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Brian Barber Posts

Selective Focus: Brian Barber

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This week’s Selective Focus subject is … me. You may be thinking, gee whiz, PDD must have run out of Selective Focus subject ideas. Far from it. We still have a long list of artists we want to include, but we’re also open to more suggestions. If you know someone doing interesting work in the visual arts, or if you would like to be featured, send us a note. [email protected] I’ve jammed myself in the schedule here because I’ve got a show of new work opening at Beaner’s next Thursday.

B.B.: Graphic Artist is probably the best way to describe what I do. I work as an illustrator, designer, animator, and videographer. In college I studied pretty equal parts design, illustration and photography, so I guess this mix of work makes sense, and I feel lucky to have the variety every day. I’ve done children’s books, logos, brochures, TV ads, training videos, package design, interactive design, character design, prints for sale, music videos, and more.

Selective Focus: Jeff Ruprecht

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Jeff Ruprecht is a curious guy who’s not afraid to jump into new things. He tells us how he sorts through a constant stream of ideas and projects.

J.R.: I work in many mediums and categories. I’m a graphic designer first, but I consider myself a “maker” at heart. I love to build things, make things, sketch things. I love technology, but love true craftsmanship and ways of doing things.

PDD Gift Guide 2016

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Sleigh bells and cash registers are ringing. The season of religious ceremony and competitive consumerism is upon us. As usual, Perfect Duluth Day has compiled a list of gift ideas with a Twin Ports connection, so we can put those North Pole elves out of work and keep our local businesses and crafters fat and jolly. Featured here are 15 items produced by the hands and brains of your neighbors. If you have more ideas or are a business with a local offering, please add it in the comments and expand our virtual catalog.

November showed up today.

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Selective Focus: Aryn Bergsven

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Aryn Bergsven is an artist and an art teacher at Harbor City International School. She talks about sharing her time and energy between her own work and the work of her students.

A.B.: I work in acrylics primarily but also dabble in watercolors and ink, mostly for sketching and traveling. I love to work with portraiture. This has always been an area of interest for me, even when I was in middle and high school. I think it’s even more compelling to me now though as a mother and an art teacher. So much of my life focuses on people and relationships I have with them that the act of really studying faces and reading between the lines has become second nature in some ways.

PDD Holiday Socks

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We’re going to try something, offering some PDD Holiday swag for you to sport at your holiday gatherings. You can pre-order some Warhol-ish funky socks with the PDD smokin’ reindeer on them.

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If 20 or more people order them, the order goes through, and everyone receives socks in about 4 weeks. If less than 20 people order, they don’t get made. So spread the news, we’ve only got 7 days.

Click here to order:
bakdrop.com/products/perfectduluthday

Selective Focus: Scott Lunt

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No doubt, if you live in Duluth, you’ve been exposed to the work of Scott Lunt, aka Starfire; founder of the Homegrown Music Festival, co-founder of Father Hennepin and Perfect Duluth Day, radio host on KUMD, the list goes on. His latest endeavor is St1tch:::red, a quilt show at the Red Herring, opening Saturday November 12. He tells us how he got involved in the craft.

S.L.: I cut up perfectly good fabric and sew it back together again. I made my first quilt about twenty years ago and another five years after that. At the time I knew nothing about quilting and had to enlist my mother to help me finish. Then about a year-and-a-half ago Karen McTavish opened a quilting studio in Duluth, I took my mom to visit since she is a long time quilter and something clicked. Two weeks later a sewing machine showed up at my door (thanks Mom!) and I have been making about a quilt a month since.

Selective Focus: Bryan French

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Bryan French has been busy over the last couple of years building a photography business as well as the Duluth Folk School. This week we hear about Bryan’s artistic side.

B.F.: I’m a photographer (and director of the Duluth Folk School, an adventure guide with Day Tripper, and on-call naturalist at Hartley). My background includes an undergrad in musical theater (song and dance!) and a master’s degree in environmental education (nature!). I’ve been making photographs for about ten years.

