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.
E.M.: I create textiles for body and soul; free-spirited sculpted art to wear to wake your body and perceptions. Most are richly colored accessories (wraps, eco-scarves, skinnies, wings, feathers, talismans, and tendrils), both organic in shape and elegant … a kind of sensitive chaos juiced with symbolism and surprise.
As the summer winds to a close, we begin to reclaim that popular tourist destination: Canal Park. How well do you know the sculptures in Canal Park and Lake Place Park? Test your art smarts in this quiz (and look for more public art quizzes in the future)!
The next PDD quiz, reviewing August news, will be published on Aug. 27. E-mail question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected]by Aug. 24.
Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. This piece was originally published one decade ago — in the Aug. 20, 2007 issue of the Transistor. The Copasetic Lounge had just opened at 322 E. Central Entrance. Barstools and operational toilets came soon after.]
I think it was close to a year ago when I first noticed the Copasetic Lounge on Central Entrance. Opening a bar right next door to Taco John’s, I thought, is nothing short of genius.
A sign read, “Coming Soon,” so there was nothing to do but wait. Every time I rode by on the DTA, I’d be sure to check and see if the place had finally opened. And every time, it was the same. “Coming Soon.” I began to lose faith.
But on the Friday of Bayfront Blues weekend when I finally see the boards off the windows and cars in the parking lot, I practically pull that dinger cord right off the fucken wall.
When I walk in, I’m confused for a split second, thinking maybe I came in the wrong door. Sure enough, there’s a bar with taps and people are sitting around drinking whiskey and beer, but this doesn’t look like any bar I’ve ever seen. This place looks more like a dentist’s waiting room than a drinking establishment. And while whenever I visit a bar I’ve never been to, I often feel like I’m about to “get a cavity filled,” it’s never quite so literal.
I am a dance artist and choreographer. For my current project Cabaret, I created jazz dance. Although this is my first time choreographing a full musical, I made my choreographic debut in musical theater with “The Wells Fargo Wagon” for my high school show choir. In college I earned a B.A. in dance where I studied modern dance performance and composition. To the uninitiated, imagine modern as a lot of artful running & falling followed by rolling around on the floor.
The Stage, a weekly British newspaper and website covering the entertainment industry, has compiled reviews of the new Bob Dylan-inspired play set in 1930’s Duluth. Girl from the North Country, written and directed by Conor McPherson, opened earlier this month at the Vic Theater in London.
Critic Fergus Morgan notes the show “boasts a large, diverse cast, and 20 Dylan songs from across his career, pared down and rearranged for the stage by Simon Hale and performed by a live, onstage band.” The setting is described as “a run-down Minnesota guesthouse during the Great Depression. We’re in Duluth, Dylan’s place of birth, seven years before the singer-songwriter entered the world.”
In the beginning, God created the universe. Before that, there was nothing — not even an infinite galaxy of darkness, which would be something. God must have been around before the beginning, but it’s not something he likes to talk about.
At first the earth was without form. Everything was dark and void. This was apparently depressing to God, so he said, presumably to himself, “Let there be light!” And a light appeared. It wasn’t the sun, though. God waited a few days to create the sun. At this moment he needed a special light for creating other things before the sun.
When God saw this light, he thought it was good. It wasn’t too dim or too bright. No adjustment was necessary. God decided to separate the light from the darkness, though, calling them “day” and “night.” Apparently they were all tangled up at first, causing a sort of swirl effect.
On Tuesday God decided to divide the waters, so he said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” God called the firmament “heaven.” Many years later, people on earth would start calling it “outer space.”
This week in Selective Focus, we take a look at the work of Tyler Johnson, a designer who has worked in identities, clothing, art prints and more.
T.J.: I am a graphic designer and art director by day and a doodler/painter/screenprinter by night. I started out as all creatives do, scribbling out sketches as a youngster. One of my earliest memories is making Star Wars and Power Rangers books with my Mom. I would tell the story to my Mom as I would draw the pictures and she would write out the words. As I grew older and my interests changed, art became the constant that I could apply to all my other interests at a given time.
Joe Nease will open a gallery space in the 101-year-old building at 23 W. First St. in October.
A fire-damaged former formal-wear store in a historic downtown building is being remodeled and will open this fall as one of the largest art gallery spaces in Duluth.
Joseph Nease purchased the former Arthur’s Formal Wear building at 23 W. First St. in December and has launched a major renovation of the two-story, nearly 10,000-square-foot property. A contemporary visual art gallery will open on street level in October.
Louise Payjack-Guillou came to Duluth via London, where she studied jewelry making. She currently works in a studio in the Duluth Maker Space, and sells her work through an elegant e-commerce website.
L. P. G.: I’m a jeweler working primarily in sterling silver and gold. My current work picks up on intricate and ornate details from found and collected objects. Often choosing antiques which have been beautifully worked with fine engraving, embossing etc. and distilling elements of these into modern clean forms to be worn as everyday luxury. Recently I’ve been having fun playing with larger precious and semi-precious stones such as natural emeralds, sapphires, turquoise and labradorite. The inclusion of more stone setting in my work has really opened new creative outlets for me, plus it’s a lot of fun sourcing colourful stones; they’re like candy to me!
Jurek has exhibited work throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, including at the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota in St. Paul and at the Red Wing plein air event. She has also shown statewide in Texas, Vermont, Colorado and New Mexico, and abroad in Italy.