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Published October 20, 2013, 09:37 PM

A world renowned artist turns 80

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) - A birthday celebration for a world renowned artist took place today at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks.

By: Michael Yoshida, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) - A birthday celebration for a world renowned artist took place today at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks.

James Rosenquist, a native of Grand Forks, turned 80 and plenty of people showed up to show their support and see his artwork.

The sound of celebration filled the North Dakota Museum of Art today, all part of an event honoring James Rosenquist. People packed the museum to see and hear from the famous artist.

Govenor Jack Dalrymple – North Dakota: “To have James Rosenquist, really a world famous artist to come to this community is something that doesn't happen every day.”

Brett Lysne- Grand Forks Artist: “When I heard James Rosenquist was coming back here for his 80th birthday I almost didn't believe it.”

A birthday party on the backdrop of one of Rosenquist's piece of work with a very personal and local motivation

James Rosenquist - Artist: “Well the inspiration was my mother. My mother was an aviator here right in Grand Forks in the 30's”.

An artwork that had people standing near and far to take in its beauty and meaning.

Rosenquist: “When you do a big painting and you're near it's just sort of a peripheral ambiance of color and form, but if you get far away from it is a composition.”

The painting, a collage titled "Through the Eye of the Needle to the Anvil", presents the concept of how great things can come from something very small.

Rosenquist: “Ideas start very tiny, teeny weenie, a glimpse of an idea can become an idea, it can become a story”

A painting that after over twenty years and stops at galleries all around the world is still standing tall.

Rosenquist: “It's still in pretty good shape, it's not beat up, it's not scratched, and the paint looks fresh. So I feel good about it.”

Rosenquist says he plans on staying busy in the future with continued art shows around the world.

He even is producing a painting for a new embassy in Moscow.

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