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Art collective readies historic Fargo space for new gallery

Steve Revland pauses while working to ready space at 11 Eighth St. S. in Fargo to become the new Dakota Fine Art gallery, an enterprise Revland is starting with at least eight other artists. Dave Olson/The Forum1 / 2
This space at 11 Eighth Street S., in Fargo, will soon be home to the Dakota Fine Art gallery. Dave Olson/The Forum2 / 2

FARGO—A collective of at least nine artists is poised to open a new gallery in Fargo.

Dakota Fine Art could hold a soft opening as soon as May 17, said Meg Spielman Peldo, a photographer and mixed media artist.

A grand opening is tentatively set for May 31 at the gallery located at 11 Eighth St. S., but Spielman Peldo said both dates are subject to change, as the gallery is still being readied.

At this point, the other artists involved in and their respective specialties include: Jon Offutt, glass; Steve Revland, furniture; Karen Bakke, painting; Susan Morrissey, painting; Eric A. Johnson, printmaking; Dale Cook, wood; Jan Flom, painting; and Annette Marchand, ceramics.

The group is currently looking for a tenth artist to join the collective.

The artists will run the gallery space together and also represent other artists as a traditional gallery on a rotating basis, providing more variety when it comes to mediums and style, Spielman Peldo said.

"I suppose that is a unique business model," she said. "Most gallery collectives only represent the artist/owners.

"With artists as the owners, we have more flexibility in working with designers and builders in an affordable way," Spielman Peldo added. "Our goal is to provide a beautiful historic space that brings art buyers directly together with art and the artists who created it."

Revland, a long-time area artist who is best known these days for tables created from exotic woods, has put in much of the sweat equity when it comes to getting the gallery space ready.

That includes building movable walls that make for highly changeable spaces, a concept he employed in other galleries he has operated in Fargo.

Revland said one thing that made running those earlier galleries difficult was the price of doing business on Broadway, where he said rents are much higher than at the Eighth Street location in the former Dakota Business College building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also, Revland said, spreading costs among several owners and having no middle-man to pay will make opening Dakota Fine Art a less stressful venture than it would be for one or two artists to attempt on their own.

In addition to the work seen in the gallery, Spielman Peldo said they will also have portfolios of additional work by each artist and some artists will create commissioned work specifically for clients.

To start with, she said the gallery's hours will likely be noon to 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, but they may add hours later.

Spielman Peldo said one thing they are hoping to do is to continue an arrangement similar to what Revland has done at his previous galleries, which is to invite art students from local colleges to be interns.

Dave Olson
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