South Dakota inspired
  30 x 24"
  acrylic on canvas

A Feather For Fargo

Spot lighting, and white walls, which contrasts with steals sculptures and canvases dyed green, indicate a typical downtown gallery. However, Upfront Gallery is not your typical gallery. Up a small step and through a door at the back of the room will transport the visitor to another realm, a place where it all began. This former auto-detailing garage is now two thousand square feet of studio space cherished by the hands of eight artists. Those eight artists have embraced The Nomadic Project as Upfront Gallery represents the state of North Dakota.

Upfront Gallery is home to a wide array of media and style.  Emerging local and regional artists are represented through rotating shows, as well as periodic, invitational open house studio exhibitions, and an ever-expanding regional portfolio library. A collective of eight artists of radically different styles, the gallery and studio are run by: James Wolberg (Architectural ceramics), John Berry (Painting), Justin Rode (Sculpture in steel), Scott Kosloski (Photography and Digital Media), Tessa Pelkey (Painting and Sculpture), Amber Franklin (Printmaking and Mixed Media), Ben Hamilton (Screen Printing and Graphic Design), and Raul Gomez (Screen Printing and Graphic Design). From now until January 1st, 2007, Upfront Gallery is participating in a conceptual art project that is sweeping the country, The Nomadic Project.

"The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors." Those words were spoken by Chief Plenty Coups and illustrated on canvas by Kristin Abraham as part of The Nomadic Series. The painting titled "December 29, 1890" presents an eagle feather, reflected in a puddle of blood. As The Nomadic Project tours the country, this particular piece was inspired by South Dakota and on display at Upfront Gallery in Fargo North Dakota.

North Dakota became the 27th state to participate in The Nomadic Project. Visual artist, Kristin Abraham and musician, Alfonso Llamas, designed the concept. The Nomadic Project works to connect the country through art by pulling inspiration from one state and leaving it in the next. In only a week's time, Abraham and Llamas explore as much of one state as possible. Abraham then paints an impression of their experience while Llamas journals through music. Abraham's painting is placed in a gallery in their next state and displayed for sale until the end of the year.

Beginning in November of 2007, all fifty paintings will unite for an exhibit meant to provoke discussion and incite adventure. This four dimensional experience will feature all facets of the journey including: music, sketches, journal entries, e-mails from throughout the country, and video footage. The exhibit will only appear for a maximum of two weeks in each state.

Joining Upfront Gallery in The Nomadic Project are galleries such as: American Fine Art, Dallas, TX, Crossroads Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM, Art Encounter, Las Vegas, NV, Carla Schmidt Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Habitat Gallery, Denver, CO, the Portland Art Center, Portland, OR, and Kirsten Gallery, Seattle, WA. A full list of participating galleries can be viewed at where all of the paintings, music and pictures are displayed.

Another important aspect of the journey is the involvement of the community. Individuals are encouraged to track the journey at and correspond via e-mail ( A new forum has also been launched on the website to provoke conversation about travel, art, and music. For more information on The Nomadic Project contact the artists at To learn more about Upfront Gallery, and their participation contact James Wolberg at 707.541.2640.


The Story So Far
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