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Art Posts

Duluth Book Releases in 2017

David-Pagel-The-Forever-GirlThe Forever Girl: A Love Story
David Pagel
amazon.com
(Jan. 12)

The Release - Tom IsbellThe Release
Tom Isbell
harpercollins.com
Harper Collins (Feb. 14)

Gary-Boelhower-Naming-RitesNaming Rites
Gary Boelhower
amazon.com
Holy Cow! Press (April 11)

Selective Focus: Jon Hinkel

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Jon Hinkel operates the Tight Squeek Press, an artistic step back in time on the second floor of a studio building on First Street. The space is filled with old presses, stacks of paper and the odds and ends that help Jon and the machines crank out his artwork.

J. H.: I’m called an artist-printmaker, creating relief prints on paper using letterpress equipment. For me anyway, my initial artist-end is pretty inseparable from my printmaking. I draw, but I can’t remember ever finishing a drawing. When a sketch I’m working on has gained a fair measure of strength and coherence, that stage of things is done weather it likes it or not. If it’s a worthy image, I’ll carve it into linoleum or engrave it into hard maple. Then to the pressroom!

Selective Focus: Yahya Rushdi

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Yahya Rushdi is a designer who moves effortlessly between the tools of photography, design and illustration and he’s an active advocate for living in Duluth.

Y. R.: The neat about being a graphic designer is that I’ll usually start with paper and pencil to sketch an idea, but once it comes into fruition on the computer, there is a wide range of mediums that I can use to communicate a message through. Whether that be in the form of social media, billboards, websites or poster. Sky’s the limit! I like to think myself as a visual communicator. If there is a problem to solve, or a specific outcome that needs to be achieved, I’ll collect information and analyze it to figure out the best solution, visually. I lean to be more simple, but effective in my work.

Fire damages knick knack art house

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A home in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood, known for the collection of items attached to its exterior, was significantly damaged by an accidental fire today. The homeowner sustained a slight injury.

Empty Bowls

bowlIt was good to go to the Empty Bowl event tonight. For $20, every year, I get a handmade pottery piece. I have more than a half a dozen of these small bowls holding change and keys and so on. I also get soup — tastings of clam chowder, chicken spaetzle, chicken noodle from the best restaurants in Duluth. A local food pantry receives the cash.

And this year, among the bowls, there was what appears to be a spoon rest for the stove top, or possibly a small bowl for after-dinner chocolates, or possibly just a cool thing. (See picture.)

If you know OAR, the signature on the back, mention I adore the work. It made me so happy. If OAR is a practicing artist, I’ll edit this to add info. Love the work.

Empty bowl was a salve. Empty Bowl reminds me that I can do the right thing, I can make positive change, in a way that rewards me and the world. Hoping for more of that.

Electronic magazines published in the Duluth-area

I’ve been thinking about the energy and quality writing that have gone into electronic magazines in our region. There are the two I have looked at lately — Split Rock Review and New Theory. What publications am I missing?

Vulgar Graffiti

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayThe most common word in graffiti is “fuck.” It often appears by itself — a single word left for others to ponder for decades or else paint over. It is probably meant to express general dissatisfaction with life. An expanded version of the sentiment might read: “I wish to say ‘fuck you’ to every random person who passes here. Such is my anger with the state of affairs in this world and the specific circumstances I deal with in my personal life. Though most people are not necessarily responsible for the things that upset me, I nonetheless hold everyone in contempt.”

It is also not uncommon to see the word “shit” spray painted as a one-word message, which leads me to believe the act of graffiti is often more about exercising the ability to be profane in a public and semi-permanent way than about getting across an idea. At least, I hope so. It seems unlikely that graffiti artists write “fuck” and “shit” as instructions to encourage public fornication and defecation. If they did, they could be much clearer by writing, for example, “shit here.”

There are actual graffiti artists who paint brilliant and thought-provoking murals on concrete pillars, the sides of train cars and so on, but their rebel collages are a bit less common than the scribbled words of the artistically challenged.

