Celebrating human rights through art
The mission of the North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival is to educate, engage and facilitate discussion around local and word-wide human rights topics through the work of artists of all mediums.
A TRAVELING EXPLORATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
The 2018 North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival is a traveling exhibition that welcomes 2D, 3D and Live Performance artists to explore human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions and additional Protocols and other similar declarations and treaties.
The juried arts festival is accepting submissions for all mediums of 2D, 3D and live performance artistic works. Works submitted will be eligible for a juried competition. All artist, student, amateur, or professional, who have works that relate to the discussion of human rights or social justice are invited to submit to the festival.
In 2018, the exhibition will open on January 8, 2019 at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo. On February 1, exhibition will open in Bismarck at the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative. The exhibition will conclude its travel schedule in Grand Forks in March, opening March 4 at the High Plains Fair Housing Center.
FESTIVAL TOURING EXHIBITION SCHEDULE
Grand Forks, North Dakota
March 4 - March 29, 2019
Join us at the High Plains Fair Housing Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota to view the traveling exhibition. Visit their website for viewing times. Free and open to the public.
To be announced
Kianoush Abedi was born in 1981 in Isfahan and is a graduate in the field of visual arts. His animation career started at the Kanoon Institute for the intellectual development of children & young adults thought education since 1996 with the masters as well as Ahmad Arbani , Abdollah Alimorad and Ali Asghar Zade.
Abedi’s first directing experience of animation with making short film of “The Nest of Kindness” with the producing of IrannianYoung Cinema society in 1999. He has produced and directed more than 9 short animations for festivals since 1999 up to, and has produced and directed more than 10 animated series since 2003.
Rachel Asher is a psychiatry resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She had the opportunity to work with political asylum-seekers as a case manager prior to medical school. During medical school, she became involved with Unsilence, a human rights education nonprofit. Her creative fiction is currently featured as curricula for Unsilence. These experiences continue to inspire her academic and clinical interests, which include narrative medicine, creative writing, theoretical and scientific foundations of psychiatric diagnosis, and the neuroscience of consciousness.
Kimble A. Bromley resides in his country home near Pelican Rapids, MN. He received his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois at Carbondale and currently is a Professor of Art teaching painting and drawing at North Dakota State University.
His work has been inspired by environments in which he lives and has visited. Bromley has served as a visiting artist throughout the upper Midwest, Ecuador and Mexico. He has painted abroad in Cuba, Jamaica, Ecuador, and Mexico. His work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally and supported by grants from The Arts Partnership, Lake Region Arts Council, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Kellogg Foundation, Teagle/Bell South, and Partners of the Americas.
Jenny E. Balisle
Jenny E. Balisle earned a B.A. in Art and Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a M.F.A. from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Exhibits include the de Young Museum Artist-in-Residence, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Korean Cultural Center, Harvard University, Farmington Museum, Museu Brasileiro Sao Paulo, and Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute Art Museum.
Balisle currently works as an artist, curator, advocate, writer, lecturer, and instructor at the Academy of Art University and UC Berkeley Extension. Locally, she serves as a Richmond Arts & Culture Commissioner and Public Art Advisory Committee member.
My name is Shane Balkowitsch and I was born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota. I have never formally studied photography or been formally trained. I do not consider myself a photographer, but an image maker.
In August, 2012, I saw an image online that I found very intriguing. I did some research and realized the image was a wet plate photograph. I studied and researched many books before I assembled my makeshift studio including my chemical supplies and wood box camera.
On October 28th, 2018, Calvin Grinnell “Running Elk” from the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation bestowed upon me the honor of my own Native American name “Shadow Catcher”, Maa’ishda tehxixi Agu’agshi – Hidatsa in a formal ceremony.
Kayla Branstetter is a wife, mother, educator, writer, and artist from Missouri. She holds a MALS degree in art, literature, and culture from the University of Denver. Her writing and photography has been published in Ozark Hills and Hollows, a regional magazine focusing on local culture. In the past, her poetry has been published in bordertown, and her creative nonfiction, “Graduation” was published in Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review. Her art has appeared in The Esthetic Apostle, From Whisper to Roar, the gyara journal, and most recently, her piece, “Innocence” was part of “The American Internment” exhibit for The Human Family.
Kimberly Christianson: Artist, Essence / Nature Photographer & Photojournalist. I believe each person is entitled to their basic human rights, especially pertaining to expressions of love.
Gaurav is a postdoctoral researcher in Neuroscience at the University of North Dakota in USA. He uses photography as a tool to look into the social and cultural aspects of health and medicine, to ask questions, and try to find answers to those questions beyond the purview of laboratory research. He is currently working on projects related to mental health across different cultures to understand how narratives of culture, society, and personal experience intersect psychiatry and biomedical treatment.
