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Art Posts

Duluth Book Releases in 2016

In and Out of Context by Tim WhiteIn and Out of Context
Photography by Tim White
With excerpts from 21 northland writers
inandoutofcontextbook.blogspot.com
(Jan. 21)

The Duluth Grill Cookbook IIThe Duluth Grill Cookbook II
Written by Robert Lillegard
Photography by Rolf Hagberg
duluthgrill.com/cookbooks
(Feb. 29)

Barbarian

DavidBeard_SEMy friend John and his wife Chieko left John’s son from his first marriage behind at Stone Farm. Stone Farm, Suffolk, is all I need to write as an address on the letters and postcards I send to him twice a year in the United Kingdom. The family home (occupied by John, Chieko, John Jr., and John’s mother) is older than the United States. When the bowing timbers used to frame the home were cut, the colonies were still colonies.

John spent a week in Duluth. He was to give lectures at the Alworth Institute about energy policy in the U.K. And of course, ostensibly, he was here to visit his friend, David. But John was a fisherman. You don’t cross the Atlantic to talk about U.K. dependence on natural gas to Minnesotans. You come to fish.

We visited Gooseberry, and John took romantic photos under the falls. We ate smoked fish and lobster — John ate at Red Lobster so many times because the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar was so favorable.

Selective Focus: Marian Lansky

Works by Marian Lansky

Marian Lansky is part of the team the operates the Kenspeckle Letterpress, one of the most interesting, fun studio/shops in town. It combines centuries-old art processes with modern technology to create loads of great work. There will be an Earth Day open studio and shop on Saturday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace, an opportunitity to stop in and see the work and meet the artist. Marian and her husband, Rick Allen, will also be a part of Siivii’s Earth Day show, just across the alley from DeWitt-Seitz.

Below, Marian explains her work and process in her own words.

Nick Robin – “Little Red Squirrel”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhLusJXCqho

Music written and produced by Sean Elmquist and Nick Robin. Video by Nick Sunsdahl.

The Day I Jumped Out a Window

Anna Tennis Saturday EssayWhen I was 11, my best friend was Eddie Griffenbacher.* He lived with his grandma, for reasons he never detailed. (*No, it wasn’t. But even I don’t want to talk shit about someone. It’s not because I have class. Eddie would kick my ass.)

He was very, very, impressively naughty.

He came by this honestly: his grandmother was like a David Lynch character. She was short, round, and, I think, chronically intoxicated. She curmdugeoned around her house in a beige sweater-vest over a plaid shirt, khakis and fluffy white sneakers that resembled King’s Hawaiian rolls. Her hair was old-lady-did into fully-formed curl banks, but the back left corner of her head was all matted down and disarranged, like gray-hair crop circles amidst the otherwise puffy rows. She smoked endless Benson and Hedges cigarettes; they dangled eternally from her yellow fingers, the nails of which she kept painted the same bronzey-brown color for as long as I knew her. She was always drinking some ice-cubey alcohol cocktail from an amber-glass tumbler: between the yellow of her fingers, her nail polish, and the yellow tint of her glass, it seemed like everything around her was saturated completely with tar. Somehow, her entire microcosm had become the color of an old fly strip.

Selective Focus: One River, Many Prints

IMG_6969

Starting this week, Selective Focus is changing direction. Instead of variations on a weekly theme as before, we will be posting brief profiles of visual artists and happenings around the area. We start it off with a collaborative project between UMD students and elementary students.

Dispersion

https://vimeo.com/153393512

Adam Dargan, an animator from Duluth who now lives in Minneapolis, “captures the process of emulsion on 35mm film being dissolved in three-dimensional space” in this video. “It explores the feeling of nature and visual landscapes that are created from unconventional sources.”

I Did Love the Place Then

Eric Chandler - Saturday EssayAfter several hours of splashing around, I pulled myself up to the dock. I held onto the edge and floated. My daughter said, “Your wedding ring is gone.”

What kind of kid notices that? I thought she was kidding. Then, I looked at my left hand. No ring.

I spent the next hour swimming with a scuba mask trying to pull off a miracle. The lake water looks like tea because of the tannins. Or maybe even darker like root beer. As I swam down, I could barely see. I hoped to see a little glint in the gravel. It never happened.

So, now I wear a replacement ring. The ring I put on twenty years ago sits at the bottom of the Whiteface Reservoir, a permanent part of the St. Louis River watershed. I sit like Gollum on the dock, sip my gin and tonic, gaze out over the water, and wonder about my precious. My precious.

When I was a kid, I didn’t notice things like rings on my dad’s hand. But I noticed his finger and where it pointed on the topo map. It was deer season in Plymouth, New Hampshire. I was in high school and an important part of the game plan to fill the freezer with venison.

