This weekend I visited the Skyline Art Gallery for its grand opening. This location, right near the crest of Thompson Hill is an area that I recognize as the spot where I feel like I am “home” and the awe-inspiring views of the great inland sea and the cities of Duluth and Superior open up before your eyes when approaching on I-35 from the south. I’m sure that many others have a similar sentiment, the owners of this gallery could be included in that group.
The gallery is owned by Bill and Lisa Dupuis and it features regional artists with a strong emphasis on Ojibwe art. The Dupuis started the gallery earlier this summer but the grand opening was last weekend. It featured performances by Cedar Creek Drum Group, and book signings with Dr. Jim Northrup and traditional doll-making demonstration by Joyce Laporte. I hope to share more sometime about Joyce Laporte in particular because the dolls that she makes are amazing, they use natural materials and there is a long history and tradition behind her dolls which have been featured in museums and galleries around the world, including the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Come to think of it, Dr. Northrup has been featured there, too. The gallery overlooks Spirit Island which is of major cultural significance to Anishinaabe people. In 2011 Fond du Lac Band purchased the island, here is a link to a newspaper featuring some articles about the island (pdf)
Also, there is this.
I was at the gallery with two of my younglings and I didn’t have time to do much beyond snap a few pictures and chat with a couple of the artists. Bill Dupuis, a Fond du Lac Band member is interviewed in the video He is a soft-spoken man, but as they say, still waters run deep, and his quiet demeanor and my inexperience with video recording may not represent the depth of passion that he feels for this place, but you get a taste anyway. Incidentally, during my interview with Mr. Dupuis the guys from Cedar Creek Drum kept an eye on my little ones, including the great honor of teaching my boy (age 4) some introductory drumming skills.
Here are some photos to accompany the above youtube video-on-the-radio that I put together about the visit. Pictured are the artists that I mentioned and some of the views from the gallery.