A Day of Art

I spent most of today meeting with students, but when I wasn’t with young people, I was working in art.

I spent the morning with the Minnesota State Arts Board at the Depot. Mary Murphy addressed the Board. It’s always nice when statewide agencies visit the greater Minnesota region.

Among my objectives in talking with the folks present was to question the value of their new program for outreach to underserved, diverse populations. The plan, as I understand it, is to spread four $5,000 stipends to folks who will work to encourage diverse communities to apply for grants in the MSAB programs. The gesture is so small, and so inadequate to the task, I was left wondering how it passed. And then I remembered: in the Twin Cities, the drive from Roseville to Lake Minnetonka is imagined as a long way. It’s impossible for some members of the MSAB to visualize the distances outstate — that distance from Duluth to Grand Portage is further than the distance from Minneapolis to Duluth, and that’s a skip and a jump compared to Ely and I-Falls. If you can’t visualize exactly how immense Minnesota is, you can’t design a good outreach program for it.

Then, lunch with painter Rob Adams. Rob is awesome, and his work includes a piece using recrafted and repurposed “Battleship” game board pieces that I love.

Then, gallery opening at Prove. This opening included work by:
Cody Paulson
Andrea Campos
Kelsey Malsom
Alexis LeBlanc
Stephen Pepperoni
Flo Matamoros
Tyler Johnson
Elliot McAllister

My colleague Jennifer Schultz was present, as well. While I have seen her at Prove openings before, this time, she was listening as well as observing. A number of folks wanted to talk about other about issues important to them in the next election, including a young lady opening a tea shop near Chester Creek Cafe. I hope that there will be more info about the tea shop closer to opening. She says they will also locally brew kombucha eventually.

The Ennyman was there. So was Adeline of Adeline, Inc. (a salon that also hosts cultural events) and an engine in the Jefferson Peoples House, too. Why do I drop all these names? Because before Prove, Duluth’s art community was entirely different from what it is now. Now, there is an arts ecology, which reels in alternative businesses of all types and creative spaces of multiple kinds, including the university I call home.

Glad to be part of it.

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