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Art Posts

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.

Selective Focus: Five Friday Fun Fotos tagged in Duluth

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Show off your Homegrown photos

As we do each year, PDD is putting out the call for some super skinny horizontal images to put in the banner at the top of the page during Homegrown.All the regular guidelines apply.

If you have your sights set beyond the PDD banner, the Homegrown committee and the Duluth Art Institute are currently accepting submissions for the show that will hang at the Red Herring.

Two-Thing Story

Eric Chandler - Saturday EssayI sat with my kids and played “two-thing story” as I tucked them into bed. This was a game where my kid picked two nouns out of the air and I had to come up with a story that included the two things. Then we swapped and I picked the two nouns and the kid would come up with a story. It was simple. Two kids, two things, and lots of laughs.

I like to make complex things simpler. I usually view my fellow man through a simple, digital filter. Ones or zeroes. Happy Shmo or Angry Shmo. Here’s an example: “There are two kinds of people: Those who think there are two kinds of people and those who don’t.” (Aren’t I clever?)

Here are some of the filters I use.

The first is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. David Dunning and Justin Kruger conducted studies and wrote a paper called “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments (1999).” They published it in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I gather we live in a post-fact world, but this is science if you still care. This is what it says in the paper’s abstract: “People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”

Selective Focus: Paul LaJeunesse

SF-TeaserPaul-LeJeunesse

Paul LaJeunesse was recently chosen to be the Duluth Art Institute’s first Lincoln Park Craft District Artist-in-Residence. He talks about his work and his plans for the Lincoln Park project.

P.L.: My easel paintings are tempera and oil on canvas and the mural project will be acrylic on a substrate called PolyTab. The easel painting process is one I learned from Patrick Betaudier at the Atelier Neo Medici, which is often called Technique Mixte, which is just German for Mixed Technique. It’s a description coined by Max Doerner to describe the process used by the Northern European Renaissance painters, particularly in the Van Eyck studio. It uses alternating layers of achromatic, tempera paint with color, oil glazes. This layering can be repeated any number of times to create very luminous paintings that reflect light from within the painting. The mural process is one developed by Mural Arts in Philadelphia where the painting is created on the polytab cloth in a studio and adhered to the wall using acrylic binder, as opposed to creating the painting on site.

Ticonderoga teaser

A (very tiny) peek at the third Reflectivore visual installment. Past pieces at vimeo.com.

The Greatest Inventions of All Time

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayIt’s difficult to pick one invention to stand out as the greatest of all time. There are so many manmade wonders that enrich our lives every day and make us question how we ever lived without them. For example: the wheel, the flushable toilet, beer, Velcro, eyeglasses, the atomic bomb and plastic storage containers.

The printing press and the Internet are certainly great inventions, but they make it just as easy to spread lies as the truth, so I can’t rate them high on my list. They certainly don’t rate above plastic storage containers, which have brought society nothing but positive outcomes.

It wasn’t long ago when people had to go to grocery stores and beg for flimsy cardboard boxes to package their belongings for a move. It was difficult to get a good grip on those boxes and I never knew when the bottom would fall out and all my Smurf glasses would smash at my feet. But plastic storage containers are lightweight, sturdy and stackable, with easy-to-grip handles on the sides. They are one of the greatest inventions of all time.

There are maybe a dozen inventions I would list ahead of plastic storage containers, and all of them are forms of contraception. I’d even put the withdrawal method near the top of the list. I know it’s not very effective, but it was a good start.

Artist scouting Duluth’s West End for mural location

Paul LaJeunesseCollege of St. Scholastica Assistant Art Professor Paul LaJeunesse was recently selected as the Duluth Art Institutes’s inaugural Lincoln Park Craft District Artist in Residence. LaJeunesse discussed project plans during an Advance Lincoln Park meeting today at the DIA Lincoln Center Arts for Education building. He said he is currently scouting the neighborhood for a mural location. The permanent work will incorporate images of people and places that represent the area. LaJeunesse has created public murals before, including “Confluence” for the North Shore of Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2014.

