I was in the Duluth Photography Institute last night. The current exhibit was a little spicy (about bondage) — but that’s what art institutions give us — something spicy to challenge the mind, right?


The DPI is unusual in that it’s basically a consortium for practicing photographers that also houses an exhibit space. Brian, who organizes the Institute, has created a hybrid exhibition space, education program, and business incubator.

In the education area, I was surprised to see that in addition to the formal classes, they also sponsor a kind of collaborative group of photographers who educate each other not just technically, but artistically, as part of the project.

Are you interested in on-location portraiture, photojournalism, or environmental portraiture? Would you like to be involved with a group that is recording the history and personalities of this area? Want to learn and/or hone your event photography skills? Want to maybe even get front row seating and back stage passes for some of these events? Want to have your images shown in exhibits around the area at no cost to you? Then have we got a deal for you! We are looking for a few photographers to capture the essence of the people and events of this area and we will even train you on everything you need to know AND provide all lighting equipment necessary for your assignments. This is the project.

Brian is clearly committed not just to being a photographer, but to cultivating the community of photographers in Duluth. The “4x” exhibit is another fine example:

4x: A Print Exhibition, V3.0 will have an opening reception on Saturday, February 8th from 6-8 p.m. Submissions for the 4x need to be delivered or postmarked by January 31t in order to be eligible. Hours of operation are M/W/F from 10-4, or by appointment.

Submissions must follow a few simple guidelines:

1. ANYONE can submit! Kids, adults, DPI member or not!
2. Only prints may be submitted, and one side must be 4 inches long.
3. Each print must be flush mounted (mount is same size as print, no extra) on some kind of stiff material (double stick taped to foam core or matt board works just fine.)
4. The total perimeter (distance all the way around) of the print cannot exceed 60 inches.
5. The print must not have been submitted into any past 4x exhibit through the DPI.
6. Please put your name and contact information on the back of each submission.
7. Include a stamped, self addressed envelope if you would like your submissions returned via snail-mail.
8. There is no limit to the number of submissions (but if you are planning on submitting more than 10, contact us first!)

I’ve attended this the last few years, and I admit — there is much cleverness in the submissions, including one submission that was huge, with basically a notch cut out of a corner to meet the 4″ requirement.

Anyway. The DPI is one of the local engines that make Duluth a better place. Swing by if you can. 

405 E. Superior St. Suite 140
Duluth, MN 55802  
Open M/W/F 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment or event!

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