Minot State participates in nation-wide women’s suffrage centennial project

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State art student Darby Ness and art professor Linda Olson’s works will be featured in “Her Flag,” an art flag made of stripes designed by female artists from the 36 states that ratified the 19th Amendment in 1919 and 1920.

Marilyn Artus began the “Her Flag” journey in Wisconsin, the first state to enact the amendment, on June 10, 2019, exactly 100 years after the ratification in that state.  Since then, she has traveled to Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, California, Maine, and Oklahoma.

According to her media release, Artus said, “‘Her Flag’ is a not a political piece of work, rather a powerful, positive symbol used to educate and celebrate this truly momentous American anniversary.”

Her next stop is Bismarck, North Dakota on Jan.28 at the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association at 5:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Artus will sew Ness’s 312-inch long stripe representing North Dakota onto “Her Flag” live while North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate Bonnie Staiger recites original poetry.

Olson’s pincushion will be used during this time.

“This pincushion is based on a vintage star pillow shape made with square pieces of woolen fabric filled with wool,” Olson said. ‘It is titled ‘Polaris, the Guiding North Star.’ It is rather nontraditional for a pincushion, but it represents North Dakota well.”

Ness’ stripe on “Her Flag” features photos from associate art professor Ryan Stander’s collection as well as the quote from North Dakota-born suffragist Beulah Amidon, “the big world is watching — and learning — and admiring — and pretty soon the job... will be done.”

“I wanted to feature a quote from a woman from North Dakota on my stripe” she said. “I think Beulah's quote is extremely relevant today. As we are celebrating the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment it's also important to ask where are we going to go from here, and how are we going to protect everyone's voting rights.”

Both artists from Minot State are proud to see their work be part of “Her Flag.”

“It’s exciting to be part of a collaboration bringing attention to an important historical event, the passage of the 19th Amendment,” said Olson. “I hope that all those who can remember the restrictions placed on women in the past will take renewed faith reaffirming the Equal Rights Amendment. I am happy to participate in the project and honor the work of our forbearers.”

Ness agrees.

“I'm proud to be a part of ‘Her Flag,’” she said. “This project is a thank you to our sisters that came before us, that spent over 80 years fighting for women to have the right to vote, and I think the right to vote is something a lot of people take for granted.”

For more information on the “Her Flag” project, visit Artus’s WEBSITE.

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Published: 01/17/20   

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