The Rebirth of the Mott Gallery of History and Art

Mott Museum opening up for the season.

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By JOYCE HINRICHS
For The Herald

Yup, here it comes; the 2016 opening of your Mott Museum of History and Art. No, not like it was and a “rebirth” of the old into the new! I hardly know where to start not like it used to be. You see, we could call it, so maybe a mental walk-through would work. You enter into the reception area and down the main hall; you will first find a room with lots of area baseball history, kindly put together by Fran Martin and his family this winter. Stepping out of there you will now walk through the middle of a much larger, very well expanded military history with many historic items. As you continue through the military area, you will note a large and well organized Reading and Research room, which now invites you in to find your family histories ready for reading, and the local author’s books once behind glass, invite you to sit down and enjoy reading them. You walk down a short hall which takes you in to what was once just a reception area and you enjoy a full doll collection, generously donated by the Gjerstad family, with more dolls on the way. The doll collection will continue to grow this year. One side of that same room is three beautiful musical instruments, again, with more on the way. Going up the ramp into the toy section the wonderful Woiwode toy collection greets you and is the center subject of this room, along of course with other toys of past history. Stepping into the agriculture annex you will find a new tractor. This old Case once belonged to Harvey Schneider, was purchased by Benny Schaible and remodeled.  Yup, all fixed up and ready to show off to the public! As you walk back towards the main lobby where the Artist of the Month works are on display you will pass what I have dubbed, “the blue corner”, due to its blue coverlet. Here each month this area will be open to those who wish to share some of their personal collections of any type. Opening our season will be Jack Griffins photography. So if you are a collector of anything you wish to show off, call me. These displays will change once a month. Let’s go upstairs now…As you step off the elevator, you step into “Mary’s house”. A complete early 1900’s home where you walk through the living room, kitchen and dining area, into the laundry area, and end in the bedroom of “Ma & Pa and the kids”. You exit the home and step into the history of our own Mott school followed by a working classroom from back in the day. You exit the school area and just a few feet down the hall you can end your upstairs tour in the “All Faith Room”. A room of many, many past church histories collected and shared by the Neuburg folks.

We start our 2016 season, May 30, 2016 with Lemmon, SD, nationally known metal sculptor, John Lopez. He will bring with him his fabulous table book of pictures, making that available to us as well. You may go on his website, John Lopez Studios and get an early gander at his stunning works. John’s public reception will be held at the gallery from 2pm-4pm on June 5th. July brings us Jessie Longbrake, another wonderful South Dakota artist. She is generously allowing us a very special and large piece of art for July although the piece has already been sold. More about her next month. August brings us our local artist, Bonnie Bieber and we end in September with North Dakota Artist Crist Fulton. Cris specializes in Indian art and landscaping the prairies and buttes of our state. You may also go to her website for an early gander as well.

Keep your eye open in our Eido for those annual tours of the Stern Homestead. Should you need a private tour contact Geno Sloan.

June 18, is a very special day in the state and in our town. The ND Historical Society has organized state wide tours of the state’s galleries that weekend. We have chosen, June 18 as our day to show “us” off. We start the day at 10 a.m. at the Playhouse Theater with a musical trip through history titled “North Dakota is everywhere/Mott the Spot in History and Song, by Richard Henry Watson and Eliza Blue. The gallery will be open until 4pm that day and the Stern Tours will run from 1pm-4pm. Our library will have special book sales and such, joining us in showing “us” off.

We are looking forward to updating our electricity, putting in heating and cooling unit for both floors. Adding an upstairs bathroom as well. Remember to look for Art Director’s Shirley Halvorson’s special street sign. The sign is always out there two days ahead of the planned events. I remind you, your generous donations have made the growth, events and building repairs of your gallery and museum all possible. We thank you very much. This is your museum and gallery and we, as an all-volunteer based organization work for you. We will be looking for host/hostess again this year to work from 1pm-4pm on Thursdays and Saturday. Call us and gives us the times you can be a host/hostess.

See you on May 30 after the annual Memorial Day luncheon.

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