The ice crystals have us surrounded. Surrender to the frost.
Collected here are select Instagram photos celebrating the wonder of water vapor condensation freezing to cold surfaces (hoar frost) and/or cooled water in the fog turning to ice (rime ice). Probably more the latter than the former.
Artist Kathy Johnson Anscomb has used the new perspective she had during the pandemic — stuck inside, looking out the windows at the same view day after day — and turned that into inspiration for new work this year. This week in Selective Focus, we hear how this series came to be.
KJA: Lately I’ve been painting with acrylic or ink on canvas, I’ve also been having a flirtation with watercolor and have some new things on the back burner. I’ve worked with acrylics for more years than I will tell, but going way back to junior high when my ninth grade art teacher got me interested in art. It was all about abstract art when I was in the art department at UMD in the 60s, and I’ve loved the freedom and simplicity of working in that style since.
This week we hear from a behind-the-scenes artist, literally setting the stage for others, creating environments and moods where actors can practice their craft. Jeff Brown is a scenic designer, lighting director and technical director who has worked with the Duluth Playhouse and other theater groups, and expanded his work into designing for museums and other public spaces. Oh, and he loves grilling.
JB: As happens with so many big things in life, I was introduced to the world of theater almost by accident. After some years as an Army paratrooper, I had enrolled at a community college and had one big choice left in order to finish my associate’s degree… A Public Speaking course, or a Stagecraft course? I was not at all interested in Public Speaking, so Stagecraft won by default. I couldn’t have guessed that the course would feel so natural to me and that it would introduce me to people and a field that I had never even considered before.
After being involved backstage in a couple of productions there, I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in technical theater, and I transferred to Minnesota State University Moorhead. MSUM had a very active theater department with a strong technical standard, and I benefited greatly from learning scenic design and lighting design along with construction and production techniques.
Here it is, the annual PDD Holiday Gift Guide. We’ve always been proud to highlight items with a local connection. This year it seems even more important to support local, take advantage of online ordering, and spread the word on what’s offered from our own community. Below are 15 items; feel free to add to the suggestions in the comments, or email us at info @ perfectduluthday.com with things we may have missed and we’ll continue to build this list.
This week, a quick update on two artists we’ve featured earlier this year. Carolyn Olson and Annelisa Roseen both started projects at the beginning of the pandemic, and are still regularly producing pieces based on the theme and guidelines they set for themselves. Carolyn Olson paints and draws essential workers in their settings, and Annelisa Roseen takes a selfie each day in make-up and costume of an interesting person born on that day.
Printmaker Nan Onkka makes images inspired by scenes on the North Shore. She starts with a wood block, and step by step, removes material from the block in order to add more color to the images she prints. It’s a time consuming process, and she says it’s a lot of backward planning, but a process where you can’t step backward to change something. That challenge and risk is what draws her to the process.
NO: I am a printmaking artist who specializes in reductive woodblock printmaking. This form of printmaking involves hand carving an image into a woodblock and then printing it onto paper one layer of color at a time. I add multiple colors to the image by carving away more of the woodblock and printing the next layer of color on top.
Holley Morgenstern of Sparrow & Berry is carrying on a family tradition of making dolls. Her designs are modern and whimsical, giving a fun spin to heirloom dolls. The critters, faces and even the materials she uses vary wildly, and each doll has its own personality and is one of a kind.
HM: My name is Holley Morgenstern and I am the face behind Sparrow & Berry. I make handmade modern heirloom cloth dolls. There are several categories of doll makers, I fall into the soft sculpture category and would also fall under fiber art.
My work is made primarily of cotton, linen and wool. I do use some synthetic fibers for the shaggy/furry, more traditional stuffed animal type dolls. I frequently use bits of vintage trim, fabric, buttons and upcycled components as well.
The pandemic gave Adam Swanson time to complete 14 paintings of endangered animals. But it also gave him time to think. In this short documentary by filmmaker Mike Scholtz, Adam wrestles with the importance of art, and art openings, in our lives.
Hannah Palma is a potter who has blended her love of woodcut printmaking into her process of working with clay. This week she talks about that combination, and how our big lake inspires her designs.
HP: I work with earth; I work with clay. I feel like all my life ceramics was calling me to it in one way or another, but it wasn’t till my time at the university that I found it would be my deepest passion.
I was born and raised here in Grand Marais, where my love and curiosity for the wild and nature was fostered. I grew up in a little cabin on big land where when the leaves left for the winter you could get the slightest peek of the never ending view of Lady Lake Superior.
Got some photos of awesome Halloween memories? Want to share them with the PDD ghouls and goblins? Send them our way, we will add them to the banner rotation — the long skinny photos at the top of the page when you view Perfect Duluth Day on a desktop computer. (There are no photo banners if you are on a smartphone.)