Selective Focus: Eric Helland

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Eric Helland makes things from natural materials. His work shows off the beauty in the texture and grain, and also in the imperfections and missing chunks.

20150528_1933152E.H.: I’ve always dabbled in art starting with drawing as a kid, experimenting with glass in my family’s glass shop in Southern Minnesota, and photography after moving to Duluth. Eight years ago I made my wife a free form wooden bowl and a sofa table and have been working with wood ever since. Being self taught my technique is always changing and I’m forever seeing what I can do differently. Many people prize exotic woods but I think we have beautiful prime woods right here in the Northland. I like finding my own wood and seeing it in its original form, allowing the individual piece of wood to determine what the end product will be instead of having a preconceived idea when I start. Seeing what hidden grains and patterns I can reveal in the wood is my favorite aspect of this work. My style is always changing but I’m probably best known for my free form pieces, leaving live edges or bark on my lathe pieces, incorporating antler into my pens, and working with burls.

Selective Focus: Carolyn Olson

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Carolyn Olson takes extremely ordinary daily events and turns them into big, colorful studies of life and relationships.

C.O.: I am primarily a narrative painter working in either gouache, water-based oil paint or pastel. I have also experimented a bit with sculptural figures made out of plywood or iron.

A bio photo from an oil on board 36" x 48" called "Halloween Costume"

Self-portrait called “Halloween Costume.” Oil on board 36″ x 48″

 

My subject matter has always been based in my daily life – family/friends, observations of others – often strangers. I’m from Duluth originally and moved to the Cities after high school to study painting and graphic design. From there I moved to Mississippi where I worked as a graphic designer for a non-profit organization dedicated to social reform. Being one of the few white folks in our neighborhood I spent a lot of time observing, listening, and re-examining my place and work. My drawings and paintings at that time were my way of trying to understand the people and the place where I was living. Being from the north and white – it was a cultural education. My paintings were universal stories such as a mother’s love for her family, children playing – poverty and race became a part of my subject matter.

Selective Focus: Ken Zakovich

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Ken has been working for many years as a designer for print, interactive and other projects that typically make their way through the ad agency where he works. Recently, he’s been applying his design skills to some innovative 3-d and other projects.

Call for Halloween Banners

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We want to see your Halloween photos at the top of this page as banners. Keep in mind the hauntingly horizontal format, it can be tricky to work with, but a treat when it works well.

Sorry, that was terrible.

Click here for complete submission guidelines, but the basics are: 1135 pixels wide by 197 pixels high, e-mail them to [email protected]. We’ll put them in rotation near the end of the month.

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Selective Focus: Bill Coit via Valerie Coit

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Earlier this year, my friend Val started posting photos her dad had taken to a Facebook album. They were obviously decades old, but they were pristine. These weren’t scans of tattered, faded, off-color prints found in a box in the basement, they were scanned from the slide film her dad shot. A couple years ago, my mother-in-law passed away, and my brother-in-law took on the job of scanning the best photos from a big chest of old pictures and sharing them with the family via Dropbox. All this makes me wonder what will happen as most or all of our family photos become electronic, not physical.

Selective Focus: Joe Polecheck

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Our area has provided plenty of stunning scenes for photographers, but Joe Polecheck’s photos go beyond typical landscapes as he has some fun with subjects, tricks and experiments.

J.P: I’ve always been involved in the arts, both painting and drawing ever since I was a child. I’ve always been able to identify things I liked or not when appreciating photography. About 2 years ago, I realized I’d better put up or shut up and try my hand at it. And as my wife has told me, “nothing can just be a hobby for you” which leads me here today!

Selective Focus: Hemlocks Leatherworks

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This week, a little bit of fashion in Selective Focus. We hear from Candace Lacosse who operates Hemlocks Leatherworks.

C.L.: I am primarily a shoemaker (which is a cordwainer, not a cobbler), but I love designing and making just about anything out of leather and waxed canvas: bags, purses, wallets, leather-bound journals, really just about anything.