Art Phillips & Mary Ann (Mattingly) Phillips - Fargo North, Class of 1972

It was the middle of our senior year and all of my friends knew how much I liked this guy. He was always laughing and having fun in the school cafeteria. He was everyone’s friend, whether they were athletes, the smart kids or the long-haired musicians. No matter who he was with, they enjoyed his sense of humor and big heart. Not only was he a nice guy, but he was also a cool guy. He was the drummer for the local band Stonehenge. And he didn’t even know I existed.

My family moved to Fargo at the beginning of my junior year and there were very few people that I had gotten to know in that first year. But by our senior year I had a small group of girlfriends to hang out with. Between classes we would stand by the windows by the parking lot door and catch up on what everyone was doing. One day, one of our friends came up and said “Guess who called me last night??.... Art Phillips!” She waited a couple of seconds to see the crushed look on my face before she confessed that he had called to get MY phone number!

And there the romance began. We didn’t have any classes together at North High, so Art and I got to know each other by visiting in the cafeteria. He convinced my parents that they should extend my midnight curfew so I could come and hear him play drums around the area. Many date nights were listening to the band and helping them pack up equipment afterward.

Our romance looked to be doomed when my Dad was transferred to Pittsburgh two months after we started dating. After graduation in the spring of 1972, my family and I moved away and Art and I wrote letters that entire summer. (And yes, I still have them all!) I returned to Fargo to attend NDSU and we were together again. A second summer apart brought more letters and a visit from Art to Pittsburgh to be sure that I was returning. We drove his 1968 Chevy Bel Air back to Fargo in August of 1974 and we still joke about it needing gas, oil and water every time we stopped.

Art and I dated until we both finished college and then were married in 1978. We started Video Arts Studios in 1982 and worked together for 37 years. It’s amazing to be able to work with your spouse … and still like each other at the end of the day! We cherish the friendships we made with our staff and clients at the studio. Art was inducted into the Fargo North High School Hall of Fame in 2017 to celebrate his contributions to the community through our work together at Video Arts. We have two wonderful children, Katie (Los Angeles, FNHS class of 2003) and Matt (Phoenix, FNHS class of 2009).

In 2024, we will be celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary. And to think it all began in the halls of Fargo North High School. Go Spartans!

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  • Kristin Hamilton
    followed this page 2024-02-14 20:27:46 -0600
  • Kathi Schwan
    commented 2024-02-14 11:24:42 -0600
    I’ve known Art for years back in the days of the Fargo Theatre, and in high school. Mary Ann was a constant in his life even back then. But I never knew the background story of their relationship—-a perfect Valentine’s Day story! Neither one of them has changed one bit, as authentic as ever. Congratulation in advance for 46 years together.
  • Kendra Kuehl
    published this page in Alumni Stories 2024-02-12 11:20:34 -0600