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Brian Barber Posts

Where in Duluth?

WhereinDuluth4-17

Selective Focus: Jon Hinkel

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Jon Hinkel operates the Tight Squeek Press, an artistic step back in time on the second floor of a studio building on First Street. The space is filled with old presses, stacks of paper and the odds and ends that help Jon and the machines crank out his artwork.

J. H.: I’m called an artist-printmaker, creating relief prints on paper using letterpress equipment. For me anyway, my initial artist-end is pretty inseparable from my printmaking. I draw, but I can’t remember ever finishing a drawing. When a sketch I’m working on has gained a fair measure of strength and coherence, that stage of things is done weather it likes it or not. If it’s a worthy image, I’ll carve it into linoleum or engrave it into hard maple. Then to the pressroom!

Selective Focus: Yahya Rushdi

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Yahya Rushdi is a designer who moves effortlessly between the tools of photography, design and illustration and he’s an active advocate for living in Duluth.

Y. R.: The neat about being a graphic designer is that I’ll usually start with paper and pencil to sketch an idea, but once it comes into fruition on the computer, there is a wide range of mediums that I can use to communicate a message through. Whether that be in the form of social media, billboards, websites or poster. Sky’s the limit! I like to think myself as a visual communicator. If there is a problem to solve, or a specific outcome that needs to be achieved, I’ll collect information and analyze it to figure out the best solution, visually. I lean to be more simple, but effective in my work.

Selective Focus: Kirsten Aune

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Kirsten Aune just hung a show of her bright, colorful work at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 835 W. College St. She talks about her process and inspiration.

K.A.: I work on cloth to create wall-hangings, garments, toys, table linens, hand bags, lampshades, quilts and lots of other goodies. I create original designs using stencils I cut by hand and then I arrange my visual compositions using bold blocks of color and repeat designs. I have also been using silkscreens to create yardage. However, I have been limited to one color for my designs. I will be implementing a rail system that will enable me to line up multiple screens which will open up more dynamic designs using this medium. Recently, I have been projecting my designs in installations in Duluth, Bergen, Norway and Aarhus, Denmark. Currently, I am planning to incorporate some digital animation for an exhibition at the Nordic Center in the fall.

Selective Focus: Catherine Meier

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Catherine Meier pours time and detail into her large drawings, and then she puts even more time into animating them. She talks about the meditative process of making these large, quiet installations.

C.M.: My work is based in drawing. I suppose that drawing was my entry into art making. Since I was very young I have been able to draw well and it has been something that I have done throughout every phase of my life — even when I was a truck driver hauling cattle across the Great plains, I had drawings in progress.

Selective Focus: Matthew Olin

Matt Olin is one of those artists whose work is impossible to have not seen. We get a look at some of his other creations as well as the sense of humor that finds its way into many of his projects.

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Please tell us about the medium you work in and how you came to work in your style.
I typically work in Birkenstocks. Most people would refer to wearing Birkenstocks year-round in Duluth as a stylistic choice, so I guess you could say I come to work everyday in my style. When at work, I teach Interactive Design at UMD and create both self-initiated and client-based design solutions in my Birkenstocks.

Selective Focus: Five Friday Fun Fotos tagged in Duluth

A post shared by Joao Quental (@joaoquental) on

Show off your Homegrown photos

As we do each year, PDD is putting out the call for some super skinny horizontal images to put in the banner at the top of the page during Homegrown.All the regular guidelines apply.

If you have your sights set beyond the PDD banner, the Homegrown committee and the Duluth Art Institute are currently accepting submissions for the show that will hang at the Red Herring.

Selective Focus: Paul LaJeunesse

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Paul LaJeunesse was recently chosen to be the Duluth Art Institute’s first Lincoln Park Craft District Artist-in-Residence. He talks about his work and his plans for the Lincoln Park project.

