Minot mapped, punched into pieces

The Minot Daily News is celebrating the city’s flood recovery with a caricature map of Minot, featuring 82 local organizations and businesses. The 2013 Minot Cartoon Map will be available for free as a poster, distributed at participating locations around town.

But soon it will also be released for sale as a puzzle set.

Artwork for the project was initially begun by Beth Duchsherer, who does graphic design and classified pagination for The Minot Daily News. An editor who helped conceive the idea enjoyed a caricature Duchsherer had made of a co-worker. Office humor aside, though, he was pleasantly surprised at her drawing abilities. A graphic design graduate from Minot State University, Duchsherer was quickly enlisted for the drawings.

However, the scope of the project proved too much for one artist.

“They wanted a lot of buildings done in a short amount of time,” said Duchsherer. In addition to the added workload of some 200 drawings originally planned, she was also going through her second pregnancy.

Collaborating with her on the artwork was Adam Simonson, another MSU graphic design graduate who has been working at Otis & James Photography downtown since 2007. Simonson was referred to Duchsherer by Bill Harbort, a mutual acquaintance and professor of art at the college.

“I’ve lived in this city a while, and I know these buildings well,” said Simonson, explaining why he was chosen. “They sent me photos, I did visual representations as best I could, then sent them back.”

Simonson, a Minot native, is involved with the local art scene, participating in Artfest and other local showings.

“I also do what I can for 62 Doors,” at one point renting space at the downtown gallery but since volunteering. “Culturally the city is changing. Whether for better or for worse, we’ll leave that to the history books. But time will tell with its art space.”

The two worked on the project for about three months last fall, finishing before Christmas. The completed map was then sent to local printworks Niess Impressions, which has produced both the maps and puzzles.

“We’re hoping they’ll be out in two to three weeks,” said Minot Daily News publisher Steve Herron. To date, this is the first such project the paper has undertaken.

Herron is pleased with the artists’ work and overall feedback received from the businesses involved.

“So far this has been so well-received that we’ll probably do another one in the near future,” Herron said.

A friend of Simonson’s at The Pierce County Tribune likes the idea, and is hoping to do something similar for businesses in Rugby.

The 2013 Minot Cartoon Map will be available for free as a poster, distributed at participating locations around town. In a couple of weeks the map will also be available as a puzzle, on sale at The Minot Daily News, 301-4th St. SE. The full-color 17 inch by 11 inch glossy-finished puzzle will come in two difficulties – a 99-piece and a more challenging 309-piece. They will be available for $17.95, and at a $2 discount for Minot Daily News subscribers. For further details, call 857-1900 during regular business hours.