Goblins, witches and ghouls, oh my! It’s spooky season, and the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead is embracing the mood with its Art Ghoullery exhibit currently on display on the upper floor of the museum.
To get the community in the Halloween spirit and celebrate the exhibit, the Rourke is hosting a free masquerade reception from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, where attendees can dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes and get to know new artists from around Fargo-Moorhead and beyond.
The Art Ghoullery exhibit features pieces by 20 artists who provide their reflections on their Halloween experiences, real or imagined. Artist interpretations on All Hallow’s Eve range from cute to creepy, which creates “a macabre melody sure to delight both the sinister and silly,” the Rourke said in a press release.
Local digital painter Mark Elton, the guest curator for the show, knew he wanted to help the museum create an exhibit that was reminiscent of the “awesome pop-culture and pop-surrealist group shows” he sees often on the East and West coasts.
“With this thought in mind, the first artists I approached were artists I knew had previously participated in month-long Halloween art challenges, as they already had a deep portfolio of thematic work that would set the foundation for the show itself,” Elton says.
“Then I thought back to the opportunities the Rourke provided me as a young, inexperienced artist, and approached a few incredible artists I’ve met at conventions who hadn’t had much, if any, prior gallery experience,” he continues.
He also connected with friends with curatorial judgement he trusted to find artists who would have work that fit in with the Halloween theme.
Elton’s pieces in the Art Ghoullery exhibit “represent memories of Halloween from different periods of time,” he says — like “Ember the Witch Cat,” an emblematic cat from Elton’s teenage years.
“With the other atists, you can see shades of trick-or-treating, pop culture, and fears both personal and universal,” Elton adds. “But don’t take my word for it. Ask the artists. This show is about them.”
The Masquerade reception on Friday will be a great way to learn more about these artists and their interpretations of the spookiest time of the year.
“We all need an opportunity to don a new face, especially as we march forward to the darkest days of the year. The Art Ghoullery Masquerade will provide attendees the opportunity to do so in a safe environment, surrounded by art that is weird and wonderful,” Elton says. “(An exhibit) like this is uncommon to the area. The more support it receives, the more opportunities it will create for atypical area artists with an uncommon aesthetic flavor.”
Rourke Art Museum is located at 521 Main Avenue in Moorhead. Costumes are encouraged, but not required for entry into the Masquerade reception. View the Art Ghoullery exhibit 1-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday until November 4. For more information about the Rourke, visit therourke.org.