P.L.: My easel paintings are tempera and oil on canvas and the mural project will be acrylic on a substrate called PolyTab. The easel painting process is one I learned from Patrick Betaudier at the Atelier Neo Medici, which is often called Technique Mixte, which is just German for Mixed Technique. It’s a description coined by Max Doerner to describe the process used by the Northern European Renaissance painters, particularly in the Van Eyck studio. It uses alternating layers of achromatic, tempera paint with color, oil glazes. This layering can be repeated any number of times to create very luminous paintings that reflect light from within the painting. The mural process is one developed by Mural Arts in Philadelphia where the painting is created on the polytab cloth in a studio and adhered to the wall using acrylic binder, as opposed to creating the painting on site.

Selective Focus: Sarah Brokke

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Sarah Brokke certainly stays busy making and teaching art, but the past few weeks seem to have been especially busy. She is featured in the documentary “Portrait of an Artist,” which debuted at Zinema 2 last weekend (available online soon) and hosted an opening at the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe on Feb. 27. She has also been collaborating on a mural with Harbor City International School students that will be unveiled in April at the College of St. Scholastica, and she is the cover artist for the upcoming Homegrown Music Festival Field Guide.

S.B.: I am a painter who works primarily in oil, and my style and means of working have been a progression over the past 17 years. I’m a process-oriented artist who responds primarily to my personal experiences through my work, in an attempt to understand the complexities and contradictory nature of life. While entrenched in personal dissection, I hope for my work to also address contemporary socio-political constructs. I often explore this through the utilization of the figure, symbols, and references to art history.

Selective Focus: Stack Prints

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Please tell us about the medium you work in, and how you came to work in your style.
Stack Prints is a pizza-eating boy band of four Duluth-based graphic designers, Cody, Taylor, Stephen, & Tyler. We run an online store, pull squeegees in our screen print shop, and advocate for art & design education. We’re kinda like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Selective Focus: Heidi Ash

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This week’s Selective Focus subject is our most delicious one yet. Heidi Ash has made chocolate her medium of choice.

H.A.: My goal is to make life more beautiful and delicious one truffle at a time. I work with French chocolate, hand-made caramel sauces, and the best ingredients possible. What gets left out is just as important: preservatives, corn syrup and RBST from the whipping cream and butter.

185Chocolat is a culmination of passions. The 185 represents the number of my heart transplant at the Mayo Clinic, which not only saved my life but altered the quality of it for the better in ways I could not imagine.

Selective Focus: Carrie Schaefer

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Carrie Schaefer is a Duluth graphic designer, illustrator and screen printer. She tells us how she started selling her own products with her designs on them.

C.S.: I’ve been doing all kinds of design work since 2008 (marketing materials, illustrations and logo design). A couple years ago, I got the itch to learn screen-printing. My husband, who is also a graphic designer, taught me a little bit about the process and I was able to pick it up pretty quickly. It soon became a fun and exciting craft for me. My processes starts with an illustration on paper, moves to digital, then to a negative on a transparency, transferred to a silk screen using emulsion, and finally ink is drawn across the screen to yield a printed image.

Selective Focus: Jeff Lemke

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Jeff Lemke operates a web site, Twin Ports Rail History, and Flickr account where he posts photos he has taken as well as photos he has collected documenting the history of the rail business in Duluth and Superior. We are showing a very small sample of the images here, but you really need to check out the collection he has, as well as read his descriptions for each photo. If you are so inclined, you can also donate to keep the project going. It really is an impressive historical collection.

J.L: Most people look at my site and think it is about trains. Perception is reality in most cases. But for those who actually look closer and read the details of each image that I post, they discover that it’s really a developing story in pictures about the people who worked for the railroads and the industries that those railroads collectively served. The locomotives, railroad cars, and facilities that each railroad used were in a constant state of flux—right from the beginning. During the late 1880s railroads like the Northern Pacific and Great Northern established strongholds of land in Duluth and Superior respectively, on which they built their inland-port empires. Other railroads came along, prospered too, but to a much lesser degree.

Selective Focus: Shawn Thompson

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Shawn Thompson has been creating breathtaking images of Lake Superior and the surrounding area for several years. He talks about how he got into photography and getting up early for the perfect shot.

S.T.: I am mainly a digital photographer, but I also enjoy shooting film. Film is a recent endeavor for me. Both have their perks. Digital is fantastic for the instant gratification and ease of making an exposure in just about any condition.