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Brian Barber Posts

Selective Focus: Kip’s Praslowicz’s video blog

This week in Selective Focus, we’re going to tune in to Kip Praslowicz’s YouTube channel. You may remember Kip from such films as “Memory Card Dump #14,” “Memory Card Dump #11” and “The Story of Homegrown 2016.” He’s a prolific photographer, and his YouTube feed is a combination of tutorials on working with film photography, behind the scenes documentaries about his ongoing photo projects, and photographic experiments. Even if you’re not really needing instruction on loading 120 roll film into a decades-old camera, there’s plenty of other wisdom and fun. Here are a few samples along with a brief bit of background from Kip. Take a look, and then “smash that subscribe button.”

KP: Before I did photos, I was into making music. Before I was making music, I was into making weird videos. This was also when I was about 11 and used a big VHS camera with the only concept of editing being by starting and stopping the tape.

Selective Focus: Laura Goodman and Karen Owsley Nease

On Oct. 19 and 20, Laura Goodman’s sensuous and powerful new ballet, “Curl, Uncurl and…” will be performed as part of the Minnesota Ballet’s fall performance, The Rite of Spring and Other Dances. Basing her choreography on the wave paintings of Karen Owsley Nease, Laura explores the elemental and generative forces depicted in Karen’s artwork. Karen’s paintings will be projected as the back drop during the performance.

On Friday, Oct. 26, 6 p.m., at Joseph Nease Gallery, Laura and Karen will present an artist’s talk discussing their work during a mini-exhibition of the paintings that were included in the performance. “Elemental Forces and Other Work” is the mini-exhibition of Karen’s paintings and will be on display from Oct. 19-27.

What was the origin of your collaboration?

Karen: Over dinner last year, Laura and I were discussing our respective work as artists, particularly her experience as a professional dancer and choreographer, which led me to suggest how cool it would be to have her “interpret” my wave paintings into motion.

Laura: Growing up in Duluth, Lake Superior has been a place for reflection and awe. It has been a backdrop that I have missed when living elsewhere. I first saw Karen’s wave paintings at her show “As Above, So Below” at the University of Wisconsin, Superior in 2017. The idea of choreographing a piece based on her paintings was exciting to me, and so I worked to find a way to do that. After a few conversations and studio visits with Karen, I approached Robert Gardner at the Minnesota Ballet. With his support of the project I applied and was awarded an Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC) Career Development grant.

Selective Focus: Jim Richardson

Jim Richardson is an artist, a writer, a snorkeler and outdoorsman, a video blogger — in other words, a modern day renaissance man. He has a show of his cartoons opening tonight (Friday, Oct. 5) at the Red Herring Lounge. This week in Selective Focus, we get a preview of the show, and hear about some of the other projects he has up his sleeve.

JR: My current show at the Red Herring features recent cartoon illustrations I’ve done for transistormag.com, so I am wearing my cartoonist cap. The Perfect Duluth Day community knows me primarily, if anything, by the work I do as Lake Superior Aquaman. But cartooning has been with me the longest. I have always been a committed doodler.

Selective Focus: Downtown Duluth Arts Walk

Tonight a number of galleries and artists will host the fourth monthly Downtown Duluth Arts Walk. The event continues to grow, and includes art, studio tours, music and more. This week, we hear from Amanda Hunter and Joellyn Rock, co-chairs of the group organizing the Arts Walk, and Alison Aune, artist and member of the collective. We’re also featuring some photos from past events. The Downtown Duluth Arts Walk happens tonight (Friday) from 5 to 8 p.m. at a number of venues downtown. For a list of locations, visit the website, or find a map at most of the venues.

How many studios or locations have been participating?

The Downtown Duluth Arts Collective, which puts on the Downtown Duluth Arts Walk, is comprised of 26 different arts businesses/groups, individual artist studios and cultural centers. We have two more prospective venues joining next month, and have had an average of two additional groups joining us each month since we started the Downtown Arts Walk in June. We see this as a positive sign that creative businesses and organizations in our neighborhood see the value of what we are trying to do and want to support and be a part of that endeavor.

Selective Focus: #perfectduluthday

Summer is over, but don’t fret. Everybody knows fall is actually the best season. Here are some recent #perfectduluthdays. Get out and enjoy.

Selective Focus: North Country Craft

Erin Welch is an illustrator, painter and … pyrographer or woodburner. She creates game boards inspired by Duluth and Minnesota. She’ll be at Earth Rider Brewery’s one-year anniversary events Sept. 14 and 15 as part of the Art on Tap series.

Although I love to work in a variety of mediums if the inspiration calls, pyrography (wood burning) is the medium that is the main aesthetic of North Country Craft. I’ve always loved trying out new mediums and somewhat fell into working with wood and making custom wood burned cribbage boards by accident. I realized I didn’t have a cribbage board in my apartment and made one for myself one night. That spun into family and friends asking about custom boards and eventually led to launching an Etsy site which took off and launched my custom cribbage business.

Selective Focus: Nik Nerburn

Photographer and filmmaker Nik Nerburn has a show at Hemlocks Leatherworks and a show opening next Thursday at Duluth Art Institute. His photos are spontaneous glances that grab and pull you in, wondering about the rest of the story.

