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Brian Barber Posts

Selective Focus: Graham Burnett

Graham Burnett operates Graflex Parts, a business that restores and repairs antique cameras. Film isn’t dead, and there are a number of people who still take on the challenges of photography without a phone or SD card. He works on medium and large format cameras that shoot one sheet of film at a time, and definitely don’t fall into the “point and shoot” category. It can take months to do the repairs, custom-build parts and fine-tune the mechanics.

GB: I do repair and modification work to antique cameras, with a specialty in a several types of high-end professional cameras dating from 1900-1950. I’m a sort of “custom design shop” but for 100-year-old cameras. The kind I work on are all considered “Large Format” and produce images that can be up to 8 inches by 10 inches wide. I found my way to this niche of photography and cameras through my own progression as a photographer. I had a few specific preferences for what kind of cameras I liked and what sort of image I was trying to create with it; inevitably it lead me to antique cameras. Every artist has tools and my clients are mainly working professionals with a distinct goal in mind, using their cameras for anything from fine art to wedding photography. I often do conversions of cameras allowing them to accept accessories or lenses meant for entirely different camera systems.

Selective Focus: #tallships

A few views as the Festival of Sail blew into town Sunday. The festival continues today and tomorrow, Aug. 12 and 13.

Selective Focus: Adeline Wright

Adeline Wright is a multi-disciplinary artist, probably known by most for the work done at her hair salon. The distinctive building at 1132 E. Ninth St. was recently repainted, and a mural is being finished up along the side of the building. Changes and collaborations are happening inside the salon as well. There will be a Grand Reopening Celebration this Saturday, Aug. 3, from 4-7 p.m. Adeline gives us a preview and some more info on the updates.

I am currently creating in multiple ways though hair will always be my primary avenue of expression. What I have come to realize recently is that all of the creative endeavors in my life point clearly to one thing: My love of people is at the forefront of why I do what I do. As a visual artist (working in oils, acrylic, and spray paint) I lean toward portraiture as a means of understanding my relationships with the people around me and those in the broader human community. When I take digital photos, or form a collection of images, the photos and images are always of people. I really notice art that has humans or animals somehow included, even if indirectly. To me, sometimes flowers are also faces, or they represent something similar to how I feel about people. Also, as animals are sentient beings too, I don’t really separate them from humanity, though I only cut human hair, LOL! I have been relationship driven, portrait focused, and styling hair as long as I can remember.

Selective Focus: Deer

The ubiquitous white-tailed deer — an almost daily sighting for Duluthians who spend time outdoors and away from the downtown; and probably a weekly sighting for anyone who just looks out the window. In this edition of “Selective Focus,” a few Instagram images of local does and bucks.

Selective Focus: Susanna Gaunt

Susanna Gaunt is an artist who creates installations and draws on her background as a photographer. She works with paper, dimension, transparency and light to combine 3D structures with 2D layers and textures. She currently has work on view at the DAI until August 11.

SG: For 20 years, I worked primarily in photography, both exhibiting photographs and teaching at a private workshop school in Montana. In 2013, our family landed in Duluth and I decided to learn new mediums by enrolling in the BFA program at UMD. It was there that I began focusing on installation pieces that incorporate drawing, printmaking, collage and embroidery alongside the photography. The common denominator with all of these is paper – I love working with different types of paper textures and exploring the possibilities of creating layers of both meaning and visual interest. Experimenting with multiple finishes, such as shellac and encaustic wax, allows me to find the right amount of translucency to both conceal and reveal content. 

Selective Focus: Rainbow!

Hey, did you see the rainbow? Instagram did.

Selective Focus: Tom Moriarty

This week in Selective Focus, artist Tom Moriarty shows some of the wide spectrum of work he’s done, and discusses how drawing, DIY, and demolition derby have formed his way of working.

T.M.: I always love experimenting with different mediums and workflows, and I try and keep the creative juices flowing in a lot of different directions. Right now I’m focusing a lot on muraling. Sometimes I’m existential ramblings in smears and splats of acrylic paint and sometimes I’m drawing portraits tight and trim on a tablet with a stylus. I love making collages and then illustrating over them (I call em collagistrations). I do this a lot for gig posters and event flyers. Black and white illustrations for letterpress. I do graphic design, typography and branding a bit too. For a few years now I’ve been messing around with interactive art in my spare time. Connecting paintings and sculptures to microcontrollers with conductive inks and alligator clips. They output sound when you physically interact with the art… like a musical instrument. I haven’t found that sweet spot with tangible application so for now that’s just for fun.

Selective Focus: Fireworks

Select Instagram images of Fourth of July fireworks.

Selective Focus: Free Range Film Festival

This weekend, you have the chance to celebrate two Sweet 16 parties. There is of course Perfect Duluth Day’s 16th Anniversary on Saturday at Ursa Minor. But the Free Range Film Festival is also celebrating 16 years, and this year, has a theme: Competition.

Film festival programmer Annie Dugan explains, “I realized as I was screening films for this year’s festival that we had a lot of movies about interesting people participating in very particular pursuits. I don’t know what it is in the cultural zeitgeist right now, but people want to compete!”

Selective Focus: Leif Erikson Park

Select Instagram images of Leif Erikson Park.

Selective Focus: Sadkin, “Carrera” video and single

Just released today, the first video, “Carrera”, from Sadkin, an art/pop music pursuit in Duluth.

Directed by Daniel Benoit, choreography by Andrea Miller and Erin Tope, featuring the members of the music group Sadkin – Max Mileski, Cory Coffman, Nicholas Hanson, Anton Jimenez-Kloeckl & Daniel Vopal. Lights by Jason Nordberg. Filmed at Spark Works in Duluth.

Selective Focus: Found on Flickr

Hey, remember Flickr? Here are some of the nifty things you might find when searching “Duluth.”

Duluth

Selective Focus: Shawn Stigsell

This week we feature work that you’ve probably seen around town recently, but may not know who was behind it. Designer Shawn Stigsell has been busy with some fun projects, and he tells us a little about his story, and the stories behind these designs.

SS: I have been working with digital print since 2002 when I attended UMD. A few years ago I lost my job as an editorial designer due to budget cuts. Needless to say it was the best thing that has ever happened to my career. I have grown as a designer since then. Being a freelance designer is challenging because you have to be able to take on the valleys of the grind and time between each project. The biggest reward is seeing that the handwork is paying off by the satisfaction of clients.

Selective Focus: Jeffrey T. Larson

Jeffrey T. Larson is a painter and founder of the Great Lakes Academy of Art, located in the former St. Peter’s Church, 810 W. Third St. Larson has been working and teaching a classical style of painting in that location since 2015. There will be a student-instructor exhibit at the school May 24-26. Larson talks about his classical training and how working and teaching fit together for him.

JTL: I was fortunate to have found and be accepted into one of the last ateliers (studios) left in the world taking on apprentices and training them in the manner of the old masters. It was a sort of visual Julliard. I work pretty exclusively in oil paints. The tradition that I studied in is really more about retraining your eye to see nature honestly and truthfully as it is about learning how to paint. My style is really my reaction to what I see as beautiful filtered through my personal aesthetics. More simply put, I would call myself a classical impressionist.

Selective Focus: Run, Smelt, Run!

Select Instagram photos from the Run, Smelt, Run! Parade and Party.