A Home for Art

Jun 20, 2024
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On the corner of Main St and Central Avenue stands an impressive building that once housed the Union National Bank, but now holds fine art treasures that can be enjoyed by all. The Taube Museum of Art has called this historically renovated building home since 1997 and has featured many talents from the surrounding area and beyond ever since.

One such collection that has recently found a home at the Taube is called The Sketchbook Project. For over 17 years, the project distributed hundreds of thousands of books with over 50,000 returned. Every book looked the same when it was distributed with a simple brown cover and blank lined paper, but when returned, each of the 50,000 books was as unique as the artist who created it.

The idea behind the project was to stretch an artist’s imagination, be a part of a global movement of creatives, and watch the works travel to exhibits across North America. In May 2023, the project ended and there was a need for new homes for the collection. Fast forward to the present and this is how the Taube became one of the lucky homes to the world’s largest collection of sketchbooks, 28,000 to be exact.

Because of the size of the collection, only about 3,000 are currently on display, but they will be rotated so that the works can be seen over time. Rachel Alfaro, executive director of the Taube explained the collection as “art you can touch and look through” and also explained it as interactive and collaborative. Looking through the books, you can truly get a glimpse into the artist’s thoughts and musings. They are sentimental journeys that get to the heart of what was happening in the life of the artist when they had their hands on the sketchbook.

The variety of art in these sketchbooks include fine art to junk journaling and textile art to writing. The only parameter was the prompt the artist was given when they received the book and the rest was up to artist imagination.
In the future, there is a plan to open the project back up to North Dakota artists because at this time, there are few sketchbooks by North Dakotans. Keep an eye on their Facebook at TaubeMuseumofArt or their website: taubemuseum.org to keep informed on this project.

In addition to housing the collection, the Taube is a non-profit art museum that is free and open to the public. They host many exhibits throughout the year including open call exhibits including Small Works, Festival of the Arts, and Solo exhibits. As an artist, this gives the opportunity to showcase your works in a beautiful museum where others can enjoy your work. In addition, they offer various classes for all ages and the museum can be rented for a variety of events.

Next time you are downtown, a stop at the Taube Museum of the Art is a must. Sit down and look through some of The Sketchbook Project or take in some of the other fine art on display. Immersing yourself in the arts is a great way to view the world through a different lens.

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