Fergus Falls, Minn. – A Fergus Falls artist who got his start at M State more than 20 years ago and has since traveled near and far to study art, teach art and show his own award-winning artwork, is revisiting his M State roots as the featured artist at the college’s Charles Beck Gallery. As of November.
Naomi Ramona Schliessman, who earned her associate of arts degree at M State in 1999, earned four additional degrees, earning a master of fine arts degree in 2009 from Minnesota State University Moorhead and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He has studied in Italy, Scotland, Ireland, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belize and has held artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Kimmel Hardening Nelson Center for the Arts, Ragdale, The Traveling Museum, and Hospitalfield Arts.
An award-winning interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the unknown and unseen elements of the world, Schliessman has exhibited his artwork in New York, Chicago, Brooklyn, Seattle and other major cities across the country.
His latest exhibit, “Mending What One Was Was,” will be on display Friday, Nov. 4 through Thursday, Jan. 5 at the Beck Gallery on M State’s Fergus Falls campus. An artist reception is planned for Wednesday, November 9. 1-3pm at Legacy Hall.
“Naomi was a student at our college, and I’ve always enjoyed her work – it’s fresh and innovative,” said Laurie Charest, ceramics instructor at M State and curator of the art collection. “I look forward to seeing this new work.”
Schliessmann typically uses materials associated with sculpture—wood, fiber, plaster, rubber, and metal—to create artistic objects and art installations that reflect his fascination with science and explore complex concepts and themes such as the environment, religion, sexuality, and death.
“These ideas, when viewed through a cultural lens, are opaque,” reads his artist statement, explaining that his exhibition asks viewers to, “consider their personal awareness of these themes when interacting with the artwork.”
Schliessman has received a fellowship from the Ragdale and Kimmel Center, was a LEAP finalist for the Society of Contemporary Craft Award, won 2nd place in a youth competition for the William and Dorothy Yeke Award, and was selected to create a recycling community engagement kit. Will apply to West Central Minnesota region.
She taught design and was the Gallery Director of the School of Arts at MSUM from 2011-2013, and for several years was the Director of Artist Development at Springboard for the Arts in Fergus Falls.
She currently serves on the City of Fergus Falls Public Arts Commission, the Fergus Falls Public Library Arts Advisory Committee and the Minnesota Board. She continues her studio practice and is a contracted consultant and art facilitator for Springboard for the Arts, a teaching artist at Cadatz Gallery, and gallery curator and art calendar editor for the Lake Region Arts Council.
A fiscal year 2022 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Schliessman’s recent exhibition was made possible by a grant from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and a legislative appropriation from the voters of Minnesota.
As a member of the Minnesota State system, M State serves more than 7,000 students each year in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs online and for credit courses at its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. Through partnerships with the community, the college also provides workforce development services and other responsive training programs.
Press release and photo provided by Minnesota State Community and Technical College