The aim of the residency program is to support the role of artists as effective community builders and to support and expand the revitalization of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, where the DAI has operated its satellite location for arts education since the early 1990s.

The inaugural year of the residency is scheduled for two terms, with LaJeunesse in residence March to June 2017. A national artist will be selected for the second term, July to September 2017.

Camp Gecko

Camp GeckoKeegan Burckhard directed this video, which took first place at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Yeti Film Festival.

Selective Focus: Stack Prints

SF-TeaserStackPrints

Please tell us about the medium you work in, and how you came to work in your style.
Stack Prints is a pizza-eating boy band of four Duluth-based graphic designers, Cody, Taylor, Stephen, & Tyler. We run an online store, pull squeegees in our screen print shop, and advocate for art & design education. We’re kinda like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Escape

TettegoucheKeegan Burckhard directed this video as a part of his senior exhibition as a digital art and photography student at the University of Minnesota Duluth. It was projected in the Tweed Museum of Art Feb. 14-19.

Duluth art scene finds place in Lincoln Park craft district

Duluth Pottery co-owners Tom Hollenhorst and Karin Kraemer pose in the loft of their new art studio with partner artist Luke Krisak. Duluth Pottery is remodeling the former P&J Paint building in the West End.

Duluth Pottery co-owners Tom Hollenhorst and Karin Kraemer pose in the loft of their new art studio with partner artist Luke Krisak. Duluth Pottery is remodeling the former P&J Paint building in the West End.

The art world is quickly carving out space for itself in an ambitious neighborhood revitalization project in Duluth’s West End neighborhood.

An established Twin Ports potter, a new gallery and retail store with studio space and an arts arm of an American Indian social service organization have all recently announced plans to renovate and open buildings on West Superior Street. All three projects fall within the boundaries of the Lincoln Park Craft District, a rebranding and redevelopment effort organized by neighborhood businesses last year.

Pornography, or, “Worst First Dates”

Anna Tennis Saturday EssayIn 1999, my ex-husband gave me a computer. I was pretty glad to get it. I had mastered emailing, and was ready to move on to the really exciting things, like AOL and internet porn.

Let’s get this clear right away: I’m not a huge porn fan. My porn experience at that point was limited to the following:

1. A couple of magazines unearthed by a 13-year-old me, in ~1985 in my mom’s friend’s attic. They were evidently from the 1970s. My suspicion was based largely on the unusual prevalence of mustaches and floppy boobies. (Throw in a headshot of Spiro Agnew and my argument is airtight.) They were disturbingly graphic and unaltered. Sans digital enhancement, the naked people all looked like slabs of pork tenderloin. With mustaches and floppy boobies.

2. A porn movie a boyfriend rented to watch with me. Everyone seemed really, really angry in it. With the volume down, their sexing faces all looked like they were watching Newt Gingrich pole dance in assless chaps and an American flag tank top. (He has bootstraps tattooed on his inner thighs, by the way. Interesting tidbit.)

3. My parents’ copy of The Joy of Sex, which was hidden under some sweaters in my dad’s closet. Finding that book in that spot was the single best abstinence education any parent could possibly provide. The idea of my disgusting parents contorting their old disgusting bodies into those disgusting and inexplicable configurations was enough to keep me from so much as holding hands until I was 16 years old.

A Winter Downpour: Oh, This Pleasant Lake singles

New singles from A Winter Downpour’s album Oh This Pleasant Lake — “Forever” and “Wake Up Drunk.” Thanks to Arrowhead Regional Arts Council for support of the album.

Find it at: SpotifyBandcamp | CD Baby

Selective Focus: Heidi Ash

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This week’s Selective Focus subject is our most delicious one yet. Heidi Ash has made chocolate her medium of choice.

H.A.: My goal is to make life more beautiful and delicious one truffle at a time. I work with French chocolate, hand-made caramel sauces, and the best ingredients possible. What gets left out is just as important: preservatives, corn syrup and RBST from the whipping cream and butter.

185Chocolat is a culmination of passions. The 185 represents the number of my heart transplant at the Mayo Clinic, which not only saved my life but altered the quality of it for the better in ways I could not imagine.