Minoter Tricia Halvorson Lunski is a great promoter, equally of artists and art, in her job at the Spicy Pie.
"My goal is to help local artists, both in Fargo and Minot," she said. "I like having the work on display for sale, and we try to rotate the artists featured.
She said she's been working with Dan Sharbono of 62 Doors and Casey Opstad for the Minot location, although Opstad recently moved to New York.
Photos by Terry J. Aman/MDN - - The tabletops at Spicy Pie on North Broadway are intricate works of art, creating a gallery-type atmosphere for pizza parlor patrons.
"William Harbort a.k.a. Billy Chuck is currently a favorite at Spicy Pie," she said. "He's a professor at Minot State and has art featured at our NDSU location and Minot location."
When first entering the establishment, the impression is of an open-plan seating arrangement, but it is divided into a family restaurant and bar area restricted to over 21. "That's where we have the racier pieces," said Halvorson Lunski.
She is referring primarily to the bar itself, covered with pinup photos under Plexiglas. The tables throughout are topped with works of art created in Halvorson Lunski's garage. She has dressed each with its own theme, often hiding something so diners can find something different every time they come in.
One is made of crayons, one of Legos. The 62 Doors table is old press items, and one is covered with Canadian nickels.
"That's because they have beavers on them," she said, referring to the MSU mascot. As to where she finds some of her pieces and inspiration, she said, "I do a lot of shopping in antique stores."
One of the tables in Minot is by Bell School, because one of the owner's sons attends there. She swaps out the tables as well as the hanging artwork to keep the decorations fresh.
Halvorson Lunski has worked with the owners on various projects, and since her degree is in graphic design in digital media, her first task was the website, with the tables following when the restaurant in Fargo was being designed, and has expanded into product photography for the chain.
Spicy Pie is located at 1100 N. Broadway across from MSU.