Jody Kerzman
Artist Tracy Moser exhibits her Vintage Floral series at the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative. (Megan Milbradt)

"Summerland Sunset" (left) and "A Touch of Fire" (right) by Tracy Moser, monoprint acrylic on paper works displayed at the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative. (Megan Milbradt)

"The Poet Speaks," a mixed media work from Tracy Moser's Vintage Florals series, 2014. (Submitted photo)

Many little girls spend their time playing house, pretending to teach school or nursing injured dolls and stuffed animals back to health. Tracy Moser had a different dream.

"I remember drawing pictures and hanging them in my bedroom to play art gallery," says the Napoleon, North Dakota artist.

Moser initially went to Bismarck State College to study graphic design, but over the years marriage, motherhood and work got in the way of her artistic dreams. A medical coder by day, Moser painted murals in her daughters' bedrooms and did an occasional art project, but it wasn't until a few years ago that art became a regular part of her life.

"Painting murals was a great outlet for my creativity. But I wanted more," Moser explains. "I've been making time to create more frequently. Creativity and art are a part of who I am, and I realized that by denying that, I was only hurting myself and those around me. 'Someday' may never come, so I've decided now is the time to pursue my art. It's changed me. I feel like I have found the missing piece."

Moser credits the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative (BDAC), an art gallery operated by and for local artists, with helping her make her dream come true. BDAC's mission is to bring together local artists who share a similar vision in helping the public gain curiosity and interest in the local art scene, as well as to exhibit and market a broad palette of art mediums, styles and ideas. Moser sells and shows her work at BDAC and spends a few hours each month working at the gallery -- but for her, it's not really work.

"Being a part of this group and working at the gallery is inspiring," she says. "I have met many great people and the positive and creative energy of these people is contagious. It's not always easy, but I really try to make a point to carve out some time in my schedule each week. I am fortunate to have a room dedicated to my art, so I'm able to leave my projects out and work on them in smaller bits of time if needed. I've found that getting in there, even if only for a short time, keeps my creative juices flowing. I'm sure someday I'll be able to dedicate more time to painting, but for now, this keeps me active, learning and growing as an artist."

Part of that growth is learning new things. Moser has been trying new materials (her current favorites are vintage papers and fluid acrylics), but she's willing to try just about anything.

"I'm a big fan of experimentation, and making a big mess! I love trying new techniques and mediums," she says. "I love learning. I take online workshops and read a lot of books to grow as an artist."

Her dedication to her art has not only made her a happier person, it has inspired her family, too.

"My 11-year-old daughter loves to get messy in my art studio. I also have a 20-year-old daughter who is a talented graphic designer. My 18-year-old daughter claims she is not artistic, but I've caught her digging through my supplies and creating some really great stuff," Moser says. "Creativity is not just for me, it's for my whole family."

According to Moser, the only thing better than watching her daughters foster their creativity is fostering her own. And with with each piece she creates, displays and sells, she can't help but smile, because finally, her childhood dream of having her art in a gallery has come true.

To see more of Moser's work, visit her Etsy shop ( or her Facebook page (, or stop by the BDAC in person. Exhibit hours and more details are available at

Jody is married to Brad, and they have four super-busy kids. When she isn't at one of their events, she's probably driving them somewhere.