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Art Posts

Duluth Pottery is back in Duluth; grand opening Oct. 21

Remodeling of the former P&J Paint building is complete and Karin Kraemer is ready to launch her new Duluth Pottery studio at 1924 W. Superior St.

The shop opens at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21. A grand opening reception starts at 5 p.m. with Kraemer’s art on display along with works by Luke Krisak and other friends of Duluth Pottery. Live music by Cousin Dad begins at 8 p.m.

Crystal Spring Gibbins and Holy Cow at Twin Cities Book Festival

On Saturday at the Twin Cities Book Festival, Gary Boelhower, Joan Henrik, Miriam Karmel and Crystal Gibbins celebrated the 40th anniversary of Duluth’s Holy Cow! Press.

The panel, moderated by Jim Perlman, was basically short readings followed by a book signing. It was great to see friends at this celebration of literary culture.

North shore photographer finds permanent home downtown

Ryan Tischer, whose work can be compared to noted photographers Jim Brandenburg and Craig Blacklock, will open a gallery at 5 W. Superior St. next month.

A new art gallery showcasing the natural beauty of the region has found a permanent home just off the busiest corner in Downtown Duluth.

Photographer Ryan Tischer and his wife Aimee secured a lease at 5 W. Superior St. and will open a gallery and workshop in the space Nov. 16. Tischer works full time as a photographer based in Duluth’s Smithville neighborhood. In the past 10 years he has built a portfolio centered on iconic Lake Superior landscapes.

Selective Focus: Kathy McTavish

Kathy McTavish is a multimedia artist who has been blending technology with art through performance, installations, sound, projections, musical instruments and coding and data input. She has several shows opening this fall. She talks about those shows and the work.

K.M.: I am a trans / media installation artist ::: a cross-sensory composer. Most of my current work is generative / algorithmic ::: multi-threaded code orchestrations. I’m a time-based artist that works with physical spaces.

chance screen recording ::: all sketches ::: 2017.06.05


Selective Focus: Makers Mercantile

A new shop has opened in West Duluth’s Spirit Valley area selling locally made goods. Makers Mercantile will host its Grand Opening on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3 to 7 p.m. Owners Sara and Scott Clifton talk about opening and what they see for the future of the shop.

M.M.: Scott and I moved up to Duluth for college, and it didn’t take long for us to feel right at home. We love the people, the businesses, and everything the beautiful North Shore has to offer. We are creators and dreamers. Through observations and many discussions around the dinner table, our crafting ideas moved beyond creating products ourselves into creating a platform for local makers. We love the creativity and craftsmanship in our region, but started noticing that locally made goods were more difficult to find than expected, unless you went to a craft show or knew a specific maker to buy from. This observation spurred on an idea — to combine the values of handcrafted and local. We spent the last few years mulling over this idea, and decided this past winter to start pursuing it. Makers Mercantile just opened, and it is all about local, handmade goods.

Selective Focus: Karen Owsley Nease

Karen Owsley Nease paints large images of waves, capturing the characteristics of the water and its shapes with layers of transparent oils. She is hosting an opening of the work at the UWS Kruk Gallery on Oct. 5.

Tell us about the medium you work in, and how you came to work in your style.

K. O. N.: I am a visual artist whose primary medium is paint. My most recent works are oil paintings built up with numerous layers of thinly applied glazes. This particular method of painting dates from very early in the history of painting and I employ it because the rich luminosity I can achieve within the paintings from its use. My current series of paintings are intensely observed close- ups of breaking waves. This subject matter lends itself to explorations on many levels, both formally and intellectually.

My Fancy Foreign Car is a Symbol of Why I’m an Idiot

If you read my previous essay, you already know I bought a used-but-fancy foreign car and suddenly thought I was hot stuff. Now it’s time to acknowledge I’m an idiot. But before I relate my idiocy with relevance to the car, here’s a general description of the global conspiracy against me:

In my daily life I make approximately one really stupid mistake per waking hour. It is my sincere belief that half of those mistakes occur because my brain feeds me rational information for problem solving, which hinders my performance because there are maniacs out there designing products to work in ways that are contrary to human logic. The other half of those mistakes are cases in which someone tells me to do something and explains it in a nonsensical way or assumes I know something I don’t.

