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Dave Wallis, Published March 08 2010

Portraits: Mackenzie Kouba

Nestled in the back corner of an industrial space that has seen a mix of different businesses over the years, Mackenzie Kouba sits at several easels working with oil paints.

“I started a series last June based on turn-of-the-century sideshows. I took an iconic approach to the characters so they have a saintly look or style,” says the Fargo-Moorhead native, who took up painting when she was at Moorhead High School. The months of work, titled “Divine Oddities,” will be on display at the Upfront Gallery in downtown Fargo from Tuesday through April 3. Kouba, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from North Dakota State University, shares workspace in the downtown building with nine other artists. “It’s like living in a house with a whole bunch of roommates,” she says, adding, “It creates a lot of energy. We all get motivated and inspired by each other.”