There’s a show currently hanging at Blacklist, photography all shot on film by area photographers. The pieces come from members of the Duluth and Northern Minnesota Film Photographers, a group that meets monthly to discuss the process, challenges and variations of shooting on film. The evening will be both a reception for the show and one of the monthly meet-ups.
This week we hear from Abby Tofte who recently opened the Big Lake, a store in Grand Marais selling “approachable” regional art — screenprints, cards, pottery, prints and more. Abby tells the origin story of the Big Lake and how her shop fits in with the mix of other shops in Grand Marais.
AT: The Big Lake is an approachable art gallery and gift shop with products that reflect the unique culture, lifestyle and beauty of the North Shore or Lake Superior. We carry regional and locally made jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints, cards, books and more, all within an affordable price range.
AW: My name is Ashley, of Ashley Wereley Design, and I am a scenic designer, exhibit designer, scenic painter, exhibit painter, muralist and commissioned artist.
I stumbled into scenic painting while in art school when a friend at a local church asked me to paint some scenery they were building for a youth camp. I was immediately enthralled, and decided to stay on for a year at the Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas, as scenic charge and an assistant scenic designer.
It was nearly three hours from the Twin Ports to the Minneapolis Institute of Art in South Minneapolis to visit the opening of “Art and Healing: In the Moment.” But Duluth is participating in a national dialogue on race; it has for decades, since we started to acknowledge our own history of racial violence and our current racial inequalities. Participating in a national conversation means listening to what others have to say, about their experiences, too.
I sat in the balcony to watch a preview (or Sponsor Night) performance of The Music Man by the Duluth Playhouse at the Norshor Theatre. The performance was enjoyable, the text is enjoyable, if complicated for the 21st century, and as this was my first trip into the new Norshor, I have some thoughts about that.
Derek Montgomery has shown us the world through his lens as a photojournalist, and he also does portraits and weddings. He’s worked for the Duluth News Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio, and he tells us how shooting news is different from shooting a bride and groom.
DM: I’m a photographer who specializes in wedding, news and sports photography. That may seem like a lot, but it’s a pretty narrow scope. Weddings is pretty obvious what that is about. I do a lot of work in northern Minnesota with Minnesota Public Radio reporters and have been a part of many stories and projects over the years. And the sports side involves working with the athletic department at the College of St. Scholastica to document their sports teams. Along with my work at CSS, I do a ton of team and individual sports work for hockey, baseball, volleyball, lacrosse and other teams, clubs and programs in Duluth. I’ve been a professional photographer for 12 years now and have been wandering around with a camera for 16 years.
We need to unearth some Duluth-based songwriter history. The current reference librarians at the Duluth Public Library are unable to track down the lyrics to a song about Duluth by Biz White, a female librarian during the 1980s and ’90s.
Here’s the conversation:
I was visiting with friends yesterday and one of them said he had been trying to find the lyrics to a song written about Duluth. It was written by Biz White, who used to work at DPL, and he thought it may have been for a Playhouse production. Some of the lyrics he remembered were, “Oh Duluth, your granite hills rise,” and “Oh Duluth, your heartless hills.” I was hoping you had some ideas.
Warrior Printress Letterpress and Design is a partnership between two creative entrepreneurs, Janelle Miller and Stacie Renné. Janelle, the original Warrior Printress, started the printing business in 2010 after apprenticing and working for Rick Allen at Kenspeckle Letterpress (featured previously on PDD). Stacie Renné, a graphic artist experienced in brand identity, advertising, and corporate communications, joined forces with Janelle this summer. This week in Selective Focus, they tell us what they have planned for Warrior Printress.
WP: The heart of our business partnership is the shared love for place, for the lake, for paper, for type, for the clank of the press, for the hiss of the ink on the press rollers, and shared passion for creating a quality impression. Couple all those things with a desire for delivering simple, creative designs that communicate clearly, and you have Warrior Printress Letterpress and Design. We fuse contemporary design, technology, and techniques with old world, quality printing processes to create a product that, as we like to say is, “as unique as you are.”
Naomi Christenson dances, paints, designs and more. On July 13th and 14th, she’s dancing in Dances on the Lakewalk in Lake Place Park at 7 pm, an event organized by Doris Acosta of Freshwater Dance Collective. This week in Selective Focus, she tells about the event, and how her visual art and dancing abilities work together.
I work in a variety of mediums, from painting to fabric design to dancing. At the moment, I’m all about tap dancing! I’m not 100% clear how I first knew I wanted to tap, but I suspect it had something to do with watching someone else do it and thinking “That looks SO fun, I want to do it too!”. I’ve taken all kinds of technique classes in tap over the years, but only in the last few years have I worked on my own choreography in it. I think the more you create in any art form, the more you’re able to see your unique voice and style develop. I would say my tap style is playful and rhythmic.
Jayson Iwen has co-translated a significant poem by Salim Barakat, a Kurdish-Syrian poet.
It’s a love poem, and as co-translator Huda Fakhreddine says, “Dylana and Diram’s love infiltrates and overwhelms the landscape. Barakat does not use images of nature to draw analogies with their relationship. The spiritual and sensual bond between them consumes nature and natural scenery and transforms it into a mere manifestation of a surging emotional deluge.”