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Students' artwork displayed in Fargo's Plains Art Museum

What started out as just another assignment for two Detroit Lakes Middle School students has turned into an art showing at Fargo's Plains Art Museum.

Morgan Nodsley and Alyssa Boyle have their pieces of artwork on display in the museum for the month of March, with an opening today (Sunday).

Nodsley's oil pastel of pumpkins was just a classroom assignment her art teacher Kim Boe had the entire class working on.

"We had to draw what you saw from where you were sitting," she said.

In Boyle's case, the class was working on impressionist paintings, and she chose her scene because "I used to live in Alaska and that one reminded me of Alaska."

Boe said when she received a flyer from the Plains Art Museum to submitted student's work, she chose Boyle and Nodsley's works because the two seventh-grade girls had "strong works of art" throughout her class.

"It's cool," Boyle said of being chosen to have her work hang in a museum.

"It's cool that in a class of 30, Ms. Boe picked us," agreed Nodsley.

When they were working on their projects, they agreed, they never thought it would get to this point.

Boe said as far as she is aware, this is the first time students from the school have been chosen for an art show in the Plains Art Museum. Students have previously had works displayed in the state capitol in the Perpich Center.

"It's exciting being in a museum show," she said. "It's an honor."

Sandy Ben-Haim, curator of education at the Plains Art Museum, said the show used to be for member schools and those pieces were shown each year. This time, she opened the exhibit up to schools throughout the region.

Art teachers from 20-24 cities in the tri-state area chose their strongest students' artworks for the "School Spirit: Celebrating Youth Art" display.

Nodsley and Boyle say they hope to have more opportunities in the future to have their artwork displayed publicly.

"Thanks to Ms. Boe we even got into it," Boyle said of the Plains Art Museum display.

The opening today is from 2 to 4 p.m. with music by a student ensemble band and hors d'oeuvres. The "School Spirit: Celebrating Youth Art" exhibit will be on display until April 1.

Located at 704 First Ave N. in Fargo, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. It is only open Mondays on holidays.