Professors have collaborative exhibit

Farm Forum

What happens when you combine Noah’s Ark, a bear skin rug composed of Beanie Babies and a jar of crushed Precious Moments figurines?

It’s a sculpture/fiber arts exhibit entitled “Accumulations.” The exhibit is now open at the Dacotah Prairie Museum’s Lamont Gallery and will remain open until Aug. 11.

The artists Greg Blair and Sara Christensen Blair, who are art professors at Northern State University, are presenting their first collaborative exhibition at the museum. “The works contain humor, political, social and cultural comment and thought-provoking contradictions and absurdities,” according to the museum. “The art aims to make the viewer think about their choices.”

Christensen Blair views her work in this exhibition as both humorous and reflective. As a collector who was raised around collectors, she most often uses multiples of objects in her artwork. Everyday objects are incorporated in her sculptural pieces, and she makes comments on aspects of contemporary society through them.

Her fiber art pieces in this show all involve small American flags as a central theme. Each flag has been changed or altered to reflect our society’s attitudes toward patriotism, and current social and economic structures.

Blair envisions his sculptural pieces as representing cultural views of nature. “Nature is used to sell products, win elections, define a ways of life or promote a certain lifestyle,” he said in a news release. In his sculptures, he frequently uses wood, among other materials, that has been shaped and finished to a high quality. But the purpose of his art is not just about interacting with pleasing materials. “I am not just interested in nature itself, as much as I am interested in cultural ideas about nature,” he said in the release.

Blair, 36, was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in sculptural fine arts. Christensen Blair, 35, was born in Brookings and educated at Gustavus Adolphus College and the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. She holds a master’s degree from UND.

They reside in Aberdeen with their children, a young son and daughter.