Art Posts

Selective Focus: Dirtbike Boyfriend

Bret Holland pops a wheelie while finishing a dirt bike race

Photo by Gary Walton

Bret Holland, or “Dirtbike Boyfriend,” is a multimedia artist based in Duluth. His art — encompassing doodles, denim painted clothing, music and more — explores themes both personal and political. And yes, he does ride dirt bikes.

Selective Focus: Noihsaf Bazaar

Noihsaf Bazaar is a community-based resale marketplace focusing on independent designers and small labels. Founded in Duluth by Kate Lindello, Noihsaf has recently launched its own online platform to better provide a more curated experience for its unique community.

Avant-Garde Women: Emmy Hennings, “Shining Star of the Voltaire”

The Greatest Cabaret in the History of the World

It is criminal that Emmy Hennings’s books have not been translated from German to English after more than 100 years. She was arguably the founder of Dadaism in 1916, the most important art movement of the 20th century. To the press, she was unquestionably Dada’s tentpole performer. Dada — anarchic, nihilistic, and self-consciously weird — continues to inspire. All Hennings’s male contemporaries have translated books available, so what is the holdup? I’ll buy a German-English dictionary and do it myself if I have to. Her books run hundreds of pages so it will take me the rest of my life. But it’s not fair that German readers hog her work to themselves, especially with modern interest in the female Dadaists. The delay is perhaps explained by continual critical confusion over her true role.

Hennings was a political radical and anti-war activist. She faced prison, morphine addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness. Before Dada, “grinding poverty” drove her into sex work to feed herself. Among the literally starving artists in Europe circa World War I, Dada’s mama had to eat. Then, as artillery shells fell in the distance, she started the greatest cabaret in the history of the world.

The “Sorry” Bowl

 

Following up on my project to communicate with the far future using stone or metal, I have produced the first piece: The “Sorry” Bowl. This was a collaboration with Sean MacManus/MacManus Stoneworks. Thinking of likely futures, I chose the word “sorry” because it’s what I really wanted to say. The rest of the story:

I love you Homegrown but I can’t do this anymore!

I played my first Homegrown when I was seventeen. My high school band opened for Coyote at Teatro Zuccone. It was the first sold out show of my music career. I got to share a green room with THE Jerree Small. I got an artist pass on a cool lanyard that let me into any all-ages show (and a few 21+ shows too). I felt like I was on the edge of something. I felt grown up and I felt seen. At the time, it seemed like that feeling was coming from my artist pass, free T-shirt, and (maybe) $50 cheque. Looking back, I understand that what I actually experienced was membership and pride in a community of practice for the first time in my young life. Homegrown gave me an invaluable jumping off point as an artist in this city. It made me proud to be from Duluth and proud of my peers and mentors for choosing to make music here. It opened Duluth to me and deepened my relationship to community and to music. That experience kept me coming back through the years and and through my development as an artist. I’m grateful for it and I always will be, but like many artists in this town my relationship to the festival has become a bit complicated.

Selective Focus: Joya by Hand

Photo by Menique Koos (@meniquekoosphoto)

Mari Doffin is a polymer clay artist from Duluth who loves to play with shapes, colors and themes. She primarily creates earrings, which are sold online and at a number of local boutiques.

Selective Focus: Emily Koch

Left: Photograph of Emily Koch. Right: “Self Portrait” 20×28. Oil on wood panel.

Emily Koch is a surrealist painter from Duluth. She studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, graduating in 2020 and has worked as a freelance artist since then. She is drawn to all things queer, feminine and counterculture.

Selective Focus: Aaron Kloss

Aaron Kloss is a Duluth-based landscape painter with a distinctive, contemporary style. He draws inspiration from the natural world, particularly North Shore forests and wildlife.

The Slice: Carl Gawboy

Carl Gawboy’s exhibit “New Paintings, Old Stories” is on view at the American Indian Community Housing Organization’s Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center on Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. until May 27.

ARAC seeking new executive director

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is accepting applications for the position of executive director. This position shapes arts and culture in Duluth and the Arrowhead, so they should want the best possible pool of applicants.

Harbor View, 1973

Artwork by Patsy Reed High titled “Harbor View,” dated 1973.

The Slice: Ellen Sandbeck

Ellen Sandbeck is a paper cut artist in Duluth. Her exhibit “As Long as the Rivers Shall Run” is on display in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center until Feb. 24.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

Book Trailer for Eric Chandler’s Kekekabic

I’m happy to announce that my new book, Kekekabic, is for sale now at Finishing Line Press! From now until March 25, you can preorder a copy of my book and it will ship to you on May 20. You can get a copy for $19.99 at finishinglinepress.com.

Minnesota Point Lighthouse Painting

This painting by the late Sylvia S. Reasor was sitting among the Pink Floyd lighters, Bob Marley patches, bongs, sex toys and whatnot at the Last Place on Earth liquidation auction this past weekend.

2021: The Year in Duluth Gig Posters

It wasn’t quite the wild and crazy return to rawk that Duluthians longed for, but 2021 did mark the transition away from livestreams to in-person concerts. Sometimes outdoors, sometimes masked, sometimes with vaccine cards required and often just with fingers crossed, music fans edged back into the concert scene in year-two of the COVID-19 pandemic. If one thing remained normal, it was that Perfect Duluth Day collected a bunch of gig-poster images to share at the end of the year.

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