Power to the Peeps

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Selfless promotion: my family and friends created this art while I was working. Check it out, on display at Hannah Johnson Fabrics in Lakeside.

Selective Focus: Kirsten Aune

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Kirsten Aune just hung a show of her bright, colorful work at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 835 W. College St. She talks about her process and inspiration.

K.A.: I work on cloth to create wall-hangings, garments, toys, table linens, hand bags, lampshades, quilts and lots of other goodies. I create original designs using stencils I cut by hand and then I arrange my visual compositions using bold blocks of color and repeat designs. I have also been using silkscreens to create yardage. However, I have been limited to one color for my designs. I will be implementing a rail system that will enable me to line up multiple screens which will open up more dynamic designs using this medium. Recently, I have been projecting my designs in installations in Duluth, Bergen, Norway and Aarhus, Denmark. Currently, I am planning to incorporate some digital animation for an exhibition at the Nordic Center in the fall.

Walking My Portrait Home

Retrieving my portrait from the Duluth Art Institute, where it had been part of artist Sarah Brokke’s “Portrait of an Artist” show. On the walk home I stopped a few places, got my taxes done, and had some drinks. That’s my friend Troy there at the end.

Selective Focus: Catherine Meier

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Catherine Meier pours time and detail into her large drawings, and then she puts even more time into animating them. She talks about the meditative process of making these large, quiet installations.

C.M.: My work is based in drawing. I suppose that drawing was my entry into art making. Since I was very young I have been able to draw well and it has been something that I have done throughout every phase of my life — even when I was a truck driver hauling cattle across the Great plains, I had drawings in progress.

2017 Duluth Superior Film Festival seeking submissions

Duluth Superior Film Festival 2017The Duluth Superior Film Festival is taking a call for entry for all forms of film presentation. No specific parameters. All submissions will be considered. Shorts, features, docs, narratives, animation, experimental. Festival dates are May 31 to June 4.

To be considered, send password-protected Vimeo links to [email protected] and/or [email protected]

The awesome poster was created by Duluth artist Jonathan Thunder.

facebook.com/dsfilmfest
ds-ff.com

Fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting

woman-bathing-in-a-stream-rembrandt-1654I’ll be talking about art on Saturday at Zinema 2 in an event sponsored by the Duluth Art Institute, for the showing of American Splendor. Here is other writing of mine on art; if you like it, I hope to be this elegant Saturday.

A Woman Bathing in a Stream by Rembrandt

When I was 22, I took the bus to New York and visited the Rembrandt/Not-Rembrandt exhibit.

I learned that conservators struggle with Rembrandt’s work, because he added ground chalk and bits of glass to the paint to add texture and to speed drying. These practices make the paintings hard to preserve hundreds of years later.

… fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting, causing the paint to crack over time.

Those fragments have become integral to identifying a Rembrandt — a painting without them starts from the presumption of forgery. The bits of glass have become a sign of authenticity.

It is impossible to admire a Rembrandt without admiring the cracks and breaks caused by the ground and broken things.

… so it is with falling in love.

Selective Focus: Matthew Olin

Matt Olin is one of those artists whose work is impossible to have not seen. We get a look at some of his other creations as well as the sense of humor that finds its way into many of his projects.

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Please tell us about the medium you work in and how you came to work in your style.
I typically work in Birkenstocks. Most people would refer to wearing Birkenstocks year-round in Duluth as a stylistic choice, so I guess you could say I come to work everyday in my style. When at work, I teach Interactive Design at UMD and create both self-initiated and client-based design solutions in my Birkenstocks.

Sonic Divide: States

Great Divide Mountain Bike RouteThis short art video by Payton MacDonald features paintings by Duluth’s Kenneth D. Johnson. Sonic Divide documents a performance-art piece in which MacDonald mountain biked over 2,500 miles — from Mexico to Canada — while periodically stopping to perform music.