Who are We?

By Maddie
Oct 24, 2017

Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? These are important and interesting questions, and in the case of the Museum, they are defining. How did the NDMOA come about (starting an art museum is a strange task)? What have we done to merit being the North Dakota Museum of Art (very official)? What is our goal as an institution?

The NDMOA came from little, a project given to then-graduate-student Laurel Reuter (who is still our director), called the UND Art Galleries. It was a space in UND's Memorial Union, focused on displaying student work. We are a young Museum, founded in the early 1970's, not in our own building until the late 1980's, and not building a permanent collection until 1989. Our building is a former UND gymnasium renovated with a private donation.  Our collection was started with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The NDMOA is by both the community and the artists, and for the community and the artists.

In spite of the Museum's youth, the NDMOA has been, still is, and plans to continue to be a leader in the arts for the region. This is our greatest legacy. We're primarily a museum for visual art, but no art form is excluded here. The museum hosts two concert series and a cafe, in addition to being active in the arts life of Grand Forks at large. We founded an annual Art Auction to bring recognition to artists of the region, and to help them receive fair compensation for their work. The Museum has curated and toured an exhibition internationally, and held international exhibitions here. We run summer camps for kids, where they get to let loose and enjoy being artists.

You could call us a lot of things; the underdog,  a new museum, pretentious, even (a leading fine art museum in North Dakota, of all places?). We just go with the NDMOA.

Leave a Reply

Please enter the security code below
CAPTCHA Image Code*:
  Reload Image