It’s just past midnight and my 13-year-old is not back from her babysitting gig. Abbie’s a couple of hours late now and the parents’ cell rolls directly to voice mail. Likely it’s just drained of charge from the weather. It’s that cold. Days of Arctic fronts have animated our newscasters, who brandish their arms over the Minnesota map as they issue dire warnings. The air is more than raw, it’s dangerous. …
I volunteer with the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, and I can say surely and with enthusiasm that some of the best people I have met in Duluth I have met through ARAC, including grants manager Ashley Kulka, executive director Bob DeArmond, local artists and arts organizers across the seven-county Arrowhead region. If you have a desire to support the arts, doing this work is immensely awesome.
The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is recruiting community members to be a part of ARAC’s Rural and Community Art Project and Career Development grant review panels. Each program has two panel meetings a year that require members to read between 15 and 30 applications per meeting. If you are interested in serving on either of these panels, contact the office at 218-722-0952, 800-569-8134, or info @ aracouncil.org. This is a great way to learn more about our regional arts community; the council and its programs; and the grant review process.
Cat lost early on the morning of June 28 in Duluth at Miller Creek Townhomes on Miller Creek Drive. Name: Snickers, female, spayed, 6 years old, large, fully clawed, no microchip or collar. Short hair, tortoiseshell. Escaped through caretaker’s screen door during pet sitting, so Snickers is unfamiliar with area. Mostly indoor cat, friendly.
Last Thursday, I went out to dinner with authors who grew up on the range — Roy C. Booth and Cynthia Booth. Roy will be at CONvergence in a few weeks celebrating his new book, Orphans.
Sunday, I went out to dinner with Tim, a central fixture in Minnesota comics life, at the Buffet at the Bear. OMG, I love that buffet — and on Sunday, Lutefisk.
Monday night was game night — we met first for dinner at 7 West Taphouse. It’s a diverse, fun crowd, including one of the back stage masterminds from Game Show at the Underground and the owner of 8 Bit Classic Collection. See this play. Shop this shop.
Wildwoods shared this story about wildlife and domestic pets:
On Friday, Wildwoods sent three fox kits down to our friend Connie, who specializes in raising and releasing orphaned foxes. Their stories illustrate the range of problems we may cause for our wild neighbors — through carelessness, through intolerance, and through misplaced “love.”
On Friday night I saw Cheng-Khee Chee demonstrate his painting at the Tweed Museum — OMG what an honor and a treasure to watch someone create a painting of Koi before your eyes. Thanks to Tweed Director Ken Bloom for making this possible.
I recently saw the the work of Duluthian Shannon Hickok Cousino, including this piece.
My first thought is that I am drawn to it because it reminds me of other, iconic imagery — like the paintings of Ophelia (paintings by Millais and Waterhouse, below). These are the “tragic woman” of literature rendered as a beautiful tragedy. Almost so beautiful they are hard to imagine as tragic. Without a doubt, we have aestheticized the suffering of Ophelia, of women, repeatedly.
“Now we Float” makes no attempt to aestheticize the tragedy (at least, if by that, we mean erase suffering and replace it with flowers and outstretched hands).
Even as she floats, the figure in “Now we Float” does not break the surface. The surface weighs upon her. A friend of mine called it “weight of insurmountable pressure” — the kinds of pressures that crush someone, inside or out. I am remembering here the Pipher books about Ophelia that were so powerful in the 1990s.
But is the woman in Cousino’s work tragic? “Now we Float,” as a title, speaks to a kind of agency, even in death. As opposed to the scene captured on film (perhaps a scene of floundering, struggling, drowning, beneath those pressures), now, we float. Now, we simply rise to the surface. There is a simple clarity in that title, one that both underscores and undermines the tragedy, I think. No longer struggling, she floats. No longer struggling, though, she fails, still, to break the surface.
Monday, I spent some time with Tim Jollymore, an author who arrived at UMD because of the hard work of Veronica and Mareesa and the awesome students in the Writing Club. Jollymore talked to the students about his craft as a writer — and it was an amazing afternoon for all of us.
Your Legacy Sales Tax, with some money from the General Fund and from the McKnight foundation, makes possible these Arrowhead Regional Arts Council awards to individual artists in Duluth and the region. If you see a friend on this list, say “Woot,” would you?