Art Posts

Selective Focus: Blackbird Revolt

Blackbird Revolt is a team of creatives and organizers who work to raise the voices and increase the visibilty of marginalized groups. They recently published APRÈS, an elegant, beautifully designed and written zine that started out as a way to honor Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie at the 100 year mark of their lynching. The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others caused them to change direction with the project. The zine now contains content to help people who want to make meaningful change happen, but may need some suggestions for next steps, and ways to sustain the energy. This week in Selective Focus, we take a look at the work of Blackbird Revolt, and hear how they use their skills as artists and organizers to support, challenge, engage and change.

Please tell us about yourself and your work, and how you came to work in your style.
Influenced by artists and activists, Blackbird Revolt was founded by Jordon and Terresa Moses who felt compelled to engage their community through art and design. The idea to form the company came about in Fall of 2016. We noticed the continued lack of representation and the intentional exclusion of diverse and intersectional voices from the dominant narrative. We are an alternative to that exclusion: A network of artists, designers, photographers, painters, writers, orators and more. Blackbird Revolt acts as a platform for these conscious creatives.

Short story about PDD blog comments’ infinite recursion of self-referentiality

With regards to a recent sarcastic comment by Vicarious about me posting on PDD about an interview I did about a PDD post, I was reminded of this Richardson brothers story. It was inspired by a war in the PDD comments section back in the old days, but the gist is infinite recursion in blog comments.

Coldsnap Photography Pro-Am Series with Christian Dalbec

John Gregor’s ColdSnap Photography is holding “pro-am” presentations. Last week’s session featured Christian Dalbec. Dalbec finds a way to make a sleepy shore exotic and exciting. Link to the video is below. Check out the presentation on Zoom.

Duluth You & Me: Summertime Racers

Use the link below for a printable PDF for your drawing and coloring pleasure.
Duluth You & Me: Summer Time Racers

Follow the Duluth You & Me subject tag to see additional pages. For background on the book see the original post on the topic.

Selective Focus: LampsnTime – Rob and Teresa Reese

When you walk through the Duluth Antique Marketplace on Grand Avenue, like most antique malls, each booth has its own specialty and feel. But when you approach the LampsnTime booth, even from a distance, it’s clear there’s another layer of personality to it. Rob and Teresa Reese transform old discarded items into reimagined pieces of functional and decorative art.

LNT: With Teresa’s fascination with the Borg technology portrayed in Star Trek and Rob’s interest in all that is “haunted” naturally we fell in love with the Steampunk alternate history of the “Past that never was.” We repurpose all sorts of odd pieces we happen upon into industrial lamps, clocks, steampunk accessories and Assemblage art.

Six years ago, Rob made a lamp and friends expressed a desire to purchase one if he made more. That was the start to what we have become, Lampsntime.

Interview with Artist/Activist Votan

Artist and activist Votan visited Duluth’s American Indian Community Housing Organization with his family to show support and bring supplies during COVID-19. Video produced by Jeremy “JayGee” Gardner.

Duluth You & Me: The Depot

Use the link below for a printable PDF for your drawing and coloring pleasure.
Duluth You & Me: The Depot

Follow the Duluth You & Me subject tag to see additional pages. For background on the book see the original post on the topic.

Carolyn Olson on the PBS News Hour

Duluth artist Carolyn Olson (previously on PDD) was featured in a segment on the PBS News Hour covering artists responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Creative Moment” segment includes Olson discussing her series of pastel drawings of essential workers. The segment starts at the 47:20 mark of the video. Olson appears at the 51:05 mark.

Selective Focus: Annelisa Roseen

Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Annelisa Roseen started posting a photo of herself in make-up and costumes looking like a person who has a birthday on that day. The individual images are entertaining and impressive, but when you view the body of work as Instagram thumbnails, you get a much better sense of the variety, commitment, and skills Roseen has to make this work. It’s not just about the props and make-up, the expressions in her face, whether deadpan or over the top, are often the thing that make the connection to the celebrity.

What was the inspiration for this ongoing project?

I had seen that it was Gloria Steinem’s birthday; she is one of my heroes. So when I was brushing out my two-day-old pandemic bun I noticed I was sporting a kind of ’70s Gloria-frizz-do. So I took a selfie (no real make-up or costume) and posted a happy birthday to her. The next day I saw it was Lenard Nimoy’s birthday and thought “that would be funny” to do him today. I studied pics and read up on his life. And then I never stopped! I have been doing my #homageaday every day since then! Every day I pick someone whose work is inspiring or meaningful or has made an impact on culture. I love becoming these (big and small) icons each day! Most days I do an individual’s face, but sometimes I honor their image in a different way — like I did James Brown’s feet dancing on his birthday.

Duluth You & Me: Port Town Trolley

Use the link below for a printable PDF for your drawing and coloring pleasure.
Duluth You & Me: Port Town Trolley

Follow the Duluth You & Me subject tag to see additional pages. For background on the book see the original post on the topic.

My Favorite Writers (5 of 5): Italo Calvino

This week: Italo Calvino.

Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 to Italian parents. He died in Italy in 1985.

Duluth artist among recipients of 2020 McKnight Fellowship

If you see Catherine Meier, send congratulations.

Lake Superior Writers 2020 writing contest winners announced

Poetry
Winner: Jess Koski, “Did Geronimo Send Postcards from FL?”
Runner-up: Tina Higgins Wussow, “This is How Scars are Formed”

Short Fiction
Winner: Jess Koski, “Onaabani-giizis—Hard Crust on the Snow Moon”
Runner-up: Vickie Youngquist-Smith, “Autumn Shadow of Death”

Short-short Fiction
Winner: Vickie Youngquist-Smith, “Domestic Duplicity”
Runner-up: Lynn Watson, “But Officer”

Creative nonfiction
Winner: Eric Chandler, “I Have No Idea”
Runner-up: Chris Marcotte, “Holding Hands with an Angel”

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. Lake Superior Writers had 117 entries this year. The organization plans to launch next year’s contest theme in January, with a submission deadline in April.

Selective Focus: Community Mural at the CJM Memorial

Visual artist Moira Villiard organized a mural project at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial as part of a day of creative expression on Monday, June 8. People were invited to add to the images she created of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a raised fist. The activities also included interviews of black, indigenous and people of color on the topic of police brutality. The interviews will be used in a documentary produced by DanSan Creatives. June 15 marks 100 years since the lynching of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Issac McGhie in downtown Duluth for a crime they didn’t commit.

Duluth You & Me: Sister Cities

Duluth You & Me was published in 1993. Since then Duluth has added a fifth Sister City — Rania.