The Roundup -

Confluence of Creativity Coming to the MDHC

Invitational Art Exhibition, June 4 - July 27


"Badlands River Dream" by Cris Fulton

Local artists Trish Stevenson and Afton Ray have gathered a treasure trove of local and regional artists to the "Confluence of Creativity" at the MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney. The show, which runs June 4 through July 27, will feature about 14 different artists including painters, a book illustrator, a glass artist and more, plus musical acts. An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 7.

The Roundup will be regularly featuring artists from the show.

Cris Fulton grew up in Bowman, North Dakota, and from an early age she enjoyed drawing and taking photographs. She received a B. A. in Art from the University of North Dakota in 1973. After graduation from college, Cris spent a year as a VISTA volunteer at Pierre Indian School in South Dakota. Then she taught basic skills and art in Slope County, North Dakota. Following that, Cris lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Taos, New Mexico, where she pursued a career in fine art. Starting with pencil drawings of cowboys and Indians, she went on to pastel drawings of Indian powwow dancers, Aztec dancers, and mythological figures. She moved back to Bowman in 1993, and began to photograph and draw the prairie country of southwestern North Dakota.

She enjoys photographing the countryside with a small digital camera and then making paintings with watercolor pencils and crayons on Aquabord. Fulton plays with the colors of this high plains terrain, creating a body of work that celebrates the dreamlike beauty and mystery of her home on the range. Her work has been exhibited at many places throughout the region, including Bismarck, Jamestown, Fargo, Dickinson, Medora, Spearfish, Bowman, Hettinger, Mott, and Miles City.

Cris loves the grasslands and badlands country of southwestern North Dakota and southeastern Montana. She considers the magnificent prairie landscape of the Little Missouri and Powder rivers to be her own artistic backyard. As a child, she made many trips on Highway 12 with her grandparents to visit an aunt in Miles City. She and her sisters named one of the tree-studded hills "Freda's Hat" after a woman they knew in Rhame. Fulton's father grew up in Amidon, and she remembers the rides to visit her grandparents there, especially the drives at night past the mysterious shapes of Black Butte and White Butte, and the sky loaded with stars. The Burning Coal Vein area was a favorite place of her family for picnics and fun, and also for comfort and strength when times were sad.

The land of my birth seems like a magical place, with rolling hills, magnificent skies, massive buttes, herds of cattle and sheep, and fields of sunflowers and wheat. These rugged plains encase the ancient remains of dinosaurs, crocodiles, camels, gigantic ferns, redwoods, and palm trees. Southwestern North Dakota is a vast and truly awesome territory where you can still experience buffalo herds, bighorn sheep,

elk, eagles, rattlesnakes, jackrabbits, coyotes, meadowlarks, prairie dogs, mule deer, antelope, horses,

and hawks.

Cris Fulton

This country is like some mythical Kingdom of the West, with fantastic place names like Little Missouri River, Medora, Prairie Dog Creek, Coyote Creek, Rainy Buttes, Elkhorn Ranch, Killdeer Mountains, Black Butte, White Butte, Medicine Pole Hills, Table Mountain, Pretty Butte, Post Office Butte, and the Cave Hills. I thank my lucky stars for having such an enchanted realm for a backyard.

My subjects include the grassy slopes and contours of the country, sagebrush, cottonwoods, and junipers, rivers and creeks, clouds, trails, buttes, and badlands. It is my desire to share the serenity, the exuberance, the liberation, the reverence, the wonder, the beauty, and the joy that I have experienced in this prairie paradise that is sometimes called "God's Country."


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