September 23, 2021
  • September 23, 2021

UND art teacher selected to receive Mayor’s Choice Artist Award

By on September 1, 2021 0

The Mayor’s Choice Artist Award is presented by Mayor Brandon Bochenski, First Lady Jenny Bochenski and the Public Arts Commission. The Bochenskis chose Hébert to receive the award.

The “Icebergs, bubbles and snowmen” exhibition will be on display at the Town Hall gallery until December.

Some of the artwork, with titles such as “Snowman with Iceberg and Hills” and “Bubble and Iceberg,” feature familiar white images positioned on expanses of deeply saturated blue and green.

Hebert works with mundane objects, such as water bottles, snowmen, windmills, ice cream parlors, and sometimes sports balls or basketball hoops – “things that people can recognize and with which they have their own relationship, which is specific to me, but which is also broad enough that they can really accommodate many interpretations, ”he said.

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The choice of these topics stems from his experience as a native of Valley City, ND who grew up in Dickinson, ND

“I’ve always tried to find some sort of autobiographical take for the images I use,” said Hebert, who graduated from UND with a BFA in 1996 and an MA in painting and printmaking from the UND. Rhode Island School of Design. in 1998. He was a Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass .; and with the Core Residency Program of the Glassell School of Art at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Hebert joined the Faculty of Art and Design at UND in 2012. For approximately 20 years, before joining UND, he lived in upstate New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. When people found out he was from North Dakota, “One of the first things you get is, ‘I’ve never met anyone from North Dakota.’ People think it’s a cold place, don’t they? So I thought how do I keep some of this weird identity with North Dakota, I could just, like, use the snow a lot – you know what I mean?

Hebert describes his style as “representative,” noting that it captures “recognizable things that are sort of rendered in recognizable frames. There are abstract elements and landscape elements. In a strange way, it comes out of still life.

“I’m one of those artists who try to take seemingly uninteresting things and make them interesting in painting,” he said.

He uses acrylic paint on different types of canvases, including linen, he said.

Hebert’s art is “very different” from the works that have been exhibited in the PAC galleries, said Vickie Arndt, director of the PAC gallery, who describes it as “playful, dynamic and daring”.

Its positioning of simplistic images in varied landscapes stimulates “curiosity and implores you to look at and feel ordinary and mundane objects differently,” said Arndt. “They generally draw the viewer in wonder.”

To view the exhibition online, visit www.publicartnd.org . Works may be available for sale.

Hebert’s art is exhibited at the Devin Borden Gallery in Houston and at Mark Moore Fine Art in Orange, California. A statement from this latter gallery about a previous exhibition reads: “Hebert embraces the label of ‘photorealistic surrealism’ that his past work has earned, but produces something quite more subtle and quieter … The iconography Hebert uses suggests the inevitable impermanence and optimism of continual renewal.

His art has also been acquired for private and public collections, notably the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Neuberger Berman collection, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles. Over the past 20 years, has been featured in dozens of exhibitions across the United States

Hebert’s work has attracted the interest of art lovers such as the Miles McEnery Gallery in New York, who observed that “Todd Hebert uses both the brush and the airbrush to develop his positively graphic compositions and atmospheric. The way he combines optical movement with static representation creates something realistic but mysterious. ”

Hebert’s work, comparable to traditional still life, “has the potential to indoctrinate contrasting emotions through the balance between intimacy and estrangement,” the gallery’s statement continues. “His play with focus and his manipulation of the scale to make objects recognizable produces striking, eccentric and sometimes humorous images. “

The Mayor’s Choice Artist Award, which is usually presented on a quarterly basis, was created by Mayor Michael and Ann Brown in 2010 to recognize local artists for their contribution to a “more vibrant and cultural community,” as well as the city of Grand Forks. engagement and involvement in the arts, according to the PAC.

In a recent statement, Bochenski said that the Mayor’s Award for Artists initiative “is something my wife, Jenny and I have enjoyed participating in, and it’s always great to see the variety of talent and the strong commitment to the arts of this community. Todd Hebert’s collection will be a wonderful addition to Town Hall.

In addition to the City Hall Gallery, PAC has also been involved in numerous projects across Grand Forks and showcases the work of area artists in the galleries of the Alerus Center and Altru Professional Center. Partners who support PAC in this effort include individual donors, corporations, foundations, landowners, City of Grand Forks, City of East Grand Forks, Grand Forks Park District, artists and other organizations. non-profit.


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