Art Showcase featured artist Tanner Pruess discovered hidden talent at UND
Art Showcase's featured artist Tanner Pruess discovered hidden talent at UND, turned it into entrepreneurial gold
University of North Dakota graduate student Tanner Pruess had an interest in art at a young age, but it wasn't until he arrived on campus here that he made his mark.
The 23-year-old artist from Pierre, S.D., is finishing up a master's degree in business administration. During his time at UND, he explored other opportunities the area had to offer and found he had talent that hadn't been tapped.
"My fiancé encouraged me to do some creating of my own," Pruess said. "She's also an artist, and she definitely inspired me to start creating my own work."
Pruess began building a unique style, involving a "structured" element and a "chaotic" element. He created his first painting in the fall of 2011.
"I put a picture of it on Facebook, and I got some great feedback from friends and family," he said. "That was what started my second career."
Pruess made his first sale in March 2012 to a friend who bought two pieces. By the end of 2012, he had sold more than 50 paintings nationally. Along with his sales, he has donated a variety of paintings to charities and fundraisers.
Pruess' move to UND has paid off in ways he never expected. His art career continues to flourish, and he is now part of a distinct group of artistic entrepreneurs.
"When you consider the size of the town, I think the art community in Grand Forks is pretty cool," he said, "It's a great thing to be a part of."