Nancy Devine, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is a writer, whose poetry, short fiction and essays have appeared in a number of online and print literary magazines and journals, including Bellevue Literary Review Midwestern Gothic-A Literary Journal Stirring-A Literary Collection Berfois and Referential Magazine.Her chapbook of poems,The Dreamed was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.
Devine, originally from Minot, North Dakota, recently retired from teaching high school English in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she lives. She did her undergraduate work at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and Minot State University. In 1997, she received Master of Science from UND. She lives in Grand Forks with her husband and their rescue collie.
James Anthony Faris is a sculptor, writer, photographer and mixed media artist from Southeast Georgia. He is currently living and working in Fargo, ND. Mr. Faris graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Photography. In 2014, he completed his M.F.A. from Georgia Southern University in 3D Art. Mr. Faris is a co-founding member of the Stillmoreroots group: a rural arts advocacy group that began in 2002. He has worked in community development as Education and Outreach Director of Gallery RFD and Director of Downtown Development for the City of Swainsboro. He currently works as an instructor and Gallery Coordinator & Curator of Collections for North Dakota State University.
I am a North Dakota native who began to paint with oils and draw with soft pastel about 12 years ago. Most of my subject matter represents North Dakota through scenery, farmland and animals. I left the state and lived in Phoenix and Salt Lake City for about twelve years, returning home in 2001. I have a husband of 33 years, Pete, along with our son, Aaron, and his wife, Tracy. The time away made me appreciate what we have here, and for the first time in my life, I learned to love this place we call home and to appreciate the beauty of the land and the people. I am retired now, but have worked in local broadcasting, the school system and at a local gallery.
I am a midwestern, mixed-media artist exploring female sexuality and body image, as well as censorship and violence through embroidery and collage. I am orginally from Eastern Iowa, and received my BFA from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011.
I’ve been living in the Fargo-Moorhead area for the last five years. It has been during this time that I’ve taught myself needle point and began exploring women’s rights issues in my work. The primary materials I use include National Geographic and pornographic magazines, embroidery floss, organza fabric and gel medium.
Mark Franz is a designer, artist, and educator whose exhibitions and primary research projects involve the creation of interactive installations that reflect on issues of violence, dislocation, and other social constructions important in contemporary cultures. Recently this work has been exhibited as part of the PhxArtcade in conjunction with The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art of Video Games presented by the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, AZ and at the Leuphana Centre for Digital Cultures in Luneburg, Germany.
Franz’s secondary research involves creating custom hardware and software for audiovisual performance and installation, and references the art historical current of visual music commonly discussed as part of animation history.
Isaac Ruiz Gastélum
Isaac Ruiz Gastélum is an award winning experimental filmmaker. His work has been showcased in thirty five countries from four continents.
Michael Genz, is a Latino Professor teaching Animation at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He attended the California Institute of the Arts (Cal-Arts) where he was accepted in the School of Film and Video, majoring in Character Animation. He worked in the animation industry for fifteen years starting at Filmation Studios where he worked on HE-MAN and the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and Shera the Princess of Power.
In 1987, he went on to join the Walt Disney Feature Animation Company to work as an Assistant Animator, and Animator earning screen credits on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Oliver Company, The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. Mike also worked for Kroyer Animation Studios where he animated on Fern-Gully the Last Rain Forest, and Don Bluth/Sullivan Studios who created, An American Tail. He also worked for Disney Television as a character Layout artist and for Warner Brothers Classics that created the Michael Jordan/ MCI TV commercials.
Lisa Gordillo is an artist-at-large who calls Michigan home. She combines found objects, hand-made pieces, and theatricality into acts of sculptural storytelling. Her work is frequently built from conversations surrounding immigration, borders, environmental justice, and human rights. Her most recent work focuses on U.S.-Latin American relations, with specific attention paid to U.S. complicity in Guatemala’s 30-year genocide.
Kay Gordon works in diverse media: lithography, etching, mixed media, drawing, installation, & objects/sculpture. Fundamental themes in her work are the balance of chaos and order, and the dependency of one object’s juxtaposition to the next to reveal its form or even create its existence. Sculptures and installations include drawing – with wire, thread, shadow, on a variety of surfaces and in space. Formal composition creates a framework for revealing subconscious concerns, fears and dreams.
Recent work responds to the violence, and ensuing tragedy, of current political, religious, and natural events/human-created events. Kay is a Brooklyn based visual artist, working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She has exhibited internationally, and is in private collections in Berlin, Caracas, & the U.S.
