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Richard Martinson art on display for Arts Center exhibit

“What Money Can’t Buy” is one of the works by North Dakota artist Richard Martinson that is on display in a new exhibit at the Arts Center. Chris Olson / The Sun

What: “Richard Martinson: Part of My World” exhibit When: On display to Nov. 4 Where: The Arts Center, 115 2nd St. SW Details: Free admission. The Arts Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Richard Martinson has been many things in his life — a rancher, a farmer, a truck driver and a worker on a road construction crew.

These days Martinson and his wife spend the spring, summer and some of fall on the family farm located about 8 miles north of Eckelson, N.D. The couple spend the winter in Wickenburg, Ariz. In both homes Martinson creates art, painting western scenes, ranchers, farmers, animals and wide-open spaces. An exhibit of his work opened at the Arts Center today and will be on display through Nov. 4.

Martinson said he is a self-taught artist and is open to taking advice on how to improve as an artist from other artists. He said he does read and study art on his own as well. He said he did drawings as a child, but really got into art around 1986.

“I had some winters I could do some work,” he said.

Sally Jeppson, the Arts Center gallery manager, said Martinson’s exhibit is traveling to art centers and museums around North Dakota through the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. She said Martinson has his art studio in the recreational vehicle he travels to Arizona in each fall, so he can stop and paint along the way.

“I try to take things I know and paint them,” he said. “I’ve ridden (horses) in the mountains. There is never a dull day around here.”

Martinson said this is his first exhibit with the North Dakota Art Gallery Association and he appreciates having his work being shown around North Dakota.

Jeppson said she hadn’t met Martinson before the exhibit, so when she went to his house to work with him on choosing paintings for the exhibit, he had hundreds of paintings ready for her to look through.

She said Martinson’s work is more folk art than a classically trained painter.

“You look at them (Martinson’s paintings) and you want to write a story, tell a story about what the painting shows,” she said.

(701) 952-8454

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454