So, while I acknowledge I’m an idiot, I refuse to take responsibility for my idiocy. It’s society’s problem, not mine.

For example, when my wife asks me to zip up the back of her dress, and I zip it all the way up, and then she asks, “Did you get it all the way?” I say “Yes” and go about the rest of my day. Then, at the end of the day, when she takes off her dress and points out that I didn’t connect the hinge on the inside, well, I’m an idiot for not knowing there is a hidden hinge on someone else’s clothing.

But I digress.

Selective Focus: #BWCA

Selective Focus: Northern Lights

We sure do love our auroras up here. There are predictions of moderate activity tonight and Saturday according to the internet experts and local astronomical legend Astro Bob.

The week of Sept. 17-23, Night Sky Week will be taking place in Duluth. Click here for more information and a schedule of events. The project is organized by Starry Skies Lake Superior, a group raising awareness of the effects of light pollution.

One of the main events will be a showing of the movie Skyglow. The trailer below is pushing some product pretty hard, but there are stunning images in it.

Nat Harvie Trio – “Nat Harvie’s Birthday”

Directed by Caitlin Nielson. Crowdfunding campaign info at indiegogo.com.

Selective Focus: Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel lives in Grand Marais, working as a photographer and educator. His photos have been published in many national magazines including National Geographic, and his classes take students to sites in the region and across the country to National Parks.

B.H.: I could say I developed my style from years of practice starting with three years of black & white photography in high school — I graduated in 1989. But, that’s not really how I came to do what I do. About ten or so years ago, I decided I needed to make my photos eye-catching and worked toward a style that accomplished that. Then about six years ago while reading a book on haiku I had an “aha” moment. I was reading about juxtaposition in poetry and it occurred to me I could do the same thing with photography. After messing around with the approach, I started teaching it at my photography workshops. Basically, it’s all about using simplicity to create flow and relationships in an image. Now I approach all my photos that way.

What She Said! Short Play Festival Submission Call

The Underground theater is planning an event featuring short plays and monologues written by women playwrights celebrating women and what they have to say. The What She Said! Short Play Festival will be staged May 24-26. In the meantime, scripts for short plays and monologues written by women and people identifying as women, are being sought.

Frog Circus

Dear Mrs. Harleminn,

I realize it’s been quite a long time since we spoke. I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch, but there is a relatively good reason for that. See, I have a confession. In 1982, I placed that four-pound coffee can full of tiny, lifeless frogs, covered in a thin layer of grape jelly, on your porch.

If you’ll indulge it, I’d like to explain.

I’ll start at the beginning. Eddy Griffenbackher and I were going to create a frog circus, wherein frogs would do short, but elegant gymnastic routines. You undoubtedly remember Eddy — he was basically notorious. I have a lot of Eddy stories myself. One time Eddy convinced me to ball up the fresh tar they used to seal cracks in the asphalt and hurl it at the backs of passing cars. Never satisfied with mere mischief, Eddy upped the ante to offer me ten extra points if I could hit Officer Cramer, who was on duty at the time. (That’s how my mom met Officer Cramer, actually. He’s a really forgiving man, and that uniform was a lot more expensive than you’d imagine. My mom knows how to get a lot of stains out of a lot of things, but gooey tar and trooper uniform are unfortunately not in that impressive number, and she owns at least one trooper uniform to prove it.)

Selective Focus: CSS Mural Initiative Project 2017

This winter and spring, Sarah Brokke Erickson from the College of St. Scholastica headed up a the art department’s 2nd collaborative mural project, with artist Shawna Gilmore, students from CSS, students from Harbor City International School, and Safe Haven. This short documentary shows the planning and process of the art. The finished murals will hang at Harbor City International School and in the Safe Haven shelter.

Duluth’s First Public Mural by and for Indigenous Artists

Artist Votan Ik of NSRGNTS stands before the nearly completed mural.

To me, it’s rather astounding to think that Duluth has been without indigenous representation for this long. I imagine people from all over the world have been visiting Duluth as tourists and have only gotten to see one side of this place, unaware of the precolonial history that it’s tied to. This mural is a long-awaited step toward reaffirming our presence as indigenous people. It’s unapologetically native — an unmistakable vision that grew into fruition along the stretch of West Second Street, firmly declaring the presence of a people long pushed to the side from mainstream narratives.