Juror Christopher P. Monkhouse selected this year's show Mr. Monkhouse is the James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. On awarding best of show, Mr. Monkhouse described "For A Time I Was Home" as an important piece for its expression of a theme central to the changing Midwest and exploring that theme in such a way as to universalize the message.
Peterson's work mourns the loss of the small family farm to large corporate interests and raises awareness of the problems that come with such change. Growing up on a farm near Wakonda has given Peterson an intimate understanding of rural life and a unique perspective as an artist.
Viewers of his work not only perceive a sense of place but will also experience the complicated and often-contradictory feelings many rural residents experience over their lifetimes. His work is colorful, emotionally autobiographical and mirrors the artist's feeling of connection to the land.
Art On The Plains 9 features the work of 43 artists from South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Canada, and Montana. The show in Fargo can be viewed through Jan. 7, 2007.
Peterson is also the recipient of a South Dakota Artists Grant and has work that can be seen in "Endless Possibilities," the South Dakota Governor's second biennial juried art show. "Endless Possibilities" is currently on display at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
For more information visit www.paulpetersonart.com.