The Long X Visitor Center Brings Art & Culture To Christmas Season
November 22, 2023 | View PDF
On Dec. 2, from 10 a.m-4 p.m, Pioneer Gifts and Books, located at the Long X Visitor Center, Watford City, will host "Making it Merry," a cozy holiday event inviting the community to shop and enjoy samplings of their North Dakota made products. Most will be from their Pride of the Dakotas line, with Jan Dodge, Long X Visitor Center and Pioneer Books & Gifts manager, planning on having a soup mix and bread mix to share with visitors, jellies and candies to sample, traditional Scandinavian food, and hot coffee from Dakota Dirt and Wild Calf coffee companies. The store offers a wide variety of North Dakota based goods for holiday shoppers to peruse, and between now and Dec. 31, is host to Trish Stevenson and Doug Engberg's artwork, also for sale for those looking for something extremely special.
Part of the North Dakota Art Gallery Association and Art in Businesses pop-up shows, the Long X Art Gallery has two artists in house through the end of the year. Trish Stevenson is known for her paintings of the West and has been featured in magazines and museums throughout United States.
Doug Engberg's journey into the art world is younger and was cut short with his passing on Oct. 10 of this year. His work, however, is one of a kind and has a lifetime of experimentation and love of art built into it. Doug was born and raised in Williston, spent 30 years of his life working in the oilfield on drilling rigs, and his passion for drawing lifelong. As a child, he used brown paper bags, and in third grade the school had him build the background for the Christmas play out of cardboard and crayons. Though Doug experimented with wood burning, watercolor, oil paint, pencil, chalk, and other mediums, he found his niche in combining leather as a canvas with a wood-burning tool. Leather lacked any grain to argue with, unlike wood, and though he initially found it hard to stretch well to create a canvas, gluing it to wood proved to be an effective replacement. Later he added acrylic paint to help his creations come to life further.
The North Dakota wildlife and landscapes Doug brought to life on leather were often inspired by photographs from the internet and magazines, juxtaposed to create an original vision. When Doug decided to offer some to the public, he reached out to Linda Beard, Castle Framing, Williston. Linda was so impressed by Doug's work; she encouraged him to go on tour with the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. Without Linda, Doug wouldn't have pursued the venture. Unfortunately, Linda passed away Dec. 18, 2022 and Doug chose to dedicate his continued works to her. Each of his paintings has an inscription honoring Linda and their mutual love for each other. With Doug and Linda both passed, the North Dakota Art Gallery Association and the Long X Art Gallery are working with Doug's family to continue his legacy of art, and this will be his first show post-humous.
One more addition to the Long X Visitors Center's "Making It Merry" event is an art class taught by Jess Newman. Participants will be glazing a vintage Christmas tree, complete with lighting kit, in their choice of color and design, and the center will fire the pieces to finish. If interested in the class, please register at longxarts.com.