North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival Opens in Williston

July 26, 2021

Still from the experimental film “Gentrification” by Samira Barragan

WILLISTON, N.D. (Wednesday, July 28, 2021) – The Fourth Annual North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival will open in Williston at The James Memorial Art Center on Monday, August 2. The exhibition, which features the work of 50 artists, will be on display through August 27. Gallery hours are 9-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, or 1-5 p.m. Fridays. The exhibition is free and open to the public. It is the first time that the traveling exhibition has appeared in Williston.

An Artist Reception will be held on Friday, August 6. The event begins at 7 p.m. Artists will be on hand to speak about their motivations and the inspirations behind their work. The event is free and open to the public. Audience members will be invited to interact and ask questions of the artists.

The festival includes 50 2D, 3D, filmmakers, and live performance artists from around the world. Each artist explores human rights, civil rights, or social justice issues through their respective mediums. In addition to paintings, mixed media works, and photographs, a series of experimental videos are also a part of the festival. A full list of the artists participating in the festival can be found in the festival’s online Exhibition Program. Certain works in the exhibition may be purchased via the exhibition’s online store. Purchases support the work of the artists and the James Memorial Art Center.

The show’s themes include pandemic-related stories of isolation and creativity, domestic violence, racism, immigration, and border detentions, and more. The festival features local and regional artists, as well as artists from California, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. International filmmakers from Rome and Spain are also included.

The mission of the Jamestown Memorial Art Center is to share art and culture with the community of Williston, and the preservation of the historic building it calls home. In 1992, the James Memorial Preservation Society was formed to save the building from destruction. Local arts exhibitions began in April of 1993 and continue to this day.

The North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival’s mission is to educate, engage, and facilitate discussion around local and worldwide human rights topics. The festival was founded and is managed by The Human Family, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) based in North Dakota founded to change our communities through art.

The North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival is supported 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.

For more information about the festival, visit www.ndhraf.org or visit the festival’s online Exhibition Program. Interviews with artists can be arranged by contacting Sean Coffman at [email protected].

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