I have been a full time graphic designer for more than 25 years and just as many a visual artist in my spare time. I was born and grew up in Quito, Ecuador and came to the States as an exchange student to South Dakota. Later on, I went to school and lived in Iowa for many years. Moved to Fargo when my husband came to teach at NDSU some 20+ years ago. I like to create images that touch my emotions, my feelings and my love for humanity and nature.
This involves a process that sends color in a general direction, but rarely with a specific idea of what will turn up in the finished piece. As I start applying more color and detail, I feel that the work begins to take on a personality and that it will let me know what else it needs and what to do next. The blending of the images with the background helps me convey a sense of belonging that we have as human beings with our environments. The use of color, on the other hand, expresses my own playfulness and control of the media.
Born in Garrison, North Dakota, Glendon Henry is a member of MHA Nation, and is a Grand Forks based artist who works mainly in drawing and acrylic paint. Glendon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art, with an Art History Minor, and is currently attaining a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies. The principal theme of Glendon’s work is to chronicle historic events that are often overlooked or misinformed. He expresses these events through the use pixels that distort and abstract the subject matter which is comparative to how history represents Indigenous cultures.
Ken Kimmelman is an award-winning filmmaker and consultant on the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City. He received an Emmy Award for his work on Sesame Street, and an Emmy for his anti-prejudice PSA, The Heart Knows Better. He produced films for the United Nations against apartheid, and prejudice. He was also nominated for an Emmy in 1992 & 1993 as a director on the animated TV show Doug.
He teaches the class, “If It Moves It Can Move You”: Opposites in the Cinema, at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, soon to be published as a book in 2019. His film, Thomas Comma (2010), received many awards, and airs on PBS. Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana (2006), based on the prize poem by Eli Siegel, won numerous awards, and also airs on PBS and is included on the website The Montana Experience. As a lecturer on racism and bullying, he has spoken at numerous schools, colleges and public libraries, here and abroad.
Pastor Joe Larson of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND, has created art throughout his life, including hanging murals and mosaics commissioned by congregations and organizations.
Larson has a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College, where he minored in art. Larson has served as pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church since June 2016. Previously, he worked as Executive Director of The Aliveness Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 14 years.
Ali LaRock is a visual artist living in Bismarck, North Dakota. She received her B.F.A. in painting from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 1998. She works in the areas of painting, drawing, and mixed media. Ali grew up in New Town, North Dakota. Ali has been exhibiting her artwork around the United States for the last 15 years.
She is a founding and active member of the Bismarck Downtown Artist Co-op, where much of her art is on display. Ali’s work can also be found at the Toasted Frog in Bismarck and the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. In addition to creating and exhibiting her art Ali teaches art through various artist in residence opportunities throughout the state in schools, art centers, and summer camps.
Currently living and working in Fargo, Brett grew up in Crookston, MN and attended college at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree with emphases in drawing and printmaking from Washington State University, which he completed in 2012. In recent years, he has partaken in artist residency programs in Washington, Vermont, Finland, Minnesota, and at the Printmaking Education and Research Studio (PEARS) at NDSU in Fargo.
Liz Minette is a poet from Esko, Minnesota. She wrote ‘my scorpio broke’ in response to the events happening at Standing Rock and around the Esko and Duluth, Minnesota area in 2016.
Abtin Mozafari was born in 1980 and has a Bachelor of Cinema at Tehran Soureh University. He is a Film Director, Animator, Film Editor, Supervisor of Visual Effects, Sound Designer and Script Writer.
Paul Noot received his BFA from the University of North Dakota and his MFA from Brooklyn College in New York. He is currently the department head of Bismarck High School. In 2014, his art toured galleries in North Dakota.
I arrived Earth-side sometime in the late 80’s – in my early youth I was relocated from North Dakota to a remote mining town in northern Manitoba. Here I lived as an illegal immigrant until I was an adult. Creative expression has always come easy to me. A soul saving hobby turned life’s passion.
I have been creating and living in back in North Dakota since 2005. It is with a humble pride I establish stronger roots to this land and start raising a family of my own. As I continue to creatively bloom I feel blessed to share the experience with those in this space and in this time. We are love, we are light and we are one – the core of each message… and the motivation available within everyday.
Making art is a meditative way for me to give form to thoughts. When I decide to create a piece of artwork I begin with the title or idea and work backwards. With the end in mind, I’m guided in combing through all of the images, ideas, and feelings leading to the visualization of my original premise. Usually the art centers on an opinion about a social issue, nature, or current world event. I call myself a Subjectivist, which I define as an artist that matches the medium and expression to the particular subject or concept.
I work in a variety of media. I currently teach at an alternative high school learning program called Youth Educational Services (Y.E.S) located on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus, located in Moorhead, Minnesota. As an art educator for 20 years I find the most joy in the relationships formed with students while encouraging them in the creation of their art and as an artist I find joy in sharing my art with others.