NN: I’m a documentary storyteller. I make movies and take pictures. Most of my work is about life in the upper Midwest, mostly rural areas, small towns, and places that are changing. I’m currently working on a photo essay about the shifting politics and culture of Duluth and the Iron Range, a documentary film called The Great American Think Off about a philosophy contest in New York Mills, Minnesota (population 1,119), and a photo book called The Grand Terrace Photo League, which is a documentary collaboration between myself and the residents of an apartment building in Worthington, Minn., which houses mostly recent immigrants who work at a nearby pork processing plant. I care about expanding the common life and finding ways to relate across great differences.

Selective Focus: Zoey Cohen Leege

Next Thursday at Red Herring Lounge, Zoey Cohen Leege has an opening reception for her paintings related to Lake Superior. She has a background in art and art history, but only over the past year has begun painting regularly.

ZCL: My paintings are acrylic on masonite. I like having a smooth surface to paint on; canvas feels too rough. Also, masonite is affordable. Each painting is based on a photo I took of Lake Superior over the last year, combined with something I find interesting, beautiful or just strange. I have an undergraduate degree in art history, so elements from ancient art and architecture are a common theme. I also love antiques, archeology and am fascinated by secret societies.

Selective Focus: Marissa Saurer

Marissa Saurer is an artist blending photography and painting with digital tools, focusing the camera on food, nature and the environment.

MS: I am a photographer who sometimes tries to walk the line between photography and painting. I do this by bringing my images into Corel Painter®, and digitally painting over them using my own brush strokes.

I have been a food photographer for a few years now working in the restaurant and craft beer industry. While I love food, I have recently expanded into landscape photography due to my love for nature and the outdoors. Some of my work has been specifically to help environmental causes.

Selective Focus: Joseph Nease Gallery

This week we hear from Amanda Hunter, manager at Joseph Nease Gallery, about the gallery’s first year in business in Downtown Duluth and what’s ahead.

AH: As background on our history, Joe Nease, the gallery owner and his partner, the painter Karen Owsley Nease, moved to Duluth from Kansas City about five years ago after falling in love with Duluth, the North Shore and Lake Superior during many years of vacationing here. Previously, Joe ran a successful gallery for 5 years in the thriving contemporary art scene of Kansas City, MO. The first Joseph Nease Gallery carried most of the best artists in that town, many who have gone on to prestigious careers and have won important awards in the art world such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. Shows from that gallery were reviewed four times in a major national magazine.

Selective Focus: Duluth and Northern Minnesota Film Photographers

Photo courtesy of Kip Praslowicz

There’s a show currently hanging at Blacklist, photography all shot on film by area photographers. The pieces come from members of the Duluth and Northern Minnesota Film Photographers, a group that meets monthly to discuss the process, challenges and variations of shooting on film. The evening will be both a reception for the show and one of the monthly meet-ups.

Selective Focus: The Big Lake

This week we hear from Abby Tofte who recently opened the Big Lake, a store in Grand Marais selling “approachable” regional art — screenprints, cards, pottery, prints and more. Abby tells the origin story of the Big Lake and how her shop fits in with the mix of other shops in Grand Marais.

AT: The Big Lake is an approachable art gallery and gift shop with products that reflect the unique culture, lifestyle and beauty of the North Shore or Lake Superior. We carry regional and locally made jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints, cards, books and more, all within an affordable price range.

Selective Focus: Ashley Wereley

Tonight (Friday, July 27) is the opening of Peter Pan, Jr. at the Depot Family Theater, and next week, the Toxic Avenger opens at the Underground on Thursday, August 2. This week’s Selective Focus subject is the scenic designer for both productions.

AW: My name is Ashley, of Ashley Wereley Design, and I am a scenic designer, exhibit designer, scenic painter, exhibit painter, muralist and commissioned artist.

I stumbled into scenic painting while in art school when a friend at a local church asked me to paint some scenery they were building for a youth camp. I was immediately enthralled, and decided to stay on for a year at the Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas, as scenic charge and an assistant scenic designer.

Selective Focus: #perfectduluthday

A post shared by The Modern Jedi (@hart0812) on

It’s time for a midsummer check on what makes a #perfectduluthday.

Selective Focus: Derek Montgomery

Derek Montgomery has shown us the world through his lens as a photojournalist, and he also does portraits and weddings. He’s worked for the Duluth News Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio, and he tells us how shooting news is different from shooting a bride and groom.

DM: I’m a photographer who specializes in wedding, news and sports photography. That may seem like a lot, but it’s a pretty narrow scope. Weddings is pretty obvious what that is about. I do a lot of work in northern Minnesota with Minnesota Public Radio reporters and have been a part of many stories and projects over the years. And the sports side involves working with the athletic department at the College of St. Scholastica to document their sports teams. Along with my work at CSS, I do a ton of team and individual sports work for hockey, baseball, volleyball, lacrosse and other teams, clubs and programs in Duluth. I’ve been a professional photographer for 12 years now and have been wandering around with a camera for 16 years.