Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography, Dennis Krull – 5foot20


In case you didn’t notice the massive red ball around Fargo-Moorhead this past month, let us show you its remarkable journey. The RedBall Project, created by artist Kurt Perschke, has traveled around the world and recently became a community phenomenon at seven must-see locations. To date, RedBall has made its debut in over 30 international cities, and is currently considered “the world’s longest-running street artwork”. To get the 250-pound ball to bounce our way, clay artist and MSUM Professor, Brad Bachmeier spearheaded the campaign, working closely with Andy Maus of Plains Art Museum and a long list of local supporters and sponsors. Follow along as we take to the streets for a recap of Fargo-Moorhead’s most impactful public art display, the RedBall Project.

Paving the Way for Public Art
Arriving in a crate carrying 250-pounds of inflatable canvas, the RedBall Project made its debut at Plains Art Museum on October 4. The artist, Kurt Perschke, had already visited in July and worked with the city to scout out seven different locations. Roughly the height of a semi truck, the RedBall Project traveled to a new location each day, disrupting the daily routine and encouraging the community to interact and take a second glance at beautiful locations we often overlook.

[Bringing the Ball to Fargo]
Location #1:
Plains Art Museum, Downtown Fargo


Location #2:
Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead

“I don’t think we had initially realized how selective Kurt is about choosing communities for this project. He actually turns down roughly nine out of 10 inquiries, so we were extremely lucky to have been able to play host to RedBall.”
Brad Bachmeier, MFA, Professor – School of Art, MSUM

Location #3: Great Northern Bicycle Company, Downtown Fargo

Location #4: Lindenwood-Gooseberry Park Pedestrian Bridge, Fargo

“I think the RedBall Project was fabulously received in Fargo. It was wonderful to see the size of the crowds at each site and how great the attendance was. The best part was seeing the joy it brought to people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors. I think the project produced some really great conversations and awareness around public art that will be really productive for our metro moving forward.”
Brad Bachmeier, MFA, Professor – School of Art, MSUM

Location #5: Fargo Park District offices at the Depot

Location #6: Rourke Art Gallery + Museum, Moorhead


“The out of character snow event we had on the last day of the RedBall Project, in early October, turned out to be the perfect ending to the project; resulting in some fabulous photos in front of our iconic Fargo Theatre.”
Brad Bachmeier, MFA, Professor – School of Art, MSUM

Location #7: Fargo Theater, Downtown Fargo

__________________

“To me, the best artworks are those that appear simple but are actually complex. I feel that these works are a metaphor for people; you see someone or hear about someone – but, until you interact with a person, you don’t know them. I have never been a part of a project that was so incredibly simple, yet so impactful. Of the thousands of people that came out to see RedBall, several of them have thanked me for being a part of the team that brought it to Fargo-Moorhead. I think people loved it because it made them feel connected to the world, to each other, and to our built environment in a way that I think only it could do. Seeing it here reaffirmed to me that RedBall is indeed really about people – just as the artist (Kurt Perschke) intended.”

Andrew J. Maus, Director and CEO, Plains Art Museum

_____________________________________

The RedBall Project is brought to Fargo and Moorhead thanks to support from the Fargo Arts & Culture Commission, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Plains Art Museum, Fargo Park District, Insight to Action/Carol Schlossman Consulting, Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau, and other supportive partners.

For more information, contact:
Plains Art Museum
Andrew J. Maus, Director and CEO
701.551.6123
amaus@plainsart.org
plainsart.org

MSUM
Bradley Bachmeier

Program Coordinator and Professor of Art Education, MSUM
Art Therapy Program Co-Coordinator & N.D. Council on the Arts Board of Directors, Vice Chair
218.477.5989

bachmebr@mnstate.edu

Or visit:
redballproject.com