Barzan Rostami was born in 1992 in Iran. He makes historical documentaries and animations, and worked for several years in theater and acting. Rostami has more than twenty-five national and international awards.
His hope is that in the future there will be no war, and children will live in peace. Everyone deserves the best of life in peace, and facilities and calm.
Andrew David Stark was born in Two Harbors, MN. He began drawing as a child and has been involved in the arts ever since. Along with teaching and making art, he is passionate about playing guitar, reading, nature, film, and music.
He has been exhibiting paintings since 2003 and has work in numerous private and corporate collections. Stark resides in Fargo, ND with his two children, Liam and Juliana and his wife Mridula.
Marilena Stavrakidis is a Greek multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on sociopolitical issues. Stavrakidis has been awarded the Anthony M. Ruotolo Photojournalism award from the Imaging Alliance Foundation in 2016.
She has also been exhibited at the Memorial Union Gallery in 2016 and 2018, SVA Chelsea Gallery in 2015 and LOOK 3 Festival 2015. Her approach interweaves text, statistics, images and occasionally audio in order to inform and challenge the viewer. She currently lives and works in New York and also works as a mentor at NYC SALT.
Beata Weber is a visual artist originally from Saint Paul, MN. Since 2011, Weber has been a resident of North Dakota and has exhibited works throughout the state. She manages Ochre Creative Studios in Fargo, which houses eight local artists. She organizes community art shows and open studio events to be involved in the local community and highlight upcoming artists.
In 2018, she started working as a tattoo apprentice at Amarok Tattoo Studio in Fargo, ND. Weber is a painter who primarily focuses on women’s issues and on studies of the human form. She studied abroad in Italy and developed an appreciation for the formal elements of art from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In December of 2018, Weber will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Art from North Dakota State University. She plans to continue her work as a tattoo apprentice and continue her involvement with the local visual arts community.
Joyce Ellen Weinstein
Joyce Ellen Weinstein was born in 1940 and raised in NYC. She received her MFA degree from the City College of New York. She also attended classes at The Brooklyn Museum Art School and The Art Students League of NYC. She received fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Jerusalem, Israel; The Social-Cultural Center, Prague, Czech Republic; Blue Mountain Art Center, New York State and Europos Parkas Museum of the Center of Europe, Vilnius, Lithuania, ChaNorth,Chashama Residency among others. She painted a mural in Prague, Czech Republic in the first not-for profit community center after the fall of the Soviets in that country.
Her works are in many private collections in the United States and Europe. She has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows in the United States and Europe.
She has received many honors and awards and has been named A Fulbright Senior Specialist Candidate for her work about the Old Wooden Synagogues of Lithuania. She has been honored three times as a finalist and one time winner of the Metro DC Dance Awards for Scenic Design. Pen and Brush and has extensive documentation in The Visual Arts Library, New London CN.
Dr. Kat Williams is a metal-smith and a mythologist who grew up not far from the Missouri River. She holds a PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA. In her arts practice she creates vessels and adornments. Her writings reflect on world history, current events and mythic consciousness. She enjoys collaborating and drew upon the talents of two others for this piece and its exhibition.
José Anguiano is a world-traveling illustrator and muralist originally from Michoacán, Mexico who is currently based out of the U.S. West Coast. Rebecca Lee is a poet and parent coach who has found her home in the Kaw River Valley. Her songs, prose and life process respects ancestral memory; specifically sexual expression and healing, land-based motherhood, and the re-creation of empowered, sovereign familial systems. We are all honored to have our work included in this exhibition on art and human rights.
Emily Vieweg is a poet originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young’s Good Morning, Voices of the Valley, Northern Narratives, Spillwords.com, and more.
Emily lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, volunteer cat wrangler and office assistant.
What People are Saying
“So many powerful stories.”
“So many powerful stories – almost too much emotionally to see in sequence.”
2017 Festival Attendee
“It opened my eyes.”
“Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock left my heart in pain for what really happened. It’s the truth, the facts, reality. It opened my eyes. North Dakota has to hear this. The truth! .”
2017 Festival Attendee
“It grabbed my soul.”
“It grabbed my soul. The Orange Story and Warehoused. Warehoused NEEDS to be released on DVR so people can buy and watch it. I came from Grant Forks. We need more of these cultural events. Thank you!”
2017 Festival Attendee
“Hearing the voices of humanity.”
“I enjoyed hearing the voices of humanity, and most particularly the first film where the woman described her activism since the 1960s. I also very much enjoyed the films where the individuals with learning disabilities recounted their experiences of being discriminated against due to their disabilities.”
2017 Festival Attendee
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PO Box 9468
Fargo, ND 58106-9468