Northwest Art Center receives assessment grant

The Northwest Art Center on Minot State University’s campus hopes to open an exhibit holding a variety of fine arts pieces and Native American artifacts, but to do so, they must first go through assessment of both the artifacts and of the space that will be hosting them.

To do so can be expensive, but as one of 80 institutions from across the United States selected to participate in the Collections Assessment for Preservation program, the gallery has received a grant for up to $7,800 to help cover the cost. According to gallery director, Avis Veikley, it should hopefully cover most of the cost except for some extra costs for travel or accommodations of the assessment team.

“The assessment will focus on the current physical state of the collections, how they are stored and cared for, and will make recommendations for care and maintenance going forward,” said Veikley in a press release.

According to Veikley, the important questions that are asked when looking at the condition of the collection are “are the drawings framed in acid-free mats that won’t damage the paper?…are the Native American garments free of moths or other insects that feed on natural materials…? The assessors also look at the facilities to determine whether temperature and humidity control is adequate, and what kind of shelving, storage or display materials are needed for the particular types of art involved?”

“These questions are important to ask because the art and artifacts the center cares for are held in trust for future generations, and we want to be sure items are well cared for,” she said.

The project has to be completed by the end of 2018, so the gallery is hoping to have the team in Minot in May or June.

“By applying for the CAP program, the Northwest Arts Center has shown a commitment to preserving cultural heritage,” said Tiffani Emig, programs director for the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works.

FAIC supports conservation education, research, and outreach activities that increase understanding of global cultural heritage. The CAP program is administered by FAIC through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant making agency that supports museums and libraries.

The Northwest Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The new gallery will be hosting a grand opening and dedication of the facility on April 19.