This interruption of the story will, I suspect, be repeated now and again. Think of it as a commercial break, seeking participants in The Agincourt Project. There’s nothing, really, to sell here. Just an idea. But ideas can often be the hardest “sell.” Bear with me for a moment.
Last November Jim O’Rourke at the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead asked if another Agincourt exhibit might be in the works. I said “yes” rather enthusiastically, but as often happens my enthusiasm got in the way of clear communication and the project has come to naught: I had assumed that, like the exhibit in 2007, it would be scheduled in the Fall of 2010, and was somewhat discomfited to find that what I had planned would have to find another day, another place. Heavy sigh. Not incidentally, I’m working on those communication skills; in fact, if you’re reading this, you’re participating in that process as we speak. The plan now envisions an exhibit in the Fall of 2011, hopefully beginning Homecoming Weekend at NDSU, so that those of you who do come home can visit Agincourt on the way.
“Homecoming/ Coming Home” is the working title for a show devoted to the many meanings of home–every incantation, permutation, combination of that most image-laden word in any language. Some of the pieces-parts I have in mind are
- the F-M premier of Daron Hagen’s new work “We Happy Few,” a song for baritone voice and piano, setting Shakespeare’s famous words from the mouth of Henry V on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt–to men who might not live to go home. The composition fee has been generously underwritten by a friend of the project.
- wood models for several Agincourt buildings at HO guage: the 1888 Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse, the Episcopal and Catholic churches, the interurban/trolley station. These are being fabricated by Jeremiah Johnson. [By the way, David Crutchfield is going to adaptively use this building as the headquarters of the local power company, using the old building as a vehicle to demonstrate green technologies. Guess this means I have to design a 1909 building to be renovated in 2010.]
- the actual door from Anson Tennant’s architectural studio, including its stained glass window interpreting the mantra of the Arts & Crafts movement, Als ik kan (“as best I can”; “to the best of my ability”).
- the Sesqui-Centennial Quilt, designed and crafted by Peter Vandervort.
- and somehow I hope to convince Phil Stahl that his office should design our new Animal Shelter on the north side of Highway 7.
There are so many other things that I sense but cannot see; see but cannot build. At this point in life I have chosen to not allow inability to restrict vision. So what I can do is invite others to come and play in the sandbox with us. Would someone like to cope with
- the Fennimore County Fair Grounds, a triangular quarter section on the west bank of the Muskrat river.
- The three-part cemetery complex on the east edge of town. I ain’t no landscape architect.
- simulated pages from The Muskrat, our high school yearbook. Remember yours and what it meant to you?
- a selection of art from the Agincourt Memorial Gallery collections.
Finally, there will be some things for sale, proceeds used to underwrite the project. Any real profits go to a scholarship in the Department of Architecture & Landscape Architecture at NDSU.
- the ubiquitous T-shirt (several designs)
- 3.5 by 5.5 inch postcards of buildings in Agincourt
- brass trasit tokens from the old Street Railway Company
- library cards for the Agincourt Public Library, celebrating its opening in October 1915
There are so many ways to tell a story. Ask yourself this question: What from your hometown is up for auction on eBay today? Then answer it with a proposal for the 2011 exhibit. I can hardly wait!