For three days this week, the air at Minot State University will be filled with the creative energy of Notstock, the annual live signature arts festival that will also feature two special art exhibits.
Scheduled for Oct. 4 to 6, MSU Notstock 2012 will be held in the Beaver Dam on the Minot State University campus, along with three rooms in the conference center on the third floor of the Student Center, Aleshire Theater and the Black Box Theater in Hartnett Hall, the Northwest Art Gallery in Hartnett Hall, outside in the quad area, and at 62 Doors Down Gallery & Studios.
Events start at 9 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, with evening performances taking place in Aleshire Theater.
Bill Harbort, art professor, and Laurie Geller, honors director, both at Minot State University, stand next to a bulletin board advertising for Notstock in Hartnett Hall. Notstock is the annual live signature arts festival that will be held Oct. 4 to 6 in various places on the Minot State University campus. There will be numerous activities including screenprinting, workshops, live music performances, art exhibits, poetry readings, ceramics demonstrations, and improvisational theatre performances.
“Winged Shadows: Life Among Birds,” a traveling exhibit from the North Dakota Museum of Art, features dozens of ways of looking at birds through paintings, photographs, prints, video, and electronic media by artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. The exhibit can be seen Oct. 4 and 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the third floor of the Student Center.
There will be numerous activities happening at Notstock, which will include screenprinting, workshops, and makeshops where people come to the workshop with something to create while there. There will also be live music during all three days of the festival, two screenprinters making posters where people can talk and ask questions, presentations from artists, two special art exhibits, and poetry readings. In addition to those activities, there will be ceramicists doing pot firing and wheel throwing and Charlie Parr, folksinger and songwriter from Minnesota, will host a special concert Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. in Aleshire Theater as well as host an informal workshop on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m in the Beaver Dam.
"The hallmark of this event is that it's participatory," said Bill Harbort, art professor at Minot State University. "It's very quickly becoming an arts event and this event underscores the importance of creating art and exposure to art."
New at Notstock this year is the addition of theater. Laurie Geller, honors director at Minot State University, said they will have improv presentations from current MSU students and MSU graduates and that has been the biggest addition to this year's festival.
This is the sixth year for the Notstock event. Geller said it started when she wanted to bring in a poster artist and went to MSU instructor Rick Watson, who told Geller to go to the art department, specifically to Harbort. Harbort told Geller that the poster artist would have to do something while he's here, not just show his work, and then they decided they'd like to bring the poster artist to the Beaver Dam so that everyone could come.
The Notstock name comes partly from Woodstock and partly from Flatstock, the art festival, and also comes from the "Why not Minot" slogan, Geller explained. They felt like doing an event like Notstock because they wanted to connect students to art and music and because Geller said she wanted to show off art and music. "Within pop culture currency, poster art speaks a language that students understand," she noted. "We wanted more art involvement. It comes from our passion for art and wanting to show it."
Fundraising for Notstock is always a challenge, said Geller. It takes a few years to get people to know about Notstock or to build knowledge of the event. It has also been challenging to get the public to know that they can come to Notstock, too, she added, and that it's not just for students.
Geller said they start asking artists now for the next year's Notstock event. Artists now know about the festival and will ask if they can come, added Harbort.
This upcoming Notstock is looking to be the biggest Notstock event yet, Geller remarked. There are 717 off-campus kids plus their teachers and chaperones who are planning on attending the festival, as well as a small group from the University of North Dakota and a nearby community college. Plus, MSU students, faculty, staff and community members will be in attendance. "It gets bigger every year," Harbort said.
The most popular activity that takes place at Notstock is do-it-yourself screenprinting because they have choice and ownership and something material to take away from it, noted Harbort.
One of the hopes is that people will walk away from Notstock with an exposure to artists and art, Geller said. It's also a hope that people will leave with an appreciation for art and for creating art. The idea they want to convey is that art is not something above peoples' heads, but right there face to face, Geller also said. "Notstock is about making connections leaving with appreciation. Art is everywhere and we don't realize it even if it's just a building or a table."
"People should come to Notstock," Geller remarked. "Saturday is a good day for for families to come because it's not as packed and will be more relaxed. Come to the event and bring something to screenprint."
All events are free and open to the public. Artists and other guests will have work for sale. For blog updates, band lineups, curriculum, and event details, people can check out the website (www.msunotstock.org).