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Press Releases
FY25 Individual Artist Fellows Amanda Heidt of Fargo, working with a floor loom, and Micah Bloom of Minot, explaining radiosity to onlookers at an exhibit

North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) has awarded two Individual Artist Fellowships, each in the amount of $5,000 to Micah Bloom of Minot and Amanda Heidt of Fargo. Eligible Disciplines for FY25 were Visual Arts and Media Arts (all forms, including traditional). Bloom (educator/sculptor) and Heidt (printmaker/weaver) were recommended by an independent review panel whose selections were approved by NDCA’s Board of Directors.

Amanda Heidt, Printmaker/Weaver
North Dakota State University Research Printmaker Amanda Heidt's project titled Woven Horizons will result in the creation of multiple loom-woven artworks, including wearable items, wall adornments, and floor pieces, inspired by seasonal life on the North Dakota prairie. Heidt said, "I am fueled by a passion to create, share, and weave stories that resonate with the human spirit." She is hoping that the finished collection of works will "evoke a unique conversation based on each user's perspective, fostering a sense of stillness and mindfulness."

Heidt explained why she decided to focus on fiber arts rather than printmaking, "As a seasoned printmaker, my work has navigated the delicate balance between traditional techniques and my narrative of my relationship to the prairie. Through these images I tell the tales of nature, cycles, and human connections. Now, as a weaver at heart, I am drawn to the loom as a vessel for tactile expression, introducing a dynamic new chapter in my artistic trajectory. "

Heidt plans to conduct multiple in-person guided weaving workshops, along with one online, in collaboration with local art organizations and community centers across the state of North Dakota. She said, "The workshops will provide hands-on experiences, fostering community engagement and promoting mindfulness through the art of weaving." In summary, Heidt said, "This project serves as a transformative point, not merely about weaving threads but weaving connections - bridging artistic traditions, personal explorations, and community engagement."

Micah Bloom, Educator/Sculptor
Minot State University Art Professor Micah Bloom described his project, titled Radiosity: Colorplay, as "a visual exploration that pairs physics with aesthetics to inspire wonderment and facilitate discovery. Part high art, part science lab, the physical properties of light and color merge in an interactive experience born out of play." Bloom's project will result in a collection of 15-20 interactive sculptures that invite the observer to engage with the artworks to discover how changes in light, position, and types of viewing lenses will affect the radiosity/visual output. Bloom explained, "I desire to make beautiful objects that stir us with their unique design and radiating color."

Radiosity is a term used to quantify the rate at which energy (in this case, colored light) leaves a surface. Bloom's idea for a participatory investigation was born from playing with the visual effects of this phenomenon. Artists began to experiment with light as a medium during the Light and Space movement of the 1960s by creating light-dependent sculptural works to intrigue the human mind and emotions. When Bloom first observed the effect, he wondered, "Why do I see color where there is no color? How does this color glow? Can I replicate this fascinating effect in an engaging art object?"

Bloom explained that Radiosity: Colorplay will be a team effort involving studio assistants and specialists such as physicists and CAD technicians who have access to the corresponding contemporary technologies. Bloom concluded, "Radiosity: Colorplay has an end goal of an exhibition, and it will be an ambitious and unique series of work. Radiosity is relatively unknown concept, but I envision breaking down traditional viewer/artwork barriers and welcoming new audiences to learn about this unique, physical quality of light."

The Individual Artist Fellowship program recognizes established artists residing in North Dakota with a monetary award. This program is designed to support professional artists with outstanding talent and ability to improve their artistic skills and enhance their career opportunities. Each project must include three or more community components in at least two of North Dakota’s eight regions (such as a public performance, exhibition, reading, open workshop, or demonstration). Fellowships for musical and literary artists will be awarded in 2025.
For more information on NDCA’s grant programs please visit NDCA's Grants at a Glance page or call 701-328-7590.

North Dakota Council on the Arts is the state agency responsible for the support and development of the arts throughout North Dakota and is funded by the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.