The Selection Committee for Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota announces Crosby-native Thane Lund as the inaugural installation artist at the Writing Rock State Historic Site for Region 1 – “Love Where You Live." The committee, consisting of stakeholders, community members and artists, conducted two rounds of reviews and interviews. In preparation for the 2nd round, three finalists submitted proposals complete with concept renderings/drawings, along with initial plans for construction.
The artwork proposed by Lund for installation at the Writing Rock State Historic Site is an earthwork that builds up the land into two enveloping mound formations. Each mound rises up from the ground with a gentle slope and together they create a shelter that frames the sky. Planted with native grasses and flowers, the artwork doubles as a living monument to the diverse ecosystem native to the region while offering heightened sensory awareness at the center.
Lund wrote, "Designed to accentuate the visitor experience at Writing Rock, the artwork accompanies the sweeping views with a more personal vantage point for observation and reflection. The concentric ripple formation suggests two waves converging at a central point. From within the central mound the timeless beauty of the sky becomes the focal point of the viewer’s experience. The interior provides a space that is both intriguing to discover and a destination for locals and visitors alike to return. This design emerged while working with clay to imagine how the land could be sculpted into an artwork that would harmonize with the existing petroglyphs at Writing Rock. As the petroglyphs allude to the image of a thunderbird and the constellations overhead, this earthwork is intended to make an inhabitable space where the earth meets the sky."
Lund will do an initial site visit in September 2022 where he will plot accurate measurements of the existing terrain and connect with local engineers and contractors. With this information, the artwork’s design can be finalized and the precise location at the Writing Rock site determined with the State Historical Society. There will be a community gathering planned for all interested.
Thane Lund Bio
Thane Lund (b. 1986) is an artist from Crosby, ND currently based in Brooklyn, NY. He developed an early interest in art and worked on numerous murals and commissioned paintings throughout Divide County as early as 2002. Lund earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Montana State University in 2009 with a minor in Art History. His philosophy on artmaking is that it is both a method for experimentation and a tool that extends perception. He has an avid interest in placemaking and geography and is fascinated by the possibility for art to further shape the character of the environment. Lund wrote, "Art in this sense, is a means to imbibe a sense of wonder through everyday materials and a playful approach to working with space." His work has been exhibited in the USA, Ireland, England, Germany, China, and Japan. In 2018, in collaboration with the Fire Island National Seashore in NY, Lund created an outdoor sculpture that depicts the ocean floor as it extends from the shore for 1000 miles. This artwork was installed in the town of Bellport, NY and provided an oceanic roadmap for residents to discover their relationship to the sea. Thane has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson - VT, Studio Kura in Itoshima - Japan, The Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University - NY, The Lerman Trust in Laceyville - PA, the Varda Artist Residency in Sausalito - CA, and the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan - Ireland. He is a recipient of a 2011 NDCA Professional Development Grant.
Arts Across the Prairie (AAP): Placemaking in Rural North Dakota
AAP is a first of its kind, statewide Creative Placemaking program, developed by North Dakota Council of the Arts (NDCA). Eight large-scale art installations will be created that reflect the unique history, landscape, and cultural heritage as defined by Stakeholder Groups in each of these regions. All eight artworks will be placed in decidedly rural locations. (Rural = no buildings, no people!) The art installations will reference and represent the natural setting, as well as the cultural and economic history of each region.AAP is a first of its kind, statewide Creative Placemaking program, developed by North Dakota Council of the Arts (NDCA). Eight large-scale art installations will be created that reflect the unique history, landscape, and cultural heritage as defined by Stakeholder Groups in each of these regions. All eight artworks will be placed in decidedly rural locations. (Rural = no buildings, no people!) The art installations will reference and represent the natural setting, as well as the cultural and economic history of each region.
Region 1- LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE; Inaugural Installation
North Dakota has eight distinct regions. NW North Dakota’s Region 1 is comprised of Williams, Divide, and McKenzie Counties. Regional and community leaders from business, arts, education and community were recruited to formulate a roadmap for the development of one site to be the artistic, historical, and cultural representation for the three counties. They met online for over two years to plan the inaugural Arts Across the Prairie project.
The Inaugural Installation in Region 1 is made possible by a partnership with the State Historical Society and with funding from the Divide County Job Development Authority who received an Our Town grant from the NEA and the Meadowlark Arts Council Andrist Fund through the Northwest North Dakota Community Foundation. The statewide Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota program is in collaboration with North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), North Dakota Commerce/Tourism, and the ND State Legislature who will provide resources for creative installation placement, marketing, and maintenance as the eight locations are identified and constructed.
The 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.