dialogue between the public, the Traveling Museum space, and the idea of the written word in some manner. Any medium and strategy that employs a contemporary approach to Public Art will be considered. Projects proposed should be contained and presented within the Traveling Museum, which will be on site at the Willmar Public Library.

Eligibility: All Minnesota residents, at least 18 years of age

Application Materials:

1. Project Description  2. 5-10 work samples –  email Folder of images with labels and One page image list with description 3. Brief Bio/Resume

email application materials info at thetravelingmuseum dot com


Winter Painting On Green Lake

The Traveling Museum on Green Lake in Spicer, MN

On March 2nd (the last day for removal of fish houses for the 2014 ice fishing season) the Traveling Museum presented “Winter Painting” by Andrew Nordin.  Below zero temps and bright sunshine welcomed museum visitors which included; a family in a minivan, a handful of lone fishermen, a few dedicated art patrons, and a hero with a bobcat.


2/22/14 – Disco Infused – featuring DJ Black Lacquer


Traveling Museum Ribbon Cutting/Rural Aesthetic Initiative Studio Open House.

Check out the new mobile lab for contemporary art and enjoy a hot disco infused fever courtesy of DJ Black Lacquer (aka Scott Stulen). The Traveling Museum will also be taking your suggestions for future curatorial and programming ideas. Take a Disco Break and head inside Rural Aesthetic Initiative Studios featuring new work by Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin, a mellower soundtrack, great conversation and beverages.

Find us at Rural Aesthetic Initiative Studio – 28 Main Street in New London, MN. ENTER RAI STUDIO BEHIND BUILDING.   5:30 until whenever.