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Frank Sampson Retrospective
June 1 – July 16, 2020

The Arts Center Gallery is open
Weekdays: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturdays: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Admission is always free.

The Arts Center opened June 1 with the whimsical works of ND native Frank Sampson. For forty years Frank Sampson—now in his 90s—taught painting and printmaking at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He returns twice per year to his family’s home in Edmore, ND where he continues to paint. His parents, Abner and Mabel Sampson, were farmers.

When asked about his paintings, Sampson says, “In looking for past experiences that may have influenced my work as an artist I think immediately of my childhood on a farm near Edmore, ND surrounded by pigs, chickens, horses and cows as well as a story-telling mother who entertained and rewarded her five sons with vivid adventure stories. These wonderful tales were full of fantasy and frequently animals played major roles.”

When you see Sampson’s art your imagination will be ignited. Each work begs a story. Who are these characters? What are these animals doing? What mischief is occurring? Visitors to the gallery will be encouraged to share their thoughts about select works, hopefully some creative stories will be inspired. We’ll also be working remotely with Art For Life program elders to create TimeSlips stories using Sampson’s artwork.

Photographer and friend to the artist, Mark Strand recently spoke to Sampson, “I caught him when he was cleaning brushes in his studio, so he could talk. He’s moving right along on 18 new canvases. Says he wants to come to Nodak in July as he always does, but he’s waiting to hear about conditions.”  We had hoped to host the artist but that is unlikely with Covid-19. To share the exhibition with those of you who are remaining home please watch for digital content on our Facebook page and website.

Biography: Frank Sampson earned his BA in art from Concordia College in 1950 and his MFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Iowa in 1952. Sampson joined the United States Army (1954-56) and returned to Iowa for three years of postgraduate work under Mauricio Lasansky, the groundbreaking and world-famous printmaker (1956-50). He won a Fulbright to Belgium to study the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1959-60). Upon his return to the States, he joined the Art Faculty at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1961 and retired as a full professor in 1990.

This traveling exhibition is part of the Rural Arts Initiative, a program dedicated to touring exhibitions of original artwork throughout ND.  The program is a part of the outreach conducted through the North Dakota Museum of Art located in Grand Forks.