Brian Barber Posts

Selective Focus: Richard Hoeg

Rich Hoeg is a naturalist, photographer and children’s book author. His blog, 365 Days of Birds, provides daily updates on the birds and animals he follows, as well as an occasional post about his human activities. In Selective Focus this week, he talks about how his other interests have influenced his wildlife photography.

RH: Unlike most photographers who like to use DSLR’s and big lenses which are heavy with lots of reach, I chose to use a “super zoom / bridge” camera. I wanted a camera setup which allowed for easy portability whether birding, bike touring or cross-country skiing. This decision was driven by a decision to retire from the traditional work world (I was a software techie) at the somewhat young age of 57. My wife and I had planned a 2,500 mile self-supported two month bicycle tour of northern New England, the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the St. Lawrence River from its mouth to Quebec City. A large camera would have been impractical and heavy in my bike panniers.

Selective Focus: Allen Killian-Moore

Allen Killian-Moore is a filmmaker who recently released a new experimental project in collaboration with the music of Minneapolis-based Humbird for her new single, “On the Day We are Together Again.” His work takes advantage of the imperfections of film and video — the grain, dust and scratches, pixels, flickering, varied frame rates, and they become an important part of the images. This week in Selective Focus, Allen talks about his process and the experiences that have influenced his work.
 

“On the Day We Are Together Again” Music by Humbird, film by Allen Killian-Moore
 

AKM: I am a Neurodivergent moving image artist (film and video), writer, curator, still photographer, visual artist, and performer. For this interview, I’ll be focusing specifically on my moving image film and video art.

Selective Focus: StayHomegrown

The glamour of big crowds, long nights and sloppy hugs were missing, but the Homegrown Music Festival virtually carried on. Here are a few select images from Instagram of the Homegrown that wasn’t, but sort of was.

Homegrown Photo Banners

Happy StayHomegrown. This week, as in past years, we will be displaying banner photos related to Homegrown at the top of the page. (Those of you looking at PDD on a smartphone, by the way, will not see photo banners at the top of pages. They clutter things up too much on the tiny screens.)

Selective Focus: Carolyn Olson

Carolyn Olson (featured previously in Selective Focus) has been redirecting her work a bit. Still focused on everyday scenes, she has been making drawings in a series she’s calling Essential Workers. These scenes are in grocery stores, public transit, street scenes and in medical facilities. This week, Carolyn talks about honoring these people who keep things going in unprecedented circumstances.

CO: Having recently retired from teaching school this year began differently anyway. I began last summer creating projects – challenges I called them – for myself, such as creating a series of images that tell a story, in hopes of illustrating books. When the “Stay at Home” order came I was accustomed to staying home and working in the studio regularly. Talking with our adult kids in the Cities brought home the realities facing the essential workers.

This Week in Social Distancing: April 21

Episode five in Perfect Duluth Day’s series featuring people reaching out while keeping their distance.

Selective Focus: Lend a Paw Virtual Exhibit

UMD’s Senior Design Studio II class has created a virtual gallery to show their work, and is using the opportunity to raise money for the Douglas County Humane Society. The exhibit, online store and Go Fund Me page will be active until May 5. Each piece in the exhibition is inspired by the story of a rescue pet. Visitors can move around the inside and outside of the gallery space to look at the art, read the stories and interact with the objects in the display. The class is led by UMD Department of Art & Design Assistant Professor David Short, and one of the organizers, Jack Schneewind, fills us in on how the exhibit came together, and what the class hoped to achieve with the project.

Selective Focus: St. Louis River Alliance Virtual Art Show

The St. Louis River Alliance is posting photos, poems, illustrations or other art inspired by the St. Louis River and Lake Superior to its Facebook page. The organization will have a virtual art show on its website on April 21.

Artists and writers can submit creations until Wednesday, April 15. Send submissions to [email protected]. Include the image, along with your name, title of the piece, location of the piece and any further details you want shared.

Links:
Facebook page with more info
St. Louis River Alliance website

Selective Focus: Kari Halker-Saathoff

Scheduled to open at the Duluth Art Institute, but postponed to a date to be determined later, is the work of Kari Halker-Saathoff. She combines methods such as ceramics and graphite drawings to reinterpret stories from the point of view of lesser-known characters. In the DAI show, she explores Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, her situation in The Odyssey, and connections to modern-day events.

KHS: I am a multidisciplinary artist and educator. My teaching role requires me to be well versed in all of the core artistic mediums so I will often combine drawing with ceramics, drawing with sculpture, metalwork with ceramics and so forth.

I’m very inspired by stories, although reading was always a struggle for me. I have dyslexia that went undiagnosed until I was in college. After being diagnosed, the literary world opened up to me. Stories became my drug and — as an artist — my mind went wild illustrating the stories in my head. I soon discovered that the heroes of narratives were not always the most interesting characters and that I was more interested in “minor” characters — often female ones. Those were the characters who spoke to me and to my struggles.

This Week in Social Distancing: April 7

It was another fascinating week of online performances, instructional videos, virtual tours and more.

Selective Focus: Virtual Cinema from the Zinema

Tired of the choices on Netflix and Amazon? Zeitgeist and Zinema and doing some innovative programming; you can buy a pass and they will email you a link to see a streaming movie. View it with or without the chat comments of other viewers. They streamed one of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever seen on Wednesday, Love on a Leash. I won’t go into it, but it was bad. But the experience was fun, and organizer Matt Dressel was modeling it after a Midnight Movies event where the expectation is that the movie sucks, the entertainment is crowd reactions. As terrible as the movie was, the virtual event was a hit. The programming also includes movies that aren’t terrible.

Zinema’s April 3 feature is a film by a local director, Gravedigger Dave’s Halfway House. Filmmaker Keith Hopkins will also be doing a Q&A.

Selective Focus: The Big Coloring Book of First Avenue

You or your kids who are stuck at home can color your own versions of Minnesota musicians including Lizzo, Babes in Toyland, the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Har Mar Superstar, Trampled by Turtles, and of course, Prince.

Selective Focus: Sue Rauschenfels

Painter Sue Rauschenfels uses bold shapes and rich, colorful textures to define the people and objects in her watercolor and acrylic work. She has a show scheduled for April – July at the Duluth Art Institute Corridor Gallery. This week in Selective Focus, she gives a preview of the show and talks about the ideas that go into her work.

SR: I began painting fulltime in my home studio after retiring from the University of Minnesota Duluth Continuing Education department in 2009. My studies in Sociology, Criminology and Psychology influence my subject matter as does my love of nature and the outdoors.

Selective Focus: Virtual Duluth

Started on Facebook by Matt Dressel, Virtual Duluth is people posting live, streaming arts and music happenings.

Link:
Virtual Duluth on Facebook

Selective Focus: #perfectduluthday

It’s been a tough week – daylight savings, changing seasons and lots of ice and mud, Friday the 13th, not to mention current events. Take a step back from it all, and we’ll enjoy a few recent #perfectduluthdays.