New episodes: “The Blue Man.” Duluth’s most melancholy superhero weaponizes the color blue. But what strange force can undo … The Blue Man? Also: “The Ballad of the Crammenfjorder.” Captain Buck Wild saves the city. And: “Attack of the Food Nazis.” Agent Coma Joe gets tortured with natural foods.
After a hiatus, we return with regular releases. This week’s episodes: “Menno Zwonk, Amish Outlaw: The Death of Professor Marrow.” This explicitly violent short fiction features a shootout in a house on Chester Creek. Also: “Diaper Island,” in which the Robinson Crusoe of Diaper Island tells his terrible tale. Warning: gross. And another Zwonk story, “The Tale of Crusty McGee,” about Zwonk’s yeast rancher in Superior. Also gross.
There’s no shortage of subjects to shoot in our area, and photographer John Keefover is taking them all in. From landscapes to live performances to product shots, he’s turning out stunning images regularly, and always working on sharpening his skills.
JK: My name is John Keefover. I’m a Freelance Photographer here in Duluth going by the name of Keefography. I created this small photography business recently in May of 2019. Since then I’ve been extremely grateful for all of the support I’ve been shown starting this new venture. Though I’m humbled by the realization that there’s always room for improvement every time you pick up a camera, and also because of my self-deprecating humor. I think that latter part is mostly just a by-product of being a Vikings fan, or rather a Minnesota sports fan in general… Anyways, as a freelance photographer I dabble in a wide variety of genres including (but not limited to):
Landscapes. Northern Minnesota is beautiful, offering some of the best hiking trails in the area with the Superior Hiking Trail that follows along the North Shore. I enjoy being out in nature and sharing my experiences with others, often times with a short story to go along the image to really pull you into the scene. Landscape photography is great because no matter how many times you go to a location it’s always different. There’s lighting ranging from sunrise to sunset with cloud cover that brings various colors and moods. The unpredictable Lake Effect weather can also bring massive waves, Northern Lights, lightning, blizzards, rainbows, and other unique situations. The different seasons and transitions in between add a whole new dimension as well. Get outside and enjoy it as much as you can or follow me for the next best thing!
It was a good summer. The lake was warm enough to swim for a span of several weeks. I took full advantage of the aqua-recreational opportunities, which I chronicled here. I have no natural love of fall, but this year I am looking at it as what it is: the long, slow, beginning of winter. And since I feel fortified against the coming colder weather, snowfall, and ice conditions, I am making plans.
This week, we feature the youngest Selective Focus artist so far, Quinn Montgomery. She has been drawing caricatures of celebrities. Many are from shows that she most likely can’t watch for quite awhile. We get some background info from her dad, Derek Montgomery (previously featured in Selective Focus). For now, you can keep up with Quinn’s art career via her dad’s Instagram Feed. Be sure to check the second picture in each Instagram post to see the reference material with the finished drawing.
DM: I started documenting our daughter Quinn’s drawings as just a way to remember some of the things she was doing at her age, which is four years old. I found her style of drawing–large head with The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington-length arms and legs–as really humorous and fun. She’s always been very perceptive and expressive and the drawings are just an extension of that. I work from home and Quinn would bring me drawings every day of stuff she saw around the house or outside to cheer me up because apparently I needed that? I don’t know, but I always appreciated seeing her take on the world out here in Lakeside.
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.
I’m still working my way through the vinyl I grabbed from the bag sale at Gabriel’s Used Bookstore. Most of it is listen once, then dispose or destroy, although I have a mild curiosity about who the owner of these singles was.
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.
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.
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.