“I’m going to sit here at the top of this drainage,” my dad said. “You walk down the road on this side of the ridge to here. Come over the ridge and walk up the drainage toward me. If you hear a shot, sit down for five minutes. Then, when you hear two shots, it means I found the deer and you can walk to me.” He said drainage so much during the huddle, I thought he was talking about nasal passages instead of a small mountain valley.

Selective Focus: The St. Louis River, Recreation

Hansi Johnson

Hansi Johnson, untitled

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeSomehow this seems both an apt and inapt way to close my editorship of this feature. There are plenty of sites to pore over images of our region’s abundant natural beauty, but few that foreground the real people who live, work, and play here. That was my fundamental ambition; to recognize the vast human capital here, to weekly call for snapshots, pictures of domestic ordinariness, matters not needlessly prettified. Reality, even when it’s harsh is sufficiently beautiful to me.

In Defense of Duluth Poets

Holy CowThe arts and culture review website Partisan namedrops Holy Cow! Press of Duluth in an article by Harvard English Professor Stephen Burt titled “In Defence of Minor Poets,” published today. The namedrop occurs without actually mentioning Holy Cow! by name, but instead referencing Duluth with a hyperlink to Consortium Book Sales & Distribution’s page about the Duluth publishing company.

Romance on the St. Louis River

Wooed Near Perch Lake

From The St. Louis River: Diverse Connections at the Duluth Art Institute. #onerivermn

Dalles of the St. Louis River

Dalles of the St Louis River

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThe illustration above is from William Cullen Bryant‘s classic book Picturesque America, published by D. Appleton & Company of New York in 1872 and 1874. Bryant was editor of the book; the illustration is by Alfred R. Waud.

Taking it Outside

LucieA-SEI’ve overbooked myself lately.

A common problem and in this case, it’s completely my fault — taking on more foolishness than hours in the day. So, like most of us, I cut corners by eliminating “extra” stuff, like exercise and staring into middle space.

My near daily walk in Chester Bowl or less frequent craning-of-neck views of the bluffs at Tischer Creek has been put on hiatus. (Even though I live near one park and drive past the other daily.)  I’ll ’fess up to only one, maybe two visits to Canal Park and Park Point beach this winter. I mean, I’ll be back, you know, just after the due date passes, that class ends, oh – and, that other thing.

I’m embarrassed to say that recently I’ve seen more Duluth landscape on Perfect Duluth Day and Destination Duluth these days than actually experienced.

And I’m worse for it.

I need to take a Sharpie and write, “I’m happier when I play outside” backward, then slap it on my forehead so I can read it in the mirror in the morning. Plan accordingly.

Selective Focus: The St. Louis River, Contemplative Space

Sharon Mollerus

Sharon Mollerus, “Water Lillies”

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeI was fortunate to spend my first Arrowhead New Years Eve in a cabin in Jay Cooke State Park; bird watching, snow-shoeing, and far from the inebriates (though I did bring a flask). Even photographed a ghost buck (pictured below), warmed by a cedar and oak fire as a soft snow fell to welcome 2016. It was a grand introduction to the St. Louis River.

For the next two weeks Selective Focus will take part in the “One River, Many Stories” project which asks for tales of your relationship to this unique watershed. This week we’re concentrating on the river’s abundant natural beauty; a place for restive contemplation, and awe. Be sure to see the Duluth Art Institute’s kick-off the project on Monday, April 4, with a photo essay by Ivy Vainio, Tom Hollenhorst’s interactive maps, live drumming, and a video booth with PBS’s Karen Sunderman who’ll record your stories.

Waving at Strangers

Saturday Essay - Dave SorensenIt started when I was twelve years old and my father consented to buy me a mini-bike. It was the real deal, a miniature motorcycle, not some boxy frame with a lawn mower engine. Sixty CCs, one hundred and twenty pounds, it would do fifty miles per hour. What a foolish gift.

There had been a couple of go-carts around the neighborhood before bikes took over. Two brothers had cobbled one together but had yet to master the complexities of throttle control or brakes. We put their sister on it, wound it up, and let it go. I don’t know how she eventually came to a stop, but she was last seen careening between the trees in our beloved public park. It was obvious from that experiment their machine had two too many wheels.

I probably knew a dozen kids with mini-bikes. My friend two blocks away had one identical to mine, and ours were among the coolest. Most common were the Honda 70s. Ugly, but they could keep up. The boy across the street had a Suzuki Trail Hopper. Pathetic. Honda 50s were tiny. The clown car of mini-bikes. One kid had an Indian which sounded like a chainsaw cutting sheet metal, yet law enforcement was strangely absent for a couple of summers when the world was young.